Media News

Economist EIC Beddoes wants it to be more “present” in media

July 14, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Zanny Minton Beddoes

Joe Pompeo of Vanity Fair interviewed Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor in chief of The Economist, on her strategy for the publication.

Pompeo writes, “How is The Economist, which still refers to its nearly 180-year-old weekly magazine as a ‘newspaper,’ different now than when she started?

“‘There’s two parameters to answer that. One is, the world has changed. When I became editor, it was pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, pre-pandemic, pre-invasion of Ukraine. The kinds of things The Economist stood for—free markets, open societies, globalism—were a much more accepted worldview, whereas now, we are standing up for things that far fewer people believe in.’ And the other parameter? ‘We had an app in 2015, we had Twitter followers, Facebook followers, but fundamentally, our DNA was that of a weekly written print publication. Now, I think we’re well on the way to being completely different: podcasts, Economist Films, 61 million social media followers. So my tenure, for good or ill, has been about shifting The Economist into the 21st century.’ Also, Minton Beddoes says she doubled its China coverage: ‘China’s the country in the world that everybody needs to understand.’

“Does The Economist’s long-held business model, rooted in lucrative subscriptions, mean that it’s been immune to the pain inflicted on so many corners of the media world this past year?

“‘We’re not immune to anything. We charge a high subscription price’—$209 annually–’and we have 1.1 million subscribers’—it’s actually closer to 1.2 million, a spokeswoman later pointed out—’so the business model works, but we’re not unaffected by trends in advertising.'”

Read more here.

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