Maia Szalavitz, who has bylines at Vice, TIME Magazine and The New York Times, talked about how she started reporting on addiction after entering recovery. Szalavitz authored “Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction” in 2016. She focused on how journalists need to really look at the science attached to addiction and recovery — but neither anecdotes nor data are enough. They must be together, and they must be complementary: one cannot be adjusted to fit the other.
Szalavitz also said journalists should approach their reporting scientifically, which I think is a really important way to look at journalism. It does make a lot of sense when you break it down. First, take what you’ve observed and develop a hypothesis about it. Then, do everything you can to prove and disprove it. Finally, take all your evidence and findings and present it to the public. You could even take it a step further and figure out what the shortcomings of the report were and address those in a later piece. I think this method of reporting could help journalists find different angles and make the process a lot simpler for other people to understand.
I think for this project, we should find a space to explain how the class came to be in the first place, why we chose the stories we did to publish and what we hope people do next with our coverage. We should also take time to acknowledge anything we know the project didn’t address and wish it did. That could serve as an important prompt for future classes to follow up on, but it also allows us to create a personal dialogue with readers and a chance to explain all that we can on the project.