In this week’s New Statesman: the 50 people who matter

Harriet Harman interview | Laurie Penny: curves aren’t progress | John Pilger on WikiLeaks.


In this week's New Statesman we publish our annual survey of the world's 50 most influential figures. After topping last year's list, Barack Obama falls to number two as the Murdochs take top spot. Also look out for appearances by Lady Gaga, Julian Assange, Hugo Chávez and Paul Krugman.

Elsewhere, ahead of the Labour leadership election result and the party's annual conference, Mehdi Hasan explains why Ed Balls must be the next shadow chancellor, James Macintyre talks to the acting leader, Harriet Harman, and Roy Hattersley sets out the philosophy that should guide the new leader.

Also this week, David Blanchflower explains why Sarah Palin and the right are much happier than us lefties, Laurie Penny argues that using "curvy" models doesn't represent progress and Ian Williams talks to the under-fire UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.