Friday, December 11, 2009

McSweeney's Broadside Valentine to Print Journalism

Leave it to Dave Eggers at McSweeney's to try to save print journalism (well, DON'T leave it to him, but appreciate his efforts). In the publisher's own words:


Issue 33 of McSweeney’s Quarterly will be a one-time only, Sunday-edition-sized newspaper—the San Francisco Panorama. It'll have news and sports and arts coverage, and comics (sixteen pages of glorious, full-color comics, from Chris Ware and Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman and many others besides) and a magazine and a weekend guide, and will basically be an attempt to demonstrate all the great things print journalism can (still) do, with as much first-rate writing and reportage and design (and posters and games and on-location Antarctic travelogues) as we can get in there. Expect journalism from Andrew Sean Greer, fiction from George Saunders and Roddy Doyle, dispatches from Afghanistan, and much, much more.

The folks at McSweeny's believe that if newspaper were better, more exciting reads, they wouldn't be so strapped for readers. Comments blogger Zach Dundas explains from a recent conversation with McSweeny's publisher Oscar Villalon, "papers need to realize that there are higher, better uses for their tactile, large-format pages than reprinting three-day-old David Brooks columns or intern-written high-school sports gamers. Though you wouldn’t know it to survey the abandoned-looking metal box on the average American city street corner, it is possible to design, shoot, write and edit a forward-thinking newspaper. Witness Mario Garcia’s recent redesign of Germany’s Handelsblatt, or any of Jacek Utko’s striking Eastern European dailies."

I've ordered a copy for Annenberg (for the holidays?). Along these same lines (items to sit down with over a latte between end of year paper writing or grading)... The Onion's Our Front Pages: 21 Years of Greatness, Virtue, and Moral Rectitude from America's Finest News Source is also on order.

January update: It came in and it's fabulous!

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