Read the Economist Magazine Effectively

Interested in world events, but overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available? The Economist Magazine is a solid source of world news published on a weekly basis. It covers current political events in all regions of the world as well as current events in finance, business, science, and the arts. Though the articles are concise, this digest of world events includes upwards of 80 articles. Read below to find out how it is possible to fully read the Economist on a consistent basis.

Carefully read "The world this week" section. It spans only two pages and contains several sentence snippets of world events in politics and business for the past week. This is a great way to orient your mind to world events.

Carefully read all articles in the "Leaders" section, paying particular attention to the first leader. These opinion pieces generally provide thoughtful analysis on topics most important to the Economist that week. They generally call for action of some sort, but provide balanced information. The entire section spans several pages.

At various points, you will come across "Briefing" articles. Pay attention to these, as they are some of the best articles in any given week. Also pay attention to the special reports that come out occasionally. They will appear towards the middle of the issue and contain around fourteen pages of articles on a particular topic.

Quickly skim through the "Letters" section, noting who the author is. It is not uncommon for an influential politician or scientist to comment on a past article. Also, the last letter is usually light-hearted and fun. This section spans one to two pages.

Scan the "On" section. It's only one page, but gives information about items of interest currently on their website.

The next group of sections contain articles on current political and social events in different regions of the world. These sections include "United States", "The Americas", "Asia", "Middle East and Africa", "Europe", "Britain", and "International". It is easy to become bogged down in these sections. Read the first article in each section carefully, then scan the rest unless a particular article interests you. Other articles in these sections that should be carefully read are "Lexington", "Banyan", "Charlemagne", and "Bagehot", which can be found in the "United States", "Asia", "Europe", and "Britain" sections, respectively.

Quickly read through the "Business" articles, paying particular attention to the first article and the last "Face value" article, which details an influential business person.

Carefully read the "Finance and economics" section. This section is the bread and butter of the Economist Magazine. You'll find careful and thoughtful analysis, and will come away having learned something new.

Quickly read through the "Science and technology" articles. The writers do a magnificent job of breaking down complex scientific findings and theories.

Scan through the "Books and arts" articles as well as the "Obituary" article. This last article details the life of a recently deceased lesser known individual who nonetheless made an impact on the world.

Scan through the "Economic and financial indicators", paying attention to the blue box information on the bottom of the page.

Things Needed

  • ['Access to the Economist Magazine', 'Time']


  • Plan out how you will accomplish your reading before jumping into it. When you skim an article, you should still read it - just take a lot less time than you would for a leader. You can generally get through an Economist issue in about 4 or 5 hours, given that the steps above are followed. Pick a day to do a bulk part of the reading, such as a Sunday morning or afternoon, and then devote twenty to thirty minutes for the other days. You can access the articles online at the Economist's website