Monday, May 18, 2009

New Newsweek sounds interesting - but is there no room for humor?

I really like the way Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham is talking about the focus of the "new" magazine, but wonder whether it's not a tad too serious.

Here's a summary of what he's going to do with the magazine, from his column.

"There will, for the most part, be two kinds of stories in the new NEWSWEEK. The first is the reported narrative—a piece, grounded in original observation and freshly discovered fact, that illuminates the important and the interesting. The second is the argued essay—a piece, grounded in reason and supported by evidence, that makes the case for something."

Frankly, I think that's not a bad description of what newspaper editors should be trying to provide in print. (The Web should be the news service.) But it's important that editors also tout the value of humor, of voice, of personality, of surprise. It's always worth remembering that the single part of a newspaper editors hear most about is the comics.

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