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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Long-form journalism resurges with online and mobile technologies in U.S.



In this age of social media where short Facebook posts and 140-character tweets are all the rage, it looks like long-form journalism is making a comeback.

The New York Times and investigative journalism site ProPublica both are launching their first e-books in an effort to "find new audiences, and possibly new revenue, for long-form reporting," according to Poynter.

The NYT book, "Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy," will sell for $5.99 on Kindle, and ProPublica's "Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story," costs $.99 cents on Kindle Singles.

Kindle recently debuted its Singles, which range from $.99 cents to $4.99, and are non-fiction and journalism e-books that are "shorter than a novel, but longer than a magazine article," according to Wired.

Recognizing the potential revival in long-form journalism (see, for example, the Longform.org site launched in April 2010 that posts articles "too long and too interesting to be read on a web browser"), a new start-up publication, The Atavist, publishes long-form journalism created exclusively for smartphones and tablet computers. Atavist stories sell for $2.99 and free iPad and iPhone apps will be available in coming days.

Earlier this month, The New Republic introduced a series of "online cover stories" that offer long-form journalism as an alternative to today's short, blog-style of writing.

As New Republic editor Richard Just wrote, "While we are no less committed to short-form journalism, we also think that the world needs more long-form writing. Not just because long-form writing is, at its best, a pleasure to read, but because there are certain values implicit in long-form writing that are worth defending and preserving. One value is artistry. The best narratives and the best cultural criticism are not simply means of delivering information; they rise to the level of literature. Of course, there can be artistry in blogging, but it is a different kind of artistry. A 300-word post cannot hold you in suspense; nor can it deliver a shocking conclusion. A brilliant piece of long-form storytelling can do both of these things."


Other Related Headlines:
» The New York Observer (Journalism's Subterranean Saviors)

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