As a journalist, a huge part of my job is staying up to date on news. I don’t just need to track the stories that are breaking locally, but I need to make sure I understand bigger ongoing stories happening around the world. I find reading news articles and longform journalism to be incredibly informative and interesting, and over the past year in particular I’ve tried to incorporate it more and more into my reading routine.
As a young person who has just graduated from university and who has rent and bills to pay, it can be tricky to carve out a budget for subscribing to news outlets. I subscribe to The New Yorker and The Economist currently, and I am constantly checking Rolling Stone and GQ for newly published pieces. Being a journalist, I see the value of news and I’m willing to pay for it when necessary, but of course there are so many scenarios in which people can’t afford to do that.
I want to start curating lists every month or so of the best and most interesting longform articles on the internet. My lists will include a range of topics, publications, and journalists and will hopefully offer something new and educational for you to read.
Longform is excellent for anyone who loves to read but might not have time to commit to a full on book. There are articles about pretty much everything and anything you can imagine.
Before I get started I want to give a little shout out to a great website that compiles and curates longform journalism. It is very aptly named “Longform.com” and is one of my absolute favourite places to find great articles. Check it out if you have the time.
Now, without further ado, here are 10 articles to read:
For true crime enthusiasts: “Covering the Cops: The World of Miami’s Top Crime Reporter” by Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker February 1986. A deep dive into the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edna Buchanan, lead crime reporter with the Miami Herald. Buchanan is a total badass and a kick-ass journalist. Her story is amazing and this article is absolutely riveting.
If you’re interested in politics: “Children of Ted” by John H. Richardson, New York Magazine December 2018. This article has something for true crime readers and political junkies alike. Ten years after committing his last devastating crime, Ted Kaczynski - more popularly known as The Unabomber - has become an unlikely spiritual leader to a new generation who see has writings and prophecies as something more than just the works of a madman.
For anyone interested in health/wellness: “I’m Still Here” by Clancy Martin in The Huffington Post, December 2018. This incredibly brave piece chronicles the authors’ struggles with suicidal thoughts and learning to cope with a disease that is misunderstood and misrepresented all too often. Although it may not be what some would consider a traditional “health and wellness” article, it offers incredible, profound, and painful insight into a health problem that so many people around us live with. This article is a true example of how journalists and writers can connect with others by telling their own stories.
For sports enthusiasts: “Friday Night Lights” by Buzz Bissinger, Sports Illustrated September 1990. This is what one might call “an oldy but a goody”. It’s the story of a high school football team in Texas and how one sport was able to bring together people from very different backgrounds.
If you’re interested in film/television: “My Not Top Ten Television List” by Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker December 2018. I truly believe The New Yorker has some of the best cultural critics in the business. Their writing is incredibly insightful, biting and sometimes so funny that it’ll make you laugh out loud. If you’re trying to decide if a show is worth watching or a book is worth reading these are the people you want to turn to for advice. Emily Nussbaum, the magazine’s television critic, is amazing. This article is her take on the best works in television in 2018. It’s sure to make you laugh and you might just walk away with a new show to watch.
For writers: “American Ghost Writer” by Sean Patrick Cooper, The Baffler December 2018. Ghost writing - which is when a writer takes on the task of writing a famous person’s memoir or novel for them - is a very common practice. There are large-scale companies that offer ghost writing services and the market for undercover writers is massive. This piece explores what it’s like to ghost write.
If you love photography: “Let A Hundred McMansions Bloom” by George Steinmetz in The New York Times September 2014. I’ve been really trying to incorporate looking at and reading through photo essays into my routine. I think they’re so beautiful and offer something so unique that couldn’t possibly be explained in words. I found this one, which is about Chinese rice field being converted into luxury villas, to be quite visually stunning and fascinating.
If you like science: “The Squid Hunter” by David Grann, The New Yorker May 2004. This splendid article chronicles one scientists’ obsession with finding and studying a giant squid. It’s whimsical, emotional, beautifully written, and will teach you more than you ever expected to know about one of the most mysterious and mythical creatures on earth.
For tech junkies: “Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche” by Laurie Penny, Breaker December 2018. I found myself very unexpectedly laughing aloud at the absolute ridiculousness and brilliance of this article. Feminist writer Laurie Penny spends four days on a cruise ship with a group of people who have heavily cashed in on the bitcoin craze. What she learns about them is funny, bizarre, and more than a little troubling.
For fashion lovers: “The itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, very litigious bikini” by Katherine Rosman, The Star December 2018. This is my favourite article of the bunch. Katherine Rosman investigates the origins of a crochet bikini that has made millions of dollars for its proclaimed creator. What she discovers is that the woman who claims to have designed the bikini may have actually stolen it from an artisan in Brazil.