All posts tagged: journalism

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]