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Good Times for Long-Form Journalism?

It seems that despite the ever-quickening speeds of information travel, long-form journalism is adapting and thriving in the new media environment. Yesterday, Longform.org released its iPad app, one that doesn’t merely plop the website in app form, but tries to tailor the experience directly for the iPad user. Its design is sleek and minimal, and users can save articles with Readability, Instapaper and Read It Later.  One can subscribe to Longform.org’s most popular sources, including magazine favorites like The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Atlantic; Internet denizens The Awl and Grantland; and even fellow aggregators Longreads.

In a similar vein, The New Yorker editor David Remnick recently said in an interview with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, that the web “has been a godsend” for the magazine. He touted the value of in-depth reporting, saying that no matter the means of distribution, there is a human hunger for “deep information, real examination, and the kind of reporting that takes time.” This hunger is more quickly satisfied with the web, making distribution a cinch and gathering pieces of interest seamless. The Longform app says that it’s “perfect for commutes, flights, or Sunday afternoons.” But more than that, it’s perfect for enriching your information intake.

The app is designed to filter out links with lower word-counts, and though you may want to balance your media diet with stories of the longer sort, Remnick warns against “pieces that don’t earn their length.” He also thinks that paper magazines will stick around for a long time, since they are “pretty good technology.” Not to mention, they can always be used for other means (you won’t want to do this with your iPad).

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