I have been an Economist subscriber for years, probably decades. I started subscribing because of the quality of the writing and the journalism; the articles were well written, their points well made, and their perspectives shaped from knowledge. Even when I disagreed, I could respect the honesty of their endeavor, and their scrupulous attempts to be fair and objective. That was at the start.
In the last couple of years their standards, so far as I am concerned, have gone downhill. Particularly in covering Israel and the Middle East, their journalism has become sloppy and populist. They made repeated factual errors, and their once independent editorials were slowly – and sometimes not so slowly – aligning with the BBC and the Guardian. They are mesmerized by “settlers”, the settlers meme, and hate for Bibi. (It’s interesting to compare their outright dislike for Bibi with their attitude towards, for example, Iran’s leaders. In short, the Economist has joined the ranks of the Israel bashers.
However, it’s not only in their Israel coverage, that I have seen standards falling. I wish I had kept notes, but that wasn’t my mission. Where had the original Economist gone? I just wanted to read and be informed – not read, and be misinformed.
The last issue of my subscription arrives next week. After that, no more Economist. I don’t believe in boycotts, but I also don’t believe that I should keep paying to be fed crap. And right now, despite a once great reputation, a glossy cover, a sleek website, and a host of admirers, that’s what the Economist has become. Crap.