The Economist

I'm always a bit surprised by the depth of anti-Economist sentiment lurking out there in certain corners. I wouldn't (and don't) rely on it as my go-to source of information about what's happening on the issues I care most about, but when looking for something to read on a plane or train ride or whatever it's a decent choice. Think of it this way -- suppose you had a well-traveled, reasonably witty cousin who voyaged around the world with a good eye for detail and a personality marred by a strange obsession with labor market deregulation and pension privatization (or, as he calls it, "privatisation").

You'd be happy to grab a beer with him every few months when he's in town and hear the occasional wacky anecdote about monarchists in the Caribbean or African dictators railing against apprentice sorcerers. Sure, the fact that the entire "Europe" section could be replaced most weeks by LIBERALISE YOUR LABOUR MARKETS DAMNIT gets a bit annoying, but still you can make a kind of sport out of it. This article on economic problems in Poland, for example, argues that "the urgent need is to raise productivity by liberalising the labour market" in the third graf, whereas this article on economic problems in Spain doesn't fret about "Spain's lack of structural reforms to [...] free up the labour market" until the very last graf. Does that make the need more urgent in Poland or more emphatic in Spain? No other magazine gives you those kind of delights.

Plus, labor market liberalization (or sation) aside, you genuinely don't get insightful coverage of the ongoing war in Somalia and America's role in that mess in any other magazine I'm familiar with.