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Newspaper stories are too long

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Michael Kinsley thinks reporters use too many words to get to the point.


    I agree. I don't need to read an 800-word gamer on a high school game.
  2. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    So Michael Kinsley needed 1,800 words to tell me newspaper stories are too long. Just because the Internet provides a seemingly infinite amount of space doesn't mean a writer has to actually try to use it all, right?
  3. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Shortening newspaper articles would be ridding them of depth and analysis, which is why anyone even picks up a paper nowadays.
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    On the list of reasons why people pick up a newspaper, "depth and analysis" is behind obituaries, police blotter, movie schedules and "just being old and in the habit."
  5. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    But on the list of reasons why newspapers are failing, having stories that are too long ranks about 88th on the list.
  6. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    To me, this is more a critique of predictable mediocrity than anything to do with length. And predictable mediocrity has a lot to do with why we're failing.
    We spend way too much space and time airing people's declarations of the obvious and reciting ancient history. This is especially true in daily political reporting.
    Better to tell the reader things they don't already know. Sometimes that take a six inch piece. Sometimes it takes a 45 inch analytical narrative.
    We should make more room for both, and less for 20-inch warmed-over process stories.
    But to suggest, as Kinsey does, that "internet news articles get to the point," is, well, horseshit. Much much diarreah of the mouth goes on online.
  7. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    I think many stories are way too long. But I think most of the problems we face have nothing to do with that.
  8. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    I thought the beauty of combining newspapers and the Internet (you know, back in the day of dial-up, screeching phone lines and garish color schemes) was that online stories could be longer and provide more depth. Now I find out it's the other way around and that the newspaper story is supposed to be long and the Internet version is supposed to short and sweet.
    Man, those Internet salesmen lied to me.
  9. Peytons place

    Peytons place Member

    I just have a problem with stupid rules, like no stories over 12 inches and such. I once worked for a paper that decided the readers just wanted short and succinct stories. I don't mind the succinct, but some stories merit more than 12 inches. I think treating a newspaper like the TV news, where every story takes 2 minutes is a bad idea.
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    That quote is roll-on-the-floor material.

    And he's basically bitching about the NYT and the Post. Long is what they DO. This is news to Mr. Kinsley?
  11. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    i've never had a reader call and bitch about any story being too long. but yeah, 800 words on a regular-season high school gamer is a little much.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Kinsley could have Tweeted this article and still had 100 characters left over to say something worth hearing.

    Although there has been a lot of whining on here recently about TMQ and Wright Thompson articles being way too looooooooooooong.
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