Mac McClelland is a human rights reporter for Mother Jones.

"There's a lot of strength and resiliance even in the worst stories ever. I mean, you do get bogged down by how much evil so many people are willing to perpetrate in the world. But I guess the little beam of sunshine that you're looking for, that hits me in the face in the morning, is just the character and intergrity of the people who are involved. "

Paul Ford is a writer and programmer.

"You don't really read a newspaper to preserve journalism, or save great journalism, or to keep the newspaper going. You read it because it gives you a sense of power or control over the environment that you're in, and actually sort of helps you define what your personal territory is, and what the things are that matter for you. As long as products serve that need—as long as books allow you to explore spaces that it's otherwise really hard for you to explore and so on—I think people will continue to read them."

Jon Mooallem is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and author of an upcoming book on people and wild animals.

"If I just kind of assume it's going to work out one way or another, it can be a real fun adventure to find the path from here to there. You know, hopefully just as you do more, that excitement starts to outweigh the horror of messing up."

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

"You don't always know all the answers. I think that's what kinda makes life interesting. The thing that makes these stories real, while they are in some ways unfathomable, [is that] there's an uneasiness of certitude. Because there are things that are not always known, there are elements of doubt, and that can be very haunting ... In some of the stories, you get as close as you can to all you know—and then there are parts that elude you."

Janet Reitman is a Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of Inside Scientology.

"I'm very open about the fact that I know nothing ... Every reporter should admit you know nothing, and when you do, there will be people that will take pity on you, and try to teach you. And then you have to be shrewd enough to know who's spinning you, and who is being genuine."

Matthieu Aikins, on the eve of a move to Kabul. Aikins is a correspondent for GQ, Harper's and Wired.

"There's no real objective framework for deciding what the value of your life is, versus the value of a story ... Especially when you go to places where people are getting killed for the silliest reasons, and a life is worth so little, you realize you don't necessarily have to value yourself as this, like, precious commodity that can't be risked in any way. And that's just a personal choice, and it's actually a very selfish one, because obviously, if you have loved ones, you're affecting them by making that choice. In any case, it's just a different headspace that you inhabit."