My experience in a newspaper newsroom over the years has been: The word you hear least often, the word that’s hardest for people to say in that environment, is the word yes. It’s safer to say no. You get second-guessed less often if you say no. Your job’s not on the line if you say no. But if you’re willing to say yes and you’re willing to face the consequences of having said yes, then quite amazing things can happen.

Wise words from a man who I have tremendous respect for. Thank you for saying yes when we had an opportunity to take it to the next level.

An excellent interview with NYT’s Amanda Cox:

ON SKETCHING OUT IDEAS

I’m really quick at making those five hundred charts and I think making stuff we throw away is my most important skill.

ON IMPACTFUL CONTENT 

If you don’t have content you can’t make anything. But I think there’s a fundamental difference between things that matter and things that are just amusing or whatever. The impact of solid reporting and how much work solid reporting actually is has become really clear to me from the New York Times.

ON GOALS

It’s not advocacy, it’s more like, “Can I introduce you to new things?” or “Can I cause you to think about old things in a different way?” or “Can I give you a sense of scale about something?” I mean, informing people is our real, primary goal.

San Francisco is becoming a one-dimensional town for the 1 percent. Its housing prices — median home sale, $900,000, median rent, $3,250 a month — are the highest in the nation. Only 14 percent of homes are affordable to the middle class. Evictions of those who don’t fit are up 38 percent in the last three years.

Ouch.

A city without its nurses, its teachers, its artists, its waiters, its bus drivers, its cops, its musicians and writers and grandmothers as residents is a monoculture — as sterile as a forest of a single commercial tree species.

Even the weekday peak auto toll on the Bay Bridge only hurt the people that can’t have flexible hours, which is often times the non “techies.”

Go to any city with a thriving hub of young, creative job holders and you’ll find a version of what’s happening here. New York has its Park Slope; Portland, Ore., has its Pearl District…

Also glad we moved (and work) in NE Portland.

The two-part series contains all of the fruits of immersive reporting – strong portraiture, deep dives into causal relationships and persistent challenges to the conventional wisdom. And you will learn far more than you would staring at a cable television reporter trying to tread water with little in the way of reportable facts.

So glad that @carr2n posted and linked to this excellent piece of journalism from @ThisAmerLife.

Listen directly: 487: Harper High School, Part One.