Leitura para o fim-de-semana: o campo de recrutamento do Estado Islâmico

Ninguém sabe quantos são. Podem ser centenas. Ou milhares. Sabe-se apenas que são muitos. Turcos, jovens, oriundos de bairros pobres de Istambul, que estão a ser levados por membros do Estado Islâmico para a região de Raqqa, na Síria, para engrossar as fileiras do mais perigoso grupo terrorista do mundo. A reportagem é da Newsweek.

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Exclusive: ISIS Starts Recruiting in Istanbul’s Vulnerable Suburbs

O papel morreu? A Newsweek vai regressar em 2014

Em Janeiro ou Fevereiro de 2014, a Newsweek vai voltar às bancas. Depois da fusão com o The Daily Beast e da passagem para o digital, o novo editor, Jim Impoco, está a preparar uma edição semanal com 64 páginas, mais próxima da The Economist do que da Time.

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A história oral da primeira grande revista a morrer

O último número da Newsweek dá-nos a primeira tentativa da revista de fazer a sua própria história. Os testemunhos recolhidos nesta história oral dão-nos a conhecer detalhes de bastidores, recordam episódios de como a revista era feita, de como era encarada a concorrência com a Time e de como se transformou no monstro de logística que acabou por levar ao seu encerramento.

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“Peter Goldman should be famous. As the voice of Newsweek from 1962 to 1988—the ace writer at a magazine read by as many as 20 million people each week—Goldman authored more than a hundred cover stories: assassination, race, politics, war. Friday after Friday he would pace the halls at 444 Madison Avenue, head lowered and bow tie undone, scouring thick files of reporting for nuggets of news and color to enliven the exquisite narratives that would spring from his Underwood Standard, fully formed, just in time for each Saturday close. Goldman may have done more to explain America to itself, week in and week out, than any other journalist of his generation.

And yet there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of him.

The reason is simple. Come Sunday, Goldman wouldn’t sprint to the set of Meet the Press. He didn’t tweet or Tumblr or Instagram. For the first eight years of his reign, he didn’t even have a byline. He wasn’this own brand, as every young journalist is required to be these days. And that’s exactly how he liked it.

So did Newsweek. At its best, Newsweek has always been about “the team game”: a bygone form of group journalism that’s less concerned with big-name bylines than with big, cooperative storytelling; a collective endeavor that aspires to serve the readers, not the egos of the journalists they’re paying to read.

Whenever news broke—JFK, civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, Diana, Monica, 9/11, bin Laden—the vast Newsweek apparatus would thrum to life. Reporting would flow into Manhattan from dozens of bureaus around the world; writers would hammer it into shape. Editors would revise, art and photo would design and illustrate, researchers would check, makeup would arrange, copy would polish, and production would usher it all out the door, usually at warp speed.

Goldman was not the exception; he was the rule. Culture editor Jack Kroll; graphics designer Karl Gude; production chief Ignacio Kleva; photo editor Guy Cooper; copy maven Tita Gillespie—each played the Team Game, as did thousands of others. Few got famous doing it.

For that reason alone, group journalism is unlikely to come roaring back anytime soon. It’s far too cumbersome, and not nearly profitable enough, for most 21st-century media companies to countenance. But its serious, unselfish spirit is worth celebrating, and the pages of Newsweek’s final print issue seem like the right place to do it.

What follows, then, is the first behind-the-scenes oral history of the magazine, which has been compiled from dozens of original interviews and a handful of published memoirs (including Lynn Povich’s The Good Girls Revolt, Oz Elliott’sThe World of Oz, and Ed Kosner’s It’s News to Me).

The sex. The money. The booze. And all the fine work that a bunch of team players somehow managed to turn out together, in their spare time.

Henry Hubbard, congressional correspondent (1959–85): I started atNewsweek as a science writer in 1959, before the Grahams bought it. It was the land of the living dead.

Osborn “Oz” Elliott, editor (1961–76)Newsweek was a shambles. The whole staff was shot through with drunks, incompetents, and hacks. The basic offering was a bland and unexciting rehash of the week’s events. And while Newsweekwas started as an alternative to Time, its managers never really considered it a competitor.

Hubbard: But once the Grahams came in, in 1961, it was night and day.

Elliott: Phil Graham loosened the purse strings on every front, enabling me, editorially, to hire competitively. The money that Graham made available prompted us all to think big. [As Graham put it in a 1963 speech to Newsweek’s foreign correspondents,] “I revel in the recitation of the daily and weekly grist of journalism. Much of it, of course, is pure chaff. But no one yet has been able to produce wheat without chaff … And not even such garrulous romantics are Fidel Castro or such transcendent spirits as Abraham Lincoln can produce a history which does not rest on a foundation of tedium and detail—and even sheer drudgery. So let us drudge on about our inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of a history that will never be completed about a world we can never understand.”

One of Elliott’s most important early hires was Goldman, then “a 29-year-old reporter/rewriteman for the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat” who was “hungry to move up from Double-A ball to the big league.” In the summer of 1962, Goldman flew from Missouri to Manhattan and finagled an audition. He was tasked with writing a “200-line takeout on some obscure D.C. policy debate.” 

Peter Goldman, writer (1962–88): I was due back in St. Louis on Friday, so Thursday was my last day, and I’d only written a couple of paragraphs when Bill Roeder, the Newsmaker writer, invited me out for lunch.

