Kaylee's Reviews > Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print

Killed by David Wallis
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's review
Sep 02, 2008

it was ok
Read in September, 2008

I was disappointed. I can see why editors rejected most of these articles. Most are rambling pieces that are several thousand words too long.

I'm not a magazine reader so maybe I'm just not familiar with the usual format. But two things struck me as odd:

(1) The fact that nothing was sourced. The book contains no notes, bibliography, nothing. That's fine for fluff pieces, but many of the articles claim to be works of serious investigative journalism. Do magazines not print this information? Even so, this is a book and this info is sorely missing.

(2) The sheer length of some of the articles. Some of the articles were 30, 40, even 50 pages long. Good grief. I often found myself asking where the authors were going. A good editor could have cleaned them up and organized the information better but I wonder how many thought it just wasn't worth the effort.

Another flaw of the book is that it only gives the authors' side of the story as to why the article was "killed." The authors filter their editors' criticisms but the editors don't get a voice. What if the article was turned in late, over length, and with a sloppy source list (or none) for the editor to check? Maybe it was easier to kill than rush to print. I don't know if that happened, but I think it's only fair to allow the editors to speak to why the story was killed.

Some of the subjects were interesting but the presentation is flawed in my opinion.

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