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Any future for long-form?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by young effin dud, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. young effin dud

    young effin dud New Member

    Thought I'd pose this question to the board. For those of us younger reporters who dream of landing a job as a takeout writer someday (whether it be for a newspaper, magazine, or web site), is there any reason to think those kinds of jobs will still be around in the decades to come?

    It seems that as media moves to the web, there is an increased emphasis on video and audio, and "written" stories tend to be shorter.

    Do you think the emphasis on long-form, narrative stuff is likely to continue decreasing? Or will readers always desire those kinds of stories?
  2. mdpoppy

    mdpoppy Member

    Books are still around after all this time, aren't they?
  3. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    So sooo cynical. And so sooo true.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    There will also be a certain amount of people who want to comfort of a folded newspaper or fresh magazine in their laps. At an airport where the wifi is expensive, on road trips, and at hundreds of other places I am surely forgetting.

    There will always be a need, just maybe not as big.
  5. ServeItUp

    ServeItUp Active Member

    Long-form journalism surely is headed to the Web and magazines while my last two newspapers treat readership surveys that say readers want shorter stories and little nuggets of information like they came down from Mount Olive on stone tablets.

    At the same time, what we now traditionally think of as enterprise should take different forms sometimes, like the late Van McKenzie's "charticles" or a number of short vignettes. The comment about books is spot-on, by the way, which is sad because of the four people on my desk, only two of us have read a book in the past year.
  6. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    No offense, but that may say as much about your desk as it does about the state of the book industry. Seriously, I do not understand people in our business who don't read (and I know too many of them). Go sell insurance or something.

    As to the question, yeah, I know the fear of that, too. But I think there'll always be a place for long-form/narrative/take-outs/whatever you want to call it. Because there's a demand for storytelling and analysis, and there's still no one who can fill that demand better than newspapers (and magazines, I suppose, but same difference in this case). It might migrate to the web, it might incorporate more types of media and take different forms. But it's still story-telling. And the need and demand for it won't go away.
    Or maybe I'm just an optimistic narrative/takeout writer who needs to think he'll still have a job in 10 years.
  7. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    The toilet.
  8. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    I think there will always be a niche for narratives and great story-telling, but I think it'll evolve to where doing "long-form" story-telling isn't just 50 inches of story plus a few big photos. It will evolve to incorporate other platforms and media, and the people producing (note: producing, not just writing) these narratives will have to evolve to think: What's the best way to make the audience experience this story? Is it giving them 50 inches of riveting text? Or is it a package of writing, photos, multimedia, and interactivity? The answer will be different each time. The audience would still spend as much time with such a package as they would with a 50-inch story, but the information would be presented to them in a more varied manner. If your goal is to do great story-telling, you will always have an important role. It's just that the craft of great story-telling will expand to include more than just writing, so your skill set and your way of thinking about effective narratives must expand as well.
  9. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    I don't know if I should be embarrassed to say this or if it's just a statement on how our society has changed, but I've been at home reading a story on the computer when nature called and taken the laptop into the bathroom with me.

    Sometimes, you just need something to read.
  10. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Same here. I just think there's a large enough segment of the population that don't have laptops so that's not an option.
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