We had a bite and a couple of drinks, so I had a light buzz going when I got back to my desk and my Underwood Standard. I’d hacked out another paragraph or two when Joe Carter, then the Nation editor, loomed in my doorway and said, “Let’s go across the street for a drink.”

“Across the street,” as it turned out, meant the bar at the old (and now long departed) New Weston Hotel, a favored Newsweek watering hole on the far side of Madison Avenue. We ordered drinks, a martini for him, a Jack and water for me. Carter never quite said he wanted to hire me; instead, he asked, “What would you do if I came to you at the end of three months and said you hadn’t worked out?”

“I’m young,” I said. “I’d find a job somewhere.” You could still realistically say that in olden times.

Joe waved for a second round, and by the time we got back to the office, I was well beyond buzzed; I was still trying to get my fingers on the right keys when Gordo appeared in my cubicle and said, “Let’s go across the street for a drink.”

By this time, Gus, the bartender at the New Weston, would’ve been within his rights to 86 me, but a drink appeared, and after a swallow or two, I got seriously brave about negotiating a price. Gordon wanted to hire me for the Guild minimum, then $10,400 a year. That was nearly $4,000 more than I was making in St. Louis, but I said it wasn’t enough. Gordon upped the ante to $11,500. I took another swallow or two and said I wanted moving expenses, too. He said OK. We had another drink to seal the deal and headed back to 444 [Madison Ave, Newsweek’s offices].

When we got upstairs, I looked in on Carter and said, “Sir, I’ve got a start on that takeout, but I’m not sure I’m in shape to write it.”

“Forget it,” he said. “We don’t need it. Welcome aboard.”

Continua aqui.

O fim do papel está a chegar

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Uma revista que custava 42 milhões a imprimir

Daqui a um mês a Newsweek deixa de ser publicada em papel. Tina Brown, a sua célebre editora, dá uma bela entrevista à New York Magazine onde conta algumas histórias sobre a própria revista (que explicam em parte a sua falência) e fala sobre o futuro das newsmagazines. Ficam aqui algumas passagens.

Was it really losing $40 million a year?

I’m not supposed to reveal the exact numbers. But I will tell you it cost $42 million just to print Newsweek.

Wow.

Before you’ve even engaged one writer, or one copy editor, or one picture editor. Forty-two million dollars.

That’s sort of a good piece of evidence for the idea that magazines ought to go online.

That was the thing. We just looked at it in the spring, and everything, every trend, suggested this was never going to change. It’s not like you felt it was a temporary advertising situation.

(…)

Newsweek, in its heyday, had correspondents all over the world.

Thirty bureaus.

Thirty bureaus.

You know, it was very funny—when I looked at the document of sale, it was like the vestiges of the great galleon it had been. It was like that wreck of the Titanic in the James Cameron film—they’re swimming through the rooms, and you see the chandeliers. Every so often, you would swim around a corner and see a chandelier—things like private dining. You suddenly realize, this was an era when there were things like private dining rooms.

Yes.

When [Washington Post publisher and Newsweek owner] Kay Graham arrived in a foreign city, she was really like the State Department—the Newsweek bureau would be there to greet her. And that Newsweek bureau would immediately get her an interview with, you know, Ferdinand Marcos.

She had a private chef at Newsweek. And when she wasn’t in town, I remember the editor at the time, Bill Broyles, got to use the chef.

I know.

How much of that is unnecessary?

It’s totally unnecessary.

(…)

In ten years, will we still have newspapers on paper?

“No” is the short answer, unless printed at home via the web.

Will the current corporate structure ­survive—Time Warner, News Corp., the New York Times?

It’s really, really difficult for the old behemoths to stay nimble in an era of such disruptive innovation. Elephants can’t tap dance. New empires can be built so fast, as we saw with Facebook and Google. I very much doubt by mid-century most of the major-brand media companies will still be dominant.

What about Time?

I think Time is upheld by being part of a huge corporation with all these other titles. It hasPeople magazine and Sports Illustrated. It’s in the umbrella of so much support, so it’s got a longer life. But I personally think that within two or three years, you’re going to be seeing the same story.

I think a lot of magazines are going to have to go online. There will be magazines, but a lot of magazines are going to decide that with basic, inherent costs, the fact that advertisers want to now be in digital, combined with the reading habits of all of us—they’ll decide that print doesn’t make any sense.

(…)

Well, this is not about me. What about Facebook?

No, I don’t use Facebook. I absolutely don’t want to stay in touch with everybody in my past. I really believe in falling out of touch with people.

Wow.

There’s something very healthy about not seeing someone for three years, not knowing what they’re doing, running into them, and finding that they’re now utterly changed. You know, they have gray hair now and they’re divorced. If I was on Facebook, I would know all those things, and I don’t want to know them.

A Newsweek chega ao fim… em papel

É verdade que a revista já não é o que foi nos tempos áureos. Mas também é verdade que a Newsweek está muito melhor desde que Tina Brown ocupou o lugar de directora e fundiu a revista com o site The Daily Beast. É por isso uma surpresa o anúncio de que a Newsweek vai publicar o último número impresso a 31 de Dezembro. A partir daí, só na versão online e para subscritores. Os argumentos são conhecidos e foram usados recentemente por cá:

“At the same time, our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast. Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution—a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism. By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.

Currently, 39 percent of Americans say they get their news from an online source, according to a Pew Research Center study released last month. In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”

Mais do que uma notícia triste, parece um prenúncio do que irá acontecer um pouco por todo o mundo.