Last week, the Longform podcast — hosted by the three of us: Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff — celebrated its ninth anniversary and 450th episode. That’s a pair of milestones that would have scrambled our brains back in 2012, when we decided to launch a weekly interview podcast and “give it a go for a year.” This week, though, we’re excited to put a new marker in the ground: The Longform podcast is launching our first episode in a new partnership with Vox.
Our first guest in partnership with Vox is Julie K. Brown, the journalist whose talent, empathy, and doggedness led her to break the Jeffrey Epstein story — even as the rest of the world was looking away. You can listen to it wherever you find podcasts.
We began the show nine years ago as lovers of long-form journalism — and sometimes creators of it — who were deeply curious both about how our favorite stories came together and the people behind them. How do writers find their ideas and get their assignments? How do they overcome the challenges of researching and reporting? How do they navigate their careers? What happens when they sit down to face a blank screen? What are the struggles that readers never see?
Over the years we’ve talked through these questions and many others with everyone from early-career writers to famous authors. We’ve learned about creating This American Life from Ira Glass, covering race in America from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Nikole Hannah-Jones, going from underdog to target from Malcolm Gladwell, and constructing narratives from Michael Lewis. We’ve given our audience a window into the psychological toll of war and trauma reporting, the rejection that comes with breaking into a creative industry, and the joy of finding the perfect true story to tell.
Even four hundred and fifty episodes in, we haven’t come close to exhausting our interest —or our guest list. With Vox we’ll be able to expand Longform’s focus to include more audio hosts and documentarians, biographers, and memoirists. We’ll still be interviewing the best nonfiction practitioners out there, and each of us will continue to bring our own perspectives to our interviews.
Max is the co-founder of the podcast company Pineapple Street Studios, and the host of the show 70 Over 70. Evan is a longtime journalist and author of The Mastermind. Aaron is a renaissance man who has hosted three other shows — most recently Exit Scam — and is a member of the band Francis and the Lights. What unifies our approach, as it did back when we started, is an abiding curiosity about how nonfiction creators produce their best work.