Longform journalists, rejoice! Jill Abramson is teaming up with CourtTV Founder Steve Brill to launch a start-up that will advance writers close to $100,000 each to research and write novella-length pieces. Subscribers will receive one story each month, while the to-be-named outlet will publish one story per year.
It’s not clear whether the monthly stories will be delivered digitally, and the “one story” published will be served to subscribers in print. According to Poynter.org, the ousted New York Times‘ Executive Editor declined to discuss who was funding the project.
When the details eventually emerge, they will be important, as will the start-up’s ability to sustain its payroll. If the enterprise can work, and isn’t limited to the exclusive network of writers Abramson worked with at the Times, it could destabilize the current normal in which writers, particularly digital journalists, are regularly asked to turn out pieces for free or close to it.
Interestingly, Abramson’s next move mirrors the directional push the New York Times took under her direction. Last January, the Times announced a partnership with Byliner to release expanded versions of the outlet’s previously published articles as well as other pieces that run 10-20,000 words.