In this devastating review of "The Story Paradox," @TimothyDSnyder calls news deserts a crisis of American storytelling. This brings to mind my contention that journalists make the mistake of calling their work "stories" v. "articles." 1/…
My journalistic problem with stories is related to my complaint yesterday about coverage of science. To tell a "story" is to need an alpha, an omega, and a neat arc in between. But science--hell, life--is a process without the neat endings journalism desires. 2/
I trust @TimothyDSnyder's judgment and so it's too bad the book is not an adequate examination of the presumptions, seductions, and perils of the story. I'd welcome that discussion. See, for example, les affaires Stephen Glass & Claas Relotius: 3/…
I don't condemn the story, only suggest we need be aware of how it affects journalism's form & mission. The earliest newsletters, avvisi, were bloodless chronicles in past tense, competing with the earliest newsbooks, which were heroic/tragic narratives. Journalism merged them.4/
What would process-based journalism look like? It might look more like education (which also uses stories) to impart information, skills, judgment, outcomes. Might journalism be Socratic dialogue? I don't know. I hope for experimentation of the possible. 5/
All this is why I'm teaching this course in a J-school: to get journalists to expand the canvas on which they do their work and imagine other means to meet our mission, beyond stories. 6/…
& all this is why I'm disappointed that @TimothyDSnyder reports this book is a Pinkeresque romp instead of an informed examination of the story as an institution in the context of the net, where people can tell their own. I wish for that book, that discussion. Recommendations? 7/
Relevant to all this, see my discussion of Alex Rosenberg's "How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories": 8/…

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More from @jeffjarvis

14 Dec 21
I think we might be seeing the last supernova of scale. Scale was required in the age of mass media but that age, my friends, is at its dusk. Every last newspaper trapped in the evil hedge-witch's cabin & pureplays all huddling against the cold are last-ditch efforts to be big.
Will mergers to scale make these companies better able to compete with Google, FB, et al? I think not. The platforms & the rollups will all fight over what is left of the attention-based ad market. That scrabble will go on for awhile.....
In the meantime, others try for scale outside of the ad market: Spotify trying to buy up all the podcasts; Substack trying to lure all the newsletter writers. Apart from some marketing advantage, I see no necessary role for scale in subscription products.....
Read 12 tweets
8 Dec 21
In a few minutes, @APettegree & @A_der_Weduwen will be discussing their new book here:
The Library: A Fragile History | LIVE from NYPL via @YouTube
Jane Kamensky asks the authors about collaborating on books (they've done 3 together). @APettegree is a generous scholar He is surprised there are not more cowritten books in the humanities (as in science). His partnership with @A_der_Weduwen has produced such impressive work.
.@APettegree said his one rule working with @A_der_Weduwen is that each accepts the track-changes made by the other with "no sulking." That is checking one's ego at the keyboard.
Read 15 tweets
8 Dec 21
Morning Joe's constant beseeching of "whither conservatism," would be pathetic if it weren't so delusional. We know what happened to the right. It is purely authoritarian and racist. There is no reclaiming a conservative movement or Republican Party. Get over it.
Now David Brooks sees an apparently positive future for "a Republican party that serves people without college degrees across race." The party of the uneducated. That is to say: those who can be duped. Thus the right's war on science, intellectualism, and the academy.
What's pathetic is that the media keeps propping up Trump as a newsmaker when he says nothing and makes no news. If they ignored him, his stock would fall. He is a phantom, that is all.
Read 4 tweets
6 Dec 21
@APettegree is the dean of book historians; I've devoured all his books. He & @A_der_Weduwen just published The Library: A Fragile History in the US. This Wednesday they'll be talking with @LIVEfromNYPL. I highly recommend signing up. I'll be there:…
Here is the book: The Library: A Fragile History. I'm digging in now and loving it.…
.@APettegree & @A_der_Weduwen were to be on book tour in NYC this week. I was so looking forward to meeting them & thanking Andrew for all he taught me while I researched The Gutenberg Parenthesis. Damned COVID: the tour is postponed. But I will watch their talk Wednesday.
Read 4 tweets
30 Nov 21
I am SO confused. Does this mean that if I take a picture of, say, a concert in Central Park, I need the permission of everyone in it? We diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public.…
Would this policy, for example, require receiving the permission of George Floyd and the police who murdered him to post video of the crime? The policy seems quite unclear to me.
Since when did Twitter become a German company? Since yesterday?
Read 4 tweets
26 Nov 21
My heart breaks. Stephen Sondheim is dead at 91. I am so grateful for the joy, wisdom, art, and light he brought to American culture and my life.
Rest in eternal admiration, Stephen Sondheim.
Finishing the Hat.
Read 4 tweets

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