As the president sucks up the oxygen from the media atmosphere, it’s easy to forget how important local journalism is right now. The regional press—the holy trinity of newspapers, alt-weeklies, and city magazines—is where we can find true stories of friends and neighbors impacted by immigration raids, fights over funding public education, and the frontline of relaxed environmental standards that will impact the water we drink and the air we breathe. We need to support their work. Read more…
Nothing is normal right now, so it makes perfect sense that journalists should reconsider what objectivity means in 2017. Facts are now up for debate, the president is treating the media as “the opposition,” and readers are looking for both trusted news and better information on how they can get involved in the political process.
My Facebook feed is now a running stream of “action items” and congressional phone numbers posted by friends, imploring everyone to make their voices heard on cabinet nominees and executive orders. I wonder if news organizations are missing a big opportunity to serve their readers in this same way, as opposed to the traditional hands-off “we give you the news and you figure out what to do about it” stance. Read more…
Magazine nerds, here we go: A starter collection of behind-the-scenes stories from some of your most beloved magazines, including The New Yorker, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair and the New York Review of Books, plus now-defunct publications like Might, George, Sassy and Wigwag. Share your favorite behind-the-magazine stories with us on Twitter or Facebook: #longreads. Read more…
The American Society of Magazine Editors handed out its 2014 National Magazine Awards Thursday night, with Fast Company, New York magazine, Inc., Poetry magazine and Modern Farmer all taking home trophies. Boston Magazine’s stirring cover image (above) following the Boston Marathon bombings was named ASME’s Cover of the Year.
Below is a reading list featuring some of the stories honored Thursday night. Read more…
Jason Zengerle | Might magazine | 1997 | 19 minutes (4,685 words)
Thanks to our Longreads Members’ support, we tracked down a vintage story from Dave Eggers’s Might Magazine. It’s from Jason Zengerle, a correspondent for GQ and contributing editor for New York magazine who’s been featured on Longreads often in the past. Read more…
This week, we’re thrilled to feature Jason Zengerle, a contributing editor for New York magazine and GQ who has been featured on Longreads many times. Our Member Pick is Jason’s 1997 story on Michael Moore for Might magazine: “Is This Man the Last, Best Hope for Popular Liberalism in America? And, More Importantly, Does He Have a Sense of Humor?”
This was the first story I wrote that could qualify as a long read—and it certainly wasn’t by choice. I’d just graduated from college and was doing an internship at The American Prospect, but I spent most of my time daydreaming about being an intern at The New Republic, which hadn’t seen fit to hire me. Hoping to change their mind, I’d routinely pitch TNR freelance stories, and one day I got the idea to write a takedown of Michael Moore: I sent in at a tightly-argued, perfect-for-TNR 1,000 words; TNR sent back its customary 20-word rejection. That would have been the end of it, but I showed the piece to my friend Todd Pruzan, who offered to show it to his friend Dave Eggers, who was then editing a little magazine called Might.
It turned out that Eggers didn’t share my dim opinion of Moore, but he did see the potential for a fun stunt. He said Might would be willing to take my 1,000 words arguing that Moore was a hack, if I’d be willing to embed them in a much longer shaggy-dog story of trying to track down and meet with Moore himself. By now, of course, the idea of pulling a Roger & Me on Michael Moore is pretty played-out, but at the time, I don’t think anyone had thought of it yet. And so on MLK Day weekend of 1997, I took a Peter Pan bus from Boston to New York, rented a gorilla suit for my unemployed actor friend Morgan Phillips, and set off on our little adventure.
The rest is history. By the end of that year, Might was out of business. Eggers was writing A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and on his way to becoming the voice of a generation. And I was an intern at TNR.
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Photo by Jimmy Hahn
Patrick Doyle of Boston Magazine has compiled a full list of the nominated stories for this year’s City & Regional Magazine Awards.
Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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