Our story picks of the week, featuring The New Yorker, Tampa Bay Times, Planet Money, Rookie and Indianapolis Monthly, with a guest pick by Chris Mahr.
A reporter grapples with the suicide of a source:
The reporter-source relationship is a complicated one that defies easy description. It borrows a little from the salesman-buyer relationship, the therapist-patient relationship, the police officer-witness relationship, sometimes even the growing intimacy of a friendship. We work hard to gain access and trust, and generally we avoid doing anything that stops a source from talking once she gets started.
"How are you now?" I asked at the time.
"I'm suffering horribly . . . but I'm not suicidal," she said. "It's a soothing thing. I don't really want to do it. But it helps me calm down, it helps me sleep to think about the possibilities to end the suffering."
If I had possessed some sort of device that could peer inside her brain and pick up some biological trace amongst the billions of nerve cells and circuits that would indicate she was likely to commit suicide, would I have stopped the interview?
PUBLISHED: Nov. 27, 2013
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5430 words)
Picks from Emily Perper
, a freelance editor and reporter who blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker
. This week's picks include stories from the The Tampa Bay Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Andrew Yellis, and Vela Magazine.
Picks from Emily Perper
, a freelance editor and reporter currently completing a service year in Baltimore with the Episcopal Service Corps. This week's picks include stories from the The Rumpus, Tampa Bay Times, Benjamin Carlson, and The New York Times.
Our picks this week include The Washington Post, American Prospect, ESPN, Tampa Bay Times, Wired, and a guest pick by Todd Olmstead
Reporters from the Tampa Bay Times
and The Center for Investigative Reporting spent a year scrutinizing 5,800 charities nationwide that pay for-profit telemarketing companies to solicit donations on their behalf. As much as 90 cents for every dollar of those donations go directly to pay for the for-profit companies that are "dialing for dollars":
Part One: Dirty Secrets of the Worst Charities
Part Two: A Failure of Regulation
Part Three: The Reynolds Family Empire
PUBLISHED: June 10, 2013
LENGTH: 44 minutes (11185 words)
A teenager with cancer is fighting to make it to her high school graduation:
"At the end of her junior year, the doctors said there was nothing more they could do for Lyndsey. 'Six months to a year,' they told her. She might not even be alive for her family to break the no-applause rule.
"But the principal, Dan Evans, just told her, 'Okay.' They'd get her to June 5 at Tropicana Field.
"And so began a much quieter race to graduation, one that has not announced itself by shrieking in the hallways or picnicking on the campus lawn, but with all of that urgency and more."
PUBLISHED: May 17, 2013
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2989 words)
A young woman tries out a bionic hand after losing her fingers and toes:
"Her dad wonders if the financial burden of the bionic hand is worth it. A left hand device won't be considered until that's clear. If the bionic hand's too hard or awkward to use, will it collect dust on her nightstand? 'She's good without it. She's so independent,' he said once in the doctor's office. 'She does it all on her own.'
"Tisa's progress depends on her determination, Bauer, the orthotist, tells them. And she has already come so far."
PUBLISHED: April 14, 2013
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1745 words)
A couple's five-year divorce battle:
"Motion to enforce court orders on sale of property. Motion to modify temporary relief. Amended motion for contempt to enforce order. Motion for protective order and extension of time. Emergency motion to modify temporary primary residence.
"All of these meant Terry and Murielle and their lawyers and their experts would come together in front of the judge, sometimes at a combined cost of $1,250 an hour. She did this, he did that. No, he did this; no, she did that. An endless battle of wills. The pair — through their attorneys — hurled seemingly unrelated and unsubstantiated accusations at each other, all of which entered the permanent public record of the court file.
"Then one day in August 2009 came this: emergency motion for return of the child and to terminate contact."
PUBLISHED: April 3, 2013
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6234 words)