Newsweek’s Redesign Gets Two Thumbs Down

Is the harsh reaction from media critics warranted?

The newly redesigned Newsweek launched yesterday, and as soon as the first images appeared online, the issue quickly became a media-critic punching bag. “Yawn,” wrote Fox Nation. Choire Sicha had the day’s most oft-quoted put-down on The Awl: “This is going to electrify the waiting rooms of dentists all over Scarsdale.” Later in the afternoon, Jack Shafer declared of the new issue, “This is a meal that a homeless person would walk away from.”

Over at The Atlantic Wire, Alex Eichler seems disappointed that so many critics have been quick to give the new Newsweek such “sour, indifferent responses” without even having seen it in person yet. (Here at CJR, we too did a quick roundup of opinions from elsewhere online, but the issue wasn’t on the newsstands yet as of yesterday morning.)

But hey, making snap judgments and witty barbs is what media critics do best, right? (Right?) Do you agree with Eichler that everyone is jumping on the snark bandwagon too soon? Has Brown underwhelmed her critics simply because any project she’s a part of will suffer from “the curse of high expectations”? And if you’ve seen the new Newsweek, tell us: Does it deserve a closer look? Or, rather, do you think it’s a brand and format that’s going to have a hard time staying relevant, no matter who’s at the helm?

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review. Tags: , , , ,