Anybody with any power these days wants to take us backward, it seems. The next director of the United States environmental agency wants to repeal regulations and international commitments that make the world healthier. Dictators and rebels want us to forget the rules of war enshrined in international treaties. Corporations racing to automate want to pretend their workers (or “clients” in Uber parlance) are robots already, destroying the dignity and security of people.
Naturally, not everyone is pleased. Environmentalists, human rights lawyers and unions fought for decades, maybe a century, for the rights that an elite class is now trying to pulverize. Even as these new leaders enjoy hefty popular support, the progressive activists are fighting back, emboldened by record donations to civil rights groups and other nongovernmental organizations.
In the overwhelming context of these culture wars and real wars, journalists have a newly important but controversial role. Not many people trust us anymore. Formerly objective reporters have done away with the “view from nowhere,” taking stands on issues they can’t see two sides of, like gay rights or the need for action on climate change. I’m one of them. While justifiable, the proliferation of subjective reporting has undermined public accountability and even the reality of empirical facts.
The solution is simple: Just write about the people. In people-centered storytelling, the journalist’s function isn’t to distinguish right from wrong. It’s to faithfully represent the beliefs and actions of others. In the exploration of decision and consequence, right and wrong emerge. The outcome, over years, will be a society stronger in empathy, imagination and shared purpose.
If you agree, then you’ve picked up the correct magazine. As a reader, thank you for taking equal part in the important work of storytelling. And remember you’re always welcome to share your own stories with us at latterly.org.
88 inside pages
148mm x 210mm
300gsm matte uncoated cover
130gsm inside pages
Printed in Letchworth Garden City, UK.
Table of contents
8 Fresh Paint by Taylor Smith
18 The Dancing Dead by Mara Klecker
30 They don’t want food, they want seeds by Ben Wolford
34 The dons are gone, but nouveau mobsters are ripping off India by Sean Williams
46 The pep talk refugees tell themselves by Laura Kasinof
50 One night in the Philippines’ drug war by Sean Williams
54 After Ashley by J. Malcolm Garcia
72 In Australia’s prison colony, children view death as their only hope by Ben Wolford
80 Think we should co-exist? Prove it. by Colin Morris
82 The vote to end all votes by Richie Koch
- Andrew Berry is a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and designer based in Berlin.
- Malcolm Garcia is author of What Wars Leave Behind and the forthcoming book Without a Country: The Untold Story of America’s Deported Veterans.
- Laura Kasinof is a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times and author of Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets.
- Mara Klecker is an award-winning reporter and recent graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
- Richie Koch is a writer based in Bamako, Mali. He has a Masters in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham and has lived in Luxembourg, France and Indonesia.
- Colin Morris is a musician and writer living in Chicago. The full-length follow-up to his 2015 debut EP, Could Be Anything, is due in early 2017.
- Taylor Smith is an Italian-American freelance multimedia journalist currently based in Kabul.
- Sean Williams is a Berlin-based freelance writer and journalist. His work has appeared at newyorker.com, The New Republic, The Economist, Esquire and many others.
- Shelby Wolfe is a photojournalism student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has also worked on projects in Indonesia, the Dominican Republic and Ethiopia.
- Ben Wolford is editor of Latterly. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere.