Newsweek Strengthens Commitment to Featuring Diverse Views & Voices With Launch of Its First Podcast - The Debate
NEW YORK, July 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Newsweek, the premier news magazine and website with an over 85-year history, today announced the official launch of its first podcast series, The Debate. The show is inspired by an ongoing Newsweek’s opinion section franchise by the same name, pairing opposing thinkers side-by-side in written and now audio format. Opinion Editor Josh Hammer and Deputy Opinion Editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, who are far apart on the political spectrum, serve as hosts, moderating a public forum for intense, yet civil, debate. Each episode features passionate discourse between two expert guests, representing different perspectives on a controversial topic. Over the course of the conversation, the hosts and guests explain perspectives, spar over differences, and uncover common ground when possible.
The show rolled out experimental weekly episodes starting in April – covering topics that ranged from reparations in the U.S. to Israel vs. Palestinians, and the legalization of marijuana to cancel culture. Without promotion on social media or elsewhere, The Debate has quickly attracted an audience that ranks it in the top 5 percent of all podcasts.
The first post-launch episode is available today, featuring journalist and lawyer Jill Filipovic, author of “Ok Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind” and “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness,” in debate with political and culture writer Kat Rosenfield, who co-hosts the podcast Feminine Chaos. They discuss sexual mores in the post-#MeToo era, questioning the potentially murky lines between flirting and harassment.
Additionally, the show has established partnerships with two respected public debate forums: American Public Square and Pairagraph. Both relationships allow the podcast’s hosts to engage with audience-driven debates, and to tap into prominent voices and engaged citizens from across the country.
“Americans have not only come to align themselves within Red and Blue siloes, imbibing differing opinions and narratives—but to see the world itself through prisms of competing facts,” said Hammer. “We at Newsweek’s The Debate seek to remedy this tragic flaw by delving into the tough, thorny issues. We’ll air it out and hear each other.”
“Many see those they disagree with on policy issues as mortal enemies, people unworthy of convincing. This is an absolute disaster for our nation, and one that only civil discourse and debate can fix,” added Ungar-Sargon.
The new podcast is the latest extension of Newsweek’s mission statement for its news magazine and website:
Newsweek speaks to—and listens to—readers across the political and cultural spectrum. We explain, expound and clarify the most important issues of our time with journalism that’s fair, factual, authoritative and accessible. We believe vigorous, respectful and honest debate is in the public interest. In an illiberal era, we welcome diverse views and voices.
“We believe strongly in the value—the necessity—of good-faith discussions of polarizing topics,” said Nancy Cooper, Global Editor in Chief, Newsweek. “Over the past year, we’ve worked to create a space for open and challenging conversations — and The Debate section and podcast are succeeding brilliantly in that space.”
Engagement numbers demonstrate support for Newsweek’s editorial approach, with page views across the site jumping 28 percent between January–May 2020 and the same period this year. In addition, new users for the opinion section rose 20 percent and page views spiked by 47 percent from Q1 2019 to Q1 2020.
“Formidable problems don’t call for one-sided debate. Newsweek’s audience has confirmed that ideas and ideals from both sides make for engaging dialogue that can educate and illuminate, putting us all in a better position to address the challenges at hand,” said Dev Pragad, CEO, Newsweek. “The Debate will be a tremendous forum where we can spotlight great minds who can help us all wrestle with the biggest issues of the day.”
Art19 provides The Debate’s podcast platform. To listen, go to art19.com/shows/the-debate.
Newsweek is the modern global digital news organization built around the iconic, over 85-year-old American magazine. Newsweek reaches 100 million people each month with its thought-provoking news, opinion, images, graphics and video delivered across a dozen print and digital platforms. Headquartered in New York City, Newsweek also publishes international editions in EMEA and Asia.
LBG Public Relations for Newsweek