Obama Will Write Newsweek Cover Story On Haiti

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From The Wall Street Journal

Like at a lot of publications, Newsweek was forced to start its week over when the earthquake hit Haiti.

Give the magazine credit for an artful recovery. The Washington Post Co.-owned publication has tapped President Barack Obama to pen a cover story on Haiti for the Jan. 25 issue hitting newsstands on Monday.

Newsweek was readying a story about the Google-China row when the earthquake hit. Editor Jon Meacham scrapped his plans and hit the phones in search of the highest authority he could find to weigh in, according to a person familiar with the matter. He reached David Axelrod, senior adviser to Obama, who asked his boss if he was game.

Getting Obama to write an essay about the Haiti tragedy is a coup for the struggling magazine and aligns squarely with its new strategy. Newsweek lost $25 million in the first half of 2009, and the Post Co. last year reinvented the magazine, cutting its staff and shifting its focus from news reporting to commentary.

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