“Newsweek has become an expert in really throwing gasoline on the fire,” said Samir Husni of the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.
“They have become experts in igniting the media conversation, and any time you get that going, people will pick up the magazines for the right or wrong reasons,” he said.
But Newsweek has made a habit of running controversial covers, even manufacturing some, such as one last year that imagined what Princess Diana would have been like at age 50, he said.
“When controversial covers become the norm, they lose their impact,” Husni said. “If it’s a strategy for Newsweek to save itself in the long run, it’s the wrong strategy.”