December 29, 2015

2015 was an eventful year in media that saw the death of David Carr, the introduction of the New York Times’s virtual-reality app, the groundbreaking Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover, and Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show. The Observer rounds up the year’s biggest media stories, and looks ahead to the stories we’ll be hearing about in the new year.

A Barnes and Noble in New York is applying for a liquor license. Perhaps they are celebrating the news that print is not dead?

Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh

The New York Times Magazine’s The Lives They Lived” feature, which offers remembrances of notable people who have died in the past year, is a moving tribute to great artists, writers, and thinkers. But what happens if they die after the magazine’s deadline, which is generally about a week before the year ends? Editor Jake Silverstein says the publication will start including late-December deaths in the following year’s round-up: “This could be a news flash: It’s safe to die at the end of December now.”  

An interview with novelist Amitav Ghosh, author of the Ibis Trilogy (recently reviewed by Eric Banks in Bookforum): “For me, the novel is an overarching form that can provide a unified field, if you like, where you can have emotions as well as cuisines as well as trade. All of that can come together in a novel, and, historically, they have. If you think of Balzac, or Melville, or Dickens, or Zola, that is what the novel did; it was this great synthetic form that drew in all these aspects of life.”

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