Boston Globe editor gives staffers ‘a very strong dose of guidance’ on story lengths

A Romenesko reader tells me that Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory informed his editors earlier today that “special dispensation” is needed for stories over 1,000 words. I asked McGrory about this and he said that “it’s not an outright ban [on long stories], but a very strong dose of guidance.”

Any memo to share? “No memo, just word of mouth. I did write a sternly worded memo last August that offered the same guidance, and we got lengths down for a few months, only to see them float back up again.”

Were you inspired by Digital First Media editor-in-chief Dave Butler’s memo about story lengths and rethinking old news rules, which was posted here earlier this month?

“I somehow missed the Butler memo, so no, that didn’t inspire me. What inspired me was looking at the scroll bar on the right that never seemed to move fast enough, or turning to a jump page in print and seeing a massive block of type.”

* Earlier: “Do we really think every story must be 25 inches?” (
* A commenter says “if you can’t say it in 300 words, don’t” (