Addressing a class at Berkley's Graduate School, Clay Felker, the owner of The Village Voice and co-founder of New York magazine, suggested to the future editors of Bad Idea magazine that the internet age was promoting an interest in "the obscure, in the trivial and private". He complained that people didn't understand what a magazine was any more: "A magazine has to stand for values that a lot of people care about, and take an interest in. It has to be about a Big Idea."
After a little reflection, those editors, Roberts and Stacey, decided to ditch their "obscurantist personal obsessions" and involve themselves in "real" journalism. Nurtured by mentors such as Roger Law, of Spitting Image fame, and Lou McLeod, then a publisher at News International, they ignored the bitter loons who run modern publishing and launched Bad Idea.
From Patrick Neate's thoughts on why cricket is such a great source of metaphor to Daniel Stacey's investigative piece on sex and the internet, or Laura Barton's notes on the murky operations of a coroner's court, this is a great selection of work.