(Ep. 2) Journalism for the Good of Society and Positivity with Sarah Stillman

May 31, 2016

Sarah Stillman is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the Global Migration Program. She has written on topics ranging from debtors' prisons to amateur drone builders and from Mexico’s drug cartels to Bangladesh’s garment-factory workers.

She won the 2012 National Magazine Award for Public Interest for her reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan on labor abuses and human trafficking on United States military bases, and has more recently been covering the Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of violence in Central America's Northern Triangle.

Her coverage of America’s wars overseas and the challenges facing soldiers at home has appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Nation, The New Republic.com, Slate.com, and The Atlantic.com.  She taught a seminar on the Iraq war at Yale, and also ran a creative writing workshop for four years at Cheshire Correctional Institute, a maximum-security men’s prison in Connecticut.  She is currently reporting on immigration and criminal justice issues.

Listen to the episode as Sarah discusses:

  • How she began covering stories of Syrian refugees
  • Why she is drawn to social justice stories
  • How she determines what stories she covers
  • Why it’s important to Sarah to cover stories on the margin
  • Sarah’s defining moment in setting the course for her career
  • How journalism helped her overcome her self-doubts
  • Why Sarah allows her intuition to lead her decisions
  • The internal struggles Sarah faces when telling traumatic stories
  • Why trauma workers are likely to encounter emotional triggers
  • Why it is good for you to stretch outside your comfort zone
  • Sarah’s morning routine…..or one she’s trying to implement
  • Why Sarah feels incredibly lucky to be alive at this moment in time

Links and Resources:

Recommended Book:
At the Hands of Persons Unknown

Connect with Sarah and her work: