Carl Stoffers '15 M.S.
My story on Iran Barkley began with a chance encounter. I was in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx during the first week of August, doing an assignment for Jessica Bruder’s reporting class. I noticed a street vendor wave to a jogger and say, "Hey, champ." When I asked who the man was, the vendor informed me that the jogger was Iran Barkley. The prime of Iran's career occurred in the 1990s, and, despite the fact that I wasn't the biggest boxing fan, I remembered him. I began doing research, and it appeared that he would be a good subject for Steve Coll's "Rise and Fall Story" class.
I spent several days with Iran in his old neighborhood. He was open and honest about his past as well as his hopes for the future. I interviewed his associates and family members and felt that I had a strong idea of who Iran Barkley was.
Throughout the semester, I continued to revise the story, with Derek Kravitz, a research scholar and Stabile ’13 grad, and Steve assisting me. When I submitted the final draft, Steve encouraged me to pitch it, and Derek suggested the Wall Street Journal. Over the next several weeks the story worked its way through various channels at the Journal and worked with an editor for publishing.