Behind the scenes

How we write The Week

Why open-mindedness matters in a rapidly changing world

Copies of The Week magazine

In a world where opinions come at us with increasing speed and volume, it’s good to listen.

That’s why The Week seeks out “the best that’s been written that week on the topics that are most important that week”, as founding editor Jeremy O’Grady said in a recent podcast marking the magazine’s 25th anniversary.

By presenting the most persuasive arguments from a diverse range of voices, the magazine invites readers to make up their own mind about the issues that matter. 

How is The Week written?

The Week has a “peculiar voice”, says editor-in-chief Caroline Law. Unbiased but characterful, an edition of the print magazine reads quite unlike anything else.

The award-winning editorial team gathers on a Monday morning, armed with their notes on the most insightful and entertaining articles from across the political spectrum. Then they set about crafting a coherent debate from this cacophony of voices. The trick, says the team, is to make each writer sound as if he or she is responding to another’s point of view.

Another unusual feature of The Week is its seamless blend of the serious, the sublime and the occasionally silly. Each week it casts its eye over the cultural landscape too, presenting the most entertaining and informative profiles, interviews and arts reviews. 

The digital team, meanwhile, performs a similar role in between magazine issues, producing daily digests of news, analysis and reviews distilled from print and online sources. You can sign up for The Week’s free morning and evening email newsletters here.

What about the covers?

The magazine team decides what the focus of The Week front cover should be on a Monday, before briefing resident illustrator Howard McWilliam, who brings to life some of the most talked-about political figures of the week.

Two covers of The Week Magazine
What’s the secret to its success? 

The magazine’s success has been built on the loyalty of its readers. “Many of The Week’s subscribers have been with us for a very long time,” says editor Theo Tait. 

Founding editor Jeremy O’Grady agrees. “The idea of building a magazine business around subscriptions, especially for a news magazine, was really relatively novel,” he says. Over time, that close relationship with readers has turned into an advantage.

As other print publications struggled to keep up with digital competition, The Week kept serving the people who appreciate it most - the regular readers for whom its concise, open-minded take on the world is a valuable antidote to the volume and ferocity of online debate.

Subscribe to The Week here and join our 300,000 readers. 

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