U.S News & World Report | Wikipedia audio article

U.S News & World Report | Wikipedia audio article

August 16, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


U.S. News & World Report is an American media
company that publishes news, opinion, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis. Founded as a newsweekly magazine in 1933,
U.S. News transitioned to primarily web-based publishing in 2010. U.S. News is best known today for its influential
Best Colleges and Best Hospitals rankings, but it has expanded its content and product
offerings in education, health, money, careers, travel, and cars. The rankings are popular in North America
but have drawn widespread criticism from colleges, administrations, and students for their dubious,
disparate, and arbitrary nature.==History==
United States News was founded in 1933 by David Lawrence (1888–1973), who also started
World Report in 1946. The two magazines covered national and international
news separately, but Lawrence merged them into U.S. News & World Report in 1948. He subsequently sold the magazine to his employees. Historically, the magazine tended to be slightly
more conservative than its two primary competitors, Time and Newsweek, and focused more on economic,
health, and education stories. It also eschewed sports, entertainment, and
celebrity news. Important milestones in the early history
of the magazine include the introduction of the “Washington Whispers” column in 1934 and
the “News You Can Use” column in 1952. In 1958, the weekly magazine’s circulation
passed one million and reached two million by 1973.Since 1983, it has become known primarily
for its influential ranking and annual reports of colleges and graduate schools, spanning
across most fields and subjects. U.S. News & World Report is America’s oldest
and best-known ranker of academic institutions, and covers the fields of business, law, medicine,
engineering, education, social sciences and public affairs, in addition to many other
areas. Its print edition was consistently included
in national bestseller lists, augmented by online subscriptions. Additional rankings published by U.S. News
& World Report include hospitals, medical specialties and automobiles. In October 1984, publisher and real estate
developer Mortimer Zuckerman purchased U.S. News & World Report. Zuckerman is also formerly the owner of the
New York Daily News. In 1993, U.S. News & World Report entered
the digital world by providing content to CompuServe and in 1995, the website usnews.com
was launched. In 2001, the website won the National Magazine
Award for General Excellence Online. In 2007, U.S. News & World Report published
its first list of the nation’s best high schools. Its ranking methodology includes state test
scores and the success of poor and minority students on these exams, and schools’ performance
in Advanced Placement exams. Starting in June 2008, the magazine reduced
its publication frequency in three steps. In June 2008, citing the decline overall magazine
circulation and advertising, U.S. News & World Report announced that it would become a biweekly
publication, starting January 2009. It hoped advertisers would be attracted to
the schedule, which allowed ads to stay on newsstands a week longer. However, five months later the magazine changed
its frequency again, becoming monthly. In August 2008, U.S. News expanded and revamped
its online opinion section. The new version of the opinion page included
daily new op-ed content as well as the new Thomas Jefferson Street blog. An internal memo was sent on November 5, 2010,
to the staff of the magazine informing them that the “December issue will be our last
print monthly sent to subscribers, whose remaining print and digital replica subscriptions will
be filled by other publishers.” The memo went on to say that the publication
would be moving to a primarily digital format but that it would continue to print special
issues such as “the college and grad guides, as well as hospital and personal finance guides.” Prior to going defunct, U.S. News was the
lowest-ranking news magazine in the U.S., after Time and Newsweek. A weekly digital magazine, U.S. News Weekly,
introduced in January 2009, continued to offer subscription content until it ceased at the
end of April 2015.The company is owned by U.S. News & World Report, L.P., a privately
held company based in the Daily News building in New York City. The editorial staff is headquartered in Washington,
D.C. The company’s move to the Web made it possible
for U.S. News & World Report to expand its service journalism with the introduction of
several consumer-facing rankings products. The company returned to profitability in 2013. The editorial staff of U.S. News & World Report
is based in Washington, D.C. and Brian Kelly has been the chief content officer since April
2007. The company is owned by media proprietor Mortimer
Zuckerman.==Rankings=====Who Runs America?===
The first of the U.S. News & World Report’s famous rankings was its “Who Runs America?” surveys. These ran in the spring of each year from
1974 to 1986. The magazine would have a cover typically
featuring persons selected by the USN & WR as being the ten most powerful persons in
the United States. Every single edition of the series listed
the President of the United States as the most powerful person, but the #2 position
included such persons as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1974), Federal Reserve Chairmen
Paul Volcker and Arthur Burns (each listed multiple years) and US Senator Edward Kennedy
(1979). While most of the top ten each year were officials
in government, occasionally others were included, including TV anchormen Walter Cronkite and
Dan Rather, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller, AFL-CIO leader George Meany,
and consumer advocate Ralph Nader. The only woman to make the top ten list was
First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1980.In addition to these overall top ten persons, the publication
also included top persons in each of several fields, including Education, Business, Finance,
Journalism, and many other areas. The survey was discontinued after 1986.===Best colleges===In 1983, U.S. News & World Report published
its first “America’s Best Colleges” report. The rankings have been compiled and published
annually since 1987. These rankings are based upon data that U.S.
