September 13, 2006

Newsweeklies Go More Global

National Affiars Global/ International Entertainment/ Celebrity Business Health/ Med Science Personal Fianance
2005 25 16 8 8 10 3
2006 25 19 8 9 11 3

Eight months into 2006, the big three newsweeklies – Time, Newsweek and U.S. News – are devoting more pages to international news than they did in 2005. About 19% of the pages in the magazines have been focused on Global/International topics through August of this year, up from 16% in all of 2005. The rise comes in a turbulent year overseas in Iraq, Israel and Lebanon. If the increase holds through December, it would be highest percentage of international news since 2003, the year the US invaded Iraq.

Meanwhile, the percentage of pages devoted to national affairs in the titles through August is unchanged from 2005 – 25%. The number might be something of a surprise considering that 2006 is an election year and polls increasingly show a political shake-up may be coming.

It should be noted, however, the averages of the three titles don’t tell the whole story. All the magazines have increased their foreign coverage. But while U.S. News has bumped up its national affairs pages, to 31% from 29% in 2005, Time has reduced its coverage by about 2 percentage points and Newsweek has held steady.

Health and business coverage also rose.

The topics listed in the table and chart are the biggest categories out of dozens measured. Other topics, such as consumer electronics and "miscellaneous", making up only small percentages, are what declined, making room for the growth in international coverage.