Meeting Readers in New Places
Two of America's best and most important writers, the New York Times' Paul Krugman and the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg, now have blogs. Krugman, a world-class economist, shows some commercial savvy by giving his blog the same name as his upcoming book, The Conscience of a Liberal. Hertzberg, an impossibly lucid and passionate writer who once served as a presidential speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, stands out for his elegant style and sensible take on things, even in the talent-rich environment of the New Yorker. I recommend them both.
Meanwhile, Cleveland.com has recently launched Wide Open, an interesting experiment in pro-am online collaboration, in which it will host (in unedited fashion) four prominent independent political bloggers. It's the latest example of where the profession is headed: so-called "networked journalism," taking the best of print and online, and independent and traditional journalists, and serving them up in new and imaginative ways. That might make the lazy and/or paranoid hacks in both camps nervous, but so be it. In fact, the guy who coined the networked journalism term, Buzzmachine's Jeff Jarvis, has organized a conference on the subject next month in New York. It will be supported by none other than the visionary McArthur Foundation, famous for its "genius grants." Anyway, good luck to all these geniuses.