In many ways, I am an old-fashioned kind of guy. I like to read physical books – the smell of a new book, the feeling of turning pages, the experience of holding a physical entity in one’s hands while reading. I love penmanship, fountain pens and notebooks.
And I love to read long form journalism – with nuanced opinions, thoughtful arguments not compressed in USA Today style 8-line,15 sentence paragraphs.
So, as I sat thinking through what I really read to get my news and current affairs analyses, the following come to mind:
Foreign Affairs magazine: The gold standard in long-form journalism focused on current affairs analyses and, as the name suggests, geopolitical issues and foreign affairs. The magazine is a joy for the likes of us – a thick tome published every two months in large typeset with essays, opinions, book reviews and issue based debates from very eminent writers and thinkers across the globe. Published by the Council on Foreign Relations – it is surprisingly non-partisan. The website is a great supplement – though it requires a subscription to the magazine for full access.
The New York Times: Don’t think it requires any elaboration. Not a long form as the Foreign Affairs magazine – but it is a newspaper. Delightfully informed journalism and recently, fantastic web-only features on their web-site – like this one. Of course, the weekend NY Times Magazine offers much more longer, leisurely articles – but to me, this is the best of breed in newspapers.
The Atlantic Magazine / The New Yorker: Grouped them together for a reason. I used to be an avid New Yorker reader. Got introduced to The Atlantic while browsing through magazine racks at an airport waiting for a delayed flight. And was hooked. But then I realized that both magazines are intrinsically similar. Liberal leaning, smart, eclectic articles. Funny, informed, intelligent.
The Caravan magazine: Perhaps the best long-form journalism magazine from India. Sort of reminds me of Outlook Magazine -but much more of an interesting read. Covers politics, current affairs and a host of india centric themes.
Scroll: This is a new age media web-only news site. Slick, thoughtfully designed and representing different views – it sort of hooked me enough for me to check it everyday. It isn’t strictly long form – but does attract very well written articles – more like a curated blog than a traditional magazine – but it certainly has me hooked. Highly recommended if you are into reading India centric news. Could be refreshed a little more though – seems like they are a startup – with not a very substantial editorial staff.
In addition, in the era of smartphones – how can one ignore podcasts. The following are subscribed to on my mobile device currently:
- Left, Right and Center – from KCRW (NPR)
- This Week – from ABC
- Face the Nation – CBS
- Meet the Press – NBC
- GPS by Fareed Zakaria – CNN
- BBC World Service
- Real Time with Bill Maher – HBO