Evolution of U.S. News

We want your feedback on the U.S. News Weekly.

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I don't want to talk about the issues this week. I want to talk about us. Specifically, I'd like your feedback on how you think we're doing with our digital publication, U.S. News Weekly. We're ready to make some improvements and additions. We'd appreciate your help in making it better.

If you've been with us from the start, 22 months ago, you know that U.S. News Weekly merged the careful analysis and visual packaging of a print newsmagazine with the speed and efficiency of the Internet. There were few things like it, with its horizontal design meant to fit neatly on a screen, its page-flipping navigation, and its videos and audio podcasts embedded in the text. The Weekly was something of an experiment ahead of its time.

Now, the media world is starting to catch up. The swiftly emerging popularity of tablet computers, such as the Apple iPad, is changing the way many people get information. The tablets are more about reading than browsing. The screen format, with its ease of use, lends itself to tailored packages of content that resemble the virtues of a good magazine. Just like U.S. News Weekly. If you have an iPad, pull up the Weekly and you'll see what I mean. Of course, it still works fine on a laptop as well.

[Check out the U.S. News Weekly.]

But improvements are in order. We're going to do some construction on the back end to get it to you in a more timely fashion and make it easier to navigate. On the content side, while the focus will remain on the most important stories from the realm of Washington politics and policy, we're adding features that draw on the extensive consumer news and information we publish at usnews.com. We'll selectively add good work from other news sources you might not be aware of. And we're looking for ways to expand the conversation among our readers and contributors. Amid the tumult of so much Internet chatter, the Weekly has become a rare forum for intelligent opinion and discussion.

We've scaled back on print as the needs of consumers and advertisers have changed. Starting in January, we'll no longer offer a subscription-based monthly print magazine, although we still have a variety of products available on the newsstand. Much of our energy is focused on maintaining the growth of our flagship website, usnews.com, which is approaching 10 million users a month, and in developing specialized digital products like the Weekly.

So what do you think? First, about the delivery system. Is it easy to access? Easy to read and page through? How does the video work? And what about the content? Are we missing topics? Do we hit the right balance between news analysis pieces and opinion? Would you like to see more letters and exchanges among readers?

What about the frequency? We think a coherent end-of-the-week wrap-up still makes sense, but would you be interested in updates on selected topics during the week?

Please share your thoughts at editor@usnews.com. We greatly value the feedback and commentary we've gotten over the months and look forward to your continuing to play a role in the evolution of U.S. News. We can't do it alone. One of the best aspects of the new media world is the two-way conversation that makes readers and editors part of a community. In our case, it's a community that values factual information and informed discussion.