The problem is that long doesn’t mean good — it just doesn’t look like most of the junk. Too many people now ask for (and produce) “long-form” when they really want substantial. It’s entirely possible to be substantial without being long, and good editors have helped writers strike that balance for centuries. Emphasizing and rewarding length over quality results in worse writing and more reader abandonment.
It took me two news editing shifts to understand that a good editor knows how — and battles — to convey an idea in as few words as possible. The fact we don’t have the same type of constraints on the web doesn’t mean this task should be skipped; quite the contrary, actually.Share: