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
It has become a common refrain in these chaotic times: We’re not just reading history; we’re living it. That’s always been true, I suppose, for anyone living at any time. But I expect historians will look back on this … Read more
I’ve been struggling to find the right term for the nonfiction writing I most admire. Whether written by Joan Didion, David Grann, Susan Orlean, Héctor Tobar, Isabel Wilkerson, or Gene Weingarten, these are articles, essays, and books that combine … Read more
The Economic Hardship Reporting Project (EHRP) was born from a situation of precisely that: financial insecurity. Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the seminal 1996 work, “Nickel and Dimed,” co-founded the journalism non-profit … 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