10 Questions With The Nation's Sarah Leonard


The election of Donald Trump has riled up the left in many ways, but as Sarah Leonard wrote recently in The New York Times, the issues at the heart of this dissent have been around for a long time. 

“Racism, sexism and inequality are nothing new. Mr Trump’s election just ripped the polite veneer off American politics. In the process, I hope, he’s woken up a lot more people to the deep problems in our society,” Leonard wrote.

Whether it’s been with The Nation, where she is a senior editor, Dissent, the book she co-edited with Jacobin’s founder Bhaskar Sunkara, “The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century,” or elsewhere, Leonard has leant her talents to promote ideas that make people’s lives better, including in the area of labor rights. 

We wanted to get to know Leonard a bit better by asking her these 10 questions: 

 1. If you weren't working in journalism, what would you be doing?

 Living on a small Greek island, fishing and reading Angela Carter novels.

 2. Who's your favorite journalist or writer - living or dead?

Angela Carter

3. What could the news business use more of?


 4. Less of?

Venture capital. 

 5. Name a piece of journalism that moved you most profoundly.

This first-person story about the struggles of care work is extraordinary: "Caring on Stolen Time," by JOMO.

 6. What makes you hopeful about the future of journalism?

Young journalists are immensely sophisticated about power dynamics in their reporting and are producing work with great rigor and fewer blind spots.  

7. What worries you?

Sometimes more diverse hiring can result from moments of crisis, but then get left by the wayside as media companies' priorities change. 

8. When you're not reporting, what occupies your time?

Biking around beautiful Brooklyn.

9. Why is being in the Guild better than not being in the Guild?

Union protections allow us to speak our minds at work, whether or not we think our boss will agree. That makes for a far better and more interesting newsroom. 

10. If you could give someone starting out in journalism one piece of advice what would it be?

Hustle! Write everywhere you can and meet as many people as you can. And always ask what the fee is before you start writing.


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