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February 22, 2012


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It is nice to see a journalist tackling a hard issue with such diligence and professionalism. Great work Evan.

Thanks, Rick. The work for this piece spanned weeks and took me down many rabbit holes. Believe it or not, at 4400 words there was quite a bit cut down. But with this subject matter, I couldn't afford to be terse. I had a lot of help from the scientific community to make certain we had our facts down.

I'm teaching a journalism class to high school seniors this semester, and one of my pet projects has been to point out irresponsible headlines in science journalism--the ones that make sensational predictions or conclusions in no way related to the actual research done. It was extremely refreshing to read your detailed and careful examination of the studies. Your work also reaffirms the value of long-form journalism and, I think, web publishing. How many print publications could have afforded you the space to give the topic the 4400 words it deserved and required? I suspect very few--and fewer still that would have been willing to touch the topic with a 10-foot pole.

Evan - I look forward to reading your piece, but that will have to wait for another night as I'm too tired to tackle a long essay tonight. As an FYI, the Prince of Pinot website http://www.princeofpinot.com/ currently has a long (and I do mean long) summary of recent, primarily 2011 and 2012, research on the effects of alcohol on a range of health aspects. Very interesting reading. It would be great to have Mr Mansell's critique and thoughts on the Prince of Pinot column.

Ryan - It's a fair observation; most print publications would have a hard time with a piece of this size. Likely, they'd ask for it as a series. I've written some long-form stuff like this on occasion. New Yorker might handle it on its own.

Dana - You're right; that is a beast of a summary. Thanks for sharing.

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