shu and joe

Metajournalism

Published on December 21, 2008

A bit late on posting this, but I just got around to looking at the November issue of Wired and was drawn in by Jason Tanz’s profile of Charlie Kaufman and his recently-released film Synecdoche, New York. It wasn’t so much the finished article that hooked me but, rather, the conceptual framework Tanz proposed to his editor: to produce a “Kaufmanesque” piece in which the process of making the article is as important as the finished thing itself. The print version of the profile contains a few bits of production errata—email exchanges, mostly—to give the reader a taste of this writing-an-essay-about-writing-the-essay conceit, but it’s in the online features that the idea really gains traction. The entire production of the article—pitch, brainstorming sessions, emails, rough drafts, revisions, photo shoot, interview transcript, press check, et al.—was posted both to Wired’s website and the SPD blog as it was happening. It would take hours to go through all of the material, but it’s probably the most complete look at the process of magazine production available online.

The beginning:

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