Peg Journalism

You’ve often criticized “peg-driven” journalism. Why?

The “peg” is a sort of false reason for doing a story: “Let’s do a story about X because there is a movie coming out that focuses on this theme.” Or because it is “hot”, or some such blather. I’m not against a story having relevance. But I think of relevance in a somewhat broader sense than peg journalism. Relevance defined in a way that isn’t necessarily immediately apparent, or determined by the latest buzz or celebrity focus. […] When I called the peg “the self-destruction of magazine jounalism”, I meant that it has led some editors and journalists to write only the most contemporary, surface phenomena. Then magazine journalism becomes nothing more than a game with editors trying to guess what is going to be hot in thirty days, or two months. Rather than saying, “This is really exciting to me. It speaks to me. I didn’t know anything about it, and now I want to know more.”

[Interview mit Ron Rosenbaum, erschienen in “The New New Journalism“]

Link | 29. 09.2009 |