641 episodes

Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.

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    • 4.6 • 1.7K Ratings

Interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.

    Polk Award Winners: Jason Motlagh

    Polk Award Winners: Jason Motlagh

    Jason Motlagh, a journalist and filmmaker, is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the founder of Blackbeard Films. He won the Polk's Sydney Schanberg Prize for “This Will End in Blood and Ashes,” an account of the collapse of order in Haiti.
    “Once you've gotten used to this kind of metabolism, it can be hard to walk away from it. Ordinary life can be a little flat sometimes. And so that's always kind of built in. I accept that. I think I've just tried to be more honest about like, [am I taking this risk] because I need a bump my life? Or do you really believe in what you're doing? And I feel like I really do need to believe in the purpose of the story. There has to be some motivation greater than myself."
    This is the last in a series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.
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    • 40 min
    Polk Award Winners: Brian Howey

    Polk Award Winners: Brian Howey

    Brian Howey is a freelance journalist who won the Polk Award for Justice Reporting after exposing a deceptive police tactic widely used in California. He began the project, which was eventually published by the Los Angeles Times and Reveal, as a graduate student in the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
    “It’s one thing to hear about this tactic and hear about parents being questioned in this way. It’s another thing entirely to hear the change in a parent’s voice when they realize for the past 20 minutes they’ve been speaking ill of a relative who’s actually been dead the entire time, and to hear that wave of grief and sometimes that feeling of betrayal that cropped up in their voice and how the way that they spoke to the officers afterwards changed.”
    This is the fourth in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.
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    • 29 min
    Polk Award Winners: Meribah Knight

    Polk Award Winners: Meribah Knight

    Meribah Knight is a reporter with Nashville Public Radio. She won the Polk Award for Podcasting for “The Kids of Rutherford County,” produced with ProPublica and Serial, which revealed a shocking approach to juvenile discipline in one Tennessee county.
    “Where does it leave me? It leaves me with a searing anger that is going to propel me to the next thing. But we’ve made some real improvement. And that’s worth celebrating. That’s worth recognizing and saying, This work matters, people are paying attention.”
    This is the third in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.
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    • 44 min
    Polk Award Winners: Jesse Coburn

    Polk Award Winners: Jesse Coburn

    Jesse Coburn is an investigative reporter at Streetsblog. He won the Polk Award for Local Reporting for "Ghost Tags," his series on the black market for temporary license plates.
    “You can imagine this having never become a problem, because it’s so weird. What a weird scam. I’m going to print and sell tens of thousands of paper license plates. But someone figured it out. And then a lot more people followed. It just exploded.”
    This is the second in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.
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    • 34 min
    Polk Award Winners: Amel Guettatfi and Julia Steers

    Polk Award Winners: Amel Guettatfi and Julia Steers

    Amel Guettatfi and Julia Steers won this year's George Polk Award for Television Reporting for “Inside Wagner,” their Vice News investigation of Russian mercenaries on the Ukraine front and in the Central African Republic. 
    “One of the best takeaways I got from seven or eight years at Vice is that it’s not enough for something to be important when you’re figuring out how to make a story. It’s the intersection of important and interesting. And that has taught me that people will watch anything, anywhere, as long as it’s interesting. Nobody owes us their time. The onus is on us to explain things in an interesting, compelling way. I’m hoping that a landscape opens up somewhere else that sees that and understands that can be done anywhere in the world.”
    This is the first in a week-long series of conversations with winners of this year's George Polk Awards in Journalism.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 42 min
    Rerun: #429 Vinson Cunningham (Feb 2021)

    Rerun: #429 Vinson Cunningham (Feb 2021)

    Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer for The New Yorker. His novel, published in March 2024, is Great Expectations.
    “I think the job is just paying a bunch of attention. If you're a person like me, where thoughts and worries are intruding on your consciousness all the time, it is a great relief to have something to just over-describe and over-pay-attention to—and kind of just give all of your latent, usually anxious attention to this one thing. That, to me, is a great joy.”
    Show notes:

    @vcunningham

    vinson.nyc

    Cunningham on Longform

    Cunningham's New Yorker archive

    04:00 "’The Suit’ at BAM" (Brooklyn Paper • Jan 2013)

    04:00 "Label Maker: Edward Buchanan" (Nylon Guys • Mar 2015)

    09:00 circlejerk.live


    11:00 Jeremy O. Harris’ plays


    11:00 "How Are Audiences Adapting to the Age of Virtual Theatre?" (New Yorker • Oct 2020)

    18:00 "The Season of Russell Westbrook and a New Era in N.B.A. Fandom" (New Yorker • Apr 2017)

    25:00 Cunningham's McSweeney’s archive


    25:00 "The Flies in Kehinde Wiley’s Milk" (The Awl • Jun 2015)

    25:00 "Can Black Art Ever Escape the Politics of Race?" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2015)

    25:00 "How Chris Jackson is Building a Black Literary Movement" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 2016)

    27:00 "Stephon Marbury Has His Own Story to Tell" (New Yorker • Apr 2020)

    28:00 "The Playful, Political Art of Sanford Biggers" (New Yorker • Jan 2018)

    29:00 WTF with Marc Maron


    32:00 "Tracy Morgan Turns the Drama of His Life into Comedy" (New Yorker • May 2019)

    36:00 Redd Foxx party albums


    38:00 Alexandra Schwartz’ New Yorker archive


    41:00 Simon Parkin on Longform


    41:00 Adrian Chen on Longform


    42:00 "The Many Lives of Steven Yeun" (Jay Caspian Kang • New York Times Magazine • Feb 2021)


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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

SadieWit ,

I love hearing the behind-the-scene work of journalism

Half the time I listen to a longform episode, I don’t even recognize the name of the person interviewed. But within 5 min, I’m captivated by their experiences, their writing career, and totally inspired to work harder on my own reporting projects!

jewelvan96 ,

Mona Chalabis Episode

Came here specifically to hear Mona Chalabi ~ it’s such a meaningful, honest conversation and I really really appreciated hearing it.

zubarsky ,

MonaChalabi. Disappointed.

I think Ms Chalabi does some great work. I have followed her for several years and I am always impressed. I do wonder though. I did not see any graphics on the massacres that just occurred in Darfur. Arabs killing nearly whole Masalit villages. Not a great interview. I did not see any clever graphics on Israeli toddlers taken out of their beds in their underwear to Gaza, whose parents and grandparents are likely peace activists. No cartoons showing a raped and killed young woman having their bodies spit on and paraded around as a trophy.

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