Is 90% of longform crap?

Here is the dirty secret of longform: most people, even those who urge its consumption, don’t actually read it. Longform may win awards and it may bring prestige, but it remains at least as subject to Sturgeon’s law—90 percent of everything is crap—as any other format. (Guest post by Raja)

2 thoughts on “Is 90% of longform crap?

  1. I don’t think anyone has the time to read 90% of the longform out there. I don’t think the critic is in any position to say that 90% of it is crap. The argument is a tired one and we’ve heard it before. Whenever there’s a bad piece, someone jumps in there to say, “Yeah most of it’s bad anyway.” Please. Screwups happen on short pieces, long pieces and everything in between. There’s nothing inherently wrong with longform writing. Like everything else in life, some of it is very good and some very bad.

  2. Nice take on this on Chris Jones’s blog,

    Glad to see he’s posting again!

    My thought is we should ignore such ivory-tower navel-gazing, bc it can be dispiriting and perniciously self-fulfilling. If 90% of longform is crap, fine, but we better not let that prevent us from producing the good stuff — or STRIVING to produce the good stuff — bc that’ll only prove Petchesky’s point. And I’m sure he’d rather not be right

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