Say what you want about the Internet being the vast wasteland where people go to mindlessly click pictures of pugs (no shame) and help prolong various irrelevant people’s 15 minutes of fame, but for every Grumpy Cat imitator, there are several great longer articles published exclusively online every day. Sites like Longreads and Longform are great resources for finding pieces that top 1500 words and take a little more time and mental energy to take in. And with Google now giving you #Longreads in your search results, we have hope for the web.
The sites on this list publish at least one weekly feature that could be considered #Longreads, and aren’t part of a bigger news company. While a few of the sites on our “25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers” list (namely The Awl, The New Inquiry , and the Los Angeles Review of Books) could also be included here, for the sake of avoiding overlap, we’ve rounded up a few additional suggestions for all your long-form fiction, personal essay, and journalism needs.
Do you have any favorite sites that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments.
An experiment in 21st-century new media as “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest,” ProPublica functions thanks to generous grants, as well as user support that calls to mind the NPR and PBS models. The uninitiated would do well to start with some of the fantastic stories collected at Longreads.
A great quarterly magazine with a website full of pieces to dig into, Jacobin offers “socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.” Founded in 2010 by Bhaskar Sunkara when he was 21, Jacobin (along with The New Inquiry) shuts down the argument that millennials don’t care about politics.
The sports journalism world was in a sorry state in 2000 when Jonathon Kahn had to write “In Defense of Sports Writing” at Slate as a response to a New Yorker “Talk of the Town” piece in which Remnick complained, “Only the tardy or the literal-minded fan really needs a written recap over coffee. We’ve already seen the game — seen it live, seen it in real time, in slo-mo, in film clips all night long.”
Flash forward 11 years, and writers from The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, GQ, The Nation, New York magazine, Pitchfork, and all other corners of the Internet got together with the idea for a site that featured “No snark, no cheerleader slideshows, no aggregation: Just brainy sports journalism, every day.” Almost $56,000 Kickstarted dollars later, The Classical was born, and has been cranking out great sports writing ever since.
Publishing a short story in five parts each week, Five Chapters has been putting out by great stuff by writers like Manuel Gonzalez, Sam Lipsyte, Emma Straub, and many others.
Canada: home of affordable medicine, hockey, and one of our favorite websites for long essays on everything from music to politics. Hazlitt writers cover everything from smart takes on Kurt Vile and the sad state of music to “The Don Draper Theory of Self.”
This sleek and smart site was once described as “institution” by the writer and editor Kevin Nguyen, and while attaching that term to a website could mean its time has long passed, The Morning News continues to crank out absorbing, original content on a seemingly inexhaustible range of topics.
Go to Berfrois right now to find a reprinted 1891 article by Oscar Wilde on Socialism alongside Legacy Russell’s account of ten things that the NSA has seen her do. Those two pieces alone should be enough to convince you that it’s one of the best and smartest sites on the Internet.
This bimonthly print magazine has stepped up its website game by leaps and bounds, publishing enticing pieces that range from Gilbert King’s “The Most Dangerous Places in the South to be Black” to Kyle Chayka’s “How to Sell Clothes to Men.”
While the site’s tagline, “A new read on Jewish life,” might leave some non-Tribe readers feeling excluded, Tablet is constantly cited among media types as one of the best-edited and most engaging websites on the net. There’s plenty of political discussion to spark debate, but between the excellent arts and culture pieces, an award-winning podcast, and great the site’s always-great blog, “The Scroll,” Tablet has plenty to offer even if you aren’t one of Abraham’s descendants.
Bless this 101-year-old magazine, and we’re glad Chris Hughes pumped some of his Facebook fortune into making it great again, but The New Republic is also fast becoming one of the most important daily reads on the Internet. It’s smart and beautifully designed, and you can’t go wrong with its roster of talented writers and editors.