News & World Report collects from each educational institution from an annual survey sent to
each school. The rankings are also based upon opinion surveys
of university faculties and administrators who do not belong to the schools. In addition to colleges, U.S. News & World
Report also ranks graduate schools and academic programs in a number of specific disciplines,
including business, law, engineering, nursing, and medicine.The popularity of U.S. News & World
Report’s Best Colleges rankings is reflected in its 2014 release, which brought 2.6 million
unique visitors and 18.9 million page views to usnews.com in one day. Traffic came from over 3,000 sites, including
Facebook and Google. U.S. News & World Report continues to publish
comprehensive college guides in book form. Robert Morse created the U.S. News Best Colleges
rankings methodology, and continues to oversee its application as chief data strategist at
U.S. News. In 2014, The Washington Post featured a profile
of Morse, exploring his 30-year career with the publication.====Criticism====During the 1990s, several educational institutions
in the United States were involved in a movement to boycott the U.S. News & World Report college
rankings survey. The first was Reed College, which stopped
submitting the survey in 1995. The survey was also criticized by Alma College,
Stanford University, and St. John’s College during the late 1990s. SAT scores play a role in The U.S. News & World
Report college rankings even though U.S. News is not empowered with the ability to formally
verify or recalculate the scores that are represented to them by schools. Since the mid-1990s there have been many instances
documented by the popular press wherein schools lied about their SAT scores in order to obtain
a higher ranking. An exposé in the San Francisco Chronicle
stated that the elements in the methodology of U.S News & World Report’s rankings are
redundant and can be reduced to one thing: money. On June 19, 2007, during the annual meeting
of the Annapolis Group, members discussed the letter to college presidents asking them
not to participate in the “reputation survey” section of the U.S. News & World Report survey
(this section comprises 25% of the ranking). As a result, “a majority of the approximately
80 presidents at the meeting said that they did not intend to participate in the U.S.
News reputational rankings in the future.” The statement also said that its members “have
agreed to participate in the development of an alternative common format that presents
information about their colleges for students and their families to use in the college search
process.” This database will be web-based and developed
in conjunction with higher-education organizations including the National Association of Independent
Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Council of Independent Colleges. On June 22, 2007, U.S. News & World Report
editor Robert Morse issued a response in which he argued, “in terms of the peer assessment
survey, we at U.S. News firmly believe the survey has significant value because it allows
us to measure the ‘intangibles’ of a college that we can’t measure through statistical
data. Plus, the reputation of a school can help
get that all-important first job and plays a key part in which grad school someone will
be able to get into. The peer survey is by nature subjective, but
the technique of asking industry leaders to rate their competitors is a commonly accepted
practice. The results from the peer survey also can
act to level the playing field between private and public colleges.” In reference to the alternative database discussed
by the Annapolis Group, Morse also argued, “It’s important to point out that the Annapolis
Group’s stated goal of presenting college data in a common format has been tried before
[…] U.S. News has been supplying this exact college information for many years already. And it appears that NAICU will be doing it
with significantly less comparability and functionality. U.S. News first collects all these data (using
an agreed-upon set of definitions from the Common Data Set). Then we post the data on our website in easily
accessible, comparable tables. In other words, the Annapolis Group and the
others in the NAICU initiative actually are following the lead of U.S. News.”Some higher
education experts, such as Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have asserted that U.S.
