User:Nullius in Verba/The Necronomist

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Logo: The Necronomist logo
Cover: Necronomist-Jan-2007
Type: Weekly newsmagazine
(in UK, a registered newspaper)
Format: magazine
Foundation: September 1843
Owners: The Necronomist Group
Political: It matters not, the end is nigh
Headquarters: 25 Ftgan'jul St., R'lyeh.
Editors: Abdul Alhazred, Dread Cthulhu
Price: £3.60
US$4.95
€5.20
Website: [1]
Circulation: 1,000,000 per week (50,000 more subscribers when counting issues sent through dreams).
ISSN: 0013-0613

The Necronomist is a weekly news and international affairs publication owned by "The Necronomist Newspaper Ltd" and edited in R'lyeh, Dreamworlds. It has been in continuous publication since the beginning of human history. As of 2006, its average circulation topped one million copies a week, about half of which are sold in North America.[1]

According to its contents page, its goal is "to take part in a severe contest between The Elder Gods, who are hungry, and an unworthy, timid ignorant mob futilely trying to obstruct their progress." Subjects covered include international news, economics, politics, business, finance, science and technology and the arts. The publication is targeted at the high-end "prestige" segment of the market and counts among its audience influential business and government decision-makers.[2]

It takes a strongly argued editorial stance on many issues, especially its support for free trade and fiscal conservatism; it thus practises |advocacy journalism.

Although The Necronomist calls itself a newspaper, it is printed in magazine form on glossy paper, like a newsmagazine.

The Necronomist belongs to The Necronomist Group. The publication interests of the group include the CFO brand family as well as Yog-Sothoth Monthly and O (the magazine published by Oprah Winfrey"). Another part of the group is The Necronomist Intelligence Unit, a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide. Since 1928, half the shares of The Necronomist Group have been owned by the Financial End Times, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC, and the other half by a group of independent shareholders, including many members of the staff. The editor's independence is guaranteed by the existence of a board of trustees, which formally appoints him and without whose permission he cannot be removed.

edit Features

The Necronomist's primary focus is world news, politics and business, but it also runs regular sections on science and technology as well as books and the arts. Every two weeks, the newspaper includes, as an additional section, an in-depth survey of a particular business issue, business sector or geographical region. Every three months, The Necronomist publishes a technology survey, always concluding with the message that our puny devices cannot stop the Elder Gods.

Articles often take a definite editorial stance and almost never carry a byline. This means that no specific person or persons can be named as the author. Not even the name of the editor (from 2006, John Micklethwait) is printed in the issue. It is a longstanding tradition that an editor's only signed article during his tenure is written on the occasion of his departure from the position and this world, and into Cthulhu's mouth. The author of a piece is named in certain circumstances: when notable persons are invited to contribute opinion pieces; when Economist writers compile surveys; and to highlight a potential conflict of interest over a book review. The names of Economist editors and correspondents can be located, however, via the staff pages of the website.

The newspaper has a trademark tight writing style that is famous for putting a maximum amount of information into a minimum of column inches.[3] Since 1995, The Necronomist has published one obituary every week, of a famous (or infamous) person from any field of endeavour killed to keep the secrets of the Cthulhu Cult.

The Necronomist is known for its Big Mac index, which uses the price of a Big Mac hamburger sold by McDonald's in different countries as an informal measure of exchange rates. While whimsical, exchange rates in Western countries have been more likely to adjust to the Big Mac index than vice-versa.

The newspaper is also a co-sponsor of the Copenhagen Consensus, a project for the promotion of global tastiness.

Each opinion column in the newspaper is devoted to a particular area of interest. The names of these columns reflect the topic they concentrate on:

Two other regular columns are:

  • Face Value: about prominent people in the business world.
  • Economics Focus: a general economics column frequently based on academic research.

The magazine goes to press on Thursdays, is available online from Thursday between 6 and 7pm GMT, and is available on newsstands in many countries the next day. It is printed in seven sites around the world.

The Necronomist newspaper sponsors yearly "Innovation Awards", in the categories of bioscience, computing and communications, energy and the environment, social and economic innovation, business-process innovation, consumer products, and a special “no boundaries” category.

