The New Yorker is a temple of good journalism that manages to endure in the middle the economic and talent crisis that ravages the sector. The New Yorker, even in tough economic times, is a profitable magazine, and Remnick’s strategy is to thrive in the internet age by investing both in the new means of distribution —the web, iPads, etc— and by continuing to invest heavily in the things that are most important: the writing, the editing, the fact-checking. Just as it has always done.
Its celebrated facts checker, the department that verifies the veracity and rigor of the writings, even of the interviewees’ quotes, is as effective as always and has expanded to the internet. David Remnick has been its Editor in chief for 15 years. Although he is closer to 55 than 54 he looks young, has barely any white hair, and does not wear a tie. He worked as a journalist for the Washington Post and as foreign correspondent in Moscow. He witnessed the dismantlement of communism.
‘The New Yorker is a very strange, beautiful, unique mix of things. It doesn’t exist in other places of the world, and I’ve looked everywhere, the particular combination of things, of humor, deep reporting, fiction, and cultural criticism. That mix and that level of ambition are pretty unique. It’s only in English speaking world. I can’t pretend to know every language around, but I’ve seen somebody imitated it in another language, Chinese and Russian for example, and they never succeeded; it’s a very strange animal. Very strange. It’s like one of those creatures in the Museum of Natural History. But thankfully the animal is alive and well’