George Packer's 5 tips for reporting on anything

by Steve Myers
Nov 30, 2010 in Journalism Basics

The New Yorker's George Packer has written about disaffected voters in Ohio and beleaguered homeowners in Florida; the massive city of Lagos, Nigeria, and the cloistered, oppressed country of Burma. He has described the dangerous predicament of Iraqis who translate for the U.S. military and the abstruse practices of senators who do everything but deliberate on the important issues of the day.

How does he learn enough about these widely divergent subjects to discuss them at happy hour, much less write about them for The New Yorker?

Packer spoke with me by phone about how he enters unfamiliar territory to report on complex subjects. Although most journalists do not spend months on national magazine stories as he does, his techniques can be applied to all sorts of reporting.

Read the five tips here.

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