In 2013, if you can dream it, you can crowd-fund it. From organic eateries to indie movies, it seems that anything is possible with the power of the public’s pockets—and that includes journalism. Read More
off the record
Marshall Berman, the philosopher, writer and professor who wrote the influential modernist text All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, died on Sept. 11 at the age of 72. Mr. Berman had a heart attack while having breakfast with a friend at his favorite haunt, The Metro Diner on 100th Street and Broadway.
Dying over bacon and eggs at the corner diner was a fittingly New York way for a quintessentially New York character to go.
A sizable figure habitually clad in a T-shirt, with unkempt hair and beard and a meandering gait, Mr. Berman was instantly recognizable walking up and down Broadway and West End Avenue. Read More
This summer has been a rough one in media, following on the heels of a rough spring, winter and fall. Every week seemed to bring news of yet another round of layoffs, yet another publication crumbling and shedding staff.
Getting laid off is like getting broken up with: It doesn’t really matter how it happens. There’s a reason that Jerry Seinfeld advised George Costanza that a breakup needs to be like taking off a Band-Aid. (“One motion—right off!”)
There’s really no good way to do it. Whether it’s a surprise attack or a looming threat, the rest of the media industry ends up talking about the heartless method that the company used, when it’s the terminations themselves that are the real cause of pain. Read More
Almost as surprising as news of Jeff Bezos’s $250 million purchase of the The Washington Post was the fact that both sides kept the deal under wraps for months without a leak.
Few in the media world even knew that the Post, which has been owned by the Graham family for four generations, was up for sale—even as the paper was quietly peddled to several possible investors.
In The Washington Post’s first of many articles on the deal, Donald Graham, the Post Co.’s chief executive, said that several months ago he had hired investment firm Allen & Co. “to shop the paper” around “with extraordinary secrecy.” Read More
The furor over Janet Reitman’s Rolling Stone cover story on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which reached a fever pitch last week when stores including Walgreens and CVS announced they wouldn’t sell the issue of the magazine, has mostly subsided. But that doesn’t mean everybody has moved on.
On Monday, a very small group gathered outside of Rolling Stone’s Avenue of the Americas offices, bullhorn in hand, ready to protest the story.
The protesters were led by A.J. Weberman, a Hawaiian-shirt-clad former Yippie who became famous for going through Bob Dylan’s trash and is a current activist with the Jewish Defense Organization, a militant Zionist group. Read More
Prison comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black is Netflix’s latest attempt at getting viewers to binge-watch an original series, after the successes of House of Cards and Arrested Development (2.0). Viewers accustomed to watching box-set DVDs or streaming HBO shows are no strangers to the just-one-more-episode mentality, and Netflix facilitates this (like a good enabler) by automatically playing the next episode.
So what’s it like to be a writer on a show that’s basically the entertainment version of crack? We asked Nick Jones, a story editor and writer for OITNB. Read More
Last weekend, NY1 anchor and New York institution Pat Kiernan hosted something a little different. “Scarlet Mathilde Cronin and Matt Sullivan were married Saturday at Oak Hill, an estate in Hudson, N.Y.,” read the Times wedding announcement. “Pat Kiernan, a Universal Life minister and an anchor on NY1, the New York City cable news channel, officiated.” Read More
Lindy Hess, who passed away early last week, spent the past 25 summers helping recent college graduates with literary aspirations get a foot on the lowest rung of the publishing ladder as the director of The Columbia Publishing Course (formerly The Radcliffe Publishing Course, until it moved to New York in 2001).
Book publishing, an industry whose low entry salaries have not increased significantly in decades, even as financial setbacks have made those same jobs harder to get, continues to be a romantic ideal for many English majors.
This was where Ms. Hess fit in. It wasn’t really about the course itself, a “six-week intensive in all aspects of book and magazine publishing,” as graduates were instructed to call it on their résumés, although it did serve as a sort of primer to the publishing world. Read More
In what may be the season’s unsexiest journalism trend, mainstream media companies are launching military-related news sites, on the theory that defense-related digital ad spending will grow as the industry’s print stalwarts fade.
In February, the blog network Breaking Media acquired AOL’s two-year-old defense blog, AOL Defense. (It was later renamed “Breaking Defense.”) Last month, CQ Roll Call, the Congress-obsessed publication owned by Economist Media Group, launched Topic A: Defense. Politico quietly enlisted a half-dozen reporters to add defense coverage to its Politico Pro subscription product. And last week, Atlantic Media unveiled Defense One, an online-only publication about defense and national security. Read More
The New York Financial Writers Association’s annual “hacks vs. flacks” softball game is supposed to be a chance for financial journalists to meet the public relations professionals who never stop sending emails “just to follow up.” And it gives flacks the chance to hurl something at journalists other than press releases.
But the flacks never showed up at Central Park for Sunday’s game. Read More