• January 27, 2014

    As Jonathan Mahler points out, our current journalistic environment is one that fetishizes longer articles—“even high-metabolism sites like BuzzFeed and Politico are producing their own long-form content.” But does a higher word-count mean higher quality? Mahler’s assessment of the latest long-form trend is too measured to say that it’s all bad, but he does note what’s missing from a lot of immersive journalism today: empathy.

    Nixon didn’t talk much about contemporary American authors, but as Jon Wiener writes, he anxiously wanted to discuss Philip Roth. “Roth is a bad man,” the president told Charles Colson in 1971. “He’s a horrible moral leper.”

    Philip Roth

    Philip Roth

    Media Matters considers the controversial New York Times Magazine “Planet Hillary” cover image by comparing it to the magazine’s past cover images of politicians such as Biden, Cuomo, Bill Clinton.

    Jarhead author Anthony Swofford will judge this year’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, a creative-writing contest open to all veterans and active-duty soldiers.

    In an article about Ezra Klein’s departure from the Washington Post, John Cassidy, a staff writer at The New Yorker, wrote that “BuzzFeed and Upworthy aren’t really news sites.” He later backpedaled, admitting that sites such as Buzzfeed do have news, but still claiming that lists and shorter celebrity items drive most of their traffic. As Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon points out, this statement applies to most publications: “‘Lighter fare’ drives a lot of Internet traffic at publications like The New York Times, where a quiz on accents published at the end of last December was the most-viewed story of the year, attracting more readers than news coverage from months before.”

    Bavaria has just ended its legal block on publications of Mein Kampf.