I think we all knew it was coming to this, but maybe not so soon. Ever since Tina Brown took over the once-prestigious newsmag, that Brit-shit ran the magazine like a tabloid, changing it from a weekly that was known for it’s in depth reporting and exhaustively researched stories into a print version of The Daily Beast, her joint venture with Barry Diller that reblogs stories broken by other outlets and publishes the casual musings of celebrity authors.
Today it’s difficult for a daily paper to break a story; by the time the morning edition arrives on your doorsteps it’s been tweeted, blogged, forwarded, and analyzed by sixteen talking heads. There’s no motivation for journalists to develop sources and work for months (or years) on a story to make sure the no minutiae is overlooked and each piece of the puzzle is intact. Jane Meyer and Hendrik Hertzberg are able to publish exhaustively researched pieces in The New Yorker that go beyond the whos and whys; can’t writers in other weekly mags?
I suppose that fault lies with the American reader rather than with the editorial staff and other magazines that are arriving in our mailboxes more emaciated than ever. All we want to know is the details of a story; we seem to have confidence that we can analyze the facts and make a judgement as to why an event occurred or the reasons behind a phenomenon rather than leaving judgements like those to the professionals.