Tuesday, April 28, 2009

tomorrow's news outlets

Are GlobalPost and True/Slant the way of the journalism world? Maybe, but last time I checked, a True/Slant contributor was lifting all but a few sentences of content from the likes of Wired.com.(My blog is also populated primarily by links and little connector thoughts, but at least it's not advertised as anything more.) My initial reaction is that it's not clear just how different these supposedly new forms of journalism are from The Huffington Post or, say, Slate. GlobalPost strikes me as more substantive than True/Slant, although maybe that's because of the reflex to view foreign-affairs coverage, or even the desire to cover foreign affairs, as somehow loftier.The model is gutsy: A bet on subscriptions when the world is binge drinking free information. I'd like to see it succeed, but I have doubts.

In other news (p.i): New book deal in the works. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

wordsmithing

Good writing is about much more than a slick sentence or smart turn of phrase. Yet sometimes a turn can be so impressive that it knocks you out of your chair. Here are a few I ran across this week.

It's the sort of place [hotel] bankers stay because they think it's where the artists stay. -- Michael Lewis writing in Vanity Fair

[Freedom] means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
-- David Foster Wallace, speaking to Kenyon College graduates in 2005

the narcissism of small differences -- Jason Zengerle writing in The New York Times Magazine

And for good measure, a morsel of diction that didn't do it for me:

... protecting the existing biosphere is not as important as fighting more repugnant evils like war, poverty and unemployment. -- from The New York Times Magazine

Are there varying degrees of evil, let alone degrees of repugnant evils? Or is an evil just that--period?