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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Rauch’

The Atlantic Publishes its Annual ‘Ideas’ Issue

The July/August Atlantic ‘Ideas” issue is out. In addition to the 14 Biggest Ideas of the Year, Lori Gottlieb has a piece that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy.” The gist: It might not be so wise to block your children from rejection and unhappiness.

A few of their trends (for better and worse) facing America today:

The Rise of the Middle Class – Just Not Ours — by FT‘s Gillian Tett

Elections Work — by PBS’s Gwen Ifill

Nothing Stays Secret — by WaPo Investigative Reporter Dana Priest, whose upcoming book is: Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.

Gay is the New Normal — by Jonathan Rauch, Contributing editor, The Atlantic

The Maniac Will be Televised — by Walter Kirn, author of two books, Up in the Air and Lost in Meritocracy

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The FishbowlDC Interview with The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta

Say hello to The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta. By far the most challenging thing to tackle about her is her complex name. “A lot of it has to do with pronunciations,” Garance (pronounced Gaaarohnse) said in a phone call. “A lot of people  think there’s a “tz” at the end instead of a “ce.” Sometimes people resort to calling her “G” or “GFR.” Still, others have had trouble with the second syllable of her first name. And believe it or not, there’s another Garance in journalism. She’s an AP writer in California. Weirder still, the two Garances have crossed paths — in college and at WaPo. Franke-Ruta was a reporter there and Garance Burke was an intern before Franke-Ruta arrived. “For awhile people were having trouble sending me email,” she said. “Because it was going to the other Garance.” The reporter has worked at a number of Washington publications that include NJ, TNR, WCP, The American Prospect and WaPo. In December she made the move to The Atlantic. Getting back to that unusual name, Franke-Ruta is named for a character in a French film from the 1940s called Les Enfants du Paradis. No, she’s not French. But she was born in Cavaillon, France and lived there until about two months of age. What does she think o her own name and does she think the film fairly represents her? “I have seen the movie. It’s very long,” she said. “It’s a classic. And it’s very long. It’s not a name I’ll probably pass on. Let’s put it that way.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?  A Mexican Coke in one of those little glass bottles.

How often do you Google yourself?  Almost never. I have Google Alerts on my name though so I can be pointlessly notified every time I tweet see who’s picking up my items, if there’s anything I need to respond to, stay attuned to the conversation, etc.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I had one editor who was a screamer, and another who used to floss his teeth while meeting, so it was more how they said things. Both smart men though.

Who is your favorite working journalist? I admire the work of so many different newspaper, magazine, and online journalists who are doing so many different sorts of things  – from Dan Balz to Ryan Lizza to Alexis Madrigal to Andy Carvin to the gang behind The Awl, which has had really terrific coverage of what’s going down in Madison — that it is hard to pick just one. Journalism is many different kinds of things these days, many in the midst of evolving. I’ll just say, because it’s an easier call, that of all the chatty television show hosts, Rachel Maddow is most fun to watch, perhaps because everything about her emergence as a major television personality has been unexpected and she still does things differently.

Do you have a favorite word?  I never use this one but I just love that it exists. “Anstandsrestchen” is the German word for the thing left on the plate out of politeness (you know, when no one wants to be the person to take the last of something). Because of course the Germans have a word for that.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin, no contest. A) She’d be more likely to make news and B) I’m kind of fascinated by her.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Standard BB ring.

When did you last cry and why? Tuesday morning, when I found out Rev. Peter Gomes died. He was one of a kind.

What word do you routinely misspell? Reince Priebus. And I completely sympathize with any problems he’s ever had in that regard.

Find out Garance’s favorite swear word…

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NJ Going Through Major Revamp, Layoffs, Buyouts, and a Search for an Editor-in-Chief

Major changes are happening at National Journal Group today. Some will be favorable – a shift to the web with more positions specializing in topics such as health care, White House, Congress and energy. And for others, this will be a hard pill to swallow.

This is especially true if you’re among the eight people who will be let go when all is said and done. There are 106 editorial employees at the publication as it stands and 98 will remain.

Here are the big points:

1. NJ is in search of an Editor-in-Chief to oversee all operations – NJ magazine, the Web Site, The Hotline and CongressDaily. Charles Green, who currently serves as Editor of National Journal, will shift into the number two spot.

