Category: Essays

“Endless Endless” and an Incessant Research Process

Elephant 6’s most famous musician, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum, has not granted an on-the-record interview in two decades and likely never will again. That’s why it seemed like such a fascinating subject to investigate. It’s also why the writers who had tried to tackle it before me gave up.

Pipelines of Exclusion on the Climate Change Beat

Climate and environment reporters of color don't have the same privileges as white reporters. Who gets to tell this story, and how will it shape the future?

Maya Dukmasova of Injustice Watch on the Skills, Boundaries and Experience an Investigative Reporter Needs

On December 15, 2021, Study Hall held an AMA with Maya Dukmasova, a senior reporter at Injustice Watch, reporting primarily on judges in Cook County. Before that, she was a staff writer at the Chicago Reader for five years where she covered housing, policing, racial justice movements, and various odd topics about interesting people and places in Chicago. 

How to Be a Journalist When Talking to People Scares You

"I am consistently haunted by a fear that has plagued me since grade school: that social anxiety will always keep my life small. A journalist is bold and adventurous; the world is theirs."


When you buy into the myth of the singular genius, it becomes unseemly that a brilliant writer might need an equal partner in an audio producer to coherently package and adapt their thoughts for a new medium.

Beep, Beep, Beep

A goodbye note from Study Hall staff writer Allegra Hobbs.

On Twitter, You Can Never Log Off

A year of pandemic-related misery has salted the earth of Media Twitter.

My Month of Fashion Ghostwriting

For a gig, Chris Erik Thomas was tasked with filing dozens of front-row dispatches from fashion shows in Paris, London, and Milan — all while sitting in their apartment in Berlin.

Door Knocking Fucking Sucks

Knocking on doors as a local reporter is anxiety-inducing, vulnerable, occasionally terrifying, and necessary.

Andrew Yang and the New York Test

Yang’s bodega video attempts to game the time-honored tradition of hazing political candidates for their knowledge of the city’s culture.