Charlie Warzel is a senior tech writer for BuzzFeed.

“Part of the big tech reckoning that we’re seeing since the election isn’t really about the election, it isn’t really about Trump or politics. It’s more about this idea that: Wow, these services have incredibly real consequences in our everyday lives. I think that realization is really profound and is going to shape how we try to figure out what it means to be online from here on out. To keep stories relevant, we have to keep that in mind and try to figure out how to speak to that audience and guide them through that reckoning.”

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Michelle Dean is a journalist and critic. Her new book is Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion.

“There isn’t one answer. I wish there was one answer. The answer is: You just have to wing it. And I’m learning that — I’m learning to be okay with the winging it. ... I guess the lesson to me of what went on with a lot of women in the book is: You have to be comfortable with the fact that some days are going to be good, and some days are going to not be good.”

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Craig Mod is a writer and photographer. His podcast is On Margins.

“You pick up an iPad, you pick up an iPhone—what are you picking up? You’re picking up a chemical-driven casino that just plays on your most base desires for vanity and ego and our obsession with watching train wrecks happen. That’s what we’re picking up and it’s counted in pageviews, because—not to be reductive and say that it’s a capitalist issue, but when you take hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital, and you’re building models predicated on advertising, you are gonna create fucked-up algorithms and shitty loops that take away your attention. And guess what? You need to engage with longform texts. You need control of your attention. And so I think part of what subverted our ability to find this utopian reading space is the fact that so much of what’s on these devices is actively working to destroy all of the qualities needed to create that space.”

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Tom Bissell is a journalist, critic, video game writer, and author of The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. His latest book is Magic Hours.

“I kind of have come around to maybe not as monkish or fanatical devotion to sentence idolatry as I was when I was a younger writer, earlier in my career. I think I’m coming around to a place where a lot of middle-aged writers get to, which is: I tried to rewire and change the world with the beauty of language alone—it didn’t work. Now how about I try to write stuff that’s true, or that’s not determined to show people I am a Great Writer. Like a lot of young writers, you’re driven by that. Then at a certain point you realize A) you’re not going to be the Great Writer you wanted to be, and B) the determination of that is completely beyond your power to control, so best that you just write as best you can and as honestly as you can, and everything else just sort of becomes gravy.”

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Will Mackin is a U.S. Navy veteran who served with a SEAL team in Iraq and Afghanistan. His debut book is Bring Out the Dog.

“I wanted to write nonfiction and I started writing nonfiction. And the reason I did that was — first of all, I felt all the people did all the hard work, and who was I to take liberties? And the second reason was, I just felt an obligation to the men and women who I served with not to misrepresent them, or what they’d been through, or what it had meant to them, or how they felt about it. I kept piling these requirements on to myself: Well, if I present this particular event in this light, this guy’s going to get his feelings hurt. Or, I don’t know how this guy’s family will feel about me talking about this. And it became debilitating, all those restrictions, I kind of kept layering on myself. I was talking to George Saunders at one point about this, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if this book is going to happen. I’m just stuck’ And he pointed out, ‘You’re putting all these restrictions on yourself because it puts this perfect book off in the never-to-reach future. If you remove those and start fictionalizing things and getting at it a different way, maybe it’ll work for you.’”

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Nitasha Tiku is a senior writer at Wired.

“I’ve always been an incredibly nosy person—not nosy, curious. Curious about the world. It just gives you a license to ask any question, and hopefully if you have a willing editor, the freedom to see something fascinating and pursue it. It was just a natural fit from there. But that also means I don’t have the machismo, ‘breaking news’ sort of a thing. I feel like I can try on different hats, wherever I am.”

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Chana Joffe-Walt is a producer and reporter at This American Life. Her latest story is "Five Women."

“I felt like there was more to learn from these stories, more than just which men are bad and shouldn’t have the Netflix special that they wanted to have. And I was interested, also, in that there were groups of women, and that somehow, in having a group of women, you would have variation of experience. There could be a unifying person who they all experienced, but they would inevitably experience that person differently. And that would raise the question of: Why? And I feel like there is this response: ‘Why did she stay?’ Or: ‘Why didn’t she say fuck you?’ Or: ‘I wouldn’t have been upset by that. I wouldn’t have been offended by that thing.’ Which I feel like is a natural response, but also has a lack of curiosity. There are actual answers to those questions that are interesting.”

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Joe Weisenthal is the executive editor of news for Bloomberg Digital and the co-host of What’d You Miss? and Odd Lots.

"If I don’t say yes to this, then I can never say yes to anything again. Because when else am I going to get a chance in life to co-host a tv show? Even if it’s terrible, and I’m terrible at it, and it’s cancelled after three months, and everyone thinks it’s awful, for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to say I co-hosted a cable TV show. And so I was like, you know what—I have to say yes to this."

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Sean Fennessy is the editor-in-chief of The Ringer and a former Grantland editor. He hosts The Big Picture.

"What I try to do is listen to people as much as I can. And try to be compassionate. I think it’s really hard to be on the internet. This is an internet company, in a lot of ways. We have a documentary coming out that’s going to be on linear television that’s really exciting. Maybe we’ll have more of those. But for the moment, podcast, writing, video: it’s internet. [The internet] is an unmediated space of angst and meanness and a willingness to tell people when they’re bad, even when they’ve worked hard on something. That’s like the number one anxiety that I feel like we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis with everybody, myself included."

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Jenna Wortham is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and a co-host of Still Processing.

“I feel like I’m still writing to let my 10-year-old self know it’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be a chubby androgynous weirdo. You know what I mean? Like this weird black kid. It’s okay. There are others like you.”

