From Dan Cohen’s latest blog post

“I’m convinced that something interesting and important is happening at the confluence of long-form journalism (say, 5,000 words or more) and short-form scholarship (ranging from long blog posts to Kindle Singles geared toward popular audiences). It doesn’t hurt that many journalists writing at this length could very well have been academics in a parallel universe, and vice versa. The prevalence of high-quality writing that is smart and accessible has never been greater.”

Perhaps we need a word for such things? Such chunky and well-researched articles are always likely to be “headliners”, surrounded by smaller articles in a public publication. But as Cohen suggests, they’re increasingly likely to be dis-aggregated from the original publication, after which such a name would not make as much sense. Nevertheless, “headliner article” / “headliners” has a certain naturalness. It also carries with it a faint whiff of the rock star, since a “headliner” at a rock concert is the lead band or artist, and yet it also retains something of the journalistic in it. The rather Alice-like idea of “lining the inside of one’s head” (head-liner) is also implicit in the word, linking naturally with the activity of sitting down for an hour to attentively read a serious 10,000 words or so.

Advertisements