Sex robots, violence in Mosul and the plan for Queen Elizabeth’s inevitable death. Those were among the subjects of the best stories last year on The Guardian’s eclectic longform site, The Long Read. “We don’t have a simple formula,” … Read more
Talking about narrative journalism, The St. Petersburg Times’ Lane DeGregory once told me
“One of the stupidest stories I ever did had the biggest response. It was an 'up all night' piece about what happens between midnight and 6:00 am. I had all these old ladies calling me up and saying, ‘I’m never up that late, and I didn’t know about any of this.’ It was so gratifying to take readers someplace.”
Taking readers someplace they are unlikely or unable to go is a prime service narrative can provide. Witness these two nicely done but very different stories:
[caption id="attachment_972" align="alignleft" width="101" caption="Abhinav Ramnarayan"][/caption]
Supermarket, superstores—why not a supertemple? “The Many Gods of Ilford,” a Guardian trend essay on multi-god Hindu temples in former recreation centers, touches on religion and tolerance while revealing that cockroaches can evoke nostalgia. A few useful posted comments about disability, caste, and monotheism add to Abhinav Ramnarayan’s original piece.
Over at The Daily Beast, Tim Mohr’s “Did Punk Rock Tear Down the Wall?” looks at the East German '80s punk scene and recounts the career of Die Anderen (“the Others”), a band that straddled the East-West divide.
What other keyhole views into history or a community have generated memorable narratives? We’d like to hear from you. Read more
Early in my career, while working in Minnesota as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, I fell in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald, the city’s most famous native writer. It may have had something to do … Read more
Every August when I was young, my mother would take me to the store to buy some back-to-school notebooks. Maybe some pencils. Sometimes even a plastic pencil sharpener. This was a long time ago, but I still remember how … Read more
Jason Rezaian’s twin allegiances were baked into his life and his journalism. He was born and raised in Marin County, California, the son of an Iranian father and American mother. He held dual citizenship in Iran and the U.S. Read more
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third of a series of odes that chronicle the legacy newsroom. Each is written from different first-person perspective. Together they create the mumbled narrative of a special and sadly contracting culture. The author, Don … Read more
EDITOR’S NOTE: For something a bit different, we offer the Monday bonus: an eight-week series (give or take) of poems that chronicle the legacy newsroom. Each is written from first-person perspective. Together they create the mumbled narrative of a special … Read more
How do you tell the story of an extremist without allowing your own judgment to cloud your reporting? How do you interview people who are racist or violent, white supremacists or members of terrorist organizations? And why do we … Read more
The opening paragraph of Rebecca Solnit’s new LitHub essay, “Why the President Must Be Impeached,” is a single sentence, 88 words long. It is one of the shortest paragraphs in a 20-paragraph soliloquy about her take on the … Read more
America’s debate over immigration has played out to the recorded cries of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, to broadcast images of tears and hugs as some are reunited after weeks or months apart, … Read more