Brendan I. Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and the author of The Skies Belong to Us.

"It was this big review in The New York Times and I was terrified that it was going to say something awful about the book or about me as a writer. And my son said to me — he's 5, I should say — "If it's bad, you won't die." That's a good point, you know? So I always think of that when I pick up a new review and take that risk of someone slamming something that I've genuinely poured my heart and soul into."

Thanks to TinyLetter and the Literary Reportage Department at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._49_-_Brendan_I._Koerner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51pm EST

Evan Ratliff, a co-host of the Longform Podcast, discusses "The Oilman's Daughter," his new story in The Atavist.

"This woman was given the opportunity to take on a new identity. And it was a mistake. She never should've done it. If there was a way for her to go back and say, 'No, I don't want to know this. I want to be who I am,' then I think she should've taken that. … I'm fascinated with people who want to radically shift their identity. It almost never works out well."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._48_-_Evan_Ratliff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Steve Kandell is the longfom editor at BuzzFeed.

"What would be the sort of longer, narrative nonfiction, journalistic equivalent of something that would have the same effect on you as a bunch of cat GIFs? And not because it's cute, but it's the kind of thing that makes you go, 'OK, I need a lot of other people to see this.'"

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._47_-_Steve_Kandell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:43pm EST

Nicholas Schmidle is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

"I was in a taxi, leaving Karachi to go attend this festival, and we started getting these very disturbing phone calls from newspaper reporters that didn't exist, all of them asking me to meet them at various places in Karachi. I had read enough about the Daniel Pearl case to know what happened in the days leading up, and this was very similar. ... We kept driving towards the festival, and shortly after that, friends started calling. They were watching local television, and it was being reported that 'Nicholas Shamble,' editor of Smithsonian Magazine, had been kidnapped. And I was like, 'All right, I get the hint.'"

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._46_-_Nicholas_Schmidle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

Chris Heath, winner of the 2013 National Magazine Award for Reporting, is a staff writer at GQ.

"I present myself as someone who is going to be rigorous and honest. And if you can engage in the way I'm asking you to engage, then I hope you will recognize yourself in a more truthful way in this story than you usually do. And maybe even, with a bit of luck, more than you ever have before. That's what I bring. That's my offer."

Thanks to TinyLetter and the Literary Reportage Department at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._45_-_Chris_Heath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54pm EST

Abrams covers the NBA for Grantland.

"Players know that with the stories I do I'm not trying to burn anybody. I'm trying to tell a story for what it's worth and be honest to that person… That's one of my main goals, that you know why this person is [a certain] way when they step on the court. You know why Monta Ellis is going to keep shooting the ball. You know why Zach Randolph is such a gritty player. What these guys have gone through growing up, it materializes in their game."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._44_-_Jonathan_Abrams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12pm EST

Margalit Fox is a senior obituary writer for The New York Times and the author of The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code.

"You do get emotionally involved with people, even though as a journalist you're not supposed to. But as a human being, how can you not? Particularly people who had difficult, tragic, poignant lives. But there are also people that you just wish you had known. And, of course, the painful irony is that you're only getting to know them by virtue of the fact that it's too late."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._43_-_Margalit_Fox.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EST

Mat Honan is a senior writer at Wired.

"[The tech] industry — especially as it relates to a lot the silly apps and the silly websites and the silly shit that we put up with — is ridiculous. It's just such a hype fest, people living off of jargon and nonsense. There are entire conferences devoted to nonsense! ... I like to skewer that stuff, because I don't want to feel responsible for it. I don't want to feel like I'm making someone go out and buy some piece of shit they don't need."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._42_-_Mat_Honan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm EST

Jonathan Shainin, senior editor at The Caravan.

 

"Working in an environment that's foreign, where you have to kind of think through a lot of things from the ground up...I find it to be really stimulating to have to interrogate the assumptions that you have as an editor about what's interesting and what's not interesting, what's a good story and what's a bad story, what's the story that's been done a million times already. When you get out of a place that is your place, you have to kind of think through some things in a fresh way. And that can be really productive."

 


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._41_-_Jonathan_Shainin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm EST

Vanessa Grigoriadis, contributing editor at New York and Vanity Fair.

On the art of the celebrity interview: "People are smart. Particularly these people. They're sitting there thinking, "When is she going to drop that question?" They know what you're doing. So the way I think about it is: let's have an actual, genuine, human, interesting conversation. ... [Journalists] have all sorts of schemes of what they think works for them. My scheme is no scheme."


Show notes:

Direct download: Ep._40_-_Vanessa_Grigoriadis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm EST