Remnick Interviewed

David Reminck, editor of the New Yorker, gives an interview here that largely deals with how the New Yorker seems to survive at a time when other magazines and newspapers seem to be struggling. Other publications have cut back on indepth content, and have resorted to flashier, breezier pieces for the most part. The New Yorker, on the other hand, keeps up the tradition of longer articles and keeping in content such as fiction and poetry. It has a million or more readers, in this supposed age of "the death of reading."  One bit Reminick notes is that as long as his writers produce accurate stories, they have more authority with the piece; they write to their own style, and style does draw a reader in (not to argue that content isn’t necessary).

As far as newspapers go, I think many would be better off if their writers were allowed to show their style, rather than conforming so much to the bland voice of the Associated Press. Working in the newspaper biz, even on a small scale, I find myself hardpressed to read a bland wire story, even on a serious subject. And it’s hard to find good feature writers like Rick Bragg (though he got caught in the backlash of the Blair scandal at the New York Times) with an individual voice. Although, if you read his stories in the collection Somebody Told Me you’ll notice slips into the AP voice, that make even the best of his stories somewhat bland, and makes me wonder how much a copyeditor changed the info to fit to the Times style guide?


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