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Newsweek's new design to focus on women?

Newsweek's new design to focus on women?

After long, quiet speculation on its redesign, Tina Brown's first issue of Newsweek comes out this week, reports Poynter. Brown is the publication's first-ever female editor. The issue has been heavily anticipated since the merger of online news site The Daily Beast and Newsweek earlier last year.

The cover features Hillary Clinton and an article on her mission to put women and girls at the forefront of the new world order. This is in tune with Forbes' prediction late last year that Brown would likely emphasize the female reader.

Although it wasn't clear at first what direction Brown would take with the magazine, the Guardian reported the merger could be beneficial to both parties. The Daily Beast brings 5 million online viewers, and Newsweek brings a pre-established audience and a print component that still attracts high advertising revenues. However, Brown herself is aware of the diminishing print news industry, stating in 2008 at the EconWomen conference, "I would hate to be in the magazine world. It's a really tough world to have to compete in."

In the letter she posted on Newsweek's website discussing the redesign, Brown shows a change of heart. "Ironically, it was living in The Daily Beast's fast and furious news cycle for the past two years that revealed to me what a newsmagazine can bring to the table when it's no longer chasing yesterday's story. It's about filling the gaps left when a story has seemingly passed, or resetting the agenda, or coming up with an insight or synthesis that connects the crackling, confusing digital dots."

This new format is on par with the way in which Brown stated she intended to get female readers at a breakfast hosted by NBC. She said, "Men want to know what happened. Women want to know what really happened. It's not about 'women's content;' it's the way you edit and assign."

Although "women's content" may not be necessary, Newsweek's newest issue certainly provides it. Along with the story on Clinton, two other stories with an emphasis on women get cover space: "150 women who shake the world" and "Women make lousy men" by Kathleen Parker. The first issue isn't the only female-oriented project of the publication. This Thursday, March 10th, The Daily Beast and Newsweek will be hosting their second annual Women in the World Stories and Solutions summit (coinciding with Tuesday's International Women's Day).

Brown acknowledged her post as the first female editor at the end of her letter on Newsweek's site, saying, "Naturally I feel honored to be the first female editor of Newsweek. But I'm both humbled and grateful to know that the trail was blazed long ago, and that Kay Graham [first female editor of The Washington Post] blazed it. This issue is dedicated to her memory and inspired by her example."

Sources: The Daily Beast (1), (2), Forbes, The New York Times (1), (2), Newsweek (1), (2), Poynter



Meghan Hartsell


2011-03-07 13:01

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