Veteran journalist Samanth Subramanian explained the art and craft of long-form writing in his lecture at the Asian College of Journalism.
The author of “This Divided Island” explained how short stories in newspapers often provided fodder for his long-form pieces.
He used his recent feature in the New York Times Magazine about two wealthy Sri Lankan brothers who became suicide bombers, to help the class understand how a journalist could pursue a human interest story with integrity.
The London-based journalist, who has also written for The New Yorker and The Guardian, taught students how they could connect with people and deal with complicated scenarios such as source arrests. He also talked about the importance of being persistent and patient with sources.
He urged students to lean forward while interviewing sources, let pauses linger, take detailed notes, click pictures and empathise with sources. He also asked them to be mindful of the consequences of their work on the life of the people they interviewed.