Carl Zimmer, a columnist for the New York Times and a national correspondent at STAT, writes about science.

“[Criticism] doesn’t change the truth. You know? Global warming is still happening. Vaccines still work. Evolution is still true. No matter what someone on Twitter or someone in an administration is going to say, it’s still true. So, we science writers have to still be letting people know about what science has discovered, what we with our minds have discovered about the world—to the best of our abilities. That’s our duty as science writers, and we can’t let these things scare us off.”

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Wesley Lowery is a national reporter at the Washington Post, where he worked on the Pulitzer-winning project, "Fatal Force." His new book is They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.

“I think that we decided at some point that either you are a journalist or you are an activist. And I identify as a journalist, to be clear, but one of the reasons I often don’t engage in that conversation—when someone throws that back at me I kind of deflect a little bit—is that I think there’s some real fallacy in there. I think that every journalist should be an activist for transparency, for accountability—certainly amongst our government, for first amendment rights. There are things that by our nature of what we do we should be extremely activist.”

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Adam Moss is the editor of New York Magazine.

“I think [change] is good for journalism—it’s what journalism is about. You can’t write about something static. News is about what is new. So there’s plenty of new right now. I’m not saying it’s good for the citizenry or anything like that, but, yeah, for journalists it’s an extremely interesting time. There’s no denying that.”

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Kyle Chayka is a freelance writer who writes for Businessweek, The Verge, Racked, The New Yorker, and more.

“I love that idea of form and content being the same. I want to write about lifestyle in a lifestyle magazine. I want to critique technology in the form of technology, and kind of have the piece be this infiltrating force that explodes from within or whatever. You want something that gets into the space, and sneaks in, and then blows up.”

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Susan Casey is the former editor of O and the author of three New York Times bestselling books. Her latest is Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.

“The funny thing is people often say, ‘You must be fearless.’ I’m always afraid of whatever it is. But for whatever reason—I think it’s partly naïvety, partly just overwhelming curiosity—I am also not going to let fear stop me from doing things even if I feel it. Unless it’s that pure…you do have to listen to your body sometimes if it tells you not to do something that could result in you really never coming up from falling on that 70-foot wave.”

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Wesley Morris is a critic at large for The New York Times, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the co-host of Still Processing. His latest article is "Last Taboo: Why Pop Culture Just Can’t Deal With Black Male Sexuality."

“You learn a lot of things about your sexuality at an early age. You know, I learned that your penis is a problem for white people, that you can’t be too openly sexual in general because that could get you in trouble because someone could misconstrue what you’re doing, and, in my case, I also knew I was gay. So I had to deal with, ‘Ok so my dick is a problem in general, and I’m not even interested in putting my penis where it’s supposed to go. This is going to be bad.’”

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Doreen St. Félix is a writer at MTV News.

“It feels like there are images of black utopias that are arising. And you can’t—even if you’re not as superstitious as me—you can’t possibly think that that doesn’t have to do with the decline, the final, to me, last gasp of white supremacy. It really does feel like we’re approaching that, [but] that approach might be a thousand years.”

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Emily Witt is a freelance writer and the author of Future Sex.

“I think I had always thought that—maybe this is coming from a WASPy, protestant background—if I presented myself as overtly sexual in any way, it would be a huge turnoff. That they would see me as a certain type of person. They wouldn’t have respect for me. And I thought this both professionally—I thought maybe writing this book was going to be really bad for my career, that nobody would take me seriously anymore—and also that nobody would want to date me if I was too honest. In both counts the opposite happened.”

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Krista Tippett is the host of On Being and the author of Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.

“Good journalists in newsrooms hold themselves to primitive standards when they’re covering religious ideas and people. They’re sloppy and simplistic in a way that they would never be with a political or economic person or idea. I mean they get facts wrong. They generalize. Because they don’t take it seriously, and they don’t know how to take it seriously.”

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Luke Dittrich is a contributing editor at Esquire. His new book is Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets.

“As soon as I told [my mom] that I got my first book deal for this story about Patient H.M., her first words were, ‘Oh no.’ That was sort of her gut reaction to it because, I think, she knew at a certain level that I was going to be dredging up very painful stories. And I think at that point even she didn’t know the depth of the pain that some of the stories that I was going to find were going to lay out there.”

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A.J. Daulerio is the former editor-in-chief of Gawker.

“The choices they’ve given me are take back everything that you loved about Nick [Denton], Gawker, and your job, and we’ll give you your $1,000 back or your ability to make money. You can walk away from this, but you just can’t talk about it ever again. I don’t see there’s any question for me. I definitely thought long and hard about it, and I’ve talked to a lot of people about it. It’s just not in me. Some days I absolutely wish I could say, ‘Is there a phone call I could make to make this all go away?’ Because I want my life back. That’s happened. But for the most part I just think I would regret doing that.”

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Julia Turner is editor-in-chief of Slate.

