PODCAST: Just Scratching the Surface: Selin Thomas on Reporting Century-Old Racial Violence in The Delacorte Review Issue 2 | School of Journalism

PODCAST: Just Scratching the Surface: Selin Thomas on Reporting Century-Old Racial Violence in The Delacorte Review Issue 2

The Delacorte Review is back with its second issue, focused on the theme Silence. In the first podcast from Issue 2, Michael Shapiro interviews Selin Thomas about her story "A Haunting."
 

When Thomas journeyed to Monroe County, Alabama on an assignment to report on the 1892 lynching of four young black men after the slaying of a white sharecropper and his daughter, she found herself deviating from the original assignment into a journey into both the past and self-discovery.

Through a conversation with a local librarian who identifies a “deep-seated passion” against the white sharecropper then sexualizes it in a familiar tale of a black man enraged at being spurned by a white woman, Thomas—herself the daughter of a white woman and a black man—discovers the real stakes of the story: “an underlying rage” engrained in the American character, which the black community has only recently been able to fully voice.

 

Listen now by clicking on the banner at the top of the page or by visiting Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud to hear more about how Thomas overcame struggles in writing the story including:

  • what happens when your editors ask you to omit what you feel is the crux of your story
  • finding the balance between allowing your emotions to propel you through your story and tempering them in the name of unbiased reporting
  • the challenge of constructing the story to help the reader “earn” the same outcome you as a writer are seeking
  • the struggle of reporting on a story that has never truly really ended

About The Delacorte Review

Published by the Columbia Journalism School, The Delacorte Review is a narrative nonfiction journal and accompanying podcast with a two-pronged mission: to help readers discover new works of compelling narrative nonfiction and to give fellow writers insight into how these stories came to be told. Its three yearly issues each contain five stories and an accompanying podcast featuring an educational conversation with the author for a behind-the-scenes look at reporting that goes beyond traditional writing advice.

For more of The Delacorte Review, visit https://delacortereview.org/. You can also sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @delacortereview.