Best Headline in Recent Memory. Plus, a Good Magazine You May Not Know About

NY Times story today on "humane" slaughter techniques in the poultry industry.

Punning headlines are usually lamentable -- I saw "War and Peas" on a story about new farms being established in a former combat area -- but this is a worthy exception. I guess the reason is that it's not just a lame "War and Peas"/"Tomorrow is Another Play"-style alteration of a familiar phrase but an actual joking concept. Nice job.  

mmw_cover_new4_1110.gifAnd while I'm on the "nice job" theme, my current nominee for "publication consistently doing a better job than most people realize" is the still-in-its-infancy (founded 2008) MIller-McCune magazine, out of Santa Barbara CA. Back in my idealistic youth, I liked to say that the purpose of journalism was to "make what matters interesting." It's easy enough to make interesting things interesting -- sports, scandals, disasters, movie stars -- and it's even easier to make important things dull. What makes journalism different from sheer entertainment is that it is supposed to deal with "real" issues, problems, and concepts. Presenting them in a way that holds people's attention -- that's the standard journalism, in its different forms, is always aiming for. Terry Gross does it in one way, Michael Lewis in another, the list could go on. Miller-McCune is earning a place on that list. The current issue has good items on climate change (eg this), the effect of tech-on-life death-and-rebirth of the press, and lots more.

Disclosure: I wrote a "good luck to this new magazine!" essay for the debut issue in 2008 but have had no dealings with it since. I'm a satisfied reader, though, and wish it all success.
Presented by

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.


Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.


How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in National

From This Author

Just In