New Statesman

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The New Statesman "was created in 1913 with the aim of permeating the educated and influential classes with socialist ideas. Its founders were Sidney and Beatrice Webb (later Lord and Lady Passfield), along with Bernard Shaw, and a small but influential group of Fabians. The Webbs' previous publication, The Crusade, had existed to gain support for the Minority Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law, and for Beatrice Webb's National Committee for the Prevention of Destitution. However, it had died after less than two years, when it became obvious that no government would swallow the Minority Report whole, with all its socialist implications. The New Statesman was created to fill the gap.

"The Webbs talked, argued, wrote letters and discussed the project with their friends incessantly. They eventually raised £5,000: £1,000 each from Bernard Shaw, Edward Whitley, Henry Harben and Ernest Simon, the balance in smaller sums. Clifford Sharp, who had edited The Crusade, was appointed Editor. The name Statesman was proposed, but this was already the name of India's largest English language newspaper; as an alternative, the Tory ex-Prime Minister Arthur Balfour suggested the New Statesman, and the magazine was first published on 12 April 1913, with a pre-publication subscription list of 2,300 - and all the auguries against it...

"By 1931, with the appointment of a new Editor, Kingsley Martin, the New Statesman was in a position to take over one of its main competitors among the political and literary weeklies: Nation and Athenaeum...

"Editors since Martin's departure have included: John Freeman, one time Labour minister and television presenter and later a British Ambassador to Washington; Richard Crossman, who had been Secretary of State for Social Services in the first Wilson cabinet; and Bruce Page, an Australian born farmer and Sunday Times journalist who tried to make the magazine a leader in hard-nosed investigative reporting.

"On 10 June 1988, as the magazine celebrated its 75th anniversary, New Statesman merged with New Society, a magazine covering the field of the social sciences, to form the New Statesman and Society. (The suffix was dropped in 1996). However, despite the merger generally being seen as a takeover by the New Statesman, the first two editors of the combined magazine, Stuart Weir and Steve Platt, both came from the editorial team of the New Society. Another title, Marxism Today, was acquired in December 1991.

"New Statesman Online first went live in November 1998, with vote and comment facilities that allowed people across the globe to discuss the issues considered in the magazine. It subsequently introduced a subscriber only service and an exact electronic edition of the magazine available to download hot-off-the-press anywhere in the world.

"Relaunched on 30 November 2006, has forged its own identity carrying a raft of original content including blogs, articles and columns - as well as everything we publish in the magazine." [1]

List of editors

Accessed May 2008: [2]




Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. About, New Statesman, accessed May 22, 2008.
  2. About, New Statesman, accessed May 22, 2008.
  3. [1]
  4. Glenn Greenwald, The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange, The Guardian: Blog, 22 August 2012.