Mashable is reporting on how the New Yorker has employed a music industry technique to engage with its readers by demanding that they ‘like’ a Facebook page before they can read a story.
The magazine has put an article by author Jonathan Franzen behind a ‘wall of likes’ by making it necessary for Facebook users to engage in order to gain access. Franzen’s piece, which is about coming to terms with the death of friend and fellow author David Foster Wallace, appeared in the print version of he magazine but not on the website.
To read the story online (it will appear in print, but not in full on the New Yorker‘s website), users have to go on the Conde Nast title’s Facebook Page and “Like” it. The title’s Facebook Page has about 200,000 fans. “Our goal with this isn’t just to increase our fans,” says Alexa Cassanos, a spokeswoman for the New Yorker. “We want to engage with people who want to engage on a deeper level.”
A photojournalism student from the University of Gloucestershire has had her work selected and commented on by Elisabeth Biondi, visual editor of the New Yorker.
Along with other final-year students on the photojournalism and documentary photography course, Deborah Coleman submitted a small selection of images from her major project on the Wootton Bassett repatriation to Source, a photography magazine.
Four students from other universities have also had their work analysed by Biondi for the magazine’s website.
What would you do if you were sent a $20,000 cheque for what the reader believes is an outstanding piece of journalism? That’s what happened to Atul Gawande, for a piece on healthcare in the New Yorker last summer. It came from investor and philanthropist Charlie Munger, business partner of philanthropist Warren Buffett. HuffPo reports that Gawande donated it to a hospital.
“[Gawande] had an article last summer that was absolutely magnificent,” Buffett said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday morning. “My partner Charlie Munger sat down and wrote out a check for $20,000 to him and he’s never met him, never had any correspondence with it, he just mailed it to the New Yorker and he said, ‘This article is so useful socially. He says,’ Just give this as a gift to Dr. Gawande.’
A rep for the New Yorker tells the Huffington Post that Gawande did not accept the money personally. Instead, he accepted it as a donation to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Surgery and Public Health for an international health project they are working on in coordination with World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiology and the World Health Organization. The project aims to “distribute oxygen monitors in developing countries with inadequate surgical safety equipment.”
“If you had a single piece of advice to offer young journalists, what would it be?”
“The issue is not writing. It’s what you write about. One of my favorite columnists is Jonathan Weil, who writes for Bloomberg. He broke the Enron story, and he broke it because he’s one of the very few mainstream journalists in America who really knows how to read a balance sheet. That means Jonathan Weil will always have a job, and will always be read, and will always have something interesting to say. He’s unique. Most accountants don’t write articles, and most journalists don’t know anything about accounting. Aspiring journalists should stop going to journalism programs and go to some other kind of grad school. If I was studying today, I would go get a master’s in statistics, and maybe do a bunch of accounting courses and then write from that perspective. I think that’s the way to survive. The role of the generalist is diminishing. Journalism has to get smarter.”