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Michael Idov is a screenwriter, journalist, and the former editor-in-chief of GQ Russia. His latest book is Dressed Up for a Riot.

"It just goes to show that the best thing you can possibly do as a journalist is to forget you’re a journalist, go out, have some authentic experiences, preferably fail at something really hard, and then write about that."

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Liliana Segura writes for The Intercept.

"My form of advocacy against the death penalty, frankly, has always been to tell those stories that other people aren’t seeing. And to humanize the people—not just the people facing execution, but everyone around them."

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Seth Wickersham is a senior writer for ESPN. His latest article is "For Kraft, Brady and Belichick, Is This the Beginning of the End?"

“You want to write about something real. I hate stories that are, the tension of the story is, talk radio perception versus the reality that I see when I’m with somebody. I can’t stand those stories because to me, you’re just writing about the ether versus a real person, and that’s not a real tension to me. The inner tensions are the best tensions. You can’t get to them with everybody, but you try.”

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Nathan Thornburgh is the co-founder and co-publisher of Roads & Kingdoms.

"You have to remain committed to the kind of irrational act of producing journalism for an uncaring world. You have to want to do that so bad, that you will never not be doing that. There’s so many ways to die in this business."

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Kiera Feldman is an investigative reporter. Her latest article is "Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection."

"I used to have a lot of anxiety that I don’t seem like an investigative reporter. Utlimately, my reporting personality is just me. It’s just, I want to be real with people. And the number one rule of reporting is to be a human being to other people. Be decent. Be kind."

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Azmat Khan is an investigative reporter and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine.

"For me, what matters most is systematic investigation, and I think that’s different than an investigative story that might explore one case. It’s about stepping back and understanding the big picture and getting to the heart of something. It doesn’t have to be a number’s game, but being able to say: Look, I looked at a wide enough sample of whatever this issue is, and here is what this tells us. That is what I crave and love the most."

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Ben Taub is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

“I don’t think it’s my place to be cynical because I’ve observed some of the horrors of the Syrian War through these various materials, but it’s Syrians that are living them. It’s Syrians that are being largely ignored by the international community and by a lot of political attention on ISIS. And I think that it wouldn’t be my place to be cynical when some of them still aren’t.”

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Maggie Haberman covers the Trump Administration for The New York Times.

“If I start thinking about it, then I’m not going to be able to just keep doing my job. I'm being as honest as I can — I try not to think about it. If you’re flying a plane and you think about the fact that if the plane blows up in midair you’re gonna die, do you feel like you can really focus as well? So, I’m not thinking about [the stakes]. This is just my job. This is what we do. Ask me another question.”

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Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, is the founder of Women in the World. Her latest book is The Vanity Fair Diaries.

“I believed that my bravado had no limit, if you know what I mean. I see limits now, let’s put it that way. I do see limits. But you know, I’m still pretty reckless when I want something. That’s why I don’t tweet much. I’ll say something that will just cause me too much trouble.”

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Mara Shalhoup was until recently the editor-in-chief of LA Weekly. She is the author of BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family.

“I’m so fearful about what it will look like for cities without an outlet for [alt-weekly] stories. And for young writers, who need and deserve the hands-on editing these kind of editors can give them and help really launch careers … it’s a tragedy for journalism. It’s a tragedy for young people, people of color. It’s a tragedy for the subjects of stories that won’t get written now. That’s just the reality.”

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Zoe Chace is a reporter and producer at This American Life.

“Radio is a movie in your head. It’s a very visual thing. It’s a transporting thing—when it’s done well. And it’s louder than your thoughts. It is both of those things. It would just take me out of the place that I was, where I was lost and couldn’t figure things out. ... They had a very personal way of telling the story to you, so that you kind of felt like you’re there with them. Like it’s less lonely, it’s literally less lonely to have them there. And that felt really good.”

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Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for Buzzfeed and the author of News Junkie.

“I made the worst mistake that cost me my credibility and I could have done two things. I could have walked away, and said I’m done with this, no one wants me anymore. Or I could have—which I did—say, I’m going to learn how to do this differently, and be better. And that’s ultimately is what paved the way to this FOIA work. Because no one trusted me anymore.”

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Kara Swisher is the executive editor and co-founder of Recode.

“I do the work. I just work harder than other people. I really do. I work harder, I interview more people, I call more people, I text more people. And so I find out, and they can not talk to me — fine. I know anyway. I’d like to talk to you, I’d like to give you a chance. I’d like to be fair. I’d like to hear your side of the story. And the most important thing is, I think smart people – and these are very smart people — like smart questions. They don’t like the fawning questions. They don’t like being licked up and down all day. Some of the day they like it. They want someone who knew them before they were billionaires. Because when you’re a billionaire, every day you’re so smart. Everyone wants something from you.”

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Tyler Cowen is an economist, the co-founder of Marginal Revolution, and the host of Conversations with Tyler. His latest book is The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

“I think of my central contribution, or what I’m trying to have it be, is teaching people to think of counter arguments. I’m trying to teach a method: always push things one step further. What if, under what conditions, what would make this wrong? If I write something and people respond to it that way, then I feel very happy and successful. If people just agree with me, I’m a little disappointed.”

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Jodi Kantor is a New York Times investigative reporter and the author of The Obamas. On October 5th, she (with Megan Twohey) published an article detailing decades of sexual harassment payoffs by Harvey Weinstein, and she has covered the story extensively since.

“Being a reporter really robs you of self-consciousness and shyness. You realize that it’s this great gift of being able to ask crazy questions, either really personal or very probing or especially with a powerful — to walk up to Harvey Weinstein, essentially and say, ‘What have you been doing to women all these years, and for how long? All of these other people may be afraid to confront you about it, but we are not.’ That is our job.”

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