On long-form journalism…

Broadly pegged to the launch of Matter, Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson’s new publishing venture, I’ve put some thoughts together on long-form journalism and the internet.

You can read it over at the Press Gazette in full. Here are some extracts:

The growing market for smart devices is undoubtedly fuelling the demand for publications like Matter and giving post-print hope to weekly and monthly magazine publishers.

Twenty three per cent of visits to this site, for instance, come from people using Android-based phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads. That’s 150 per cent growth year-on-year. The weekday, office-hour peaks that used to define the patterns of internet consumption have been flattened by weekend and evening browsing as people lean back and, increasingly, luxuriate in longer forms of journalism. Among other things.

Yet this is not just about the tablet. Long-form works on the desktop too.

The single most read piece during my time running NewStatesman.com was Hugh Grant’s undercover interview with former News of the World hack Paul McMullan. It has 14,000 Facebook likes, just short of 12,000 retweets and has been read around a million times. And it runs to 3,000 words.

Matter is a digital publication down to its last pixel – from its commissioning model, to its micropayments and even its funding viaKickstarter – but it offers encouragement and a potential direction of travel for traditional publishers.

Continue reading

 

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