Complicated, deeply reported, long-form science journalism

About one month ago DC reporter Shani Hilton caught some flack for ignoring the poor in a piece on black middle-class gentrification. Rather than add to the criticism, TNC suggests a better response:

From my perspective, Shani is introducing a narrative, and an angle, we see too rarely in discussions about the problems of the city. There is no question in my mind, that more reporting–and specifically more reporting beyond her social circle–would have made Shani’s story better. I hope she’ll take up that challenge in the future.

But I also hope that the people challenging her now will follow suit, and do some writing and reporting, themselves. The biggest problem with this story is that it bears too much weight–there simply aren’t enough stories like it. The same can’t be said of the always booming industry of black poverty porn.

I’m not trying to be dismissive, on the contrary I’m aiming  for a call to arms. We desperately need complicated, deeply-reported, long form journalism about black people.  Don’t like Shani’s story? Make another one. Make a better one. Start now.

Creation is the ultimate critique. [Emphasis in original–PK]
Science as well as race relations can benefit from more complicated, deeply-reported, long form journalism. Instead of attacking the always booming science is god industry, I hope the STS crowd takes up TNCs call to arms. We desperately need much more along the lines of Jonah Lehrer and David Freedman, and we shouldn’t be satisfied with the present narrative.


  1. Regrettably, most of the STS crowd doesn’t know how to write, certainly not in an engaging fashion.

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