Blast From the Past

In the “Why is this so good?” feature of the Nieman Storyboard, Megan Greenwell, Managing Editor of GOOD Magazine, lionizes Sally Jenkins and the wonderful piece she wrote on Kwame Brown for The Washington Post Magazine back in the day (2002 — JAYSUS! it was a decade ago!) I especially love the last lines, an eloquent summation of my argument throughout my newspaper career whenever someone said, “But the stories are so long.”

Hard-hitting journalism doesn’t always mean exposing corruption or abuse of power. Elegant narrative does not always stop at story-as-art. Sometimes, a simple profile lays bare a radically new vision of a person you thought you knew, distilling the subject’s essence so cleanly it carries the weight of a major scoop. Sometimes, 8,000 words reveals an entire world you’d somehow missed, even though it had been sitting there the whole time, right before your eyes.

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