A Syrian boy shouts slogans against the Assad regime in front of a flag of the armed Islamic opposition group the Nusra Front during a demonstration in Aleppo in 2012.

5 Questions

5(ish) Questions: Latino USA producer Marlon Bishop on the backstory of the NPR show’s most downloaded episode ever

March 2, 2017

A show that was more than a year in the making about the controversial prisoner Oscar López Rivera scored journalism gold, coming out just days after the Puerto Rican was freed

This vivid, funny, terrific sentence could have been drawn from Lewis Carroll, but it’s from the middle of a deadline story on the frustrations of two “peace commissions” that were unable to keep the peace in Vietnam.  The … Read more

Annotation Tuesday!

Annotation Tuesday! Christopher Solomon and “The Detective of Northern Oddities”

February 28, 2017

For his piece in Outside magazine, the writer talks about the trickiness of reporting on climate change and the importance of pacing: "readers can feel when the story loses its sense of the music, its forward progress"

Some longform stories that will chill you in more ways than one

February 24, 2017

A weekly roundup of some favorite things, including a great read from Canada, and two women's close encounters with misogyny

Why's This So Good?

Guy Larson and “Merv Curls Lead” — it’s kind of like “The Office” on ice

February 23, 2017

In his 1999 piece on a would-be impresario of the quirky sport of curling, the Canadian writer creates a David Brent-like character: at times an insufferable blusterer, at others an insecure guy who just wants your approval

Why is it great? This piece about mining companies exploring the bottom of the ocean creates an upside-down outer space. The whole story is a kind of extended metaphor between the exploration of space … Read more

Story Craft

The art of the obituary: It’s a dying one

February 21, 2017

As newsrooms shrink, a former obit writer mourns the loss of bustling staffs that took deadline dives into fascinating lives, and looks fondly at the New York Times piece marking the death of an old favorite, James Thurber

Narrative News

Meet the phone phreaks, the grandfathers of today’s hackers (Russian or otherwise)

February 17, 2017

A weekly roundup of some favorite things, for your reading and listening pleasure

Narrative News

A Saudi feminist’s spoken-word performance finds its power in protest

February 16, 2017

Filmmaker Waad Janbi combines her Arabic poetry with footage from the Women’s March in New York City to address her hopes and frustrations

Annotation Tuesday!

Annotation Tuesday! Ron Rosenbaum and “The Secrets of the Little Blue Box”

February 14, 2017

The writer talks about his eerily prescient 1971 Esquire classic about "phone phreaks," and how it inspired Steve Jobs (who later said, “If we hadn’t made blue boxes, there would have been no Apple.”)

Narrative News

Reporters who go deep — something we need more of in a time of national divisions (and short attention spans)

February 10, 2017

A weekly roundup of some favorite things, for your reading and listening pleasure