Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Back to the Future

Filed under: Headline Shooter

Andrea Batista Schlesinger writes in the Huffington Post:

"Amateur Hour" is what Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, calls the rise of Internet journalism and the blogosphere in last week's New Yorker.

I can't help wondering if Ned Lamont's primary victory in Connecticut has influenced his thinking.

Since then, I asssume she means, or else Lemann's reporting would have have had to include time travel; even the Wayback Machine can't do that!

Anyway, opinions TK. The long and short of it: Lemann has some sound points, and as anyone who knows me knows, I'm an ardent defender of long-established and stringent journalism practices (I work at PRINT, for crying out loud). I also think some of the journalism he cites as mundane or trivial—printable robots, harmless hazing, mountain-dulcimer man—could just as easily be New Yorker pieces if they were properly written. (No one, not even the rain, should begin a story with a dictionary definition.) Along with the new Charles Addams biography, out in September and agreeably juicy, I'm reading a solid '70s history called Literary New York, which has some detailed passages in it about '20s magazines that I'm going to type out here. There's some fluff on the web. There's society gossip and stuff that dates instantly and bad jokes and pettiness and emerging brilliance. Make what connections you will—I'm sleepy after a delicious dinner and long conversation, but when I can, I'll reprint it here. If nothing else, it's good reading.

Later: And of course, Steven Johnson has the last and (for now) best word: Five Things All Sane People Agree On About Blogs And Mainstream Journalism (So Can We Stop Talking About Them Now?) Via Lindsayism, who adds a witty word. Double true.


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