As the news-cycle spins at ever greater speeds, the grab for ‘eyeballs’ means a press that plays increasingly to the lowest common denominator. Due to a dearth in resources, an explosion of news sites, and the popularity of revenue models based on ‘aggregation,’ much of journalism has become a giant echo chamber in which news organizations report on other news organizations and the same stories are chased in the same ways. Reporting and storytelling suffer. That it’s become difficult to distinguish ‘articles’ from ‘blog posts’ is not merely a problem of classification.
Still, there’s hope. In-depth, well-written, long-form journalism occasionally happens in the pages of these wonderful old things called magazines: Outside, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, National Geographic, New York – to name a few of the dozen or so publications that still support great long-form work.
LongForum spotlights the best of this work, from Vanity Fair to Virginia Quarterly Review, and directs readers to the website of the original publication. (The article may be free online. Often, a subscription is required.) In addition to this (yikes!) aggregation function, LongForum speaks to the journalists about their stories, craft, and careers. Imagine The Best of meets Paris Review interviews meets Charlie Rose meets “HBO Behind the Scenes.” Or something like that.
While LongForum covers ‘media,’ it is in no way concerned with industry gossip or journalist ‘power rankings.’ The daily news-cycle will be happily ignored. Meaning: no filler, no need to check in more than once every few days, or once per week. Not unlike, come to think of it, a really good magazine.
- Dan Slater, Editor