The Economist

1024px-theeconomistlogo-svgIn this day and age, we are presented with countless sources of news that are made readily available to us through various digital platforms and printed mediums.  However, as the number of news sources continues to increase, the burden of determining credibility falls on us, the readers.  Analyzing the validity of a news source and the information that is provided can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many options to chose from. 

As an International Affairs student, many of my teachers have incorporated articles from The Economist into our readings and discussions.  I have personally found this source to be an incredibly informative and unbiased news platform that provides up-to-date information on a variety of topics and places.  In my major, it is very important to keep yourself updated with what’s going on in the world, and The Economist does a great job at providing a reliable global analysis.

Rhetorical Awareness and Target Audience

The Economist is an incredibly vast news source that provides users with global coverage, including: business and finance, science and technology, culture and debates, and late breaking country-specific news stories.  It excels at creating a one stop shop for a reader’s news, presenting them with short and concise articles that highlight the most important details through an unbiased viewpoint.  Their purpose is to provide their audience with educational information that maintains a sound adherence to the truth.

The topics covered by the Economist highlight the need for a basic understanding of the larger concepts related to the article, and a general comprehension of relevant terminology and vocabulary used.  In this way, their target is aimed at a well-educated, generally informed audience in search of current world news.  However, the Economist also seems to target younger, less experienced audiences with its intriguing depictions and humorous cartoons that accompany their articles. Shadow audiences may include students ranging from high school to college, who are researching subjects for a project or paper.  The short yet informative nature of their articles would be enticing for younger students who may struggle with lengthy scholarly articles.

User-Centered Design

The Economist has an attention grabbing homepage that includes articles with informative titles and intriguing photos.  At the top of the page there are several tabs that allow you to choose your topic, or explore The Economist’s other related media outlets.  Below this bar there is a section of articles categorized under “Editors’ picks”, which are the most recent and favorite stories that are rotated out daily.  These articles are accompanied by a picture, a large bold title, and a small category that reveal what topic they fall under.  There is also a “Latest updates” section that provides late breaking news from all around the world.   These small details give the user enough information to easily navigate through the website, and facilitate the speed at which they process the information.

The articles themselves are designed to keep a reader’s attention by utilizing simple sentences and short topic paragraphs.  The Economist incorporates vocabulary that makes for a smooth and easy read, while maintaining the intellectual integrity of the topic at hand.  The terms and concepts that are covered usually reflect their dedication to higher education, but are not used in a way that excludes the general public, as much of the content can be easily googled.

Their articles have a steady flow from beginning to end, facilitating the ease at which the information is understood by the reader.  They start with an introductory excerpt that provides background details, followed by the body of the information that is broken up into clear sections with bold and clever headings.  They finish with concluding remarks that ponder the future, and tie the entire article back together.  Overall, their articles are designed to disseminate credible information in a clear and concise way, and to engage their readers by stimulating intellectual thought.


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