GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

Posts Tagged ‘longform journalism’

Do We Still Need Byliner?

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 9.26.16 AMEarlier this month, we learned that Byliner, the digital longform journalism platform launched in 2011, is looking for partners to continue sustaining its operation.

An email to contributors, published originally by PandoDaily, reads:

“We’ve struggled to reach the level of growth we’d been hoping for the business, and thus we’ve begun conversations with possible partners about the future of Byliner. We’re working to find a good home for our platform and your stories, and we’ll be in touch shortly with specifics about your titles.”

Not good news. Since then, co-founder Mark Bryant, executive editor Laura Hohnhold and now co-founder/CEO John Tayman have found the exit door at Byliner, a San Francisco startup. At this point, contributors are left wondering what Byliner’s fate will be, and the company — once lauded as a paradigm for longform journalism online — must rely on partners to boost Byliner.

But the more important question may be, ‘Do we still need Byliner?’ Perhaps Byliner’s troubles underscore a general sense of apathy toward longform, or highlight a lessening need for long publishers like this one.

On the other hand, outfits like The Big Roundtable and The New New South have popped up over the last year, BuzzFeed is taking longform more seriously and Longreads is still hanging on (and they don’t even require subscriptions like Byliner does). Aeon and Matter/Medium commission longform that performs well, and The Atavist relies in part on the licensing sales of its software platform The Creativist to be successful financially.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingTell and sell the story of your life! Starting September 17, Wendy Dale, a published memoir writer, will help you to create your story arc around a marketable premise. You'll receive feedback on each of your assignments and benefit from personalized time with Wendy, to develop a plan for approaching literary agents and publishing houses with your manuscript. Register now!

4 Observations From The Atlantic‘s “100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism”

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 12.27.23 PMDon’t worry — longform storytelling isn’t going anywhere, thankfully, and The Atlantic writer and journalist Conor Friedersdorf has released his take on the best nonfiction journalism of 2013.

If you don’t follow Friedersdorf or receive his The Best of Journalism newsletter, you’re missing out, because he takes the time to scour the web for terrific journalism and serves it to you right on a silver platter (AKA your email inbox).

Anyway, the final list has a few more than 100 pieces of reported works. Here’s what I noted from taking a closer look at it:

1. Digitally native pubs have a nice showing. 

Sites like The Awl, Aeon, Pacific Standard and Gawker that find their homes on the web are producing some really nice journalism. Even BuzzFeed made Friedersdorf’s list twice. Grantland, The Verge, Medium and Slate had a presence on the list, too — an encouraging fact for those of us committed to doing quality writing and reporting online. Friedersdorf also took a moment to applaud Glenn Greenwald and his team for their reporting on the NSA’s mass surveillance.

Read more

Longreads Joins Forces With Automattic, Owner of WordPress

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 1.36.20 PMDuring the month of its five-year anniversary, Longreads was bought by Autommatic, the web development company best known for its ownership of WordPress (also Gravatar and Polldaddy, for the nerdiest types).

Longreads, started by former journalist and longform journalism enthusiast Mark Armstrong in 2009, announced April 9 it was joining forces with Autommatic in order to expand its impact and better equip itself to share the best longform (1,500+ words) work on the web.

“The world cannot live on 140 characters alone,” Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said to Bloomberg Businessweek. “Longreads embodies a lot of what we really value with Automattic and WordPress.”

This move makes total sense. WordPress.com is the “largest and most influential publishing ecosystem in the world,” as Armstrong wrote, and its content management system powers the work of big news brands like NYPost.com and Quartz, and lesser known yet immensely talented freelance writers. Longreads is constantly looking for great journalism to share, while competing against sites like Byliner, and Automattic’s WordPress offers writers a place where their journalism can live. So, it’s a win-win situation. And, in a SXSW talk last year, Mullenweg said WordPress was looking for a way to delve deeper into — and monetize — longform journalism, as what became known as the longform “renaissance” had really started to take shape.

 


Read more

The State of the Digital News Publishing Industry, According to the Internet

typefaceThere must be something in the air, maybe the end of a crazy year, that’s making writers introspective. In the past week alone, there have been some very good analyses of the state of the digital publishing . Since it’s cold outside (unless you live in a place where it’s not cold outside, and in that case, stop gloating) and you need some good reads for hibernation, here are five pieces that, I think, aptly explain the industry right now and help further the conversation.

“Against ‘Long Form’ Journalism,” James Bennett

Everybody in the room, put your hands together for Mr. Bennett. It’s not that he’s against expansive reporting, but the way the terminology is thrown around by publications. He asks:

“Is this just a fad, maybe even a fraud? Cynics would say that publishing a few big feature stories is a shortcut to respectability, and they’d be correct. But realists, I’m happy to say, would comment further that such features work: They draw in a lot of readers.”

Recently, I have find myself tapping out around page 3 or 4 of a feature article. By placing value on “long” we stop focusing on “interesting.” Let’s find another phrase, Bennet suggests, even if it proves tough;

Length is hardly the quality that most meaningfully classifies these stories. Yet there’s a real conundrum here: If long-form doesn’t fit, what term is elastic enough to encompass the varied journalism it has come to represent, from narrative to essay, profile to criticism? And how do you account for the blurring of boundaries as work from the digital realm energizes and reshapes traditional forms of journalism?

“Growing Obsession With Viral Content Exposes the Weakness of Most Digital Media,” Mathew Ingram

good post about Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman, although I wondered about this: “He posts only about a dozen items a day” http://t.co/rBfMIQvbxI

— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) December 2, 2013

Let’s put aside the fact that that headline is really long and plays into some viral trends itself. After the Wall Street Journal’s profile on Neetzan Zimmerman, Ingram was irked by how many times a day the subject posted, and posits that focusing on viral content as a growth strategy, while it works for some, may not be a great idea. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket sort of thing:

But even if the content itself continues to work — in the sense that people will always want to share photos of otters holding hands or cats that look like Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the value of those millions of pageviews is continuing to drop. That’s not just because there are more and more sites doing it, but because the value of incremental pageviews is sinking inexorably towards zero. Read more

Watch Industry Pros Discuss the Future of Digital Longform Friday

logoComing up Friday, Dec. 6, several heavy hitters in the world of longform digital publishing will make appearances at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism to discuss the future of longer narratives online. Interested journalists can also watch a livestream of the event.

David Remnick of The New Yorker is on the bill at Friday’s one-day conference “The Future of Digital Longform” in Manhattan, as well as professionals from nonprofit investigative journalism effort ProPublica, science journalism venture Matter, the crowdfunded Narratively, Longform and The Atavist.

The event was planned for a couple reasons: 1) We’re smack dab in the middle of a really interesting movement in digital storytelling. Some call it a renaissance, even, and it’s clear that a new phenomenon has surfaced; as the Tow Center notes, narratives are being weaved together through multimedia, moving comics and powerful data instead of being one-dimensional. And, 2) Tow Center fellow Anna Hiatt, also of The Big Roundtable, which I’ve written about for the blog), is finished with her research about digital longform journalism, which is part of an ongoing look at the definitions and challenges of longer online news.

Over the course of the day, several important questions like “Just because we can design another “Snow Fall,” should we?” and, considering the fairly recent influx of startups for digital storytelling, the toughest question — “How do we pay writers?” — will be posed and pondered.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>