"Maybe the story is the difference between the writers on the panels and the writers in the audience. That story is the creation of a celebrity class. That story is the fine line between jealousy and envy: I want everything you have versus I want everything I can have. Or is the story simply vanity?" Choire Sicha of the Awl reports on (and attempts to schmooze through) the two-day New Yorker literary festival
After a New Yorker piece (previously) on one of Cairo's trash collectors went viral in Cairo, several issues regarding consent of the illiterate Sayyid, as well as possible threats against him, have come up. The author, Peter Hessler, responded in a Facebook post to some of these issues, but it seems that the story is more complicated with accusations that Hessler did not adequately inform Sayyid of what had been written, resulting in retaliation by the people he works for.
Today, The New Yorker announces a redesign, temporary free access to their archives for all web visitors, and a soon-to-be implemented paywall, modelled on that of The New York Times. The New Yorker website--which now publishes 15 original stories a day--has been steadily expanding their offerings (and increasing their traffic) under online editor Nicholas Thompson. Perhaps TNY seeks to finally answer the question: what's an old magazine to do on the internet? Capital NY digs into the history of the relaunch and how striving for timeliness on the web may affect the publication. Others maintain that a remaining problem is Andy Borowitz, whose vague satire accounted for 6% of traffic to the website last year.
Freedom of Information. The New Yorker looks behind the scenes at The Guardian under current editor Alan Rusbridger, including the investigation of the News of the World phone hacking scandal (previously), overseeing the release of US diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks (previously), and the continuing reporting on NSA material obtained by Edward Snowden (previously).
Today The New Yorker unveiled Strongbox, a service that allows sources to share information with TNY journalists securely and anonymously. As explained in this infographic, Strongbox relies on the Tor network, a dedicated server, PGP encryption, VPNs, and multiple laptops and thumb drives to prevent files from being intercepted or traced. The codebase, which is open source, was designed by the late Aaron Swartz (Previously). Kevin Poulsen, one of the organizers of the project, chronicles how Swartz developed the code and how the project managed to carry on after his death. TNY hopes that Strongbox will help the magazine continue its long tradition of investigative journalism.
I asked whether the behavior of Brooks and others at News Corp. wasn’t a reflection of the corrupted journalistic values that Elisabeth had taken issue with in her lecture. She collected her thoughts, folded her arms, and said, “Yes is the quick answer. But, at the same time, I’m a champion of the plurality of voices and diversity of audience, and I think that doesn’t mean that in certain cases behaviors cannot match one’s values.” The New Yorker on Elisabeth Murdoch, in the wake of her lecture at MacTaggart, which was openly critical of both her brother James and her father's infamous News Corporation.
[A.J.] Liebling didn’t invent The New Yorker’s fascination with work, with letting its interview subjects explain what they did for a living. But he did it very well, and his pudgy hand sits comfortably on the shoulders of the next generation, writers like Roger Angell or John McPhee. They are all of them purveyors of non-essential information, and the enormous pleasure we take in them is in inverse proportion to any actual need we have to know.
Only 13% of articles in the New Republic, 22% of articles in The Atlantic and 30% of articles in the New Yorker are by women. ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg wonders why men's magazines underserve women and women's magazines underserve journalism. Anne Hays is boycotting the New Yorker for publishing too few women. Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks it's about old-fashioned class norms. Are the "female stars of long-form journalism" the solution to the problem or a red herring?
"The Duke in His Domain" - a profile of Marlon Brando by Truman Capote, published in The New Yorker, November 9, 1957
The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
Judith Thurman chronicles the fabricated literary interviews penned by Tommaso Debenedetti, an Italian freelance journalist. His subjects include Philip Roth, John Grisham, Gore Vidal, Günter Grass, Toni Morrison, and other famous authors. [more inside]
John McPhee writes about basketball, headmasters, oranges, tennis, hybrid airships, nuclear weapons, bark canoes, Alaska, the Swiss Army, the merchant marines, dissident Soviet artists, shad, long-distance trucking, and - Pulitzer Prize-winningly - geology (282kb PDF). He discusses his work here. [more inside]