Finally, a magazine review in the early sixties seems almost prescient: “It is a curious coincidence that two of the newer magazines of serious intent are both devoted to being mere filters of information, rather than originators of it,” the article said. It gave one possible reason: “That Atlas and Current are responses to the pressing need for collection and organization of information, which the individual reader can no longer do sufficiently for himself.” Can you say “Romenesko”? 

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Merrill Perlman managed copy desks across the newsroom at The New York Times, where she worked for 25 years. Follow her on Twitter at @meperl.