The Case For Saving Endangered NYT Blogs

The Times is cutting blogs, and Gawker lists eight worth chopping. Should we keep them?

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The New York Times says it may cut some of its 70 blogs. Gawker, ever happy to throw stones at the crumbling old-media, has profiled eight blogs it wants gone. But there must be a reason those blogs were established in the first place. Here, the Wire loosens the noose with a look back at some highlights from each of those eight outposts. Are they worth keeping?

  • And The Pursuit of Happiness You have to see Maira Kalman's illustrated blog to appreciate it, but here's the introduction to a gorgeous post explaining "how everyone got to America." Kalman whimsically scribbles, "What are we doing here? Who knows? How did we get here? I'll tell you. First there was a primordial soup..."
  • Stanley Fish This long-running blog on academia, religion and literature contains some of the most high-minded blogging on the web. From Fish's recent, much-discussed post, "What Should Colleges Teach?" "The battle between those who actually work in the academy and those who would monitor academic work from the outside has been going on for well over 100 years," he writes. He opposes outside regulation of teaching practices "if only because the impulse animating the effort to regulate is always political rather than intellectual."
  • Domestic Disturbances Judith Warner writes about daily domestic life, often connecting it to liberal politics and pop culture. Here's Warner on stay-at-home moms in "The Choice Myth." Reflecting on a study showing that mothers who work at home are more likely to be poor than prosperous, she writes it "should lead us away from all the moralistic bombast about mothers' 'choices' and 'priorities.' It should get us thinking less about choice, in fact, and make us focus more on contingencies -- the objective conditions that drive women's lives"
  • Formula One Brad Spurgeon's blog on auto racing attempts to serve devotees and expand the audience. Here's Spurgeon's account of the big race in Abu Dhabi: "A little over halfway through the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the sun had entirely gone down in Formula One's first twilight race, which started in daylight and ended under the moon and spotlights of the Yas Marina Circuit. It was the sundown of the Formula One season as well, as it was the final race in the year."
  • Pogue's Posts Technology guru David Pogue follows up his regular print columns and pontificates about personal technology. From his meditation on e-readers, "Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others."

We've been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we've learned that they're not really like books, in that once we're finished reading them, we can't resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.

As one of my readers noted, it's like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we've been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table.

  • In Transit The travel news blog posts many travel deals, trip advice and suggested itineraries each day. Sometimes it gets spicier, as with Natalia Rachlin's much-linked post, "Danish Video Stirs Outrage."

In the video, the woman, who is seen holding a baby boy, talks about her drunken one-night-stand with the mysterious father, and adds: "I know that this is really a long shot, but if you are out there and you see this -- or anybody else who can help me sees this -- please contact me." But the video, which had been viewed millions of times, turned out to be a hoax, courtesy of Visit Denmark, the country's tourism board.

  • The New Old Age "Caring for aging parents" is the complex subject explored by several writers. Paula Span explored the difficult question of whether elderly care should be in-home or at a treatment facility. Span asked, "Is Home Always So Sweet?"

Research repeatedly confirms that most older people want to remain at home, with services brought to them in the places they choose. Government and social policies are moving, belatedly, in that direction. But is living at home always the wisest solution? 

  • Slap Shot The Times's hockey blog goes in-depth on every angle of the sport. Stu Hackel explored the NHL's renewed toughness on fighting in "Fighting Ban On Agenda for NHL GMs." He considers the "circumstances surrounding the death of senior amateur player Don Sanderson" in the context of changing practices in hockey fist-battles.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.