2. Today at three meetings, reporters from each part of the company will receive packets with detailed information of taking buyouts should they so choose. They will be given a list of newly written reporting positions they must apply for to remain at the publication. All reporters must reapply for their posts. Those with the highest salaries will see pay cuts if they stay.

3. Columnists Stuart Taylor, Clive Crook and Jonathan Rauch are out, unless they decide to stay on and write in other capacities for NJ Magazine. Their columns have been scrapped. “Hopefully they will continue to have a presence in the magazine,” said Green.

In a phone interview this morning, Green told FishbowlDC: “We’re going to be adding positions for reporters who are more web oriented, and subtracting positions for some of the more print focused reporters. We are going to put a lot more emphasis on digital. We’re still going to maintain the quality of our print publications, but like everybody else, we recognize the future is in digital and we need to enhance our presence there.

“Everybody realizes that the media landscape is changing very quickly. We need to adapt to it.”

Green said he wasn’t nervous about the difficult meetings before him and the long day ahead. “Sure, shaking up a newsroom and reorganizing things isn’t easy, particularly when you’ve been a part of it for a fairly long time,” said Green. “But while it isn’t easy, it’s exciting to be trying to do some new things and meet some new challenges. There’s a lot of enthusiasm on my part to try to position our newsroom better to meet the challenges we’re facing to serve our readers better, and be more visible in Washington.”

He didn’t anticipate the situation to turn ugly today. “I don’t expect the meetings to get hostile,” he said. “That’s not the culture here.”

Still, doesn’t he feel slighted about not getting the number one post at the publication? “I think they felt it was helpful to bring in someone new and fresh and add to the editorial team we have,” he said. “I completely understand their thinking.”

Three months ago, owner David Bradley stepped in with Justin Smith, now president of National Journal Group, and created task forces to come up with solutions for improving the publication. Recommendations from those task forces (comprised of reporters and editors at NJ) are the basis for what is happening today.

Green said his responsibilities have increased over the years, but he explained that he has never been Editor-in-Chief of the entire operation of National Journal Group. He insisted that he would not step down. “I’m committed to making this unified newsroom work,” he said.

Brooks Unapologetically Gives Another Sidney to The Weekly Standard’s Labash

matt-9.jpegThe New York Times’s David Brooks has announced the first round of his Sidney Awards. These awards go to stories he deems the best magazine essays of the year.

Brooks says he tries not to have repeat award winners, but with The Weekly Standard’s Matt Labash he can’t help himself. “The fact is, talent is not randomly distributed. Some people … just know how to write.”

LaBash was awarded for his piece, “A Rake’s Progress”, a profile of Marion Barry, the former Washington, D.C., “mayor, crack-smoker and recent girlfriend-stalker.”

Other winners are David Grann, for his story, “Trial By Fire”, published in The New Yorker, Jonathan Rauch, for “Fasten Your Seatbelts — It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Flight,” in The National Journal, David Goldhill for “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” in The Atlantic and Atul Gawande for “The Cost Conundrum”, also in The New Yorker.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow Brooks releases another batch of Sidney winners.

The FishbowlDC Interview: Payback for Patrick Gavin

It’s payback time. Finally, I get to be on the other side of the camera and notebook from Mr. Fishbowl himself: Politico’s Patrick Gavin. Once a reporter I avoided like the plague at parties as he lurked around ballrooms with his camera and note pad, he is now someone I’m seeking for guidance as I start this new gig. So I figured it was symbolic to make Gavin my first FishbowlDC Interview.

Thankfully I didn’t have to chase him down and force him to cooperate. He kindly obliged.

gq pietras, gavin, henry-3.jpg If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Perrier. It’s big on expectations, low on reality.

How often do you Google yourself? Unfortunately, there’s another Patrick Gavin out there who specializes in — you guessed it — Search Engine Optimization, so I lost that battle years ago.

Did you see “Twilight” and “New Moon?” If so, who is more your type,Edward or Jacob? Negative. Although I did have a crush on Kristen Stewart until I heard her being interviewed. She was nearly as annoying as Ellen Page.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author Sarah Palin? Palin, only so I could try to convince her to get her to give up her Facebook page and pen an online diary for CLICK.

