November 20, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Tina Brown still reads


As we mentioned before, Tina Brown had some quips about her reading habits from a talk at THiNK 2013 — a conference run by India’s leading news magazine, Tehelka —  that suggested the world is “going back to oral culture where the written word will be less relevant.”

Is the written word doomed? you must have wondered, reading her speech late at night. Perhaps you were home after working a long day in a field that, like so many other fields, has been affected by the “digital explosion” Brown described in her talk. Perhaps your industry is shrinking, and simultaneously increases its investment in digital projects while struggling to find a way to monetize their efforts. Perhaps it seemed Brown was speaking directly to you.

Tarry not, because Jim Romenesko reports that Brown hasn’t renounced reading forever. Brown still reads! She gave this important update in a speech at the Newswomen’s Club of New York last Thursday night.

“I am as voracious a reader as ever,” Brown said, but she has no interest in editing another print magazine. It’s “no fun swimming against the tide.”

She didn’t take back her other points about the industry, her remark that TV is just an ugly piece of furniture, her description of journalism as “pathetic,” or her aside about Jeff Bezos. But Brown hasn’t renounced reading completely. Nor have you, if you’ve just read this whole blog post for one line from Tina Brown.


Kirsten Reach was an editor at Melville House.