long-form journalism: a thing of the past?

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A friend shared this link with me and it is very relevant to topics currently discussed in my communications class.

This group is setting out to reinstate long-form journalism, and I think it’s fantastic. They make some really valid points about news today… rapid-fire bits of information that pepper our senses, reaching us through a haze of advertisements that are trying to compete with the news. (Side note: There’s some irony there, I think… advertisers might like to think they are piggy-backing off of a news site’s reach and simply giving people access to information they probably already want, but they are also doing everything they can to distract from the main news. And news sources eat it up for the revenue–plus almost all sites have ads above content.)

Personally, I champion long-form literature and journalism, and you can basically read any previous post about Carr to garner my thoughts about reading online:) I’m interested in doing doctoral research in this area and I’d love to start a nonprofit someday or work with an organization already attempting to change the ever-decreasing interest in long-form reading, especially in youth. Relating to articles we read this week for class, I think dedicating this time is becoming increasingly difficult. “Choosing the Focused Life” talked about essentially working out our brains to be able to focus better, which is great, but I think that will only get more difficult as the media environment continues to develop. In Nick Carr’s “The Shallows”, one prominent graduate from Florida said something to the affect of this: “Why would I ever read a book again when I can just Google it?”

Is long-form reading a lost cause? I see benefits, and research has proved them, but is there any chance of making people (especially youth) see that? And is it something developing cultures should think about as the skip the print era and go straight to digital? How will their individual development differ?

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One thought on “long-form journalism: a thing of the past?

  1. Hi Abby. I just found your blog as a media ecologist looking for some opinions of Nicholas’ Carr’s book and came across you. Nice work. I wonder how much you’ve ever been in touch with people at the Media Ecology Association. If you like, I can introduce you to some folks if you’re in New York in June at the Convention. Drop me a note sometime to chat. mike@plugh.net (Mike Plugh)

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