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Us News And World - U.S. News and World Report Magazine

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Every August for the past 25 years, there’s been one day in the middle of the month when college and university admissions officials across the U.S. hold their breaths. That’s the day that the American news magazine U.S. News and World Report publishes its rankings of America’s best institutions of higher education.

U.S. News and World Report scores educational institutions on 15 factors including test scores, peer evaluations, admissions as a percentage of applications, retention rates, graduations as a percentage of applications, and – this year for the first time – assessments from high school guidance counselors. Though U.S. News and World Report’s rankings are widely criticized for focusing on subjective, qualitative differences between schools rather than objective, quantitative distinctions, they remain phenomenally popular among college applicants and their parents: the U.S. News and World Report website typically receives 500,000 page views a month, but in the three days following the publication of its annual America’s Best Colleges report the website receives upward of ten million page views.

History of U.S. News and World Report

Before that fateful day in 1985 when some brilliant, unsung staffer came up with the idea for America’s Best Colleges, U.S. News and World Report was the third most popular news magazine in the nation, way behind both Time Magazine and Newsweek in readership. Where Time and News Week focused on making current events more accessible to Middle America, U.S. New and World Report prided itself on its in-depth analyses of both domestic and international news stories. Its editorial focus was distinctly more conservative than either Time or Newsweek, and unlike its competitors, it did not report on entertainment news.

U.S. News and World Report was founded in 1948 when conservative newspaperman David Lawrence merged United States News and World Report, two news magazines he had also founded. Between 1960 and 1984, the magazine was an employee-owned enterprise. In 1984, he magazine was bought by billionaire publisher Mortimer Zuckerman who is also the owner of the New York Daly News.

While U.S. News and World Report’s editorial staff works out of Washington D.C., its publishing functions are performed out of the Daily News building in New York City. The magazine went from being a weekly to a biweekly in June, 2008; in November of that same year its publication frequency was switched to monthly.

As part of the 2008 reorganization, the magazine shifted its focus away from analysis of current events and more toward consumer advice. In addition to its America’s Best Colleges report, in 1990 the magazine began publishing an annual list of America’s Best Hospitals that, like the college report, quickly became the definitive snapshot of the healthcare industry. Just as the higher education rankings drew the ire of college administrators, so did the hospital rankings infuriate healthcare managers.

Building on the reputation of these two reports, U.S. News and World began to introduce other consumer reports: reports on the Best Car for the Money, the Best Careers, the Best Mutual Funds, and analyses of educational subspecialties like the Best Law Schools, the Best Business Schools, and the Best High Schools in the nation.

U.S. New and World Report Today

At present, U.S. News and World Report has a print circulation of approximately 1.5 million, while its website receives approximately 500,000 page views a month.

The magazine organizes its content into four key areas: Personal Finance, Science & Technology, Education, and Health & Medicine. Each year, U.S. News and World Report publishes at least a Guide and at least one Special Issue on each of these topics.

In addition, the magazine’s standard weekly news features include:

• Outlook: A snapshot of the top national and international news of the week.
• Business: A analysis of the week’s top business developments supplemented with profiles of business leaders and quantitative assessments of economic trends showcased in eye-catching charts.
• World Report: A review of international events from the perspective of how these events will affect the United States.
• Science & Ideas: Science and health reportage.
• News You Can Use: Practical information.

U.S. News and World Report also publishes its annual reviews of the best colleges, the best graduate schools, the best hospitals, and the best mutual funds in book form.

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