Wednesday, November 30, 2022

“But first”

The Atlantic offers a six-days-a-week newsletter. Each one begins with a paragraph or two about some topic. And then, before any further development: “But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.” Or “But first, here are three Sunday reads from The Atlantic.”

Of course the newsletter’s makers do not expect the reader to read each unrelated item and then return to the subject at hand. Rather, they’re looking to direct the reader’s attention to anything that might attract it. I am writing about some topic. But first, here’s some other topic, and another, and one more. Shiny topics! That’s a sorry way to think about readerly attention.

But first, a word from our sponsor.

comments: 0