As Foreign Policy unveils its new magazine design this week, FishbowlDC interviewed David Rothkopf, CEO and editor of the FP Group. Rothkopf, who has been CEO and editor since 2012, is a veteran of Fishbowl questions — first appearing on FishbowlDC in June 2013.
The magazine’s redesign coincides with some big new hires, as well as several major foreign stories grabbing headlines across the globe — including Paris, North Korea, Syria and Sydney — precisely FP‘s area of expertise. As Rothkopf puts it, “This is what is best about everything we are doing at FP — we are seeing the hidden connections, the longer term perspectives, the stories that don’t get covered anywhere else.”
He discussed with us everything from the new features of the magazine, to the new contributors and their continued commitment to a diversity of perspective.
Check it out!
FBDC: With all the changes coming to the magazine, what features of the redesign should readers be most excited about?
DR: We have a very diverse group of readers, ranging from top government officials to CEOs to investors. Each is looking for FP to provide insights into the big events that drive change in the world today. The redesign of the magazine brings them more of what they need in a compelling and appealing setting. All will be struck by the graphic boldness and our commitment to using the tools at our disposal to tell big important stories — from great authors to great art to innovative graphics. But many will be pleased with the regular coverage in each issue of topics such as economics, national security and defense, intelligence, energy and the environment, and cultural issues from travel to books.
DR: I’m very pleased that we have been able to come up with a new look that builds on the almost half a century of FP excellence, maintains what has been best about the publication — big ideas and insights from the best minds worldwide — but that goes farther. We think of foreign policy not so much as purely the province of diplomats and academics but as the big global issues of our day — what we call the “big tent approach to foreign policy” in which we recognize that along with traditional issues we cover emerging technologies, new forms of conflict, new sources of economic growth.
FBDC: Following the rollout of FP‘s new website design last year, how do you feel about the importance of maintaining a sleek, reader-friendly print publication?
DR: We are transforming the way we work on many levels — a new Web design last year, vastly expanded use of social media, a vibrant rapidly growing live events division, growing use of mobile, more multimedia and the magazine redesign is conceived to ensure our flagship not only keeps pace with the rest of what we are doing but continues to help our leaders lead.
FBDC: Foreign Policy has several new contributors coming in. What do these new voices offer the magazine?
DR: We are only as good as the voices within the magazine and the website. Our new voices represent some of the leading thinkers in their field… and also reflect our commitment to seek diverse voices, women and men offering perspectives that extend far beyond the beltway, beyond government and reach out to every corner of the world.
FBDC: What differentiates Foreign Policy‘s coverage of international affairs from other magazines? And will any of these differences be reflected in the redesign?
DR: We seek to provide world leaders from business, government and finance with the vital insights into how the world is changing, into risks and opportunities, that they actually can’t find anywhere else. The tradition of FP, since its founding in 1970, was to challenge conventional wisdom and mainstream thinking, to look for the voices and views that are essential but sometimes uncomfortable, that force readers to stretch their perspectives and rethink their assumptions. It’s that spirit that still guides us and we hope sets us apart.