forever-war.jpgCan long form journalism survive a recession and a major shift in reading habits? The average NYT Magazine cover story costs $40,000, according to an editor’s keynote speech at the 2009 CASE Editors’ Forum, and “considerably more” for war zone reporting.

Long-form journalism has produced many great books–from John Hersey‘s “Hiroshima” to Dexter Filkins‘s award-winning “The Forever War.” In a recent speech, NYT Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati spoke frankly about the future of this medium in a digital age, using both those books as reference points.

Marzorati also pondered how this form has influenced publishing: “on the front page of the Times Book Review, the novelist Robert Stone had compared Filkins’s book to that great volume of Vietnam reportage, Dispatches, by Michael Herr. Each was a classic, the one book that found a voice to speak of a generation’s war, Stone wrote. Stone was arguing that these books were literature, non-fiction literature, and that their authors were something more than reporters conveying information.”