What swear word do you use most often? Salahi.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Mike Allen. Because then I’d know that POLITICO would do anything to come and rescue us. And by us, I mean, him. [Mike Allen is a public official? Wow. We weren't aware.]

Who was your mentor? I credit a seventh-grade French teacher,seventh-grade math teacher,eighth-grade English teacher, a junior high principal and a tenth-grade European History teacher for instilling some good things in me. Also: Rod Blagojevich.

See more Payback for Patrick after the jump…

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Weymouth Opens Up

Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth participated in an Aspen Institute roundtable discussion today along with Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, Harry Jaffe, Doyle McManus, John Walcott, Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Rauch, Rem Rieder, Janet Terry, Beverly Kirk and Brooke Townsend.

Weymouth shared her thoughts on…

…The Huffington Post: “They are a good kick in the pants for us. We have to make our news more compelling and engaging for the reader.”

…competing in a fast-paced Internet environment: “We’re not going to prostitute ourselves — no Britney Spears stories. … But, in the context of our brand, we need to ask ourselves, what can we be doing better?”

…the state of Washington Post Radio: “The short answer is: It’s over. … It ended about six months ago. I guess you missed it a lot!”

…the Washington Post’s national and even international appeal: “The Washington Post still sees its mission as based in local reporting. … We’re a local paper that happens to sit in the nation’s capital.”

…the election of Barack Obama: “Washington itself will be a big story over the next four years.”

Morning Reading List, 04.24.07

morningsun.gifGood morning Washington.

  • What do Tony Kornheiser and Scooter Libby have in common? Admittedly not much, but they did both make The Phoenix’s List of 100 Unsexiest Men, 2007.

  • Reuters reports, “The Huffington Post political blog has signed on Web media company Yahoo Inc. and online news site Slate to help host two debates among presidential hopefuls ahead of the 2008 election.”

  • The Washingtonian has more coverage from the WHCA parties here .

  • Lawmakers Urge Bush to Reconsider Broadcasting Cuts

  • Magazines, Online And Off

  • Helena Andrews reviews the fashion from the WHCA Dinner and says, “The original Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, wore an emerald green reflective ensemble that might have looked better on the set of ‘Wicked.’” Then again, Andrews thinks Los Angeles is a great city so we’re suspicious of her judgment…

  • Rem Rieder writes, “I have two major objections to the dinner. The first is that it suggests a coziness between newsmakers and the people who cover them that just isn’t healthy. … The other problem is the carnival aspect, the competition for the get, the parade of (sort of) celebs, the coveted after-party tickets.”

  • Today, American University’s School of Communication is hosting its Finale Reception for its Mentoring Program and they are expecting a few big-name alumni/DC media including CBS News’ 48 Hours Investigates producer Susan Zirinsky, NBC 4 anchor Wendy Rieger and XM Satellite Radio’s Bob Edwards.

  • Julie Mason shows us just why the stakeout can sometimes be a bit anti-climatic.

  • A reader tells us, “If we were to follo Bruce Johnson’s well-meaning criterion, there would be no day for celebration. Each festivity would be canceled on a daily basis, based on Darfur alone. Let us remember the victims, but let us also go on living. The victims would want us to, while remembering them. It is people like Cho who would want to rob us of even these perhaps frivolous but joyful celebrations.”

  • Ralph Hanson points out that the Post “crossed a new diversity barrier” last week — “not interracial dating, they’ve done that a time or two; not gay dating — no lesbians yet, but one male-male date. No, this time they had a man in a wheelchair and a woman who was not.”

  • In one reader’s opinion, “The Politico.com redesign is awesome — the new features are full of great info and it’s much easier to navigate through the stories.” Vandi — is that you?

  • Gawker reports that near “catfight” broke out at John McLaughlin’s post-White House Correspondent’s Dinner brunch between Ana Marie Cox and Eric Alterman. “Cox confronted Alterman about recent comments he had made concerning Time’s recent hirings, specifically, the hiring of Cox.”

  • Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie talked with National Journal’s Jonathan Rauch “about the 2008 presidential race, the Iraq War, the state of contemporary journalism, and more.”

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