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What Does Tina Brown Have to Do to Get Some Attention?

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“In a way, the book filled up a hole for me,” says Brown, putting down her teacup with the barest clatter. “Now that it’s gone, I’ve got to find something else.” One could not call being the Kitty Kelly of Diana Brown’s grand ambition. She’d like again to be an editor-in-chief, but the prospect seems more distant than ever. So here she is without a job, at the splintering of media culture, with hardly anyone reading except elites, and the Internet on the verge of turning into television. She ticks off the ways that media is circling the drain: Intellectual property is impossible to protect, yet someone has to pay the bills; the better writing is, the harder it is to read on the Internet; the young writers are blogging instead of apprenticing in newsrooms. “Blogging isn’t a particularly good training for writing,” she says. “There’s too much voice, in a way. It’s like Colbert’s truthiness: There’s too much ‘voiciness,’ and not enough fact.”

Brown imagines she could do well now launching something on the Web—“I can’t see quite how to do it, but there must be a way,” she says, her eyes narrowing. “People will read stuff online if it’s linked”—otherwise she might write another book. “In the end, we’re not going to do journalism at all, because who’s going to finance it?” she says. She looks into the distance, then brightens. She’s always been a person for whom anything was possible. “I don’t know what the answer is, but I’m fascinated to know.”


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