Perhaps it’s coincidence that New York magazine chose Veterans Day to publish its controversial story on the late war reporter, Michael Hastings.
The posthumous profile has been criticized for its attention to the failings of the young journalist, who died in a mysterious car crash this June, at the age of 33. Many believe he was murdered by powerful interests, either as revenge for stories already written or to protect themselves from his ongoing investigations.
A hero-turned-martyr to the WikiLeaks set, Hastings could also be reckless, with a history of mental health problems and uneven sobriety. And there were those who questioned his methodology as a journalist.
The story reminded me of my own experience with criticism of his work, in a story I researched but never published.
In May, news broke that our government had obtained—without a warrant—copies of phone records of the Associated Press offices in New York, D.C. and Connecticut, as well as reporters’ private lines. When I heard that, I was prompted to look up some easily obtainable data of my own: How many journalists are working in America, and how many Americans have security clearances?
There are about 65,000 journalists working for brands of one sort or another, according to a report in the Nieman Journalism Lab. And 5 million Americans now hold a security clearance.
Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings, 33, was killed in a car accident in Los Angeles, the site announced this evening.
Editor in chief Ben Smith released a statement praising Mr. Hastings. “Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians,” Mr. Smith wrote. “He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”
BuzzFeed launched a new tech blog today, FWD. Not “forward” as in, like, progress, but “forward” as in sharing. Spreading content on the social web. FWD editor Matt Buchanan lays it out in his introduction post:
“FWD is a way to share things. To pass them on. To nudge the conversation about technology in a different direction–maybe not the next level, exactly, but at least a different one. It’s fundamentally social, which is simply the way more and more of the web works now. Social is the web’s new reality.”
Michael Hastings will cover President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign for post-meme social news site BuzzFeed, the company announced today.
“Social publishing is the future of journalism, or at least huge part of its future. By joining BuzzFeed, I’ll be at the front and center of that world,” Mr. Hastings said in the announcement. “It will give me the chance to be part of a media organization that’s breaking new journalistic ground, finding innovative and fresh ways to report the story.”
“Two years ago, Michael showed up on our doorstep,” said Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates of his star writer Michael Hastings. The viability of the profile Mr. Hastings had pitched, Mr. Bates said speaking in retrospect, “really depends on what kind of access you can get.”The audience erupted in laughter.
A crowd was Read More
Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings suffered an embarrassment over the summer when Little, Brown rejected his manuscript for The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. Mr. Hastings is not a client of Andrew Wiley’s for nothing, however, and his agent has come to his rescue, moving the book to David Rosenthal’s Penguin imprint Blue Rider Press for publication in January 2012.
Bernie Madoff’s prospective daughter-in-law is listed as co-author of a book that has been marketed anonymously to book sellers, leading The New York Times to speculate that the amusingly mysterious book is about him.
MobyLives wonders why Michael Hastings’ book was canceled by Little, Brown. They ask some questions: “Why would Read More
The New York Post is reporting that Little, Brown has canceled Michael Hastings’ still-untitled book, described in Publishers Marketplace as “‘an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of America’s longest war,’ with an unfiltered look at the war, and the soldiers, diplomats and politicians who are waging it.”
Little, Brown signed it up after Mr. Hastings’ Read More
Rolling Stone owned the media world for one week in June, when the magazine published Michael Hastings’ profile of General Stanley McChrystal. The piece instantly became national news when it hit the web on Tuesday, and by Wednesday General McChrystal was in President Obama’s office tendering his resignation.
We’ve learned that Mr. Hastings originally shopped Read More