Taking a stand
The Future is Here
Harper’s Magazine will never give in to the free-content Internet craze.
The October issue opens with a three page letter (Harper’s is not known for brevity) from president and publisher John R. MacArthur reaffirming the venerable magazine’s stance against the new-in-1999 model of online journalism.
Even when the magazine became available digitally in 2003, it was adamant that it wouldn’t just give it away.
Harper’s Magazine officially relaunched their website yesterday, despite publisher Rick MacArthur’s earlier public misgivings on the whole Internet thing.
“This redesign is overdue, we realize—a delay not in keeping with what was once a fairly distinguished digital reputation,” associate editor Jeremy Keehn wrote in a blog post last week. “Harper’s was one of the first magazines to build a website, way back in 1996.”
The new website will be more searchable and have more blog-like content. This is all part of a strategy to build up the venerable magazine’s online presence. Looks like the Internet is not the fad that publisher Mr. MacArthur predicted. As recently as last spring, Mr. MacArthur compared the threat of the Internet to the Xerox machine.
Harper’s basically hasn’t changed since 1984. But next month’s issue of the highbrow magazine will feature a shake up that Harper’s readers may notice. For the first time in the magazine’s 165 years, there will be a business commentary column.
Jeff Madrick, who has written about business and economics for a variety of publications including a five-year stint as a columnist at The New York Times, will debut “The Anti-Economist” column in the October issue of the magazine.
“These days, reporting on and demystifying economic news is one of the most important responsibilities journalists have to their readers,” said Harper’s editor Ellen Rosenbush, in a statement. “Jeff’s sharp eye and informed voice will make his column the perfect companion to Thomas Frank’s Easy Chair at the front of the magazine.”
On a bright winter morning last January, John R. “Rick” MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine, walked into editor Roger D. Hodge’s office and fired him. It was so unexpected that when Mr. Hodge told the magazine’s literary editor, Ben Metcalf, what had happened, his colleague laughed in disbelief.
Three Fridays ago, in the offices of Read More
“I am not now, nor have I ever been, a hipster,” vowed Harper’s senior editor Christian Lorentzen at a panel discussion provocatively titled “What Was the Hipster?,” organized by n+1, and held at the New School on Saturday afternoon.
Despite L-train maintenance and the kind of steady rain that can wreck Read More
New York Magazine’s Vulture blog is reporting that the magazine’s television critic, John Leonard, has died.
In addition to writing weekly for that magazine (last week he wrote about returning dramas), Mr. Leonard, who was 69-years-old, wrote a monthly books column for Harper’s. He also served as a Read More
This week in his 48-second Media Web Minute, MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman wonders why Harper’s doesn’t have the "buzz" of other general interest magazines like The Atlantic, The New Yorker or Vanity Fair.
"It’s about time the public stood up for Harper’s," Mr. Friedman declares in his accompanying column. "Even with its pedigree and Read More
As a tribute to the late David Foster Wallace, Harper‘s Magazine, where the writer was a contributing editor, has made his work available on the Web to non-subscribers. Included in the collection of PDFs is Mr. Wallace’s "Shipping Out," which formed the basis for his collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Read More