There is something joyously subversive that Michael Brick has managed to write the way he does in American newspapers—major American newspapers—for so long. He abides none of the usual standards of economy or structure or even punctuation. I can imagine one of his editors receiving his copy and thinking, “Didn’t I assign this guy a brief?” I can imagine another hollering across the newsroom, “Hey Brick, have you ever heard of THE FUCKING COMMA!” (If such a bullheaded character were named Mr. Brick in a movie, it would be a little too on the nose. Thankfully real life doesn’t much care about its audience.)

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Perhaps as much as any modern journalist, Michael Brick brought the style of Ben Hecht’s “A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago” into the 21st century newsroom. Hecht made the ordinary outstanding, “journalism that … Read more

I once heard someone say that every sentence should be the act of earning the reader’s commitment to the next sentence. Topspin, it’s called. I’ve been envious of Michael Brick’s topspin since I first noticed… Read more

This is the first of ten stories Storyboard will post from a new collection honoring Michael Brick [see our 5 Questions on the project], each featuring an introduction by a writer who … Read more

I’ve been grappling with what made Ida Tarbell so good since about 1983, when I was appointed executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). I felt I needed to read her 1905 classic, “The … Read more

For many of his 30-plus years in the journalism business, Jesse Katz has been covering crime. Back in the early 1990s, his former employer The Los Angeles Times assigned him to the gang beat, and … Read more

Two years ago, Nikole Hannah-Jones published “Segregation Now,” a collaboration between her then-employer Pro Publica and The Atlantic, about the desegregation and resegregation of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Hannah-Jones started her career as a local … Read more

Susan Orlean is storied for her stories. Since 1992 she’s been a staff writer at The New Yorker, and her 1998 book “The Orchid Thief” was made into the movie Adaptation. She’s written seven other … Read more

Back in 1998, magazine writer Mike Sager was best known for his fearless profiles of drug dealers, crackheads, porn stars, and neo-Nazis. But that year Esquire handed him a very different … Read more

Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker has pulled off a rare double, winning the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing after having earlier won the National Magazine Award in the same category. Her story on a likely … Read more

Jill Lepore is both a historian at Harvard — the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University, to be precise — and since 2005 a staff writer at The New Yorker, … Read more

What does Shakespeare have to do with clickbait? How much in common did ancient indigenous peoples have with the Twitter community? Was Dante’s “Inferno” the original “explainer” story? … Read more