The Economist is simply the best-written, most knowledgeable magazine published in the world. Anyone who inspires to understand more about the news than the headlines should be picking up copies of The Economist regularly.
The Economist can claim a lineage beyond the mere 1930s origin of Time -- it was founded in 1843 explicitly to promote then-radical ideas about the nature of free trade and the economy in the post-Industrial-Revolution world. It has been consistently arguing for the adoption of free markets and capitalist evaluations since then. However, thinking of the Economist as the mouthpiece for the conservatives of the world would be a disservice to the thoughtful words published there. Among the other non-mainstream positions the Economist has endorsed are legalization of drugs, a healthy respect for unionism, and an anethma to the oil price manipulation so favored by current U.S. administrations.
The London-based magazine's best feature is its coverage of America. Like so many topics, it's easier to get right from outside the target. Their respect for America -- not just as a large and successful economy, but as the representative of many valuable ideas -- is deep. Yet, not being in the house, they can throw the rocks freely, and don't hesitate to do so (conversely, their worst coverage is their writing about Britain, for the same reasons).
The Economist embodies the kind of deep knowledge about hundreds of countries and cultures that you hope the diplomats for your own nation are employing. It counters, with facts and interviews from the ground, the notion that one set of solutions, one set of policies, or one set of knee-jerk responses are right for the huge variety of cultures, historical circumstances, and self-images of the different peoples on the globe.
Do yourself (and your future conversation partners) a favor and starting reading the Economist regularly.