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Is The Economist Getting Worse?

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The best test of the quality of any news provider is to read a story about a subject you know a lot about and note how inaccurate it is. There's probably a similar level of inaccuracy in all the other stories about subjects you know less about too. By that measure The Economist seems to have got worse over the last eight years or so. There also seem to be more logical fallacies in the conclusions it draws from the facts it reports and the "facts" themselves seem weaker (a recent news story cited an anonymous internet commenter to support a conclusion that China is becoming more belligerent). I think its anti-Brexit position really threw this into sharp relief for me.

Has anyone else noticed this?

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I think its anti-Brexit position really threw this into sharp relief for me.

Same here, The Economist now has zero credibility in my eyes since it blatantly nailed its colours to the remain mast.

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TE is funny thing.

Its the only newspaper with a lot of news. Its the only mag/paper that reports on a lot of World events.

Ive had a TE sub for years for this reason.

Then there's the opinion, written by 'bright young thing'.

This is ideological sh1t. I read them but Im aware thats its some half-wits badly thought out predications.

From memory, I can think of: '$5 barrel oil for ever', 'Enron - what a great company', 'What happens when all govnernment debt is paid off'

Buttonwood calls it right on finance all the time.

His alarms on pension funding should be read.

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Definitely. I stopped buying The Economist a few years ago as I thought their articles were becoming increasing biased.

I don't think it's just the Economist though, most of the traditional media seems to be going the same way.

Edited by Bora Horza

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I read the Economist in the 80s. Found a copy in the attic about 3 years back and realised it's just the same old stuff reheated.

I read the FT when I'm at an airport as it's free in the BA lounge ;)

Get most of my other news and opinion from various financial websites these days and then make my own mind up. Much more satisfying.

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Used to read the FT as working was unbelievable boring and it provided a sufficiently city focused approach that the rest of it's reporting seemed to retain less bias than is normal. The opinion pieces were always clearly labelled as such which makes an immense difference in how I prepare myself for the contents to the point where I can't imagine another context where I'd read something written by the pope (it was actually quite good!). It also had the wonderful and sought after property of being an "acceptable," way to not work whilst not being quite as absurd as most of the tasks I was supposed to "solve."

I've really lost my love of it since I stopped being that bored and it was bought out by Pearson. I don't think the editor hasn't changed yet, but I stopped looking as when they do I'm certain the independence of the new editor will be highly questionable. Always been far too hands on to read things like the economist and greatly dislike being told what I'm supposed to think until after I've done something that breaks it .. it's so much harder to break when you know why everybody is angry at you.

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Its the only newspaper with a lot of news. Its the only mag/paper that reports on a lot of World events.

That's what I liked about it, but the reportage seems to be getting weaker and weaker. A current story about the South China Sea seems to contain one objective fact and lots of conjecture, for example.

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"indonesia is at a crossroads"

Its OK occaisionally, but the 600-word-solution-to-every-problem grates. And they were, as stated cheerleading for Remain. And TE recently suggested that we should compromise on FGM by allowing "small nicks" to the female genitalia (yes really)

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the Economist is the mouthpiece of the elites. The financiers with the decreed monopoly to counterfeit money in a process called banking. Read it for comedy or tragedy but not for your portfolio. imo

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The best test of the quality of any news provider is to read a story about a subject you know a lot about and note how inaccurate it is.

By that test I find them not so much inaccurate, as a bit superficial and a bit out of date.

When it comes to fact checking The Economist's weekly news cycle gives them a better chance of sorting out the details, but they do get suckered in with their sources and seem to regurgitate standard industry gossip in any particular field (or at least that was the case in my particular field) in the mistaken view that they've got a hot scoop.

The other area they let themselves down is their unwillingness to ever admit they were dead wrong on an editorial position. For example they spent a long time saying oil was never ever going back below $100 a barrel and the 21st century would be defined by ever worsening oil shortages. Or more recently they gave a big platform to the 200 economists who publicly supported the UK joining the Euro, and subsequent articles have tied themselves in knots looking for small phrases in otherwise pro-Euro articles that might possibly put themselves in a slightly more balanced light.

But hey, I still look forward every week to each new edition, and their voice is only going to become more influential as they're one of tan absolutely minute circle of publications that can thrive behind a pay wall.

