Less is more … short is smart … brief is beautiful
: David Shaw laments the shortening of stories in American journalism. Of course, he does. He writes (too) long. (Oddly, this is the shortest story I’ve read from Shaw; guess he doesn’t have a lot to say about saying a lot.)
I will defend short. I had to defend short when I started Entertainment Weekly. I still defend it on the web. Long does not mean smart. Long usually means under-edited. It is a rare long magazine or newspaper opus — or NPR odyssey — that keeps my interest until the end and that’s not because of nascent ADD; it’s because the writer or editor had too little judgment or too much ego to cut out the unnecessary stuff. That is their job; that is the key service they provide. If I want to read, listen to, or watch too much I can now that the Internet gives me plenty of source documents. What I pay for from professional media is good editing.