Provoking the Press: Kevin M. Lerner on [MORE] Magazine

Nell Minow
9 min readSep 17, 2021

The 1970s was a time of enormous upheaval in the world of the news. [MORE] magazine, created by reporters for the purpose of providing critical feedback to reporters and editors, was both a reflection of those changes and an instigator of them as well. Kevin M. Lerner, Associate Professor of Communication/Journalism at Marist College, has written a book about the history of [MORE] (the name comes from the traditional indicator at the bottom of a news story draft that there was more text on the next page) and the changes that are indicated by the magazine’s change of self-description from covering journalism to covering media.

I remember [MORE] magazine very well. For those who never heard of it, tell me how you would describe it and where the name comes from.

[MORE] was a journalism review that was started by a group of reporters who found themselves chafing against the limitations of daily journalism. It was sort of the culmination of a movement to launch regional journalism reviews, and J. Anthony (Tony) Lukas, a Pulitzer-winning New York Times writer was inspired by the Chicago Journalism Review to start [MORE]. In his own life, he was also annoyed that the institutional style of supposedly objective journalism that the Times practiced was insufficient to cover the roiling cultural atmosphere of the late 1960s. Specifically, Lukas had been assigned to cover the trial of the Chicago 7, and he became convinced that it was a political show trial. But the Times insisted that he cover it as a legitimate federal criminal trial, in the way that the government itself presented it. [MORE]’s pilot issue was released in the same month that the Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, as a sort of regional journalism review for New York City — except of course that New York was (and is) the national media capital, so it very quickly became a national publication. It mixed seriousness and satire, with many pages featuring cartoons or humor pieces drawing on the counter culture, but also with in-depth reporting and essays that mimicked the style of the New York Review of Books. The magazine’s name was a visual pun on what reporters would type at the bottom of a page of news copy to indicate to their editors that the end of the page didn’t mean the end of the story. [MORE]’s founders intended it to say that they…

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Nell Minow

Movie critic, corporate critic and shareholder advocate, Contributing Editor at @ebertvoices plus @moviemom, and #corpgov #movies and editor at @miniverpress