Connections: The Value And Standards Of Long-Form Journalism

Jul 26, 2016

"I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes measuring six by fourteen inches in the ceilings of more than a dozen rooms. Then he covered the openings with louvred aluminum screens that looked like ventilation grilles but were actually observation vents that allowed him, while he knelt in the attic, to see his guests in the rooms below."

So begins the long-form journalism piece called "The Voyeur's Motel." The author, Gay Talese, is one of the leaders of the form known as "New Journalism." But Talese's latest piece has stirred all kinds of controversy, from questions of ethics, to gaps in fact checking. It's even sparked debates about the perils of long-form journalism itself.

Our panel discusses the value of long-form writing in a 140-character world, and the standards we should expect. Our guests:

  • Jack Rosenberry, associate professor and department chair of communication/journalism at St. John Fisher College
  • Mary Stone, senior editor/writer for Post Magazine
  • Eric Grode, regular contributor to the New York Times culture section and director of the Goldring Arts Journalism Program at Syracuse University