In an effort to dispel the working theory that long-form journalism is a thing of the past, The New Republic is rolling out a series of online cover stories. Through this new initiative TNR is offering an alternative to the shorter blog writing style most individuals have become accustomed to by publishing detailed argumentative essays. TNR editor Richard Just summed up the purpose for the new project in a message to his magazine’s readers:
But while we are no less committed to short-form journalism, we also think that the world needs more long-form writing. Not just because long-form writing is, at its best, a pleasure to read, but because there are certain values implicit in long-form writing that are worth defending and preserving. One value is artistry. The best narratives and the best cultural criticism are not simply means of delivering information; they rise to the level of literature. Of course, there can be artistry in blogging, but it is a different kind of artistry. A 300-word post cannot hold you in suspense; nor can it deliver a shocking conclusion. A brilliant piece of long-form storytelling can do both of these things.
The first installment of TNR’s online cover stories will feature Jonathan Cohn’s analysis of the nation’s health care system.