The Economist launches US election newsletter and podcast

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

Ahead of the US presidential election, The Economist is launching a new podcast and newsletter called 'Checks and Balance'.  

Both the new podcast and newsletter will be accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at increasing readership and subscribers to the London-based global news outlet.

The newsletter, which launches on January 17th, will be sent out on Friday evenings in the US. Each issue will include an introduction from US editor, John Prideaux, a selection of stories and a subscriber-only analysis of the latest polling data from The Economist’s data journalists.

The weekly Checks and Balance podcast will be hosted by John Prideaux, Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent, Jon Fasman and launches on Friday January 24th. 

The editor of Checks and Balance is John Shields, who recently joined The Economist from the BBC.

John Prideaux, US editor, explained why The Economist is launching these new editorial products:  “In 2020 Americans will be facing one of the most important elections in US history. Through the content in our Checks and Balance newsletter and podcast, we aim to give our readers and listeners fair-minded analysis in what will be an emotionally charged media environment. 

"Although the reporting from our US-based correspondents will be local, the election coverage will put what is happening in an international context, which is what our audience expects from The Economist.”

The Checks and Balance products will be supported by a multi-platform marketing campaign on owned, earned and paid media channels including social media marketing, ads in The Economist in print and online, and ads across The Economist’s other podcasts. 

During the period from the 2016 election until the end of President Trump’s first 100 days in office, The Economist experienced 19% growth in digital subscriptions in North America and globally.

The North American audience currently accounts for 55% of The Economist's 1.6 million print and digital circulation. 

Mark Cripps, Chief Marketing Officer of The Economist, said: “With high news fatigue and a decline in media trust generally, our marketing programmes will showcase The Economist as a trusted, fair-minded and calm voice of clarity in an emotionally charged, polarised space. We provide analysis and insights to help our readers make sense of the fast-moving news environment.”