"I think now is the perfect time to start (or restart) a local digital news operation. There are few greater gifts in journalism than a blank sheet of paper." In CJR, editor and entrepreneur Jim Brady (@jimbrady) on why and how now might finally be the time for local journalism in the USA to find a business model that works. [more inside]
In a sea of imperfect options, this is the one I feel best about! We made something great for three years, and now we’re going to go do something else. The only regret I have is that Bustle will outlive us and I will never be able to icily reject a million-dollar check from Bryan Goldberg, but that’s pretty much it. - The Toast will be closing on July 1st. [more inside]
Web pages are ghosts: they’re like images projected onto a wall. They aren’t durable. Contrast this with hard-copies—things written on paper or printed in books. We can still read books and pamphlets printed five hundred years ago, even though the presses that made them have long since been destroyed. How can we give the average independent web writer that kind of permanence? Joel Dueck on building a website with Matthew Butterick's Pollen, allowing it to also be published as a printed book.
Russian Purge Part 1: Putin Doesn't Need to Censor Books. Publishers Do It For Him. by Masha Gessen [The Intercept_] [more inside]
All debates about ideas are shaped by their material conditions...Technology intellectuals work in an attention economy. They succeed if they attract enough attention to themselves and their message that they can make a living from it. It’s not an easy thing to do.
An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
The Art Of Making Magazines "By making what they call "not a how-to book, but… a how-to-think-about-it-book," they help us look at something we've probably been taking for granted: What is a magazine?"
The Economist on the decline of British boy's comics as The Dandy ceases print publication. As it circles oblivion it risks joining the ranks of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, The Beezer and subversive late entry to the genre Oink. The days of the Great British girl's comic are sadly long passed.
The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."
The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
Katherine Goldstein writes about working as a fact checker for Cosmopolitan.
Internet as Social Movement: A Brief History of Webism. An editorial from N+1 magazine.
Restoring Journalism Maureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism. (via 2p & dd) [more inside]
How to Save the News. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life, or why the company now considers journalism’s survival crucial to its own prospects."
Charles Stross exposes some common misconceptions about publishing. How Charles Stross got into the writing game.
"Broadside was a small underground magazine smuggled out of a New York City housing project in a baby carriage, filled with new songs by artists who were too creative for the folkies and too radical for the establishment." The entire back catalog of this influential magazine - which helped set the visual standard for underground zines until desktop publishing - is now avalable online, in PDF.
The alt-weekly newspaper war in San Francisco - The titanic struggle between The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly (owned by Village Voice Media), as told by Eli Sanders of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
In Publishing: The Revolutionary Future, Jason Epstein posits "The resistance today by publishers to the onrushing digital future does not arise from fear of disruptive literacy, but from the understandable fear of their own obsolescence and the complexity of the digital transformation that awaits them... The unprecedented ability of this technology to offer a vast new multilingual marketplace a practically limitless choice of titles will displace the Gutenberg system with or without the cooperation of its current executives." [more inside]
In late October, New York Newsday put their website content behind a pay wall. How many subscribers signed up since then? 35. [more inside]
The Dallas News has a bold new strategy for "becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content for our consumers": Making it's editors report directly to advertising sales managers
"Seed" - an anthology of short fiction published on a USB flash drive shaped like a penis. Sample story. More on the concept without pictures of plastic penises. (Safe for workness may vary)
“They are brands that may not be considered cool by the often elitist and self-absorbed standards of New York media,” she said. She had taken a car from Manhattan that morning, and wore a pink wool shirt-dress, patent leather Manolo Blahnik heels, and diamond hoop earrings.
Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
There's been more and more rumblings lately about the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) of diversity in the circles of sci-fi and fantasy. Pam Nole's classic Shame essay hits a lot of points and while the Carl Brandon Society has been fighting the good fight for some time, more and more people are gathering their own projects, such as Transcriptase or Verb Noire to create spaces and publishing arenas less biased. Are these even necessary? It seems the fans think so.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball:
"My friend Merlin Mann and I had a session at SXSW Interactive about two weeks ago. It certainly wasn’t a panel, and it wasn’t really a presentation. It was more like an hour-long duet rant, the main goal of which was to inspire anyone who wants to publish or write on the web to pursue their obsessions in a serious way. We got the audio recording of the session from SXSW a few days ago, recorded short intro and outro segments, and Merlin spliced it together and has published it on his 43 Folders podcast. I encourage you to go ahead and listen to it."
The Walrus: Does Canada Finally Have Its Quality Magazine? It's always been a mystery why Canada, with its appreciable intellectual weight, cultural sympathies and significant middlebrow readership, doesn't have a general magazine to rival with, say, Harper's, The Atlantic or The New Yorker. Well, The Walrus looks good - at least online. Is this it? Or am I unfairly overlooking other Canadian publications?