Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Is unpublishing old crime stories Orwellian or empathetic? The Boston Globe is offering past story subjects a “fresh start”
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 19, 2013, 1:40 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   September 19, 2013


If you ever thought that long-form narrative journalism and digital technology couldn’t mix, (a) you’re wrong, and (b) we’d like to prove it through beer.

It’s time again for our monthly Nieman Lab happy hour here in Cambridge, this Monday at The Field in Central Square. But this month, we’re adding something new to the mix: It’s a joint happy hour with our friends at sister-pub Nieman Storyboard!

Just as we at the Lab pay attention to how journalism is changing in the digital age, Paige Williams & Co. at Storyboard track all things narrative — from annotating Sebastian Junger’s “The Storm” to see why it works to lessons from great writers on sustaining long narratives to live chats on literary journalism and beyond.

Now, Lab readers should be aware going in that the mix at this happy hour will be a little different from our norm. Expect the cocktail chatter to feature longer and more variegated clauses than usual. The dialogue will be snappier. The people you meet will seem, somehow, better developed as characters. Also, the evening may, upon later reflection, go on about 20 percent longer than it really needed to.

As for Storyboard readers, don’t be alarmed if conversation turns to JavaScript libraries or metered paywalls or the question “So what’s your Instagram strategy?” If things get out of hand, we’ll have emergency Moleskines available for you to jot down crowd observations for your great American novel about grit and Jewish mysticism and group theory and computers and ergonomics. (Correction: We will not have Moleskines.)

Silly stereotypes aside, Lab readers and Storyboard readers are two of the most wonderful groups of people in the world, and you’ll enjoy hanging out.

The full details: Come have a drink with us on Monday, September 23, starting at 6 p.m. or so. We’ll be at The Field, which is in Central Square, roughly 8.2 seconds’ walk from the Central Square T stop and thus easily accessible to anyone with a Charlie Card.

If the weather’s nice, we’ll almost certainly be in the back on the patio. If not, check the side room on the left. First five people to come up to me and repeat the magic phrase — “As touchy as cabaret performers and as stubborn as factory machinists” — get a free beer on me.

Photo of peanut butter and jelly sandwich — that’s two great tastes that taste great together! — by Ibán used under a Creative Commons license.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Is unpublishing old crime stories Orwellian or empathetic? The Boston Globe is offering past story subjects a “fresh start”
Should the worst moment of your life also be your top Google search result? Your “permanent record” is sometimes more about old news stories than court records, and newspapers are increasingly rethinking their responsibilities.
From “pop-up” to “pilot,” Votebeat hopes to stick around until 2022
“This blend of local reporting and issue expertise is extremely powerful. We think it’s one that can respond to the local news crisis quickly.”
The enduring allure of conspiracies
Conspiracy theories seem to meet psychological needs and can be almost impossible to eradicate. One remedy: Keep them from taking root in the first place.