Felker, Creator of ‘Service Journalism’


By Ethan Comment

Magazine legend Clay Felker has been eulogized for fostering New Journalism, but today at The New Republic, Marc Weingarten, author of The Gang Who Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, and the New Journalism Revolution, contends that Felker’s more significant legacy is the creation of the much-maligned category of “service journalism.”

Clay Felker’s most significant contribution was inventing the concept of service journalism, the magazine as proto-search engine.

And though service journalism is often, as he writes, viewed as a contradiction in terms, Weingarten argues that Felker succeeded in the practice, by doing it so stylishly and smartly that his New York magazine became a vital tool for navigating the city in the ’70s.

You can read the whole article here