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Grande dame of conservative media gets a makeover

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Exclusive to Examiner/National Conservative

Human Events, the national weekly news magazine for conservatives, displayed a brand new look to subscribers receiving the April 16 issue. Immediately apparent were a physical makeover and editorial changes, the culmination of what publisher Joseph Guerriero described as a “two year process.”

The brighter, slightly sturdier paper stock is an eye-grabber. For one thing, the color reproduces on a finer scale. In the debut makeover issue, there’s also an increase in news although commentary still claims a meaningful amount of space.

New editor Cathy Taylor came aboard in December, 2011, after a 25-year career at The Orange County Register. Her latest letter to readers confirmed a continued commitment to core conservative principles of a less intrusive government and preservation of freedoms “our founders fought for.”

Taylor’s content the week of the makeover launch included articles about top-of-the-fold issues like energy, jobs and the economy, government budget cuts, ocean zoning and the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a telephone interview, Guerriero pointed out to Examiner that 4 pages of content were added. “We wanted to go after good stories and predictive analysis,” he said.

In her column Taylor echoed the sentiment, explaining “predictive analysis” as “telling you what’s likely to happen next, given what’s going on and happened before.”

The weekly will rely on numerous familiar contributors like John Gizzi and Erick Erickson, and some new ones as well. With an eye on the need for a means of gaining attention for books by conservative authors, book reviews will be featured from time to time.

Acknowledging the necessity for a conservative media platform paralleling the platform the Left has developed, Guerriero said Human Events influenced him when he was a child. His aunt—“the lone conservative in the Bronx neighborhood”—read the paper and obviously influenced him.

Asked whether there was conflict among the staff over the changes, Guerriero said, “Change, for conservatives, at times is tough. But we hit a point about a year ago. The Web had changed. We said, ‘If this is the best we can do in this competitive marketplace, we have a problem.'"

Above all, Guerriero said, “We knew we needed to produce an outstanding paper.”

The staff is currently working on a mobile app.

The design team did a stellar job on layout and graphics, assisted by Patrick Mitchell whom Guerriero described as “one of the top magazine designers in the country.” The result is an eye-pleasing arrangement of content and white space, a less busy façade than the former design.

Guerriero implied the new design provides a more user-friendly means of finding items of interest. “We wanted to give the paper a flow and organize it to make it easy for our readers.”

Human Events was founded in 1944. In July of that year, Saipan, an island in the Pacific Campaign, was finally secured after 16,525 American troops gave their lives in battle. Approximately 30,000 Japanese soldiers died. German resistance fighters failed in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. An ailing President Franklin D. Roosevelt won a final, fourth term but died shortly after his inauguration.

One of the news magazine’s founders, Henry Regnery also formed a publishing company. Regnery’s company, said The New York Times, was one of the only two publishing houses in the U.S. “sympathetic to conservative authors.” An early success story was William F. Buckley Jr.’s groundbreaking book God and Man at Yale.

President Ronald Reagan read every issue of Human Events, balking when his staffers attempted to subordinate it to other periodicals.

Reagan’s habit is still shared by countless conservatives who continue to turn to Human Events for an expansive collection of articles informative on everything from pending legislation to malfeasance by government agencies.

The publication’s name, taken from the Declaration of Independence, is often noted in media.

Guerriero told Examiner he’s pleased with the makeover so far. Advertisers are apparently pleased as well. “We’ve picked up some big organizations,” he said. “From a revenue standpoint, we see opportunity.”

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