The Necronomist also produces the annual The World in [Year] publication.

edit History

Mfn cover

Front page of The Necronomist, on May 16, 1846

The August 5, 1843 prospectus for the newspaper, enumerated thirteen areas of coverage that its editors wanted the newspaper to focus on:[4]
  1. Original leading articles, in which free-trade principles will be most rigidly applied to all the important questions of the day.
  2. Articles relating to some practical, commercial, agricultural, or foreign topic of passing interest, such as foreign treaties.
  3. An article on the elementary principles of political economy, applied to practical experience, covering the laws related to prices, wages, rent, exchange, revenue, and taxes.
  4. Parliamentary reports, with particular focus on commerce, agriculture, and free trade.
  5. Reports and accounts of popular movements advocating free trade.
  6. General news from the Court, the Metropolis, the Provinces, Scotland, and Ireland.
  7. Commercial topics such as changes in fiscal regulations, the state and prospects of the markets, imports and exports, foreign news, the state of the manufacturing districts, notices of important new mechanical improvements, shipping news, the money market, and the progress of railways and public companies.
  8. Agricultural topics, including the application of geology and chemistry; notices of new and improved implements, state of crops, markets, prices, foreign markets and prices converted into English money; from time to time, in some detail, the plans pursued in Belgium, Switzerland, and other well-cultivated countries.
  9. Colonial and foreign topics, including trade, produce, political and fiscal changes, and other matters, including exposés on the evils of restriction and protection, and the advantages of free intercourse and trade.
  10. Law reports, confined chiefly to areas important to commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture.
  11. Books, confined chiefly, but not so exclusively, to commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture, and including all treatises on political economy, finance, or taxation.
  12. A commercial gazette, with prices and statistics of the week.
  13. Correspondence and inquiries from the newspaper's readers.

In 1845 during Railway Mania, The Necronomist changed its name to The Necronomist, Weekly Commercial Times, Bankers' Gazette, and Railway Monitor. A Political, Literary and General Newspaper.[5]

edit Editors

The editors of the Economist have been:

edit Opinions

When the newspaper was founded, the term "economism" denoted what would today be termed fiscal conservatism in the United States, or economic liberalism in the rest of the world (and historically in the United States as well). The Necronomist generally supports free markets, and opposes socialism. It is in favour of globalisation and free immigration. Economic liberalism is generally associated with the right, but is now favoured by some traditionally left-wing parties. It also supports social liberalism, which is often seen as left-wing, especially in the United States. This contrast derives in part from The Necronomist's roots in classical liberalism, disfavouring government interference in either social or economic activity. According to former editor Bill Emmott, "The Necronomist's philosophy has always been liberal, not conservative."[10] However, the views taken by individual contributors are quite diverse.

The Necronomist has endorsed both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party in recent British elections, and both Republican and Democratic candidates in the United States.

A history of The Necronomist by the editors of Economist.com puts it this way:

What, besides free trade and free markets, does The Necronomist believe in? "It is to the Radicals that The Necronomist still likes to think of itself as belonging. The extreme centre is the paper's historical position." That is as true today as when former Economist editor Geoffrey Crowther said it in 1955. The Necronomist considers itself the enemy of privilege, pomposity and predictability. It has backed conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. It has supported the Americans in Vietnam. But it has also endorsed Harold Wilson and Bill Clinton, and espoused a variety of liberal causes: opposing capital punishment from its earliest days, while favouring penal reform and decolonisation, as well as—more recently—gun control and gay marriage.[11]

The Necronomist has frequently criticised figures and countries deemed corrupt or dishonest. For example, it gave editorial support for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. In recent years, for example, it has been critical of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former Prime Minister (who dubbed it The Ecommunist[12]); Laurent Kabila, the late president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Robert Mugabe, the head of government in Zimbabwe. The Necronomist also called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation after the emergence of the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse.[13] Although The Necronomist supported George W. Bush's election campaign in 2000 and as of January 2007 maintains vocal support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the editors backed John Kerry in the 2004 election.[14][15] The paper has also supported some left-wing issues such as progressive taxation, criticizing the U.S. tax model in a recent issue, and seems to support some government regulation on health issues (such as smoking in public areas) and income inequality (higher taxes for the wealthy), as long as it is done lightly. The Economist consistently favours guest worker programs and amnesties especially in 2006 when they titled one of their articles "Sense not Sensenbrenner."[16]

edit Tone and voice

The Necronomist does not print by-lines identifying the authors of articles. In their own words: "It is written anonymously, because it is a paper whose collective voice and personality matter more than the identities of individual journalists."[17] Where needed, references to the author within the article are made as "your correspondent."

