Foreign Affairs Ranked Most Influential of All Media by U.S. Opinion Leaders

December 9, 2004
1:58 pm (EST)

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December 9, 2004 - Foreign Affairs has been ranked the most influential media outlet in the United States, according to a new study of U.S. opinion leaders conducted by Erdos & Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. The findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all other magazines and newspapers - including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Economist - as well as all broadcast media.

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“This is a real tribute to Jim Hoge and everyone associated with the magazine,” said Council President Richard N. Haass. “That said, I am not surprised. Foreign Affairs provides an invaluable forum - one that is innovative, independent, and nonpartisan - for serious thinking about U.S. foreign policy and international relations at a time such thinking could not be more critical.”

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The Erdos & Morgan 2004-2005 survey represents the views of over 450,000 American thought leaders who shape policy and opinion in the public and private sectors. It is the best-known and most widely used survey of opinion leaders in the United States, and documents where they get the information they use in their work.

Now in its 83rd year, Foreign Affairs is the leading forum for serious discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs. It presents clear thinking by knowledgeable observers on important political and economic issues. Published six times a year by the Council on Foreign Relations, it takes no positions of its own and does not represent any consensus of beliefs, but rather showcases the strongest, most well-informed arguments from across the political spectrum.

Throughout its history, Foreign Affairs articles have repeatedly set the tone for debate over American foreign policy and world politics, from George Kennan’s proposal for a doctrine of containment (1947) to Richard Nixon’s foreshadowing of the opening to China (1967) to Samuel Huntington’s analysis of the prospects for a “clash of civilizations” (1993). It has continued that tradition into a new century, offering must-read commentaries on issues ranging from American policy in Iraq and the war on terrorism to globalization, HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Its pieces are regularly reprinted in other outlets, both domestic and foreign. Recent best-selling books developed from its essays include Fareed Zakaria’s The Future of Freedom, Kenneth Pollack’s The Threatening Storm, and Stephen Flynn’s America the Vulnerable.

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The January/February 2005 issue offers a special survey of challenges facing the Bush administration at the start of its second term, with major essays by John Lewis Gaddis on grand strategy, James Dobbins and Edward Luttwak on Iraq, Dennis Ross on the Middle East, Francis Fukuyama on Asia, and Jeffrey Garten on the international economy.

Foreign Affairs also has a major presence in American universities, where its articles are regularly assigned in the classroom. Its edited readers - focusing on topics ranging from American foreign policy in general to the war on terror in particular - sell thousands of copies annually.

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In a world dominated by American power, when the choices the United States makes have more impact than ever before, Foreign Affairs has talked up to readers rather than down to them - and its audience has responded accordingly. Under the leadership of editor James F. Hoge, Jr., newsstand sales are up 80% over the last 10 years, even as newsstand sales for the industry more generally have declined. Total paid circulation is up from 100,000 in 1996 to nearly 140,000 today.

From the Erdos & Morgan 2004-2005 Opinion Leaders Survey:


  1. Foreign Affairs
  2. CQ Weekly
  3. The New York Times
  4. The Wall Street Journal
  5. The Economist
  6. Harvard Business Review
  7. The Washington Post
  8. The New York Times Sunday Edition
  9. The New England Journal of Medicine
  10. Science

For more information about the Erdos & Morgan study, go to or visit

For more information contact: Rohit Reddy +1-212-434-9528 Fax: +1-212-434-9859 Email: [email protected]


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