Why are The Economist’s writers anonymous?


The Economist answering the age-old question about the paper:

Historically, many publications printed articles without bylines or under pseudonyms — a subject worthy of a forthcoming explainer of its own — to give individual writers the freedom to assume different voices and to enable early newspapers to give the impression that their editorial teams were larger than they really were. The first few issues of The Economist were, in fact, written almost entirely by James Wilson, the founding editor, though he wrote in the first-person plural.


And some articles are heavily edited. Accordingly, articles are often the work of The Economist’s hive mind, rather than of a single author. In the words of Geoffrey Crowther, our editor from 1938 to 1956, anonymity keeps the editor “not the master but the servant of something far greater than himself…it gives to the paper an astonishing momentum of thought and principle.” 

Well said, and seemingly antithetical to today's world and culture...


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