Watching the Media Watchdogs
Our media watchdogs require close watching. It's been an article of faith for Nation editors and readers since the founding of the magazine. In recent decades, Nation writers--from Alex Cockburn to Eric Alterman, among others--have provided smart, often witty, media coverage. I'm excited for the chance to join this tradition, and take it to new terrain as writer and editor of The Nation's first blog devoted to highlighting the best and worst of current media (print, digital and broadcast) several times a day.
The "Media Fix" blog will be launched in April. Until then, you can follow the blog's new Twitter feed, @MediaFixBlog. It offers a snapshot of where we're heading. I hope you take a look today.
Every day at the blog we'll probe the latest media outrages, and uncover a few ourselves, while also providing links to important articles and blog posts at other sites (both mainstream and alt-), along with essential or amusing video. Since this is The Nation, we'll pay special attention to media politics and media culture. If not 24/7, it will often be 16/6. Others in The Nation family, and perhaps even readers, will contribute. We'll try to have some fun with it as we go along.
For me, it's feels like a match nearly forty years in the making.
I first met Victor Navasky in 1970 when his Monocle shared office space with the short-lived magazine, Zygote, that drew me to New York. A few years later, as senior editor at the legendary Crawdaddy, I interviewed Nation editor Carey McWilliams. When Crawdaddy folded, we handed off our office space at 72 Fifth Avenue to The Nation (our owner, Alf Knobler, was a major supporter of the magazine). As years passed, Navasky liked to update me on exactly how many Grateful Dead or Bruce Springsteen stickers remained on the walls in certain areas of the office.
I wrote my first piece for The Nation in 1979--on Bertell Ollman's "Class Struggle" board game. Around 1980, I organized the first Nation softball team, where I met David Corn, Richard Lingeman, Kai Bird, Ham Fish and Amy Wilentz, among many others. Corn later worked for me when I edited Nuclear Times magazine; so did Maria Margaronis. Researching my books The Campaign of the Century, on Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California in 1934, and Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, I explored Carey McWilliams's papers at UCLA. (Katrina vanden Heuvel, as an intern at The Nation, had organized them for the library.) I also go way, way back with Joe Conason, Joel Rogers, Jonathan Schell and numerous other Nationites.
Other subjects I've tackled in articles for The Nation have ranged from the films of Akira Kurosawa to the psychic scars of Hiroshima (with Robert Jay Lifton, my co-author on two books). As the editor of Editor & Publisher for most of the past decade, I often linked to pieces by David Corn, and helped one of my ace interns, Ari Berman, land what he declared was his dream job--at The Nation.
I could go on, but it's time to get to work: The crazed monster that is Twitter demands its twice-an-hour feeding. You can help by sending links to new articles, postings or videos that make you happy or mad and we'll consider them for the @MediaFixBlog feed. Until I get a Nation email address, you can reach me at GregMitch34@gmail.com. And watch for the Media Fix blog launch soon!