Clay Felker, “master of the magazine”

Clay Felker e un nume sinonim cu istoria revistelor americane – mai ales New York, revista pe care a inventat-o ÅŸi unde a oferit sanctuar multor dintre cei care au ajuns să definească jurnalismul narativ. Felker a murit ieri în New York, la 82 de ani. Media americană a explodat cu necrologuri care amintesc de ce Felker a fost unul unul dintre cei mai mari editori de revistă. Mai jos, o selecÅ£ie:

Din New York Observer, despre cum lucra Felker cu cei care scriau pentru el:

Amanda Urban: Clay had this thing: He wanted the reader to read through to the end. He didn’t want a knockout headline to give away the essence of the piece. Years later, I’d go to Jim Stewart’s journalism class at Columbia. Everyone is talking about a nut graf. I raised my hand and I said, “What the hell is a nut graf?” He says, “Does anyone here want to tell Binky what a nut graf is?” And someone said, “It’s like the second or third graf and tells you what the piece is about.” Clay would have fired you for that! No one wonder I don’t read past paragraph two or three with most stories

Tom Wolfe: Clay was always telling writers, “You work for me and I’ll make you a star.” I never heard him use that actual expression, but he made all of us feel, one way or another, that if we did, we’d be stars. And if you did well, he would really play you up; he wasn’t at all shy about awarding the credit. And as a result, everybody wanted to do well for Clay.

În New West, Robert Struckman îşi aminteşte lecţiile pe care le-a primit de la Felker.

Smart, funny, arrogant, cynical or irreverent point-of-view journalism, Clay insisted, had its roots in painstakingly thorough reporting. The end product could dismiss a sacred cow with a rude quip, but only if its foundation involved heavy-duty reporting. It’s a humbling idea for a young journalist, that the real work involves introducing yourself on some doorstep, far from any newsroom, and haltingly asking questions and writing down the answers. It’s not rocket science, but it’s far from easy. It’s labor-intensive. If you’re going to write about a place, you need to go there. It’s the fundamentals of all good journalism, almost boring in its simplicity.

Şi în The Washington Post, trendspotter-ul de serviciu Hank Stueve,r ne reaminteşte de ce iubim revistele.

People talk a lot about how magazines are doomed, how they always seemed better in some other previous permutation, and yet the love affair goes on. Just picking up a magazine, examining its cover, letting its subscription cards fall out onto the floor — something still works. (…) There’s this eternal hope in a new issue of a magazine. You don’t have to read it. You absorb it, take it to bed with you.

That, followed by the very essence of magazinedom: where to buy this stuff, what’s the very latest, who’s the very smartest, which doctor should lift your eyes, what’s the best steak in town. Felker cared about that just as much as the long narrative.


2 Responses to “Clay Felker, “master of the magazine””

  1. Electro Esquire : A Scrie on September 9th, 2008 1:51 pm

    […] frica e un motivator la fel de bun: “A great editor is motivated entirely by fear. Reading Clay Felker’s obits, I was reminded Clay himself once said he was afraid that television would completely […]

  2. Cea mai bună copertă americană a anului : A Scrie on October 7th, 2008 9:03 am

    […] o parte din povestea copertei. Restul câştigătorilor, aici. Despre revista New York am mai scris aici. Looking for personal, opinionated perspectives on the topic, the magazine solicited visual […]

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