Search Results for: Newsweek

In 1975, Newsweek Predicted A New Ice Age. We’re Still Living with the Consequences.

Penguins stand on a rock near station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica, 2015. Photo: AP

Jack El-Hai | Longreads | April 2017 | 6 minutes (1,500 words)

Last year was the hottest on record for the third consecutive pass of the calendar. Glaciers and polar ice melt, plant and animal species go extinct at a rapid rate, and sea levels rise. Clearly the consequences of climate change are immense.

Does anyone out there think we’re at the dawn of a new ice age?

If we had asked that question just 40 years ago, an astonishing number of people — including some climatologists — would have answered yes. On April 28, 1975, Newsweek published a provocative article, “The Cooling World,” in which writer and science editor Peter Gwynne described a significant chilling of the world’s climate, with evidence accumulating “so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.” He raised the possibility of shorter growing seasons and poor crop yields, famine, and shipping lanes blocked by ice, perhaps to begin as soon as the mid-1980s. Meteorologists, he wrote, were “almost unanimous” in the opinion that our planet was getting colder. Over the years that followed, Gwynne’s article became one of the most-cited stories in Newsweek’s history. Read more…

The Good Girls Revolt: When 46 Women Sued Newsweek for Discrimination

Longreads Pick

Following this week’s news about the firing of Jill Abramson from the New York Times and the discussion of gender pay disparity, here’s some historical context: The full opening chapter of Lynn Povich’s book, The Good Girls Revolt, about the first female class action lawsuit against Newsweek. Thanks to Povich and PublicAffairs for allowing us to reprint the excerpt.

Source: PublicAffairs
Published: May 16, 2014
Length: 13 minutes (3,368 words)

The Summer of Love and Newsweek

Longreads Pick

The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg reflects on his early career working as a correspondent for Newsweek in San Francisco, covering Jefferson Airplane, Ronald Reagan and hippies:

“If the S.F. music scene (I quickly learned that ‘Frisco’ was a no-no) was scarcely known outside the Bay Area, and neither was the larger cultural phenomenon it drew strength from. The word ‘hippie’—derived from ‘hipster,’ the nineteen-forties bebop sobriquet revived sixty years later in Brooklyn, Portland, and food co-ops in between—had been coined only a few months earlier, by Herb Caen, the Chronicle’s inimitable gossip columnist. (At the time, as often as not, people spelled it ‘hippy.’) Ralph J. Gleason, the Chron’s jazz critic, was the scene’s Dr. Johnson. (Pushing fifty, he was too old to be its Boswell.) Gleason’s protégé was the pop-music critic for the U.C. Berkeley’s student paper, the Daily Californian, Jann Wenner. But the national press had not taken much notice, if any. So getting something into Newsweek was a coup.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Aug 15, 2013
Length: 8 minutes (2,143 words)

Tough Times at Newsweek

Longreads Pick

Resuscitating a battered newsweekly in 2011 is a tough bit of business. Last year, The Daily Beast and Newsweek lost a combined $30 million. Ad page numbers tell how difficult it is, too: Newsweek’s ad page performance between April to September was down 18 percent, according to the Publishers Information Bureau quarterly report. This is easy to dismiss (what isn’t down these days!) — but Time is up 4 percent for the year, The Economist is flat and Newsweek is competing, year-over-year, against a version of itself that had an ownership change, a lame duck editor and a very uncertain future.

Source: WWD
Published: Nov 18, 2011
Length: 8 minutes (2,094 words)

The Newsweekly’s Last Stand

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Why The Economist is thriving while Time and Newsweek fade

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jul 28, 2009
Length: 8 minutes (2,115 words)

Backward Runs Newsweek

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Blah blah newsmag remake blah blah.

Source: New Republic
Published: May 21, 2009
Length: 8 minutes (2,077 words)

Journalists Shouldn’t Be Fired for Investigating Their Own Publications

'Newsweek' on the newsstand the week it was put up for sale in 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In 1896, a Tennessee publisher named Adolph Ochs became the majority stockholder of The New York Times, and in a short few paragraphs under the heading “Business Announcement,” he outlined his plans for the paper. One sentence, burned into the brains of journalists throughout the intervening century, announced his aim for the paper “to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect or interests involved.”

Without fear or favor. This was, and remains, a good guiding principle for this profession. Journalists young and old heed it regularly. You swallow your fear of a powerful CEO or politician, dial a phone number, ask the tough questions, and demand a real answer. You force yourself to examine your own biases, to not fall prey to the likability of a subject or a source, to not assume there are good guys and bad guys, and to meet every question with clear-eyed scrutiny.

These are ideals, and by definition, we don’t always meet them. But we strive, and on our best days, we succeed.

