Meet Alex Han

In These Times is growing: We’re excited to announce that labor organizer and activist Alex Han has joined us as the new Executive Director.

Man, I could use an expense account

Adam Doster

The New York Observer printed this fairly weird think piece on the modern decline of the magazine writer. It argues that young people are spurning feature writing as the magazine industry contracts, turning instead to other ventures like blogging (where apparently they are just giving away jobs for $50k a year) or web writing. This, industry insiders suggest, is ruining the product magazines put out. I think in part because a lot of younger writers, instead of learning to write features, are going to the Internet and blogging. Blogging is great preparation for blogging, but not always great preparation for a career in journalism.” Guy Talese kicks it up a notch. These people don’t leave their fucking laptops,” he said. “It used to be, you would go outside. It’s leaving home, getting on a plane or a bus or a bicycle, and going somewhere. It doesn’t mean you have a fixed interview. It’s hanging around. On it's merits, I don't necessarily disagree with these sentiments -- blogging and long-form reporting are two very different skill sets, and moving back and forth between them is extremely tricky. But these critics can't have it both ways. In my short career, I've come up with an inconceivable amount of story ideas that I would have been thrilled to write, if only I could afford to do some on-the-ground reporting away from my teeny Chicago apartment. But on the rates I was being paid, it just wasn't possible, even for a guy who didn't have to put himself through college. So find new ways to pay writers, don't denigrate online long-form reporting, and quit your nostalgic blabbering.

Be one of the first

Help kick off the new era of In These Times! Without a media that brings people together and creates a written record of the struggles of workers, their voices will be fragmented and forgotten.

The mission of In These Times is to be that written record, and to guide and grow those movements.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, and that work starts today. Early support is the most valuable support, and that’s why we’re asking you to pitch in now. If you are excited for this new era of In These Times, please make a donation today.

Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Get the whole story: Subscribe to In These Times magazine.