“That’s what we’ve been focused on: trying to double down on the stuff that feels distinctive and original. Because if you spend all your time on a social platform, and a bunch of media brands are optimizing all their content for that social platform, all those media brands’ headlines say the same, all the content is pretty interchangeable. It turns media into this commodity where then what is the point of developing a media company for 20 years? You might as well take the Silicon Valley approach and just make a new one every three years for whatever that moment is.”

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Naomi Zeichner is editor-in-chief of The Fader.

“Right now in rap there’s kind of a huge tired idea that kids are trying to kill their idols, and kids have no respect for history, and kids are making bastardized crazy music, and how dare they? I just don’t even know why we still care about this false dichotomy. Kids are coming from where they come from, they’re going where they’re going. And it’s like, do you want to try to learn about where they’re coming from and where they’re going, or do you not?”

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Ben Taub is a contributing 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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Sarah Schweitzer is a former feature writer for the Boston Globe.

“I just am drawn, I think, to the notion that we start out as these creatures that just want love and were programmed that way—to try to find it and to make our lives whole. We are, as humans, so strong in that way. We get knocked down, and adults do some horrible things to us because adults have had horrible things done to [them]. There are some terrible cycles in this world. But there’s always this opportunity to stop that cycle. And there are people who come along who do try that in their own flawed ways.”

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Rachel Monroe is a freelance writer based in Texas.

“I will totally go emotionally deep with people. If I can find a subject who is into that then it will probably be a good story. Whether that person is a victim of a crime, or a committer of a crime, or a woman who spends a lot of time on the internet looking for hoaxes, or whatever it may be—I guess I just think people are interesting. Particularly when those people have gone through some sort of extreme situation.”

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McKay Coppins is a senior political writer for Buzzfeed News and the author of The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House.

“I am part of the problem. Not in the sense that it’s my fault Trump ran, but in the sense that I’m one of many who for his entire life have mocked him and ridiculed him. He’s a billionaire—I don’t feel any moral guilt about it. But if being I’m honest with myself that same part of me can also, when not checked, be projected onto vast swathes of people. It’s easy to have a lazy classism about the type of people who would vote for Donald Trump.”

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Gabriel Sherman is the national affairs editor at New York and the author of the New York Times best-seller The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News—and Divided a Country.

“There was a time when we got death threats at home. Some crank called and said, ‘We’re gonna come after you. You’re coming after the right, we’re gonna get you.’ That was scary because, again, you don’t know if it’s just a crank when you have right wing websites that are turning you into a target. You know, it’s one thing if they do it with a politician. They have security or handlers—I don’t have any of that.”

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Ezra Klein the editor-in-chief of Vox.

“I think that if any of these big players collapse, when their obits are written, it’ll be because they did too much. I’m not saying I think any of them in particular are doing too much. But I do think, when I look around and I think, ‘What is the danger here? What is the danger for Vox?’ I think it is losing too much focus because you’re trying to do too many things.”

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Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His new podcast is Revisionist History.

“The amount of criticism you get is a constant function of the size of your audience. So if you think that, generously speaking, 80% of the people who read your work like it, that means if you sell ten books you have two enemies. And if you sell a million books you have 200,000 enemies. So be careful what you wish for. The volume of critics grows linearly with the size of your audience.”

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Ellis Jones is the editor-in-chief of VICE Magazine.

“I’m just not an edgy person. You know what I mean? I think I am a nice person. I think VICE Magazine reflects the qualities that I want to have or think that I have or that my team has. The magazine would be terrible if I tried to make edgy content ... people would just see right through it. It wouldn’t be good.”

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David Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker.

“I think it’s important — not just for me, but for the readers — that this thing exists at the highest possible level in 2016, in 2017, and on. That there’s a continuity to it. I know, because I’m not entirely stupid, that these institutions, no matter how good they are, all institutions are innately fragile. Innately fragile.”

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T. Christian Miller, senior investigative reporter at ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong, staff writer at The Marshall Project, co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.”

“I won’t forget this: when T. and I talked on the phone and agreed that we were going to work on [“An Unbelievable Story of Rape”] together, T. created a Google Drive site, and we decided we’d both dump all our documents in it. And I remember seeing all the records that T. had gathered in Colorado, and then I dumped all the records that I had gathered in Washington, and it was like each of us had half of a phenomenal story. And in one day, by dumping our notes into a common file, we suddenly had a whole story.”

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Jack Hitt contributes to Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life.

“I’ve always lived more or less unemployed in these markets, and happily so. I think being unemployed keeps you a little more sharp in terms of looking for stories. It never gets any easier. That motivation and that desperation, whatever you want to call that, is still very much behind many of the conversations I have all day long trying to find those threads, those strings, that are going to pull together and turn into something.”

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Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for The New Yorker. "The Really Big One," her article about the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.

“I can tell you in absolute sincerity: I didn't realize I was writing a scary story. Obviously I know the earthquake is going to be terrifying, and that our lack of preparedness is genuinely really scary. But, as I think often happens as a reporter, you toggle between professional happiness, which is sometimes, frankly, even professional glee—you’re just so thrilled you’re getting what you’re getting—and then the sort of more human and humane response, which comes every time you really set down your pen and think about what it is you’re actually reporting about.”

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