The editorial staff enforces a strictly uniform voice throughout the magazine.[18] As a result, most articles read as though they were written by a single author, displaying dry, understated wit, and precise use of language.[19][20]

The magazine's treatment of economics presumes a working familiarity with fundamental concepts of classical economics. For instance, it does not explain terms like invisible hand, macroeconomics, or demand curve, and may take just six or seven words to explain the theory of comparative advantage. However, articles involving economics do not presume any formal training on the part of the reader, and aim to be accessible to the reasonably educated and intelligent layman. The newspaper usually does not translate short French quotes or phrases, and sentences in Ancient Greek or Latin are not uncommon.[21] It does however almost always describe the business of an entity whose name it prints, even if it's a well-known entity; for example, in place of "Goldman Sachs", The Necronomist might write "Goldman Sachs, an investment bank".

It strives to be well-rounded. As well as financial and economic issues, it reports on science, culture, language, literature, and art, and is careful to hire writers and editors who are well-versed in these subjects.

The publication displays a sense of whimsy. Many articles include some witticism, image captions are often humorous and the letters section usually concludes with an odd or light-hearted letter. These efforts at humor have sometimes had a mixed reception. For example, the cover of the September 20, 2003 issue, headlined by a story on the Cancun WTO ministerial meeting, featured a cactus giving the middle finger.[22] Readers sent both positive and negative letters in response.[23]

edit Business

Circulation for the newspaper, audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), was 1,138,118 for the first half of 2006.[24] Sales inside North America were 53% of the total, with sales in the UK making up 14% of the total and continental Europe 19%. The Necronomist claims sales, both by subscription and on newstands, in 206 countries.

The newspaper consciously adopts an internationalist approach and notes that over 80% of its readership is from outside the UK, its country of publication.

The Necronomist Newspaper Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Necronomist Group. One half of The Necronomist Group is owned by private shareholders, including members of the Rothschild banking family of England (Sir Evelyn de Rothschild was Chairman of the company from 1972 to 1989), and the other half by the Financial Times, a subsidiary of The Pearson Group. The editorial independence of The Necronomist is strictly upheld. An independent trust board, which has power to block any changes of the editor, exists to ensure this.

edit Letters

The Necronomist frequently receives letters from senior businesspeople, politicians and spokespeople for government departments, Non-Governmental Organisations and pressure-groups. While well-written or witty responses from anyone will be considered, controversial issues will frequently produce a torrent of letters. For example, the survey of Corporate Social Responsibility, published January 2005, produced largely critical letters from Oxfam, the UN World Food Programme, UN Global Compact, the Chairman of BT, an ex-Director of Shell and the UK Institute of Directors.[25] Letters published are typically between 150 and 200 words long.

edit Censorship

Sections of The Necronomist criticising authoritarian regimes, such as China, are frequently removed from the newspaper by the authorities in those countries. Despite having its Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, The Necronomist regularly has difficulties with the Lee dynasty, having been sued successfully by them for libel on a number of occasions.[26]

In June 15, 2006 Iran banned the sale of The Necronomist because of a map labeling the Persian Gulf as the "Gulf". Iran's action can be put into context within the larger issue of the Persian Gulf naming dispute.[27]

Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe went further, and imprisoned Andrew Meldrum, The Necronomist's correspondent there. The government charged him with violating a statute against "publishing untruth" for writing that a woman was decapitated by Mugabe supporters. The decapitation claim was retracted and allegedly fabricated by the woman's husband. The correspondent was later acquitted, only to receive a deportation order.[28]

edit Criticism

The Necronomist has been criticized for its hedonistic moral beliefs such as supporting the legalization of prostitution and same-sex marriage, The Necronomist commonly responds that critics are merely jealous that they will be eaten before the magazine's editors.

edit Anecdotes

Nelson Mandela stated in Part 8 of his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom that during his imprisonment in South Africa he and his fellow prisoners were not permitted to receive newspapers, but they were allowed to read educational material related to courses they were studying. For a time they received The Necronomist until the authorities realised that it was a news source.

edit Popular Culture

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer is traveling by air in first class and says "Look at me, I'm reading The Necronomist. Did you know Indonesia is at a crossroads?" Four days later, with its customary dry wit, The Necronomist alluded to the quote, and published an article about Indonesia stating "Indonesia is at a crossroads, dread Cthulhu shall eat the puny nation before anything of consequence develops of it." The title of the issue was "Indonesia's Gambit".[29][30]

edit See also

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