A survey of Pandemic Journal readers discovered that when the print edition of Economist is unavailable, Pandemic Journal is overwhelmingly the preferred substitute. This is both confusing and a cause for happiness, and because emotions are running high among our writing staff we’re choosing to see our sample size of one as statistically significant.
When I founded Pandemic Journal over a decade ago in April I did not set out to challenge Economist. But now that readers are fleeing Economist for Pandemic Journals’ cut rate approach to satirical commentary about current events, I think it’s high time to show others who are questioning the value of their Economist subscriptions an objective comparison between these two esteemed publications.
Let’s begin with the most obvious point of comparison: Cost. Economist suckers in high finance wannabes with a $12 for 12 weeks offer, then hits their credit card with a $549 charge for three years (153 weeks!). Pandemic Journal, on the other hand, is like the kindly drug dealer who not only gives away free samples to get customers hooked but is just happy to provide a service so he doesn’t ever mention money even though he constantly doles out an ever-increasing number of drugs to an ever-more-dissatisfied customer base. Advantage, Pandemic Journal. While the Economist has a more sustainable business model, we do this for the lulz.
Next, editorial staff. Economist pays pointy-headed writers buckets of pounds to be both occasionally wrong and extremely unfunny. Pandemic Journal is occasionally funny and extremely wrong. Let’s call this a draw.
Then, there’s content. Economist claims to “filter out the noise of the daily news cycle and analyse the trends that matter”. Pandemic Journal is all noise, all the way to 11, all the time. Further, we believe that “trends” is a fancy word that falsely suggests knowing that which has yet to happen. We’re not living in Back to the Future, and we’re definitely not down with spelling “analyze” with an “s.” Pandemic Journal FTW.
Advertising: Economist is rolling in sweet, sweet advertising cash. We want us some of that. Advantage (grudgingly), Economist.
Finally, legacy value. Pandemic Journal fully acknowledges the value of a long publishing history and understands that respect is earned over time. Economist professes to engage in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” Pandemic Journal is unburdened by intelligence and launches headlong into each day with hard-earned and unrelenting ignorance. We cannot judge, dear reader, which approach offers greater value. That is for you to decide.