The Economist and The Economist Films

At an exclusive Gorkana media briefing, The Economist deputy editor Tom Standage, and The Economist Films president Nicholas Minter-Green, talked about the significance of the publication’s video offer, its new daily content and how to collaborate with the venerable media brand.

Economist briefing image 1

From left to right: Nicholas Minter-Green, Tom Standage and Philip Smith

A weekly news magazine, The Economist takes an editorial stance defined as ‘economic liberalism’. Supportive of free trade, globalisation, free immigration and cultural liberalism, The Economist targets highly-educated readers, and claims an audience containing many influential executives and policy-makers.

Its mission statement, detailed on the contents page of every issue, is: “First published in September 1843 to take part in ‘a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.’”

However, for a 19th Century magazine brand, The Economist embraces new technology; from Snapchat to its newest venture, The Economist Films, an online channel expressing the publication’s globally curious outlook in the form of short, yet challenging, video documentaries.

Gorkana‘s media briefing, chaired by Philip Smith, head of news and content at Gorkana, with The Economist and The Economist Films, took place yesterday morning (26 October) at Macquarie’s London offices. Here are just four of the PR top tips shared at the event:


The Economist has a global outlook
Despite being based in London, the majority of The Economist’s readers are in the US and Canada, and enjoy an “outsider’s perspective”, said Standage.
Readers of The Economist are: “People who have a global outlook on the world.” The magazine is supportive of free trade, globalisation, free immigration and cultural liberalism.

The Economist Films welcomes sponsored video content
The Economist Films will launch its new Daily Watch offering on Monday. Described as ‘The Economist’s DNA in bite-sized form’, the Daily Watch videos will appear on The Economist’s Espresso app.
Minter-Green advised that PRs watch the video content for a better understanding of how they could contribute. Much of the video is prepared in advance, and there will be the opportunity for brands to be involved in sponsored video content.

Video introduces new readers to The Economist
According to Minter-Green, The Economist Films can be viewed as a way in for those who may not have read the print edition of the magazine. He said: “It’s either a gateway drug into The Economist, or it’s a standalone.”
Video is a good way to reach the millennial generation, Minter-Green said. They are a “liberal” generation, a quality that makes them potential readers of The Economist.

PRs should think about the “bigger picture”
“We’re looking for themes. Global themes. Which doesn’t often align with PR,” Standage said. He stressed the need for PRs to think about trends and the “bigger picture”.
A pitch might be an indicator or an example of a wider trend, he said, but on its own, it’s not a story for The Economist.


  • The Gorkana briefing with The Economist and The Economist Films was hosted by the team at Macquarie. To find out more about Macquarie, please visit Macquarie.com, or to hear from its experts, visit the expertise hub. Were you at The Economist briefing? If so, please send us your feedback. Find out about upcoming Gorkana events here.
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