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The other area they let themselves down is their unwillingness to ever admit they were dead wrong on an editorial position.

Yes, it has been shit for a long long time. They backed the Iraq war. They thought Marconi directors were geniuses just before the company went bust. They thought Worldcom were the best co. since sliced bread. They did call the house price crash though, unfortunately it never happened.

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As TE does not put names on articles, its hard to follow who's spouting what opinion.

The TE stil employs a large number of good reported, who cover a range of subjects across a lot of countries.

To my knowledge, theres no other news sources that covers the range in much depth.

However ... there seems to be a lot of kudos for highly trained morons, pursuing early politcal careers at TE.

These are the loons you come of with $5 oil/worldcom/enron fanbois stories. These hacks are always young and stupid and fail on being objective.

The fact the Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone exposed the banks during the fiancial crash is something TE, FT and all the other supposed serious papers shuld be ashamed. How in fcksake anyone with a bit of nous could not spot the likes of Enron is a joke.

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The Economist is like an incredibly talented one trick pony- complex detailed analysis of problems leading always to identikit solutions consisting of more globalisation, more deregulation and more libertairian politics.

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Afaict, from snippets of info in some of their opinion pieces, their staff, being based in the London head office, are mortgagees in the London bubble; this overt market interest heavily biases their position towards pro bubble inflating, and pro EU, pro liberal nwo , imho.

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The Economist is like an incredibly talented one trick pony- complex detailed analysis of problems leading always to identikit solutions consisting of more globalisation, more deregulation and more libertairian politics.

Deregulation except where govt support of banks and land hoarding is concerned, funny dat.

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TE is funny thing.

Its the only newspaper with a lot of news. Its the only mag/paper that reports on a lot of World events.

Ive had a TE sub for years for this reason.

Then there's the opinion, written by 'bright young thing'.

This is ideological sh1t. I read them but Im aware thats its some half-wits badly thought out predications.

From memory, I can think of: '$5 barrel oil for ever', 'Enron - what a great company', 'What happens when all govnernment debt is paid off'

Buttonwood calls it right on finance all the time.

His alarms on pension funding should be read.

This is spot on, IMO.

The Economist is good at what it's good at, but when offering analysis of politically contentious matters the ideological editorial line sometimes scuppers the chances of good analysis.

FWIW their ideological commitment to the same kind of ideas that Gove pushed at the Department of Education means that their education commentary is more wishful thinking than analysis, but still a better love story than Twilight, as the saying goes.

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It's a global phenomenon. The National Post, here in Canada, used to be excellent. They had opinions from right and left, with some pretty balanced reporting, recently it has become infested with "Bloomberg views", "Washington post" and NYT op-eds. The "progressive liberal" position is now the only acceptable viewpoint on any issue whether it be economics, BREXIT, Islam...you name it. NWO.

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This is spot on, IMO.

The Economist is good at what it's good at, but when offering analysis of politically contentious matters the ideological editorial line sometimes scuppers the chances of good analysis.

FWIW their ideological commitment to the same kind of ideas that Gove pushed at the Department of Education means that their education commentary is more wishful thinking than analysis, but still a better love story than Twilight, as the saying goes.

They have a lot of reporters who have been in countries and regions for years. They give you the best info - bar going to that country and learning the language. You get the odd, in depth article of odds + sods which is always worth reading.

Then you have the Tarquin who've graduated with a first from Oxbridge. Not sure what to do. The Redbrick oiks who can do maths + software have took over the city. Maybe Daddies fried could have a word and get him a job at TE or Lex, he'll make the tea. Then, 10 years later, maybe go a for a safe seat in Buckinhamshire.

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Bloomberg.com have put a limit on the number of free articles available and merged the sometimes-OK Gadfly columns into the often-nonsensical Opinions columns so I think it's time for me to pay for a subscription to something (other than Private Eye and The Atlantic).  The options I see are:

Financial Times

Economist

Bloomberg.com

Any thoughts or other options?

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Only requires a few to pay the subscription then pass on the news in brief bullet points to the rest.....get the gist of view points of a mix of others......;)

 

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With the money you would waste on subscriptions over 1 year you could buy a small library of books which are generally far better researched and more accurate.

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