A sampling of the offerings in the September issue of The Atlantic are as follows: In the cover story – “Can the Middle Class be Saved?” – Don Peck explores how America adapts to “societal transformations.” James Fallows, meanwhile, reports from China on the “Jasmine” protests that occurred on the heels of anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt. Megan McArdle writes on why the White House should miss the recently departed economist Austan Goolsbee. James Parker explores the the world of celebrities who “crack under the lens” of outlets like TMZ. And bugs. You didn’t read that wrong. Daniel Fromson reports on an Amsterdam-based company selling soy-glazed mealworms. That’s right…to eat. Visit TheAtlantic.com to read the stories.
Posts Tagged ‘Megan McArdle’
Today we chat with The Atlantic‘s Senior Editor Megan McArdle to learn what reporting and writing tips she has up her sleeve. Credentials: She’s a blogger and writer. She has an undergraduate degree in English lit from the University of Pennsylvania. She has had opinion pieces published in NYP, The New York Sun, Reason, The Guardian and Salon.com. In 2003, The Economist hired her to be their Economics Correspondent. In 2007 she moved to Washington and to The Atlantic.
1. Favorite Interview Technique Silence. Long silences are really uncomfortable, so most reporters are tempted to break them. But interview subjects also find them uncomfortable, and eventually they’ll say almost anything to end the discomfort. If you keep quiet for long enough, they will almost always start talking. And by then they’re a little nervous, so they often say something interesting. I find this is particularly true if you can gaze intently at their eyes and nod slowly as if they’re being incredibly fascinating (or are confirming all your worst suspicions). But this is also really uncomfortable for the journalist, so what I actually do is stare at the bridge of their nose between their eyes.
2. Most Compelling Question You’ve Ever Asked Why? It is not a question that will go down in the annals of history. But it consistently generates the most interesting answers. Why did you do that? Why is that so? Why should I care?
3. Best Self-Editing Approach Sit on it. You need to give your thought process a break between first and second draft. Ideally this is a couple of days, but even 15 minutes of playing Angry Birds or talking to your spouse about where to put the new climbing roses breaks your thinking process enough that when you go back to it, you’re much better able to see whether your narrative arc holds together, and what you don’t really need. Read it aloud to yourself before you start rewriting: What sounds wrong?
4. What to do When an Interview is Tanking Switch topics suddenly. I like to warn them–”Sorry, I may seem a bit ADD, but there’s just so much to cover here”–and then ask them about something completely different from what we’ve been discussing. It doesn’t really matter what you ask them; what matters is that you surprise them. Don’t make them think you’re psychotic by suddenly asking them how they met their wife, or anything too personal (unless that’s the topic of the interview) but ask them something sufficiently different from what went before to potentially knock them out of their well-worn track. This doesn’t always work, but sometimes it can get an interview back on track.
5. Approaching Lawmakers and other “Important People” In general, I don’t like interviewing these people. They’re hard to get on the phone; they are well-rehearsed at never saying anything even remotely interesting; and they frequently have minders to ensure that if they accidentally stray from the talking points, they don’t get more than a few feet before they’re reeled back onto the straight and narrow. The fact is, they don’t need you as much as you need them, so don’t try to persuade them that this is somehow going to be awesome for them; tell them what you’re doing, make it sound as friendly as possible, and follow up–but assume they it’s chancy at best.
6. Most Surprising Thing to Happen During an Interview…
The Atlantic‘s New Work Era Summit on Tuesday is bringing in government and business leaders to discuss challenges facing American workers today and how to best prepare for future workforce trends.
Featured speakers: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; Senator Mark Warner (D-VA); and Steve Case, founder of AOL and a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
The event takes place at the Newseum from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
To coincide with tomorrow’s summit, The Atlantic and McKinsey & Company are joining forces for “The Great Jobs Debate,” a two-week special report on TheAtlantic.com. Beginning Tuesday, July 12, says a release, experts in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will weigh in on one crucial question: what single thing should the government do to create jobs? Contributors include: Michelle Rhee, former D.C. schools chief; Siemens CEO Eric Spiegel; Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio; Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation; Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, and The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle, among others.
More logistical details about the Work Summit after the jump…
From electronics to airplanes, check out what The Atlantic editors have on their wish lists this season:
Scott Stossel, Deputy Editor – Mangroomer Do-It-Yourself Electric Back Hair Shaver
James Gibney, Deputy Managing Editor – Personal Energy Generator
Bob Cohn, Editorial Director, The Atlantic.com – iPhone Case with Built-In Flashlight
Corby Kummer, Senior Editor– Tivoli Audio NetWorks Global Audio System
Megan McArdle, Business & Economics Editor – The Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection
Marc Ambinder, Politics Editor – Surround-Sound Flight Simulation Chassis
James Fallows, National Correspondent – Icon A5 airplane
The complete gift guide can be found here.
ABC’s This Week: Vice President Biden’s Chief Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein, Sen. Ken Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Rep. Michael Pence (R-IN) and a roundtable with ABC’s Donna Brazile, George Will, Betsy Stark and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich
Fox News Sunday: White House Council of Economic Affairs chair Christina Romer, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and chief White House photographer Pete Souza
CNN’s State of the Union: White House Council of Economic Affairs chair Christina Romer and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: CBS’ 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL)
Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Autos Task Force Chief Steve Rattner, Bloomberg’s Rich Miller, Margaret Carlson and <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/Kate-OBeirne-profile.html”>Kate O’Beirne and former CBS broadcaster Billy Packer
CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Bill and Melinda Gates, NYU Stern Business School’s Roy Smith, Cherry Hill Research President Henry Blodget and The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle
Good morning Washington. You don’t plan on watching any college football games on New Years Day. And, this morning, Kiefer Sutherland celebrates his 41st birthday sober, and in jail.
Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:
data, ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, December 16, 2007. On Sunday, the Russert-moderated program was No. 1, averaging 4.205 million total viewers.”
Megan McArdle is leaving The Economist for The Atlantic, FishbowlDC has learned.
There’s happy hour tomorrow to say goodbye. Says the email: “Karaoke might ensue.”