Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The New Yorker. Now more precious.

A while back I wrote about print publications — which ones would live and which ones would die. Basically, my theory is that the print publications that are precious to their readers — the ones that people resist putting in the recycling bin — are the ones that will endure.

Newsweek seems hell bent on bringing my predictions to fruition even faster than I had scheduled. Meanwhile, one of the publications that I said would live, The New Yorker, continues to evolve and improve.

Of course, The New Yorker happens to be my favorite magazine. Ever. But rather than remain static, David Remnick et al continue to improve it in small but important ways.

For years, the back page was devoted to some sort of commentary. Sometimes humor, sometimes not. It was, like most of The New Yorker, really well done.

But it wasn't precious. There was other material like it elsewhere in the magazine. So, recently, The New Yorker began to devote the back page to a weekly cartoon caption contest. They provide the famous cartoon and readers get a chance to write the caption. It's online, so it's very easy to do. The magazine staff picks three finalists and lets readers choose a winner.

Engaging. Rewarding. Evolving.

So as an increasingly irrelevant magazine is retracting stories, a great magazine is becoming even more interesting to its readers.


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