10 episodes

A podcast about writing and editing, with a focus on the practical side of creative relationships and making a living in media. Author and journalist Jason Fagone talks with reporters, editors, fiction writers, fact-checkers, news curators, and producers, sharing tips and advice on how to navigate the industry, do good work, and get paid.

Kill Fee Jason Fagone

    • Books

A podcast about writing and editing, with a focus on the practical side of creative relationships and making a living in media. Author and journalist Jason Fagone talks with reporters, editors, fiction writers, fact-checkers, news curators, and producers, sharing tips and advice on how to navigate the industry, do good work, and get paid.

    Erik Malinowski—the challenges and joys of writing a first book

    Erik Malinowski—the challenges and joys of writing a first book

    A features reporter in the Bay Area, Erik Malinowski has just published his first book, BETABALL: How Silicon Valley and Science Built One of the Greatest Basketball Teams in History. Jason talks with Erik about how he got the idea for the book, how he overcame his early writing anxieties to complete a 115,000-word draft in less than a year, his early experiences as a Wired fact-checker, the dreaded “pivot to video” fad that is consuming our industry, and the wonder that is Steph Curry.

    • 49 min
    Karen K. Ho—reporting on the murder trial of a high-school classmate

    Karen K. Ho—reporting on the murder trial of a high-school classmate

    Raised in Toronto and trained as a business reporter, Karen K. Ho took a chance two years ago when she decided to cover the murder trial of a former high-school classmate charged with plotting to kill her parents. Karen's gripping story about the trial, "Jennifer Pan's Revenge," ended up going viral and helped Karen win a scholarship to the Columbia Journalism School. Jason talks to her about paying her dues as a young reporter in Canada, finding mentors, and taking risks.

    • 48 min
    Malcolm Burnley and the Lost Malcolm X Tape

    Malcolm Burnley and the Lost Malcolm X Tape

    Malcolm Burnley was a college student doing a class assignment when he stumbled across a true historical find: A lost audio tape of a Malcolm X speech from 1961. The discovery launched Burnley on a journalism career. Now a freelance journalist who has written for Politico, The Atlantic, and Philadelphia magazine, Burnley talks to Jason about how he broke into magazines (as a fact-checker), his childhood in Staten Island, and his encounters with Malcolm X admirers and historians.

    • 50 min
    Jake Blumgart explains how Frank Rizzo is the original Trump

    Jake Blumgart explains how Frank Rizzo is the original Trump

    Frank Rizzo was the larger-the-life mayor of Philadelphia from 1972 to 1980, a former cop who did not like journalists. Rizzo promised to bring law and order to the city but left a legacy of racism, poverty, population decline, and high taxes. In this episode, Jason talks to Philadelphia reporter Jake Blumgart about his article "Donald Trump is Frank Rizzo Reborn," about the uncanny parallels between the Philly mayor and the Donald.

    • 25 min
    Marin Cogan—standing your ground & developing range

    Marin Cogan—standing your ground & developing range

    How do you handle yourself as a reporter in a world where reporters are pretty widely hated and mistrusted? And how do you start in one genre of reporting and broaden into others? This week, Jason interviews Marin Cogan, contributing editor with New York magazine. Marin used to cover Capitol Hill for Politico and since then she has branched out to report on sports, crime, and justice for the likes of ESPN, GQ, and New York. In this conversation she talks about her wide-ranging career; covering the Tea Party revolution in 2010; debating the death penalty with the Benghazi Guy, Trey Gowdy; what it’s like to be a young woman reporter in Washington dealing with sexual harassment; tactics used by Senators to avoid reporters (hiding in elevators, the “cell-phone fake”); what it’s like to be screamed at by a member of Congress for reporting true facts; and how she finds and reports the complicated backstories of newspaper crime stories that go viral and then disappear. Marin also helps run a summer journalism boot camp at Princeton for low-income high school students who are academic stars at their schools, and she explains how tough it is to convince these kids to stay in journalism, and the surprising bravery of student reporters.

    • 51 min
    How to write a nonfiction book proposal

    How to write a nonfiction book proposal

    Mastering the book proposal: Jason has sold three nonfiction book proposals to major publishers, and in this episode he answers questions that writers tend to have. How do I outline a book that hasn't been fully reported? What if I've never written a book before? Should I even try to write a book proposal, or should I spend my time on other projects? Jason boils down what he has learned about a process that can seem intimidating.

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

nightninja ,

Great for writers and journalists

The perfect podcast for writers, journalists, editors or anyone interested in journalism, publishing, or media. Extremely informative, Jason provides info and insight that often seems guarded or hidden from people new to the industry. I've learned a ton already!

runelizarun ,

podcast reviewer

Really like this podcast. Hope to hear more women going forward. Women are also freelance writers.

Please don't dox this innocent comment. This is a request, of course, but I can do nothing if you do.

Kind of anothing thing male writers don't have to worry about.

Anybodi ,

Really useful for writers

I've just listened to the first episode and am rushing to download the rest - very useful, practical advice, nice style, good interview subjects.

I love how it's not wishy washy and they went straight to talking about serious stuff like money and contracts.

Someone please sponsor this guy so he can continue doing what he's doing !

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