I do think they deserve credit for what they tried to do when they realized that the "weekly news reporting" model wasn't functional any longer by trying to become a sort of hipper/edgier/faster turnaround version of an opinion magazine like an Atlantic or Harper's (or even sort of a print version of a Slate), even if it didn't work because the pieces weren't that interesting.
I had a different reaction. I used to get Newsweek at various points in my life (depending upon the availability of freebies/throw-ins), but at some point between the second-to-last time and the last-time, Newsweek morphed from the second-best American general-interest news weekly to a magazine that took all of its tonal cues from local news. Every issue seemed to pose some kind of sensationalistic scare question, supported by nothing but conjecture and "scientists don't know"-style non-analysis. The last time we had a subscription from Newsweek (throw-in with the frequent-flier miles), I think I stopped even looking at it after a couple of weeks. It was neither thought-provoking nor informative.
Where will I find my unnecessarily inflammatory and completely pointless covers now?
See, from a public services viewpoint, this is totally annoying. Because library patrons do read it still. I know, 'cause I get yelled at if the new issue isn't in. They're not exactly the people who will be going online weekly to read the issues. Oh well.
This was mean, but not devoid of valid insight. http://gawker.com/5952894/the-hagfish-strikes-again
Longer, nicer, smarter...http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82593.html?hp=f2