Friday, February 05, 2010

Busting Myths With Style

For decades, Popular Mechanics has been known as a prime destination for geeks. But you don't have to be a geek to appreciate how well the magazine covers its subject, and often in ways that speak to much larger audiences, if only the audience will momentarily suspend its preconceptions of that publication. This wonderful series, Mythbusters Workshop, is as good an example of that as we've seen. It's yet another reminder of how you can sometimes find great journalism and storytelling from the most unexpected sources. We'd love your thoughts.

4 Comments:

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Kim said...

As the sole artsy member of an engineering family, I've grown to appreciate the fabulous job MythBusters does sharing seemingly tedious stories with genuine joy and entertainment. I don't think they dumb down their research in the least, but the find a way to merge right brain and left brain thinking.

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Kim, you've put your finger on the most important thing. Thanks for saying this better than I did. How cool that at least one reader already knew about this feature. Anyone else?

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Kristine said...

You know, John, thanks for reminding everyone that there are publications we don't think of very much if we don't cover the niche--but there's always an angle to a story that can go into another publication. I would not have thought of Mythbusters at PM, (and I liked his comment about sitting at the Hearst Tower smoking a pipe and firing people!) Incidentally, PM, according to my Writer's Market 2010, pays $1 a word and up for the writer who can come up with that kind of an article--PM seems to be a dying breed in this era of $10 web articles. (But yet I can't think of one single thing I can intelligently pitch to them:) )

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You make a good point, Kristine. And while I posted that more with readers in mind than writers, I'm glad you filtered it through the latter lense. To your point about not being able to come up with a pitch that fits at the moment, let me emphasize that may only be temporary. It's been my experience that when we let things marinate, and keep them near the front of our minds, all of a sudden we find ideas that match. That certainly happens when you write a regular feature or column on a particular topic. All of a sudden, you begin to see the world through that subject. I think the same dynamic can work here.

And by the way, congratulations on your recent pitching success, which you shared privately but which I'll now be sol bold as to share publicly with everyone. I know there will be lots more successes behind that for you in the new year. Your persistence and imagination almost guarantees that. Good luck.

 

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