Editors think that scholars are bad writers, and they say so often and rudely. Academics think that journalists are lazy thinkers, and they’re no more polite. Neither is right, I think, but the fields are so twain that nobody really bothers to think about the why or the how or the what next except super-intellectual magazines that nobody reads.
In the hope of addressing some of the issues that rub up at the academic/writerly tectonic ridge, I spoke with an old friend, David Wolf, my first-ever editor, who is now the commissioning editor of The Guardian’s Long Read section. Nobody’s ever pissed me off more on this topic, nor do I care so much about what anybody else has to say.