Every week, Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher helps Longreads highlight the best of college journalism. Here’s this week’s pick:

Good reporting demands observation, but student journalists often struggle with the kind of focused hanging around you have to do with a subject to capture some accurate sense of them. How does the subject move? How do they interact with their environment, with other people? There’s so much information to gather before you ever ask a question, but the only way to get it is to shut up and watch. James Costanzo, who just completed a graduate journalism program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, wrote about a parkour teacher in Manhattan earlier this summer for the tablet magazine Vertical Floor. It’s not only well reported but well written, because the writer took the time to observe.

Gym Class Heroes

James Costanzo | Vertical Floor Magazine | 7 minutes (1,668 words)


Professors and students: Share your favorite stories by tagging them with #college #longreads on Twitter, or email links to aileen@longreads.com.