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.
This week’s New York cover is eye-catching, certainly: a cover story on mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his multiracial family, of whom the media can’t seem to get enough. (Dante’s hair! Chiara’s flowers and/or college! Chirlane McCray’s lesbian past!)
But there’s more to it than immediately meets the eye.
The MTA is rejecting New York magazine’s recent claim that the number of people struck and killed by trains so far in 2013 is “on pace to set a grim new mark.” Read More
Around the town
NYU’s Jay Rosen talked with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar about his decision to join forces with Glenn Greenwald in his new venture:
“Omidyar believes that if independent, ferocious, investigative journalism isn’t brought to the attention of general audiences it can never have the effect that actually creates a check on power,” Mr. Rosen writes, “Therefore the new entity…will have to serve the interest of all kinds of news consumers. It cannot be a niche product. It will have to cover sports, business, entertainment, technology: everything that users demand.” (PressThink)
Fall seems to be makeover season for the city’s top news sites.
September alone saw the redesigns of Slate and The New York Post, and this morning, New York Magazine announced it was joining the renovation club.
In this week’s issue of New York, the magazine’s editors addressed comments about a profile of mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner that ran in the magazine last week.
That profile, by contributing editor Mark Jacobson, got attention due to Mr. Jacobson’s fawning treatment of Mr. Weiner’s wife and Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.
We opened nymag.com this afternoon and noticed that something felt … off. Instead of the layout we were used to, the images looked bigger, different in a way that was hard to put a finger on. Then, we noticed a box in the upper-right-hand corner.
“Welcome! You have been chosen to preview a new version of the nymag.com homepage. You will see this page for a few weeks,” the text explained. “We’ll be asking for feedback throughout and would value your input. You are welcome to opt out at anytime.”
Around the town
Good morning. Why does the American media suck so much? That’s the question that Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, asked earlier this month. His answer? Liberal bias, of course.
But Conor Friedersdorf, the libertarian columnist at The Atlantic, has a more complex answer. Much of the reason that American media organizations fail to accurately cover important stories on a combination of audience interest and business pressures; cable news infotainment is more common than well-researched 10,000-word magazine pieces because most Americans prefer the former. (The American Conservative/The Atlantic)
New Grub Street
Grub Street, New York magazine’s food blog, will shut down their local food blogs that cover cities other than New York, they announced in a post this afternoon. The URLs for the local food sites, which covered Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston will be redirected to Grubstreet.com, starting later today.
But foodies located in those other American cities need not worry about going hungry–Grub Street is expanding its scope to become more national.
Remember when hyperlocal blogs were the future of news? Well, although The New York Times ended their partnership with New York University’s hyperlocal East Village blog after two and a half years, New York magazine is picking up the slack—and changing the name to something catchier, reports Nieman Lab’s Adrienne LaFrance.
Later this spring, the blog will relaunch under New York’s umbrella as Bedford + Bowery, and, as the new name suggests, will take the L train to cover Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick, as well as the East Village and the Lower East Side. So basically, they will cover the intersection of New York mag readers and NYU students.