9 Responses to “Is the decline in longform newspaper journalism a good thing or a bad thing?”

  1. Tia shack

    As said in previous comments reading habits have changed. Many people look for reads to be short and straight to the point. People attention spans have shortened as well because there are so many other things that can distract them on the web. Therefore journalist have to go with what works best for their audiences.

  2. Bob Zack

    It seems newsworthiness is not directly proportional to the length of an article. There comes a point when the article dissipates into an editorial and readers don’t find a need to listen to self important (journalists?) opinions.

    Bob Zack

  3. Long form isn’t for reporting in my book. It is best for either publishing the results of large investigative journalism or for extended analysis and opinion.

    I love long form journalism which is why I am such an avid reader of The Atlantic.

    I only wish there was a better tradition of high quality long form journalism here in Australia.

    In the past it was the news magazines, the the newspapers that provided the best platform for long form. Time, Newsweek, and here in Oz The Bulletin.

    I still seek out good long form.

    What isn’t discussed here is the effect of atomising publication. When I bought a copy of Time I would read every word of some articles and skip over others – especially local stuff on sports in the USA. But the publishers really only knew that I subscribed. The weekly sale was what told them I was interested.

    Today’s online publishing system provide audience feedback at the article level. It was always the case that more long form articles were flicked through than read in depth.

    And the shorter the article the more likely it will be read in total by visitors. This distribution is not actually a certain indicator of interest – but also of effort.

    Now the signal is there and those who run the platforms are interpreting stay and click as reader satisfaction. Not so.

    The most asinine comment in this article is the implication that “features that can really come alive online” may be characterised by less effort and fewer words.

    What makes a piece come alive – even on the web – is the skill, thinking and word-craft of the author.

  4. The key problem is the fact that reading habits changed over the last years and most newspapers completely failed to adopt to a changing market. From my perspective this has nothing to do with paper vs. digital formats… it’s rather about the way and the format information are presented…

  5. Give a shout out anyone who actually read through this article.

    Throughout the read, my mind wanted to tear me off to some other unknown destination of the Web. I think I have been burned so many times by longform articles — especially on the Web — that just drag on and on without adding any more information. I am very hesitant to continue reading beyond the first few paragraphs of an article.

  6. Cathy Reisenwitz

    Haha. This is like saying that because dinosaurs don’t eat leaves anymore, no one does. CJR is taking the opportunity to study the bleeding edge of journalism and instead study its dying embers. You become what you focus on.