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Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

Nothing to See Here: What’s With the Buzz About The Atlantic and Deseret News Collaborating?

atlanticdeseretcollabBy now, you’ve probably read about the ‘odd couple‘ collaboration between The Atlantic and Deseret News. If not, I’ll sum up the buzz: a Mormon owned metro daily and the monthly magazine owned by a rich guy teamed up for a four part series on the changing role of fatherhood in the country. Or, the less interesting version: two print institutions (both share mid-19th century birthdays), revitalizing themselves and succeeding in the digital landscape teamed up to do good journalism.

Yawn, right? I chatted with Paul Edwards, editor of the Deseret News, and tried to get him to dish about the ‘nitty gritty’ of putting the series together and the perils of collaborating with a publication that was geographically and ideologically different from your own.

He says:

 We all sat around a conference table at The Atlantic in D.C. for the better part of a day with whiteboards and sandwiches and talked about ‘what are the issues surrounding family stability’ and went from there to assign stories.

And get this — they used Word documents:

We each had different content management systems so we just decided at that level that is was easier to pass along Word documents and track changes…on our side, things got passed around quite a bit, for various reasons. Allison Pond edited the series, and I had a gentleman named Drew Clark work on it for a little bit. It was really between Eleanor Barkhorn, at the Atlantic and I, and that was the primary relationship back and forth. It largely stayed in house until we were essentially passing along pretty completed drafts.

No tussles? No fighting amongst parties or cliques? 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

TheAtlantic.com Wants Freelancers With ‘Well-Argued’ Ideas

The AtlanticAt the Web version of The Atlantic, there is plenty of room for freelancers to score a byline. On a single day, over 40 features are published, with headlines ranging from “The Cure for Obesity” to “What Gmail Knows About You” and “Medicine’s Fading Traditions of Generosity.”

The website covers the same thought-provoking topics as the print mag, and editors are open to pitches from freelancers who want to build a relationship with the pub.”One of our taglines is ‘we are no party of clique.’ That goes back to 1857 when we were founded,” said editor Scott Stossel, “that we would be unaffiliated with any specific ideological approach or political party. That remains the case today.”

Each freelancer’s viewpoint is as valid as the next one — but if you want to impress the editors, better do the proper research. For pitching etiquette and editor’s contact info, read How To Pitch: The Atlantic.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Sponsored Content: How Much is Too Much?

The past few months have been a rocky one for sponsored online content or “advertorials.” Between the Atlantic‘s Scientology dust-up and increasing paid content on websites like Buzzfeed and various outlets within the Gawkwer network, publishers are pushing boundaries and blurring the line between editorial and advertisement.

It’s a sticky subject, for sure, and the centerpiece of a Social Media Week debate in Buzzfeed’s Flatiron District office between Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and conservative blogger and The Dist Andrew Sullivan. To describe the debate as a blood bath is even a little bit of an understatement, as the two personalities clashed vehemently over the advertorial’s place online — and the effect it has on journalism at large. Here’s a quote from the debate moderator, the Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson, from his write-up of the event: Read more

Are You Ready for the State of the Union?

I’m all a-Twitter for tonight’s State of the Union address. Already, #SOTU is trending as media outlets and organizations prep for the big event. And, already, everyone is bemoaning, or planning drinking games, for the speech.

If you’re a cynic, it’s just more political theater. But if you, like me, are a political junkie, the State of the Union night is one whole awards season wrapped into an hour on C-Span. Provided Anonymous doesn’t hack the whole thing.

Like the Grammy’s or the Superbowl, I can’t wait to watch the event with the Twitter-verse. I won’t be sitting in a newsroom, but I’ll be trolling the #SOTU feed for my favorite journo friends’ take line-for-line.

I have a few favorites for tonight. Read more

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