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Posts Tagged ‘The Nation’

Cover Battle: M or The Nation

Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s weekly Cover Battle. This round features M magazine versus The Nation. For its latest issue, M went with a photograph of Ralph Fiennes to remind us all that we are not as cool as Ralph Fiennes. Mission accomplished.

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The Nation Makes Editorial Changes

The Nation has made some changes/additions to its online and print editorial teams. The breakdown:

  • Jessica Valenti has been contributing to The Nation since 2008, but she is now taking over the “Body Politic” column while Katha Pollitt is on book leave.
  • Michael Sorkin is joining as an architecture columnist.
  • Joshua Clover has been named the magazine’s new pop culture critic.
  • Mychal Denzel Smith has been contributing since last year, but now comes aboard full-time. He will focus on focus on “racial and criminal justice, and the politics of respectability.”
  •  Erika Eichelberger joins as a reporter/researcher for The Nation’s DC bureau.

The Nation Hires New Associate Editor

Liliana Segura has been named an Associate Editor at The Nation. Segura has covered prisons and social justice reform for a variety of publications, and was once an intern at The Nation.


Former Print Editor-in-Chief On Being Fired

EG_accepting.jpgWhen Emily Gordon was let go from her position as editor-in-chief of design magazine Print last week after just over a year at the helm, it came as a surprise to her staff, the magazine’s readers and the design community. But no one was more surprised than Gordon herself, especially when she read the job description the magazine’s publisher, F+W Media, posted for her replacement.

“They’ve eliminated my job,” Gordon explained, since F+W is now seeking a “content director” to lead the magazine, emphasizing multichannel content providing over the traditional editorial role. “If it took getting rid of me for them to understand that content management is the most important thing for the future of Print, and if Print can survive, then I think it’s worth the sacrifice. But I think I could have done it just as well.”

Gordon, who was promoted to editor-in-chief from senior editor in the fall of 2008, said she was puzzled by the implication in comments made by F+W Media president David Blansfield to Folio magazine that she wasn’t able to take the Print brand beyond print. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with a new leader of the brand — someone who embraces the idea of multiplatform first and wants to inform and grow our design community,” Blansfield told the industry trade last week.

As co-creator of The Nation‘s Web site in the mid-90′s and founder of, a popular New Yorker-centric blog, Gordon has worked in both print and the Web for years. She’s also moderating a panel at this year’s SXSW on blogging versus microblogs, illustrating that she has a pretty good handle on the Web and its challenges. “I have not had a conversation where anyone sat down with me and said, ‘You know, you’ve been editor-in-chief of the magazine, but this is where we see your job going,’” she told FishbowlNY. “My 2010 plans for Print were all about content management. To say that I am print-centric is silly. I’ve had my feet in both camps for 17 years. This is more evidence of the fact that upper management [at F+W] doesn’t have the time to spend surveying their staff assets.”

To Gordon, her inability to live up to F+W’s expectations was not for lack of trying or ability. The company is just too geographically and ideologically disparate, spread out among offices across the country operating publications covering everything from writing and design to horticulture and firearms. And while the five-person staff at Print tried to put out the magazine while also working to create a Web site design fans would love and produce monthly, design-themed paid webinars, F+W never hired someone specifically devoted to managing content or audience development for the magazine — a position that could act as a go-between for Gordon, Print‘s publisher and F+W’s upper management — so good ideas went unexecuted. “The company does not lack for talent or initiative but it just doesn’t invest in it,” Gordon said.

For now, Gordon says she’ll remain a friend of Print, helping prepare for its 70th anniversary later this year and just last week completing its application for the ASME National Magazine Awards. Last year, the publication won an Ellie for general excellence for magazines under 100,000 circulation for the second year in a row. (That’s a picture of Gordon accepting the award above.) FishbowlNY got our hands on Gordon’s acceptance speech from last year and we think it’s an interesting read given what’s transpired since.

Her Ellie speech, after the jump

Related: Multichannel-Bent Publishers Give Longtime Print Staffers the Cold ShoulderFolio, Editor Out, F+W Looks to Expand Role at PrintFolio, Is Print Next To Fold? –UnBeige

Previously: Breaking: Print Magazine Loses Editor-in-Chief, Seven Questions For Print‘s New Editor-in-Chief Emily Gordon

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On The Menu: Can Politico’s New Local Model Kill WaPo?

mmm_2-3.gifToday on the media- Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven discussed the day’s biggest media headlines, including news that Politico is launching a local news Web site to compete with The Washington Post. Can this new venture bring down the venerable D.C.-based paper, even as it struggles to cover local news?

