Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Publication Analysis

What do we learn about Bold Italic from this story?

Storytelling and Nonfiction: Art, Ethics and Accuracy

Implications for The Stranger

 • Interview thoroughly being sympathetic AND skeptical AND silent AND assertive. That's how you collect a deep pool of information and insight
 • Find a theme or focus. That means highlighting certain facts and ignoring others (see below)
 • That theme or focus can be a universal narrative form
 • Step back and consider whether or not what you have presented is “true” – and true is always in quotation marks.

From John Hersey's "The Legend on the License"

As to journalism, we may as well grant right away that there is no such thing as absolute objectivity. It is impossible to present in words "the truth" or "the whole story." The minute a writer offers nine hundred and ninety-nine out of one thousand facts, the worm of bias has begun to wriggle. Tolstoy pointed out that immediately after a battle there are as many remembered versions of it as there are participants.

Still and all, I will assert that there is one sacred rule of journalism. The writer must not invent. The legend on the license must read: NONE OF THIS WAS MADE UP. The ethics of journalism, if we can be allowed such a boon, must be based on the simple truth that every journalist knows the difference between the distortion that comes from subtracting observed data and the distortion that comes from adding invented data.

The threat to journalism’s life by the denial of this difference can be realized if we look at it from the reader’s point of view. The reader assumes the subtraction as a given of journalism and instinctively hunts for the bias; the moment the reader suspects additions, the earth begins to skid underfoot.

Reporting Embarrassing Moments

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Love 'The Google' But....

English: Screenshot of Google Suggest function...
English: Screenshot of Google Suggest function in Google search. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most people don't go beyond page one of their Google searches. As Kevin Drum points out, that can be unwise:

I'm not trying to make a broad claim that the internet is making us generally stupider or anything like that. But it's a far more powerful medium for spreading conspiracy theories and other assorted crap than anything we've had before. If you lack the background and context to evaluate information about a particular subject, you're highly likely to be misinformed if you do a simple Google search and just start reading whatever comes up first. And that describes an awful lot of people.

More Mags Opened Than Closed Last Year

Ladies' Home Journal
Last year a classic dies
From Media Daily News:

New magazine launches again outnumbered titles that were closed by a substantial margin in the first half of 2014, according to, an online database of U.S. and Canadian publications owned by Oxbridge Communications. A total of 93 new magazines launched in the first six months of the year, while just 30 closed -- although the latter group included several historic titles.

ADWEEK's Hottest Magazines of 2014

Cover of Volume I, No. 49 of Harper's Bazar (N...
Cover of Volume I, No. 49 of Harper's Bazar (Now Harper's Bazaar), showing hairstyles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hottest Magazine of the Year
Bon Appétit
Fast Company
Harper’s Bazaar
New York

Hottest Thought Leader 
The Atlantic
New York
The New Yorker
Vanity Fair

Hottest Lifestyle Magazine
Garden and Gun
Modern Farmer
Town & Country
WSJ Magazine

Hottest Food Magazine
Bon Appétit
Food Network Magazine
Food & Wine

Hottest Travel Magazine 
Condé Nast Traveler
Travel + Leisure

Hottest Home Magazine
Architectural Digest
Elle Decor
HGTV Magazine

Hottest Fashion Magazine 
Harper’s Bazaar

Hottest Women's Magazine 
All You

Better Homes and Gardens
Real Simple

Hottest Health/Fitness Magazine—Women 
Women's Health

Hottest Men's Magazine 

Hottest Health/Fitness Magazine—Men
Men's Fitness
Men’s Health
Hottest Car Magazine
Car and Driver
Motor Trend
Road & Track

Hottest Sports/ Outdoor Magazine 
Field & Stream
Sports Illustrated

Hottest Celebrity/ Entertainment Magazine 
Entertainment Weekly

Rolling Stone

Hottest Business Magazine 
Fast Company

Hottest Kids/Teen Magazine 
Sports Illustrated Kids
Nat Geo Kids

Hottest Reborn Magazine 
Condé Nast Traveler
Town & Country

Hottest Magazine on Social Media 
Fast Company


Hottest Magazine in Digital 
Sports Illustrated

Hottest Newcomer
Dr. Oz The Good Life
Modern Farmer
Cherry Bombe

Hottest Design

Bon Appétit
Harper's Bazaar

Hottest Magazine Cover of the Year
ESPN: Prince Fielder/
Body Issue
New York: Lupita 
Nyong'o/Spring Fashion Issue
Rolling Stone: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Time: Ferguson, Mo., protests
Time: Laverne Cox
Vogue: Kimye

A Magazine Dies

English: The Twelve Apostles (not the cows, th...
English: The Twelve Apostles (not the cows, the stone circle behind them!) There is a story about how a farmer was rebuked for removing one of the stones... But the farmer answered that it was only Judas that had been removed... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Modern Farmer tries to find a niche and make money for its investor. This hard to do.

New York Observer says:

Last spring, the publication was the talk of the National Magazine Awards after it won the best magazine section award for its how-to guide....

But ultimately, the magazine’s downfall is being framed in the same way as its success was back when it was a darling of the New York media world.

“I don’t want to speak ill of the dying, but what is the plausible audience in such a magazine?” author and editor Kurt Anderson told The New York Times today. “It was too kind of nitty-gritty and old-fashioned, back-to-the-land hippie magazine for the food-farm porn market, and yet too ‘What about the dairy situation in the Philippines?’ for people who are really raising chickens for a living.”
Both the success and failure of Modern Farmer demonstrate that while an unlikely product makes for a good narrative, it is still a difficult sell. And all the praise and publicity in the world can’t change that.