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7:11pm on Sunday, 25th September, 2011:

Weekly News


After my moan earlier in the week about The Guardian's increasingly tired or vacuous content, I was recommended to try a couple of weekly magazines instead: The Week and The Economist. So I did.

The Week is a digest of articles from daily newspapers the previous week. It includes some overseas newspapers as well as British ones, which gives an interesting perspective. It's one thing for financial commentators in British newspapers to be commenting on the need or otherwise to bail out Greece financially, but it's another thing entirely to read what German columnists are saying (in translation). When I started reading it, I was really impressed — it looked to be just what I wanted.

Unfortunately, it not only digests the weekly news, it digests other things, too — sport, gossip, travel, ... Not quite what I was looking for, then.

The Economist was something else. It focuses rather heavily on the economy, but its articles are very in-depth and informative. It's more rightist than I would have preferred, but at least it's not party political (unlike The Guardian with its constant sniping). It costs a hefty £4, but if I dropped five issues of The Guardian I'd still be £2 better off (or rather my wife would be, as she's the one who pays the paper bill). I'm really quite pleased with it, although I can imagine that if I read it too often many of the articles would end up feeling quite similar. Also, I don't like the fact that it doesn't seem to give byelines for its journalists.

As for The Guardian, well several of the more interesting stories it had during the week came a couple of days after I'd already heard about them on the ol' Internet — and it wasn't the work of faster-than-light neutrinos. I guess I should be happy that the story about gamers solving protein-folding problems made it to its pages at all, given its "the less science I know, the more creative I must be" also, having read the paper on it two days earlier myself, it's clear that the author of the Guardian piece hadn't...

My plan now is to take The Week, The Economist and The Guardian in parallel for at least another week and then decide what best to do. I'll probably keep the Saturday Guardian and Sunday Observer, though, because they're a bit more substantial (and a bit more expensive, but if my wife's paying...).

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).