First published in September 1843 to take part in "a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress."The Economist
— The Economist
's "mission statement", printed on the first page of each issue.
is a weekly news magazine (it calls itself a newspaper
for historical reasons) published in Britain but read around the world. It caters to an intellectual audience, and knows it
.It has been published continuously since it was founded in September 1843
, to campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws
. Ever since, the magazine has never hidden its preference for Classical Liberalism
, but it approaches politics from a utilitarian and pragmatic perspective. Thus, it tends to feel more "centrist with a moderate classical liberal lean."
The writing style is clever and dry
, and the writers are extremely fond of puns
, incredibly lame and otherwise
. These are often multilingual
, frequently requiring a working knowledge of Latin
, and they Don't Explain the Joke
. The magazine's policy of always providing background information about famous people or entities can lead to heaping doses of Captain Obvious
, such as their description of "Jackie Chan
, a kung-fu actor from Hong Kong". Similarly they are known for their Insistent Terminology
in describing everyone as "Mr Name", even if they're egomaniac dictators normally known by a title.
Somewhat amusingly, for all of the hauteur of its style, writers for The Economist
are—according to one report—mostly recent graduates of Magdalen College, Oxford
, generally having read Economics, Political Science, or PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics). This is masked by the fact that all articles in The Economist are anonymous
—even the editor is barely mentioned, and the opinion columnists write under certain standardised pseudonyms, all of which have some sort of historical significance
: "Lexington" for the United States (after the Battles of Lexington and Concord
), "Banyan" for Asia (a recent one, named after a kind of tree), "Charlemagne" for Europe (after, well, Charlemagne
), Bagehot for Britain (after Walter Bagehot, the third editor of The Economist
), "Schumpeter" for economics (after the famous economist), and "Buttonwood" for finance and business (after the buttonwood tree on Wall Street under which the New York Stock Exchange originally did business).
It's also highly successful, being one of the few print magazines to have gained circulation in the past 10 years, to a total of 1.2 million. Only 14% of that circulation is in the UK, probably making The Economist
the only mass print medium to have more copies circulating outside its country of origin than within.
Fond of the Political Cartoon
, often less Anvilicious
than most examples (if only because the cartoons are usually paired with articles that explain the issues anyway).
Currently banned in Thailand
due to the royal family's issues with one of the writers (said issues have absolutely nothing to do with the magazine, BTW; the royal family just overreacted to a completely separate work he did
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