That’s exactly what Newsweek reporters Celeste Katz and Josh Saul, and their editors Bob Roe and Kenneth Li, were doing when they investigated why their office was raided by investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney on January 18, quickly turning around a story. Saul and Katz dug into their own company’s finances and history after determining that the D.A.’s investigation was related to the company’s finances. They questioned many people, including the company’s CEO, Dev Pragad, who recently touted record numbers for audience and revenue. Bob Roe, interviewed in the story in his capacity as the magazine’s editor-in-chief, acknowledged the raid had understandably set people on edge, but added, “We’ve got to keep doing our job as long as we can, and part of that job is reporting this story.”

Since that story, Saul and Katz collaborated on two more stories that held their own company accountable, joined by their colleague Josh Keefe: First, on the potential connection of a Christian group to the DA’s investigation; then, on the company’s married chairman and finance director stepping down from their positions. Katz also reported on the company’s chief content officer taking an immediate leave of absence after a past sexual harassment complaint against him was revealed by BuzzFeed.

Then on February 5, Katz, Saul, Roe and Li were abruptly fired. Articles by BuzzFeed, CNN Money, and The Daily Beast reported that staffers suspected the firings were retaliation for their clear-eyed and honest reporting on the company’s legal and financial issues. Another reporter, Matthew Cooper, tendered a letter of resignation to Pragad, criticizing the magazine’s “reckless leadership.”

“It’s the installation of editors, not Li and Roe, who recklessly sought clicks at the expense of accuracy, retweets over fairness, that leaves me most despondent not only for Newsweek but for other publications that don’t heed the lessons of this publication’s fall,” Cooper wrote in the letter, which he shared on Twitter.

Granted, we do not know for a fact why these four staffers were fired, but that is part of the problem. The company chose to use the convenient and common excuse of a policy of not speaking publicly on “personnel matters,” and given the recent actions within the company, it’s reasonable the remaining employees believe their colleagues were victims of retaliation. Not only is the company not outwardly saying otherwise, it’s also refusing to provide an explanation to its staff.

It is becoming a horrifying trend in this industry, where reporters and editors get fired for holding their company accountable in the exact manner in which we are meant to do our jobs. This happened at the Las Vegas Review-Journal after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson purchased it, and a similar situation occurred at the L.A. Weekly last year.

Investigating corruption is the job of an investigative journalist. For an investigation to be a fireable offense is antithetical to the industry’s entire purpose. This isn’t what journalism should be, and it’s dangerous. We can’t expect people to believe us when we say we are principled if we do not apply those principles to ourselves.

This is why certain reactions to the Newsweek firing were so appalling.

Yglesias’ Twitter profile states “bad takes and fake news,” so perhaps this tweet was simply an attempt at an example of the former. It is a very, very bad take. It is first and foremost unbelievably callous. Four people just lost their jobs and you respond by dismissing all of their work as well as that of their colleagues? It’s also simply wrong. Saul and Katz both have earned reputations as skilled and hard-working journalists, and up to their firing demonstrated a measure of bravery and principle that is admirable.

Anyone who cares about journalism should be appalled by the events at Newsweek. Everyone in this industry should speak out against it and make it clear these actions are antithetical to what we aim to do.

Our industry is terrifyingly volatile and currently under siege by the most powerful person in our nation. Ironic cool-kid tweets or petty “who cares” statements are worse than meaningless here. We would be best served by supporting one another in these times of upheaval and defending the values that help us produce good journalism.

How ‘Cops’ Became the Most Polarizing Reality TV Show in America

"Cops" screenshot
Another night, another arrest, on "Cops." ( Productions)

Tim Stelloh | The Marshall Project & Longreads | January 2018 | 25 minutes (6,325 words)

This story was published in partnership with The Marshall Project.


Morgan Langley leans toward a large computer screen. He isn’t sure if the video clip is still there, posted to a random YouTube channel named after a ’90s punk-ska act, but after a few moments, he finds it. Out of a black screen flashes a white Ford Mustang with blacked-out windows and chrome rims. Langley, who is an executive producer of one of America’s longest-running reality shows, “Cops,” narrates. “This kid here is actually selling a thousand pills of ecstasy to an undercover cop,” he says excitedly.

On the screen, a skinny white kid with a straight-brim baseball cap and a collection of painful-looking face piercings has plunked down on the Mustang’s passenger seat. Next to him is a woman whose blurred face is framed by sandy blonde hair. They briefly discuss logistics, and a second guy with dark skin and wrap-around sunglasses hops in. He asks if she has the cash; she asks if he has the goods. He asks if she’s a cop; she laughs.

“Okay, we’re just gonna do it like this,” he says, grabbing a pistol from his waistband. “Just give me your money.” Seconds later, officers in green tactical gear swarm the car, and he’s nose-down on the pavement, handcuffed and delivering a tear-streaked explanation: “Sir, they gave me a gun and told me they were gonna kill me.” Read more…