Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Week: Back to the Future

Amidst the news of the NY Times latest “pay-per-view” scheme the same paper ran a fascinating piece on an upstart newsweekly called The Week that’s meeting surprising, if modest success at a time when periodicals and certainly general newsweeklies are in steep decline.

If you haven’t seen a copy, The Week is a tightly edited digest of what happened in the world the preceding week. It covers hard news, politics, culture and more; mostly by citing, mashing-up, and sometimes excerpting content from other sources. While their model works better in print than online, here’s an example of what they do: What happens if a Japan-sized earthquake hits California?, or this on business news: Is Groupon really worth $25 billion?

Intriguing about The Week is that it is in many ways a reprise of the publishing strategy envisioned by Henry Luce and his original partner Briton Haden for Time magazine in 1923. A story well told in The Publisher by Alan Brinkley.

As access to news and information explode The Week is finding, as Time did in its day, that readers value both the utility and art that sharp editors bring to netting out the stuff they’re interested in.

Governing Magazine Takes 1st at Neal Awards

Was very proud to receive word that Governing magazine took 1st place at the 57th Annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards competition, in the “Best Single Article” category.

The article receiving recognition is an excellent feature by Governing senior editor Zach Patton and tells a clear, straightforward story about Colorado Springs, Colorado and what happens to a local government when driven by an ailing economy and tax adverse voters to do “less with less”. Published last September it’s a prescient piece now being played out by increasing numbers of states and localities throughout the country. It’s also a great example of the kind of reporting that Governing’s talented writers and editors consistently turn out.