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Virginia Heffernan (born August 8, 1969) is an American journalist and cultural critic. She worked as a staff writer for The New York Times -- first as a TV critic, then as a magazine columnist, and then as an opinion writer. She has also worked as a senior editor for Harper's, as a founding editor of Talk, and as a TV critic for Slate. Her 2016 book Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art argued that the Internet is a "massive and collective work of art", one that is a "work in progress", and that the suggested deterioration of attention spans in response to it is a myth.
In June 2002, the Columbia Journalism Review named Heffernan one of its "Ten Young Editors to Watch". In September of the following year, Heffernan departed Slate to join The New York Times. While there, she started the blog "Screens" for the New York Times website, which eventually became "The Medium" blog (named after her column).
In February 2012, she became a national correspondent for Yahoo News, where she covered the 2012 presidential election and wrote about subjects related to media, technology, politics and culture. In June 2013, Heffernan began a series of articles for Yahoo News, entitled "Glass Menagerie", on her experiences using Google GlassOHMD.
In her journalism, Heffernan writes about culture and technology using methods of literary criticism. Her work often centers on the human side of technology, and culture in general, and she advocates broader and more critical thinking with regard to newer technologies.
Heffernan has contributed to a number of books, covering topics that include depression, TV series and the impact of the internet.
In 2005, Heffernan (with co-writer Mike Albo) published the comic novel, The Underminer. The MTV documentary on the murder of Matthew Shepard, Matthew's Murder--for which Heffernan wrote the script--was nominated for an Emmy award.
In July 2013, Heffernan published an article entitled "Why I'm a creationist", saying she was "considerably less amused and moved by the character-free Big Bang story ("something exploded") than by the twisted and picturesque misadventures of Eve and Adam". She concluded by quoting author Yann Martel's summation of his novel, Life of Pi: "1) Life is a story, 2) You can choose your story, 3) A story with God is the better story". In a subsequent discussion on Twitter with the popular science writer Carl Zimmer, Heffernan clarified her stance -- "I'm a creationist on aesthetic grounds". Heffernan received much criticism for her column. Critics responded to her postmodern stance, several quoting Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts". However, writing in The Guardian, Andrew Brown dismissed Heffernan's critique of evolution, but noted that: "[s]he is certainly not a young-earth creationist ... [b]ut she wants stories where people find hope and courage in the events of the world around them, and she finds them in religion, not in science".
^Giberson, Karl; Linder, Douglas O.; Wax, Trevin; Gafney, Wil; Al-Marayati, Salam; Tucker, Mary Evelyn; Redlawsk, David P. (August 15, 2013). "Should Creationism Be Controversial?". The New York Times. Room for Debate. Retrieved 2013.