David Remnick on Blogging vs. Journalism

Since taking the helm of The New Yorker in 1998, David Remnick has returned the magazine to its profitable glory days. A graduate of Princeton University, he began his journalistic career as a night police reporter at the Washington Post in 1982, becoming the paper's Moscow correspondent in 1988. His coverage of the Soviet Union's collapse led to his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1993 book "Lenin's Tomb." His latest book "The Bridge," is a biography of President Barack Obama. He lives in New York with his wife, Esther Fein, and their three children.

  • Transcript


David Remnick: Are bloggers journalists? I think bloggers are bloggers, and there are good ones and there are lousy ones.

You know Andrew Sullivan is a really good blogger. He has four or five issues he’s passionate about. He has a couple of good Webbie ideas, like readers sending their pictures out their windows. He’s good at it.

There are political blogs that are good at it. There are specialty blogs that are good at it.

Are there a lot of bloggers who are doing what you and I understand to be the conventional reporting work of a Bob Woodward, or a Seymour Hersh, or a Jane Mayer or whatever? Not a lot. It’s expensive, consuming, and it’s not bloggy. You can’t do it five, six times a day.

On the other hand, Joshua Micah Marshall does a good job by continually linking to things that he thinks that you should be as obsessed with as he is. And what you’re reading with him; you’re staying with a certain political sensibility. It’s interesting.

So to me, the question is not, are they journalists or not journalists? It’s just obviously a new form, a different form. And there are good ones and there are bad ones.


Recorded on Jan 7, 2008