News & World Report’s college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors
the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, the U.S. News ranking
system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues
of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them
to be successful after college, the magazine’s rankings are almost entirely a function of
three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity. He suggests that there are more important
characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well
students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.The question of college
rankings and their impact on admissions gained greater attention in March 2007, when Dr.
Michele Tolela Myers (the former President of Sarah Lawrence College) shared in an op-ed
that the U.S. News & World Report, when not given SAT scores for a university, chooses
to simply rank the college with an invented SAT score of approximately one standard deviation
(roughly 200 SAT points) behind those of peer colleges, with the reasoning being that SAT-optional
universities will, because of their test-optional nature, accept higher numbers of less academically
capable students. In a 2011 article regarding the Sarah Lawrence
controversy, Peter Sacks of The Huffington Post criticized the U.S. News rankings’ centering
on test scores and denounced the magazine’s “best colleges” list as a scam:
In the U.S. News worldview of college quality, it matters not a bit what students actually
learn on campus, or how a college actually contributes to the intellectual, ethical and
personal growth of students while on campus, or how that institution contributes to the
public good […] and then, when you consider that student SAT scores are profoundly correlated
[to] parental income and education levels – the social class that a child is born
into and grows up with – you begin to understand what a corrupt emperor ‘America’s Best Colleges’
really is. The ranking amounts to little more than a
pseudo-scientific and yet popularly legitimate tool for perpetuating inequality between educational
haves and have nots – the rich families from the poor ones, and the well-endowed schools
from the poorly endowed ones.===Best global universities===In October 2014, the U.S. News & World Report
published its inaugural “Best Global Universities” rankings. Inside Higher Ed noted that the U.S. News
is entering into the international college and university rankings area that is already
“dominated by three major global university rankings,” namely the Times Higher Education
World University Rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the QS World University
Rankings. Robert Morse stated that “it’s natural for
U.S. News to get into this space.” Morse also noted that the U.S. News “will
also be the first American publisher to enter the global rankings space.”===Best hospitals===Since 1990, U.S. News & World Report has compiled
the Best Hospitals rankings. The Best Hospitals rankings are specifically
based on a different methodology that looks at difficult (high acuity) cases within 16
specialties, including cancer; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology;
geriatrics; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery;
ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; pulmonology; rehabilitation; rheumatology; and urology. In addition to rankings for each of these
specialties, hospitals that excel in many U.S. News areas are ranked in the Honor Roll.===Best cars===
Since 2007, U.S. News has developed an innovative rankings system for new and used automobiles. The rankings span over 30 classes of cars,
trucks, SUVs, minivans, wagons, and sports cars. Each automobile receives an overall score,
as well as a performance, interior, and recommendation score to the nearest tenth on a 1-10 scale. Scores are based on the consensus opinion
of America’s trusted automotive experts, as well as reliability and safety data. U.S. News also produces annual “Best Cars
for the Money” and “Best Cars for Families” awards across approximately 20 classes of
cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Money award winners are derived by combining
vehicle price and five-year cost of ownership with the opinion of the automotive press,
while family awards are tabulated by combining critics’ opinions with the vehicle’s availability
of family-friendly features and interior space, as well as safety and reliability data. Money and family award winners are announced
in February and March of each year, respectively.===Best states===
In 2017, U.S. News published its first ranking of all 50 U.S. states, incorporating metrics
in seven categories: health care, education, crime and corrections, infrastructure, opportunity,
economy, and government. The weighting of the individual categories
in determining overall rank was informed by surveys on what matters most to residents. Massachusetts occupies the top rank of the
2017 list, with an overall #2 ranking in health care and #1 ranking in education.==See also==Washington Monthly