September 29, 2023

Michael Neiberg is back in the studio for the next installation of the On Writing series. This week’s guest is Shashank Joshi, Defense Editor for The Economist. This episode is a slight variation from the normal On Writing discussion because Shashank is a journalist writing a much shorter form than our usual guests, and then there’s the little issue of the deadlines associated with a fast-paced news cycle. Their conversation turns to the organization and formulation of an interesting and accessible article, avoiding personal injury when dealing with demanding editors, and what sort of formal and informal research is necessary to build a mental database useful for informing a news-oriented writing format.

Editors vary wildly. I can tell you that even good ones they’re good in their different ways…But the best ones will say to you, ‘What are you trying to say here? Because you know you haven’t said it terribly well. But let’s find a better way to say it.’

Shashank Joshi is The Economist‘s defense editor. Prior to joining The Economist in 2018, he served as Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and Research Associate at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Program. He has published books on Iran’s nuclear program and India’s armed forces, written for a wide range of newspapers and journals, and appeared regularly on radio and television. He holds degrees from Cambridge and Harvard, where he served as a Kennedy Scholar from Britain to the United States.

Michael Neiberg is the Chair of War Studies at the U.S. Army War College.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

Photo Credit: Image by fabrikasimf on Freepik, Inset courtesy of The Economist

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