Correction: Upon its initial publication, this story quoted James Bennet as saying that the journalistic takeaways from the Atlantic salons were “fairly banal.” Bennet actually said that while the takeaways might now sound banal, they did not seem so at the time, and were valuable nonetheless. This point was initially clarified by means of an update appended to the bottom of this article; after further consideration, CJR decided that a full-fledged correction was in order. The line in question has been revised to reflect these changes, as has this story’s original headline, which read: “Bennet: Atlantic Salon Takeaways Were ‘Fairly Banal’”. Return to the corrected sentence.

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Greg Marx is an adjunct lecturer at The Medill School and a facilitator with The OpEd Project. She served as an editorial board member, columnist, library director, and No. 2 in the features department of the Chicago Sun-Times.