The Daily Beast, the online solution to the lack of general magazines

September 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

With topics as diverse as politics and business to entertainment and food, The Daily Beast could be called an online general magazine.  The Daily Beast has a good mix of topics, as well as a good mix of writing. There are columns, blogs and stories that feature independent reporting from contributing writers.

Under politics, “Obama’s Empathy Deficit” by Kirsten Powers, is an example of a column that would run in a print magazine. Powers expresses her opinions in an articulate way, which is backed up by examples. It is not simply an unedited rant that would often end up on the internet.

“The Week Ahead in Culture” under entertainment is a great example of a magazine department that would run in the front or back of a print magazine. Online, it is a photo and video gallery that has upcoming events in television, music, books, movies, art, theater and fashion. Written explanations accompany the videos and photos. In a print magazine, this could very easily be a list with visuals and words.

The story “A Political Love Affair” by Shushannah Walshe is a feature story about the friendship between California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Mitt Romney. Walshe’s story has several sources, but most of them are advisers, aides or campaign managers to either Whitman or Romney. Walshe cites Whitman’s book, but never quotes Romney or Whitman. Given that talking to either may have been difficult, I think the sources could be considered authorities on Romney and Whitman.

In addition to the stories and columns, The Daily Beast also links to other news sites for breaking stories. This is done through the use of the “Cheat Sheet” that runs down the middle of the home page. Like print magazines, The Daily Beast is not focusing on breaking the news, but providing a commentary on it.

Just as in a print magazine, The Daily Beast is curated by co-founder and editor-in-chief Tina Brown and executive editor Edward Felsenthal. Editing is important to any magazine, but it is specifically important online. With so many Web sites out there lacking in credibility, a good editing team helps keep The Daily Beast providing accurate information and commentary on a daily basis.