Tell me a story. And maybe I’ll believe it.

Our failed media experiment errs on the side of brevity. This is especially true for newspapers. Why? It could be that the market demanded it. It could be that the industry didn’t adapt well to technology and platform changes. It could be that it is much cheaper. Regardless, short articles (or even just a link) combined with pictures and slideshows and polls are ubiquitous. Instead of digging into an issue and doing some (gasp!) reporting, it is way safer to outline competing views on a subject with basic facts and let the readers decide in this age of industry consolidation.

As a result, long-form journalism is a dying art form. That is a shame because investigative reporting and excellent writing are necessary skills in order to write these longer articles. Short articles can answer the what and hint at the why. Longer articles can dig deep on the why and how.

Despite the journalistic trend, excellent long-form writing still exists. Longform is a great site www.longform.org It aggregates long-form journalism and categorizes the articles by subject, author and magazine for reference and search purposes. Longform links with an app called Readability so a user can save articles to be read later with a nice reader interface for tablets, phones and computers. www.readability.com Most of these articles come from magazines or local alt-weekly papers.

I found an article at Longform about the importance of a local newspaper to communities. The article is about New Orleans. Because New Orleans is a truly unique community steeped in tradition and has been through some recent hard times, it stands to reason that the local populace is balking at the recent takeover of their newspaper. I think that the reasons why the people the people object are interesting and the article presents them well.




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