What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?I love that expression “the year dot.” We should really reintroduce it over here.
I was a newspaper and magazine junkie from the year dot. My father was a film producer and I have always loved the narrative drive of the great non-fiction stories. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood made me see what a great literary journalist could do with the facts.
How do you feel you influence the media?
At The New Yorker and Vanity Fair we constantly set the agenda for TV discussion and editorials. It was great to see how you could help to move the media in a new direction. At Vanity Fair I was proud of publishing William Styron’s piece about his manic depression. He turned it into a bestseller with the same title as the piece, Darkness Visible.
What is the proudest achievement in your working life?
Waking up the sleeping beauty of The New Yorker magazine. It was a very difficult challenge to modernise the grand old lady of American letters.I read all the weekend papers when I come here. My favourite magazines are still The New Yorker and The Spectator, which I subscribe to in the US. I still enjoy Vanity Fair, love Foreign Affairs in the US and The Week in both places.
What are your weekend papers? And do you have a favourite magazine?
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Emdashes, founded in 2004, is written and drawn by Emily Gordon, Martin Schneider, Pollux, Jonathan Taylor, and Benjamin Chambers, as well as occasional guest contributors. All posts before October 2008 are by Emily Gordon.