Since I don’t think the data shows anything as dramatic as what Starkman and CJR’s headline suggests—and putting aside the question of whether “longform” means narrative or investigative or both—I thought I’d ask a new question: Is there a better way to gauge how longform stories and the people who publish them are faring in 2013? I’d personally love to track the following:
1. Total # of publishers who produce more than 6 longform stories per year—and pay writers for them.
2. Total # of longform writers who have healthcare.
3. Total # of freelance longform writers whose number of assignments and revenue from those pieces is growing year over year.
4. Diversity of bylines
5. Total # of publishers who hire and train new reporters with a focus on narrative / investigative journalism.