Still, somewhere there’s a young woman reading books written in the golden age of literary nonfiction, in a public park. When that young woman puts her book down, she may blog something honest or incisive about it—or, at the very least, attention-getting—that strangers will stumble upon and then fans may find. She is not yet worried about making a grown-up salary. After all, she can rest assured that she is part of Found Media, and moving forward on the continuum of the new, new, new journalism. 

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Alissa Quart is a CJR columnist and contributing editor. She is the author of two books, Branded and Hothouse Kids. Her third, about American outsiders, comes out in 2013. She is also senior editor of The Atavist and an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School.