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Newsweek Went to Panel

Newsweek Went to Panel

Owners of the company Washington Post which issues newspaper with the same name offered one of the main actives - weekly journal Newsweek - on sale. From their side it became recognition of that they did not manage to find business model which would make the edition profitable nowadays. Last year losses of Newsweek grew to 29 million dollars against 16 million dollars the year before.


The chairman of board of Washington Post Donald Gram recognized that this year would likely be also unprofitable for the magazine. He named magazine "vigorous and important" printing and network edition but ascertained that "in present climate" it could find "more suitable place". Investment bank Allen&Co has been already employed for the search of the potential buyer, ITAR-TASS informs.


Magazine Newsweek has been published since 1933 in the USA. The company Washington Post owns it for a half of a century. In its best years edition made serious competition to the leader of the branch - to weekly journal Time.


Recently traditional printing editions of the USA hand over positions under Internet pressing where news and comment sources as well as advertising migrate. According to publishing information bureau, in 2009 the number of advertising strips in Newsweek decreased again - approximately by 26 percent. On the average there's similar situation in branch as a whole. Washington Post itself "considerably grew thin" and simultaneously rose in price during last years.


From editorial board: Actually, process began not yesterday, though it's not clear how it would end. If in Russia freedom of press is being suffocated by the power, in the West "free market" does it successfully. Production costs grow, while the reader doesn't want to pay for information and journal comments as it can receive it in general free of charge on the Internet.


Just yesterday on the occasion of May, 5th - Day of the Soviet Press - I published article under heading "So, Who Killed Free Press in Russia?" One of the readers answered me - you did it. By and large what I with colleagues do, of course, kills traditional press but not so effective as it's done in Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.


However, neither Presidential Administration, nor FORUM.msk is involved in bankruptcy of Newsweek. Well, just think it over - 29 million dollars of losses a year! If I had such money and not annually but only once, all the world would forget about Newsweek in general, it would talk only about FORUM.msk in different languages. Moreover - if I had such money and the newspaper "Pravda" which birthday, actually, is being celebrated on May, 5th as the Day of the Soviet Press, nobody would recollect about Washington Post also.


But God doesn't give horns to a cow that butts.

Therefore free press is approaching quite natural end - firstly, it is impossible to receive such money on a freebie and to be rather free. Secondly, not everything can be bought for money. Some very important things can be done for copper pennies.

Well, further, I think, absurdity theatre will appear. The Kremlin oligarchs, buying up eminent editions such as "Independent" and "France Soir" all over Europe, should not pass by Newsweek. Now imagine that the Kremlin oligarch will act as saviours... of the free press in the West. Naturally, with own approaches to realization of that freedom. It will be fairy as got fat western journalists will start registering sites somewhere in Ukraine to stay in any quality.

However, they should be reconciled with strong fall of the social status. That is with transition from position of "the fourth power" into a category of riff raff. One of these days they refused to give out me a card of Citibank - simply without any reasons - as if I was one of that riff raff... I will overcome it, it was necessary to me to pay for a server, as often payments from cards of the Russian banks to Europe do not pass, while commission for bank remittance makes third of the sum. Though how got fat western journalists will do without habitual blessings of civilisation? Well they have to get accustomed to it.

Well, the place of today's journalists, as well as in the Russian Federation, will be very quickly occupied by simulators - nobody will notice.

Anatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk

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