All posts tagged: journalism

Radar week 18: Re-release

Leave a comment
Link / Things my friends have made

• Facing life: Eight people discuss life after incarceration in this beautifully simple, extremely touching project from Pen and Brandon. • New York Times is killing it with clear interactives at the moment—here’s one about the soundtrack to the AIDS crisis: I was sold as soon as they showed me a bunch of pictures of mixtapes. • How police interfere with public spaces. • I get the ethical stance of Ogilvy saying it won’t work […]

Radar, week 8: Insatiable appetites

Leave a comment
Link

What to think about Ukraine? What to do about Ukraine? Timothy Snyder is building a list of ways to help. Lots of great, often worrying, information in this story on IKEA’s insatiable appetites. It’s the world’s largest consumer of wood; it’s the largest private landholder in Romania. I also learned the word “edacity”. (trees, passim) The NYT’s David Leonhardt, who has consistently argued for a kind of liberal’s relaxation of covid restrictions, has been a […]

Longform and function

Leave a comment
Media

Longform is saying goodbye. Or at least the reading service, which has listed thousands of great articles over the last decade, is coming to an end. (The podcast continues.) The site came up a lot when we were starting Matter, as a kind of guiding light for a journalism renaissance that started in the 2010s. Folks were challenging the notion that writing on the web had to be short and informational, pushing back on the […]

Getting inside somebody’s head

Leave a comment
Media

There’s something so intricate and mysterious about the whys of another person, wanting to understand what makes them tick, what made them what they are. It’s an instinct that’s so human. Biographies, documentaries, magazine profiles, obituaries are all part of this drive we have to get inside somebody else’s head. One of my first jobs, as a researcher for the Royal Shakespeare Company, was to build dossiers on interesting and notable people that might make […]

Five things I thought about when reading that gigantic New Yorker piece on Covid-19

Leave a comment
Media

Beyond “this thing is long.” Even though things have been shit, we got really, really lucky.The story doesn’t just detail the many things that went wrong as the virus emerged and various countries struggled to deal with it—including China’s reticence to admit anything was wrong, the WHO’s complete miss, the CDC’s testing debacle, failed leadership from the White House and so on. What came through to me was how there have also been a set […]

I’ll never complain about somebody filing long again

comment 1
Link / Media

“At roughly 31,000 words, the article is as long as a novella, roughly five times the length of a typical major magazine article.” “Mr. Wright, a staff writer at The New Yorker for nearly three decades, initially turned in 76,000 words. “I have an appetite to go into depth,” he said in an interview. (He added, with a laugh: “I get paid by the word.”)” —From the New York Times’ short note about the Lawrence […]

You’re interviewing somebody, not dating them

Leave a comment
Media / Workbook

Interviewing people is hard. It’s not easy to talk to someone to try and understand who they are and what they’re about. In journalism, you’re trying to get interviewees to say interesting things too—things that hold up on the page, sound good to the reader, that get the subject to provide a kind of forensic self-examination. The result is that the best interviews are elevated to an art form. But interviewing is also a skill […]

Larissa MacFarquhar on the Falkland Islands

comment 1
Media

I harbor a mild but ongoing fascination with the wild, out of the way places that British people have decided they should inhabit; the far-flung islands, the unnavigable boggy moors, the places where there’s one house every few miles and people choose lonely, hard existence for whatever reason. St Helena, Dartmoor, the Hebrides, Pitcairn and so on. Larissa MacFarquhar—one of the New Yorker writers I most enjoy—crystallizes what draws people to one of these places, […]

Starting from scratch

Leave a comment
Work

In March, a couple of weeks before we were due to ship the May/June issue of Technology Review, something became extremely clear: we needed to throw it away. We’d already cleared a portion of the magazine for coronavirus coverage, but as the pandemic kicked in, everything seemed irrelevant. Nobody would want to read what we’d prepared for them, at least not now, not when all they could think of was covid-19. Everybody got behind the […]