The Mind of John McPhee

After publishing thirty books over the last fifty years, one of America’s most revered and private nonfiction writers finally wrote a book about himself, or at least, about his writing process. And for this article, McPhee agreed, for the first time, to let someone profile him.

Published: Sep 28, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,330 words)

How Fake News Turned a Small Town Upside Town

There were few details about the case because they couldn’t legally be released: The crime was a sexual assault between juveniles in Twin Falls, Idaho that involved two refugee boys and a 5-year-old girl. When Breitbart heard about the crime — and tied it to plans to allow Syrian refugees to settle in Twin Falls — the website unleashed a panic of misinformation about Muslims in Idaho that threatened to tear the town apart.

Published: Sep 26, 2017
Length: 23 minutes (5,800 words)

The Resegregation of Jefferson County

Gardendale, Alabama’s attempt to secede from its school district shows that despite the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, there are still white communities organizing to keep their schools segregated.

Published: Sep 6, 2017
Length: 37 minutes (9,279 words)

Down the Breitbart Hole

Breitbart, a far-right media outlet, was once described by Steve Bannon as a “platform for the alt-right.” But its editor-in-chief says he is trying to turn the site into a legitimate news organization and has been called a traitor for acknowledging Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Published: Aug 16, 2017
Length: 35 minutes (8,791 words)

What a Fraternity Hazing Death Revealed About the Painful Search for an Asian-American Identity

Jay Caspian Kang reports on the death of Michael Deng, a college freshman who died while rushing an Asian-American fraternity, and examines the history of oppression against Asians in the U.S. and how it has shaped a marginalized identity.

Published: Aug 9, 2017
Length: 29 minutes (7,433 words)

She Was Convicted of Killing Her Mother. Prosecutors Withheld the Evidence That Would Have Freed Her.

By the time Noura Jackson’s conviction was overturned, she had spent nine years in prison. This type of prosecutorial error is almost never punished.

Published: Aug 1, 2017
Length: 31 minutes (7,750 words)

Losing It in the Anti-Dieting Age

In recounting the history of America’s obsession with thinness, Taffy Brodesser-Akner explores her own struggles with weight loss and the weight loss industry. She relates how “diet” has become a four-letter word, out in favor of a new form of personal imprisonment — “eating clean,” “getting fit, and “being strong” — none of which offer any magic in a lifetime of struggle between body acceptance and losing weight.

Published: Aug 2, 2017
Length: 33 minutes (8,352 words)

The Long, Lonely Road of Chelsea Manning

The New York Times Magazine has the first interview and profile of Chelsea Manning after her release from prison after seven years: “When I asked her to draw lessons from her journey, she grew uneasy. ‘I don’t have. … ‘ she started. ‘Like, I’ve been so busy trying to survive for the past seven years that I haven’t focused on that at all.'”

Published: Jun 12, 2017
Length: 38 minutes (9,500 words)

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic

Ground zero in the AIDS crisis happened on June 5th, 1981, when the C.D.C.’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identified five cases of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in previously healthy white men in Los Angeles. The sixth case — a gay African-American man who had contracted PCP and cytomegalovirus — went undocumented and that critical omission has had a horrific ripple effect in the Southern United States where the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…predicted that if current rates continue, one in two African-American gay and bisexual men will be infected with the virus.”

Published: Jun 6, 2017
Length: 36 minutes (9,168 words)

Aleppo After the Fall

Robert F. Worth reports from Aleppo, a city in ruins. Speaking with residents about the current state of existence, Worth also examines the social and political seeds of the Syrian War, now in its sixth year. The war has been supported by a cast of foreign sponsors on both sides. Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have backed the Assad regime, which dropped bombs and chemical weapons on its own citizens, while Saudi Arabia and Turkey have aided the rebels attempting to overthrow Assad. With Aleppo firmly back into the hands of the Assad regime, Syrians and exiled expats are starting to wonder whether backing Assad is their best chance at ending the war so they can begin to rebuild their lives.

Published: May 24, 2017
Length: 35 minutes (8,872 words)