Literary world weighs in on newspapers

Dave Eggers announced that the next issue of McSweeney's, the literary journal he founded, would be in newspaper format.  He said they wanted to show that the newspaper was viable if done in an interesting, colorful fashion.  One imagines the next issue, then, will be a full, hands-on display of this potential.   Read More.

McSweeney's is a quarterly literary journal publishing fiction, started by Eggers in 1998 (a few years later he became known for his book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius).  Every issue is in a different format---showing their ingenuity when it comes to publishing.  Also, Eggers and the McSweeney's franchise keeps busy with public services (see his TED talk), so weighing in on newspapers, and trying to help, is not an unlikely step.

In a recent speech, he said that anyone who felt negative about the future of publishing should email him.  Here is an excerpt from the email he's sending in response, which lays out his vision for how to solve the newspaper crisis.  But in the same way that McSweeney's is sustainable as a niche product of indie publishing, this is probably only a viable answer for the creation of a few indie, artistic newspapers:

And paying for the physical paper begins with creating a physical object that doesn't retreat, but instead luxuriates in the beauties of print. We believe that if you use the hell out of the medium, if you give investigative journalism space, if you give photojournalists space, if you give graphic artists and cartoonists spaceif you really truly give readers an experience that can't be duplicated on the web— then they will spend $1 for a copy.

Read More:

From the New Yorker blog, "Dave Eggers Reassures," an announcement about the McSweeney's newspaper issue.

Opinion piece from the website Splice Today, includes the full letter by Eggers.