Last week, David Grann and I met in his office at The New Yorker, in midtown Manhattan. It is a glorious fire hazard because he doesn't throw anything away. Grann has been a staff writer at the magazine since 2003 and published two books, the enthralling The Lost City of Z, and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, a collection of his reportage. Stacks of papers related to finished stories ("That's Z, that's Cuba, that's Willingham…") line the walls, while the floor is devoted to a book-in-progress, as yet untitled, on the Osage Indian murders and the birth of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
For fans, a new [...]
From time to time, The Awl offers its space to everyday citizens with something to say.
I am a newspaperman. Before my freelancing days, my business card had the name of my paper, and under that it said my own name, and then: "Staff Writer." These days, I'm barely getting by as a freelancer, and my business card has a little graphic of a quill by my name.
I often think about how different the media landscape would be if newspapers had invested in killing off the "Web content" people once they became a clear danger to journalism.
Assassination is a nasty business, and I am against it. Still, you [...]
You know how something happens and you look at Twitter (or learn about it from Twitter) and people are going insane within seconds of finding out about this news that probably doesn't even have anything to do with their lives or industry? How do people get wildly upset about something they just heard about? Isn't that the job of bloggers?
This is now a proven aspect of Twitter. The Pew Research Center studied Twitter users and found "the reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys." And they're not just excitable and wrong, they're also [...]
Long ago, before foreigners got the Internet, a real pleasure of foreign travel was picking up the International Herald Tribune and reading the Dave Barry column and some "Classic Peanuts" on the half page of comics. There was news, too, but you already knew the headlines from the BBC World Service or SkyNews or CNN International playing in the hotel lobby. Still, it was nice to sit in a cafe and not work and read a good newspaper, especially one with such a romantic name: The International Herald Tribune.
There were a handful of really good columnists and reporters (especially on the Arts, Fashion, Food and Architecture beats!) who were [...]
As you may have seen on Twitter yesterday, Burger King was either sold to McDonald's or taken over by crazy people. Both would be an improvement, as Burger King has a reputation as "the fast food that even fast-food lovers don't like at all." There has always been something off about this hamburger franchise business, especially the marketing. That's why cynical people looked at the supposed hacking of @BurgerKing and figured it was just another desperate try to get anyone to care about the perennial No. 2 hamburger brand.
Yakkin' About The Internet is an ongoing series by Whitney Phillips and Kate Miltner. Whitney recently completed her PhD dissertation on trolls; Kate wrote her Masters thesis on LOLCats—yep! Up for discussion today: William Shatner's visit to Reddit, community moderation, and the complexities of "free speech" on the internet.
Whitney: Two weeks ago, William Shatner tweeted with Chris Hadfield, an astronaut stationed at the International Space Station. This resulted in the ENTIRE INTERNET BEING WON by Shatner, at least according to this Reddit thread. Apparently the 81-year-old Shatner got wind of the thread, and promptly created an account. He then proceeded to spend the next [...]
No seriously, which demons did you confront via social media this weekend? Meghan McCain, for one, was busy. My only beef here, I guess, is that when you want to get into it with someone, you actually have to call them. The whole "call me" thing just doesn't work. (via)