Jason and Matt agreed that new business models are desperately needed, and Politico, a successful political Web site, may be on to something by focusing on a new niche. “I think it could work, especially with the metro reporting. It’s definitely hemorrhaging at newspapers today,” Jason said.

Another big headline on this rainy Wednesday involved Sarah Palin. After filing her last financial reports with the state of Alaska, we have learned that she has already earned $1.25 million in an advance on her book, Going Rogue. “This is not chump change, this book,” Jason said.

And here’s some other interesting Palin news: there are two parody books — both called Going Rouge — coming out the same day as Palin’s book: a coloring book for kids and a collection of essays critical of Palin by The Nation.

Also discussed on the podcast: New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. comparing print media to the Titanic. Fun!

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

Norman Mailer Colony Gala: A Night of Media, Literary Superstars


It takes a lot to bring America’s greatest living fiction, non-fiction, and journalism writers into one room, but if one woman could do, it’s Tina Brown. The Daily Beast editor-in-chief hosted the first ever Norman Mailer Colony soiree at Cipriani last night, to celebrate the non-profit in which promising young writers get to live in Norman Mailer’s house in Massachusetts for a week to a month.

Guests included Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, Richard Goodwin, Michael Cunningham, Jeffrey Eugenides, Annie Leibovitz, New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick and master of ceremonies, Calvin Trillin.

Among the revelers were also editors and writers from The Nation, Budget Travel, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Week.

A few pictures from the night after the jump.

Earlier: Norman Mailer Writers Colony To Honor Toni Morrison, David Halberstam

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Progressive News Outlets Launch Owner-Operated Ad Network

ad network.pngIn the past, Air America Media faced an obstacle. As a progressive multimedia company, it is able to attract an educated, engaged audience that marketers covet, yet it was having trouble attracting large commercial advertisers due to its limited inventory and relatively small reach.

Thankfully, Air America is a member of Media Consortium, a think tank and support group of sorts for progressive media outlets. And it was at one Media Consortium event that Air America and other progressive niche outlets Mother Jones, The Nation and realized they were competing for the same ad dollars from progressive advertisers. They also saw that if they pooled their inventories, and the eyes and clicks of their readers and users, they could create a critical mass that would make them attractive to large commercial advertisers.

The four outlets joined forces to launch the Ad Progress Network, which they rolled out quietly a few weeks ago. They have paired with Adify to power the network and, according to Michael Bassik, chief digital officer at Air America, Adify has never worked with a network like it before.

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Talking Social Media And Twitter At The Personal Democracy Forum

pdf2.jpgDuring the afternoon session at the Personal Democracy Forum today, we sat in on one panel about citizen journalism and another focused on organizing and fundraising using Twitter.

The first panel of the afternoon was moderated by The Nation‘s Ari Melber and featured social media experts Amanda Michel of, NPR‘s Andy Carvin, Twittervision’s Dave Troy and Andrew Turner of GeoCommons.

The panel discussed using crowd sourcing and citizen journalists to report and develop stories. These tools were the key to covering stories like the 2008 election cycle and the inauguration festivities. The group talked about why citizens want to get involved, deciding that involvement can be attributed to many different factors, from political motivation, curiosity or just to check where tax dollars are being spent.

“Sometimes imminent danger motivates people,” Carvin said, adding that more than 500 people volunteered to report news and information for NPR in the days leading up to Hurrican Gustav’s landing last year.”But I can’t get people on board a hurricane project for this year until there is a storm about to hit.”

Michel, who worked for the Huffington Post‘s Off the Bus project during the election last year, said that although she needs to check information from politically motivated sources carefully, sometimes they make the best sources.

“It needs to be an issue they care about — either they or their friends or family is involved — something there to pull them in,” agreed Turner. “They are not going to get involved just because it’s in front of them.”

(Photo: Melber, Turner, Michel, Troy and Carvin talk citizen journalism)

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New York Review of Magazines Celebrates Its Spring Issue

Thursday evening, we stopped by B. Smith’s in Midtown for the party celebrating the Spring 2009 issue of the New York Review of Magazines, which is produced by students at the Columbia School of Journalism.

In his speech during the festivities, NYRM‘s advisor Victor Navasky, publisher emeritus of The Nation and director of Columbia J-School’s Center for Magazine Journalism, joked about how this was the rare magazine event where no one was worried about losing their job. After he gave his toast, Navasky spoke with us about why he doesn’t think print magazines will disappear and why he didn’t agree with New York magazine’s take on the purported “existential crisis” at the Columbia School of Journalism.

(photo by Mirjam Donath)

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