We recommended 1,138 articles articles this year. These were our favorites.
Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning.
Iraq's Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge
The corruption and cruelty of the state’s response to suspected jihadis and their families seem likely to lead to the resurgence of the terror group.
A Conversation With a False Rock God
Jered Threatin tried to fake his way to fame and got caught red-handed. Or did he?
Merv Curls Lead
Wealthy businessman Merv Bodnarchuk put together the dream team of curling. Then he put himself in the lineup.
On writing memoirs for the rich.
His Only Living Boy
Roger Stringer testified against his son Zac in the fatal shooting that killed his younger child. Now he believes Remington’s defective rifle is to blame.
My Dad's Friendship With Charles Barkley
How a cat litter scientist from Iowa ended up in an NBA star’s inner circle.
After Newtown Shooting, Mourning Parents Enter Into the Lonely Quiet
What happened next for the Barden family.
Children of Ted
Two decades after his last deadly act of ecoterrorism, the Unabomber has become an unlikely prophet to a new generation of acolytes.
Dan Taberski is the host of Missing Richard Simmons and Surviving Y2K.
“Why would you walk into podcasting, where not a lot of rules have been written yet, why would walk into that space and be like, I'm just going to stick to the rules over here. It doesn't make any sense. ... Sourcing, respect for privacy — all these rules are here for a reason. And there's a line you shouldn't cross. But I don't see the point of not walking up to that line and looking over it. Because that is where interesting stuff is happening. ... To be able to earn that ability to cross the line a little bit and then jump back to where you belong, I think that's where beautiful storytelling happens.”
- Missing Richard Simmons
- Surviving Y2K
- [21:30] “‘Missing Richard Simmons’ and the Queasiness of Deep-Dive Entertainment Journalism” (Sarah Larson • New Yorker • Mar 2017)
- [21:40] Richard Simmons’s Disappearing Act Inspires a Hit Podcast (Sopan Deb • New York Times • Mar 2017)
- [21:40] “‘Missing Richard Simmons,’ the Morally Suspect Podcast” (Amanda Hess • New York Times • Mar 2017)
- [34:00] S-Town
- [46:15] Longform Podcast #44: Gay Talese
- [46:15] Longform Podcast #226: Terry Gross
Meet the Safecracker of Last Resort
Charlie Santore sees Los Angeles from the inside, by breaking into safes whose owners can no longer unlock them.
I’m Still Here
On learning to live with the urge to die.
You don’t die. You just wake up some place much worse.
Fiction Pick of the Week: "The Fifth Season"
Christmas memories, lost love.
In the Ashes of Ghost Ship
He helped build an artists’ utopia. Now he faces trial for 36 deaths there.
How the IRS Was Gutted
An eight-year campaign to slash the agency’s budget has left it understaffed, hamstrung and operating with archaic equipment. The result: billions less to fund the government. That’s good news for corporations and the wealthy.
The Unbelievable Tale of a Fake Hitman, a Kill List, a Darknet Vigilante... and a Murder
Hitman-for-hire darknet sites are all scams. But some people turn up dead nonetheless.
Maria Streshinsky is the executive editor at Wired.
“Sometimes a story comes in and it’s really lovely and well done. And you think if you just got on the phone with this person and pointed out the structure is wrong here and the chronology is wrong here, ask them to change that and send them what is known at Wired as the ‘praise sandwich letter’: how wonderful something is, how much work it will need, how wonderful it will be. … It’s not the kiss of death, it’s ‘we have a lot of work to do.’ … There are lots of pieces that come in that you’ve assigned because it’s the person with the right information with the right access, and they’re a good reporter, but maybe not a terrific wordsmith. So, you do more rewriting. Then there’s the other person that’s a really lovely, lovely writer that doesn’t have the structure and the reporting so you push on that. It’s sort of a three or four-pronged thing—it depends on the piece. I will say, somewhat controversially, there aren’t that many pieces that come in pretty clean.”
- Streshinsky's archive at Wired
- [5:40] Streshinsky's archive at Mother Jones
- [7:45] Streshinsky's archive at The Atlantic
- [8:45] "Women Aren't Welcome Here" (Amanda Hess • Pacific Standard • Jan 2014)
- [12:00] "How One Woman's Digital Life Was Weaponized Against Her" (Brooke Jarvis • Wired • Nov 2017)
- [23:05] "Inside the Two Years That Shook Facebook—and the World" (Nick Thompson & Dave Vogelstein • Wired • Feb 2018)
- [25:15] "Saving Lives with Tech Amid Syria's Endless Civil War" (Danny Gold • Wired • Aug 2018)
The rise and fall of fraudster John DeLorean.
Covering the Cops
A profile of Edna Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Miami Herald during its heyday.
A Very North Idaho Neighborhood Culture War Christmas!
How one man’s quest to spread Christmas cheer led to a miserable four-year war with his neighborhood.
The Warhead and the Well
Tracing an airstrike halfway around the world back to an American bomb factory.
Two Identities, One Man
The story of $800 million hedge fund fraudster Boaz Manor who led the alleged $31 million Blockchain Terminal ICO after disguising his identity with a beard.
The rise of Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers and what it reveals about post-Citizens United politics.
Can Special Effects Be Special Again?
How the VFX industry plateaued —and where it might go from here.