Current event magazines usually bore me to tears. It isnít that I am unable to appreciate in-depth reporting Ė rather, it is that they are just out of date before they even arrive at my mailbox.
Recommend this product?
Whatís a current event magazine? Some of you may refer to it as a news magazine, but I donít. In my opinion, news is something that is happening right now and can be reported to me within 24 hours of occurrence, such as television and radio news, the Internet and my morning newspaper. If it canít deliver breaking news within a day, then it simply is rendered to current events and not news.
So, why, might you ask, would I go ahead and subscribe to a current event magazine? Well, I tried it simply because I was offered a free trial subscription for a magazine and it was one of the few on the list that didnít involve raising children, gardening, or wood working. While the three are all wonderful activities, they donít impact my life in the least and at least I figured I could get something out of a current event magazine.
I remember that I had my choice of three already -- TIME, Newsweek and US News and World Report. Since Iíve already tried a subscription to TIME and was aggravated with their liberal bias, I opted against it. Newsweek Iíve seen for eons at the doctorís office waiting room, and I figured it would go from the mailbox to the trashcan without even getting a glance. Someone mentioned to me that US News and World Report had a slightly conservative bias, and I thought that might spark my interest, so I went ahead and chose it.
What did I find?
Well, to be honest, the rumors are true. This isnít a blatantly conservative magazine, yet it does have a political slant to the right. The slant is subtle, exposing itself freely in the editorials and slightly in the news coverage. Columnists, such as John Leo, who writes the On Society section, lets his bias shine right through, and by God thatís a wonderful thing to see. Kenneth T. Walsh covers a variety of topics and also brings his slant to the forefront for the world to witness.
Kit R. Roane appears to cover a variety of issues in short spaces Ė from a blurb about police brutality in Philadelphia last month to a somewhat in-depth article about Canadian scrutiny of new immigrants in last weekís issue. Heís written a brilliant review of a book written about New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the early July issue.
Iíve seen US News and World Report tackle big issues and small, covering not only the stories that make the evening news but also stories that get buried amongst the liquor ads in your hometown newspaper.
Like its liberal counterparts, US News and World Report publishes interesting quotes of the week by prominent figures (especially those residing within the Beltway of Washington, D.C.). Some are humorous, some are downright nasty, but all are of significance.
US News and World Report also provides advice of sorts. It publishes an annual list of Americaís Best Hospitals, Best Mutual Funds, Best Colleges and Graduate Schools and the like. They also offer advice in dealing with your health insurance company and how to find a good college, information on financial aid, and other helpful topics.
The magazine does publish a variety of Letters to the Editor. The Letters are not always complimentary and often blast the publisher for what the reader perceives to be errors and omissions. There is also a mix that supports the magazine and are very complimentary. I respect any magazine that is willing to publish negative Letters to the Editor.
The magazine also doesnít clutter itself with an endless supply of full-page advertisements that break up reading of long articles. I tire of magazines that seem more interested in selling advertising space than giving me content to read. If I wanted to be inundated with endless ads Iíd simply join one of the free ISPs on the Internet, right?
This magazine is published weekly and arrives approximately three days prior to hitting the newsstands. It also has a website, located at http://www.usnews.com which basically allows you to read the articles of the current issue and any back issues. They print the entire context of the major articles of the magazine, so it is questionable if you even need to purchase a subscription.
I found that US News and World Report is a welcome and refreshing counterbalance to TIME and Newsweek. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to keep abreast of current events and wants a different perspective than youíd find in those other magazines. However, if you do have web access and donít mind reading articles off a computer screen instead of magazine format, you may want to simply read it there for free.
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