Monthly Archives: September 2005

Empire State, Late September (photo)


Yahoo Original Content

The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo is strengthening its original content.

The Internet company today will begin publishing columns about personal finance and investing by an array of writers, including such well-known names in the business press as Ben Stein, Robert Kiyosaki and Stephen Covey. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company has signed nine new columnists to write for its Yahoo Finance site and plans to hire as many as 30.

Yahoo’s move is part of a larger effort to add original news and entertainment programming to a Web portal that has long relied on media content provided by partners. The company hopes the original content will make its site more compelling to visitors and help it bolster advertising revenue, though it says it has no plans to become a traditional news organization.

The finance columns follow Yahoo’s announcement this month that it had hired journalist Kevin Sites, who has worked as an international correspondent for CNN and others, to report on global conflicts using video, audio and Web logs, or blogs. Mr. Sites’s first dispatches, from Africa, also are scheduled to be published on Yahoo’s site today. Yahoo’s sports pages already feature original commentary from a team of writers, including the former pro basketball players Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr.

And Journal columnist Terri Cullen on Friday discusses how you can know whether your blog is worth selling.

Free of the Golden Handcuffs

Writer/photographer Brian Palmer tells The Digital Journalist why he decided to go freelance.

Now my professional life is a smorgasbord. I write book reviews for newspapers and magazines. I shoot stills and video for my own projects and for media outlets, big and small. I do occasional field producing. I blog (infrequently, I must confess). I do all of these things because I must to pay my bills. But in a big-picture sense, I do it because I am compelled to. I made a decision three years ago to be both a journalistic juggler and to be an independent operator in the media world. Not only did I want to be my own assignment editor, I needed more control over my work. I needed to build the context for my own words and pictures after years of slipping them into established frameworks.

Independence is a bitch, financially and emotionally, and I have rough moments when I kick myself for leaving corporate comfort (rent day, for example). But I made the right choice. I have grown as a storyteller and journalist.

Most Prestigious Literary Magazines II

Earlier this month, I took a look to see which literary magazines have had the most success in the Best American Short Stories (BASS) anthology. Today I went through a similar exercise with the O’Henry Prize Awards – Prize Stories anthology. Every year, the series editor (formerly Larry Dark, now Laura Furman) selects 20 or so stories (from a shortlist of 50), which she gives to a panel of three jurors. These jurors then decided which stories are the best of the year. Naturally, given the nomination process, the anthology heavily reflected the taste of the series editor. Like BASS, The New Yorker came out on top in terms of number of appearances in the anthology during the four years I initially examined, but the other glossies also did well. Here are the magazines with at least three appearances from 2000 to 2003.

The O-Henry Awards

The New Yorker

The Atlantic Monthly


Harper’s Magazine
DoubleTake (3)

The Gettysburg Review



Zoetrope All-Story

O’Henry also names a “Magazine Award” winner every year. “This is determined by (1) the number of stories selected for Prize Stories […]: The O’Henry Awards, (2) the number and placement of stories among the top-prize winners, and (3) the number of short listed stories.” Again there is no surprise; The New Yorker, as a deep-pocketed weekly that has remained steadfast in its commitment to fiction, comes out on top.

O’Henry Magazine Award
1997 Epoch

1998 The New Yorker
1999 The New Yorker

2000 The Atlantic Monthly

2001 The New Yorker

2002 The New Yorker

I have not yet looked more closely at the Furman-edited anthologies, but I found the list of 2005 winners from the O’Henry web site. Here are what the results look like, amended to reflect Furman’s 2005 picks.

The O-Henry Awards
2000-2003, 2005

The New Yorker (20)
The Atlantic Monthly (8)
Esquire (6)
Harper’s Magazine (5)
Zoetrope All-Story (5)
DoubleTake (3)
The Gettysburg Review (3)

The Kenyon Review
McSweeneys (3)
Ploughshares (3)

The Threepenny Review

Now, if I can only find enough copies of the Pushcart Prize anthology to examine…

Update 9/21 – Cliff Garstang shares a link to a list of magazines (and their number of appearances in the anthologies) compiled by The Sand Hill Review’s Marty Sorensen. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t say which anthologies Marty analyzed.

Magnum Photos Intern

Martin Fuchs has been keeping a blog about his experience as an intern at Magnum Photos.

Wanluan Liquor Salesman (photo)

Wanluan, Taiwan

Wexler Wins New York Camera Club Competition

Eddie Wexler has won the 2005 New York Camera Club National Juried Photography Competition. The competition was judged by Sylvia Plachy.

Jazz at Greywacke Arch (photo)

Daily Nightly

Fascinating read to see NBC’s broadcast journalists writing on a blog called "The NBC Daily Nightly." Anchorman Brian Williams is one of the regular contributors providing additional coverage on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We have been used to seeing print journalists become talking heads on programs like the Sunday morning talk shows. Interesting to now see our better known broadcast journalists become print journalists. Cyberjournalist quote’s New York Times commentary ("An Anchor by Evening, a Blogger Any Time") on how Williams uses the blog to critique his network’s reportage.

One is the light he periodically sheds, in real time, on deliberations
among his "NBC Nightly News" colleagues, including their disagreements
on the evolving lineup of that night’s newscast. The other is the
criticism he occasionally levels at himself and the program when he
feels either has come up short.

But Cyberjournalist also points out how (relatively) little traffic the blog still gets.

Most Prestigious Literary Magazines

Many literary journals rest on their laurels. We base their prestige on the writers who once appeared in the pages, less on the quality of fiction they now publish. Good magazines can ossify. New magazines are formed by writers who feel shut out of what has become "the establishment." Writer Scotty Southwick once took the time to burn through the hype by looking at how well various magazines have done in the prize anthologies: Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize anthology and The O’Henry Awards. Maybe it is not the best way in which to judge a magazine, but how else can we "measure" a magazine’s relative prestige? I long hoped someone would update Scotty’s work, but this week I finally took it on myself to analyze 10 years of the BASS anthologies.

Most Appearances in BASS 1995-2004
New Yorker (44)
Ploughshares (18)
Atlantic Monthly (13)
Harper’s Magazine (10)
Story (10)
Tin House (6)
Esquire (5)
Missouri Review (5)
Antioch Review (4)
Triquarterly (4)
Zoetrope (4)

The names of the magazines that have been most successful in the BASS anthologies are not particularly surprising, given that they represent some long-standing institutions. The order surprises me somewhat. I did not know how superbly Ploughshares had outperformed glossies such as The Atlantic, Harper’s and Esquire. The New Yorker’s numbers are skewed by the fact that the guest editors
of the 2002 (Sue Miller) and 2004 (Lorrie Moore) anthologies each picked eight stories from the
magazine. The list also shows how journals, even respected journals, come and go. Relative newcomer Zoetrope has four appearances, while Story, with 10 appearances, is defunct. The Paris Review is notably absent in the list above.

Other journals with at least three appearances.

American Short Fiction
Georgia Review
New England Review
Ontario Review
Paris Review
Southern Review
Yale Review

The BASS selections are generally pulled from 100 stories from the past year nominated by series editor Katrina Kennison. Each year, a different guest editor makes the final selection of 20 or so stories that appear. A better analysis would look at that larger pool year on year to see how Kennison’s journal predilections have or have not changed. An even better analysis would take Pushcart and O’Henry into account as well.

See also: Most Prestigious Magazines II, a look at the O-Henry awards.