What was supposed to be a discussion of the role of long-form journalism in the world of Twitter and Tumblr turned more into a wistful and vibrant defense of “elitism” in media. Throughout the entire two hour panel at the New School featuring an all-star panel of long form journalists — David Remnick, Ira Glass, Raney Aronson-Rath of Frontline and Stephen Engelberg of ProPublica and Alison Stewart (formerly of MTV News!), the host — the word “Twitter” was only mentioned but twice, while the discussion of the demographics of the audience for long-form journalism received loads of attention.
Among the more interesting revelations made during the Longform Storytelling in a Short-Attention-Span World panel organized by ProPublica on Wednesday, was the sheer amount of excess necessary to pursue in-depth journalism.
Ira Glass, host of This American Life (and an increasingly incisive media critic in his own right), said that half the interviews he conducts never make it on the air. Even when the first 48 episodes of the show were in production years ago, the $240,000 budget still allowed enough wiggle room to spike interviews, Glass said. Continue reading