Explore Harvard's Nieman network Nieman Fellowships Nieman Lab Nieman Reports Nieman Storyboard

Tag Archives: Alexis Madrigal

Audio Danger: Radio storytelling and the perils of digital permanence

Back in the distant 1990s, This American Life host Ira Glass described a recurring dream of NPR’s Scott Simon: Simon would shoot a basketball over and over, but then it would disappear. The ball never landed. That, Glass said, was a perfect metaphor for broadcast: We tossed words and stories into the ether, but we [...]

“Why’s this so good?” — the Hollywood edition

From our “Why’s this so good?” archives, a handful of great reads on Hollywood by Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote, Ian Parker and Dave Gardetta, deconstructed for craft and significance by critic Maud Newton, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal, Wired’s Jason Fagone and Vanity Fair’s Benjamin Wallace: “Raymond Chandler sticks it to Hollywood” — critic Maud Newton deconstructs an Atlantic [...]

Well hello there.

Welcome, new readers! Our audience has grown considerably lately, so we thought this might be a good time to recap Storyboard’s goods and services, and to invite you to follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. We’re a Nieman Foundation for Journalism publication, with two sister sites: Nieman Journalism Lab, edited by Joshua Benton, covers the future of news with daily online posts and [...]

Hurricane Sandy: story forms

The Hurricane Sandy storylines are still unfolding, but one thing became clear on Monday as winds and water overtook New York City and New Jersey in historic proportions: Digital media deepened the transformation of the disaster narrative. Here’s some of what’s out there today in various storytelling forms: The New York Times’ Tumblr-like live update stream was the cleanest [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 34: Buzz Bissinger trails a fabulist

So, you, a journalist, are given this ridiculous, outrageous assignment: Write a story about one of your own, a writer who betrayed your profession on a spectacular scale. It’s the story of Stephen Glass, perhaps the most remarkable fabulist ever to pretend to be a nonfiction writer. Oh, and by the way, Glass won’t talk to [...]

Nieman Storyboard’s top 10 posts for 2011

During the last days of December, we’ve been tweeting down Storyboard’s top 10 posts for the year. In case you haven’t been following along, here they are, all in one place (in reverse order): 10. Internet phenom Maud Newton’s “Why’s this so good?”: “Raymond Chandler sticks it to Hollywood.” 9. Chris Jones, Esquire writer at large, [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 10: Ralph Wiley tackles Jim Brown

In “Nobody Else is Jim Brown,” sportswriter Ralph Wiley constructs a profile of perhaps the greatest football player in NFL history, a man so legendary that the word legend actually applies. Written for ESPN’s Page 2, the piece shows Wiley at his best. It’s a day in the life writ large, more like a Life in [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 8: Katherine Boo takes on the ties that bind

I only saw my great-aunt a few times – she lived far away – but in my family, she was kind of a legend. She wore purple every day, and kept a stash of matching purple toilet paper that she’d break out for company. She watched the Denver Broncos every Sunday with her old lady friends and yelled at the television [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 1: Truman Capote keeps time with Marlon Brando

Truman Capote’s profile of the depressive, incoherent, brilliant Marlon Brando is one of the greatest of all time. Published in 1957 in The New Yorker, it nominally takes place one evening in the Miyako Hotel in Kyoto. One could point out many things about craft in the piece. The descriptions of characters are finely observed [...]

“Why’s this so good?” – a collaboration on the magic of long-form stories

We’re excited to announce a new feature that we’ll be rolling out next week on Nieman Storyboard. “Why’s This So Good?” will explore what makes classic narrative nonfiction stories worth reading. Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently popped out with a suggestion on Twitter that the awesome catalogue of narrative that is [...]