By Jacqui BanaszynskiNo future for narrative? No support for longer pieces? No value in for print?
The folks at The Guardian bravely beg to differ — and bully to them for that.
As our sister publication, Nieman Lab, reported this week, the U.K.-based “newspaper” is taking its popular in-depth journalism back to print, packaged, designed and published in a bound “bookazine” to be sold at select British outlets. It will be sold as The Guardian Long Read Magazine, which pings off “The Long Read” family of stories now posted online or available in podcast form.
Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton explains the move in detail, including what happened to similar efforts in the near past and the challenges going forward. If you’re one of the many reporter-writers out there who feel there’s no love for those hefty pieces you yearn to do, mix yourself a proper gin-based cocktail or put some milk in your tea and give it a read. You can also read about how The Guardian approached design of the magazine or listen to a podcast about the venture.
Meanwhile, two notes from me:
I referred to The Guardian as a “newspaper” in quotes. Yes, it is a newspaper, but most of you who read it probably do so online. Platform matters, but even as traditional newspapers move to mostly online, they practice a type of journalism I think of as the purview of print.
Second, I try to find other terms besides “longform” to describe meticulously reported and deliciously written nonfiction stories. Yes, many — maybe most — are longer than daily news reports. But I think the quality of a piece should be measured by substance — not length.