And the prolific editor’s work shows it.
The author of six books and editor of several anthologies also oversees one of the world’s most prestigious magazines, the weekly New Yorker.
One thing Remnick is careful not to do is waste time — and that includes not hanging out for long on social media.
He told Business Insider on Monday that while he does go on Twitter from time to time to check in on what people are saying about important issues, he’s cautious about “the danger of going down the time-wasting wormhole.”
What’s more, he’s not always so impressed with the way the medium is used.
“I don’t tweet, mainly because I’ve noticed that some of the other people with jobs like mine have either ended up doing all promotional tweets, which is boring, or writing something half-thought-out that would be better used in a more considered piece of writing,” he told Business Insider.
But, Remnick said, when used carefully, social media can be an “incredible tool.”
“I use it in a number of ways, none of them very original,” he said. “For example, when I’m reporting a piece on, say, the Middle East, I use Twitter as a means to follow voices on various sides of an issue, not only to hear what they are saying, but also to read what they are recommending. Or during a big news story, like Ferguson or Tahrir Square, you learn and hear some incredible things in real time that are of value.”
Nonetheless, as Remnick underlined with Alec Baldwin on a recent “Here’s the Thing” podcast, the husband and father of three is keenly aware of how he spends, and doesn’t spend, his time.
“I’m very wary of not consuming time unnecessarily,” he told Baldwin. “That’s the modern battle — not to eat it up with what ends up being crap.”
“What I found with people in jobs like mine, who are tweeting, they did one of two things that both seem mistaken … one is they use it as a promotional vehicle … and that’s not what Twitter’s for. You’re not joining any conversations. You’re just showing your backside. You’re advertising. That’s one kind of mistake. The other kind is the inadvertent overshare.”
Since Remnick became editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, the magazine has received nearly 150 nominations for National Magazine Awards and has won 37, the website says. In 2000, Remnick was named Advertising Age’s Editor of the Year.
Remnick won a Pulitzer for “Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire.”
You can listen to Remnick on “Here’s the Thing” below.
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