Five remedies to get your longform journalism fix
Think short blog posts and articles are all the rage online right now? Think again. The popularity of longform journalism is rising- and as one CNN interview with Politico longform editor Susan Glasser put it- longform content is experiencing a rebirth.
Thanks to longform journalism, the quality writing expected of bona fide journalists is just as powerful and real online as it has been in print. To get your fill of longform writing online, here are five great sources to check out:
Nowhere Magazine (number 5 on our list) may be unfamiliar to you, so consider it one of the revivalists of the longform travel writing movement. Nowhere Magazine's founder and editor Porter Fox created the publication four years ago because of the dearth of online travel stories more than 1,200 words.
Read on for Fox's view on where longform content is going next:
"I found that stories got shorter and shorter," Fox, who has been working in travel media for 15 years, said. The stories were not so much about the travel experience but about recommendations for readers.
When he reached out to colleagues about his new magazine, he was overwhelmed by the positive response. Many others are also missing the kind of in-depth articles found in publications like The New Yorker, Harper's or The Atlantic.
"The truth of the matter is that there needs to be variety," Fox said. "Now that everything is short hits, people want something more substantial."
Thankfully, popular websites like Huffington Post are answering the need for longer, more in-depth articles. There have been recent additions in staffing at major blogs such as Politico to ramp up this type of journalism. One of the latest to pop up is Epic Magazine, spearheaded by Joshua Bearman, known for his writing that inspired the hit movie "Argo."
Fox said the New York Times travel section is still one of his go-to spots for reading about meaningful travel experiences that aren't truncated to a few hundred words.
"I still read the section. It's fantastic," he said.
Another one of the major players the future of longform content is Vox Media, whose three sites are garnering hundreds of millions of pageviews for their deeper reporting on sports, technology and gaming.
However, one of the challenges of long-form writing is finding material relatable to different kinds of people. The industry seems to be dominated by white males because those are the people who are writing the most stuff. For that reason, Fox is always excited to get great reads from women or those of different ethnicities. He raved about articles for Nowhere from Jan Morris and Evelyne Trouillot.
Though Nowhere is available in print, he said 90 percent of the magazine's readers are online or downloading the offline versions for tablets. The concept of longform writing is bursting thanks to e-readers and tablet PCs.
In fact, Fox is happy to report Nowhere is expanding. Their tablet format is being relaunched on an innovative publishing platform called Publet, which will use HTML5 technology and offer pre-formatted designs. He likened it to the Wordpress of tablet publishing.
The market for quality journalism is changing and readers are accepting it. It's such a refreshing thought to know there are places out there to feed the need for more than a quickie blog post.
What do you think? Is the longform content movement here to stay? What's your favorite site for longer, in-depth articles and stories?
Williesha Morris has been a lover of writing since before she knew how to spell and has loved journalism since 6th grade. She is currently a freelance writer and administrative consultant in Alabama. Read more from her on My Freelance Life.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Photo: Screenshot from Nowhere Magazine