Surely it’s the very thing that makes the New Yorker ‘America’s best magazine’ - its emphasis on long-form, thoughtful content over quick takes - that makes it bad at the internet? Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins (!) notes, for example, the hamstringing of newyorker.com’s blogs by the scandalous decision to actually check facts.
One former staffer said that until last year, newyorker.com only updated its homepage twice a day — once overnight, and once in the afternoon — and the content management system made it all but impossible to update stories. There was also, for many years, a mandate to run every blog item through the magazine’s rigorous fact-checking process, which made it “impossible to get anything up in a timely manner,” said the staffer.
This didn’t just result in a lack of readers; it dis-incentivized writers from contributing to the site.
God forbid that any publication should be allowed to privilege accuracy over speed.
Look: the internet has become a real-time, rapid-refresh medium, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to compete. The Atlantic’s path, of supplementing high-quality long-form print content online with frankly mixed-quality web content, isn’t the only viable solution. The success of Instapaper etc. shows that people want web access to longer, more complex pieces.