Maria Streshinsky is the executive editor at Wired.
“Sometimes a story comes in and it’s really lovely and well done. And you think if you just got on the phone with this person and pointed out the structure is wrong here and the chronology is wrong here, ask them to change that and send them what is known at Wired as the ‘praise sandwich letter’: how wonderful something is, how much work it will need, how wonderful it will be. … It’s not the kiss of death, it’s ‘we have a lot of work to do.’ … There are lots of pieces that come in that you’ve assigned because it’s the person with the right information with the right access, and they’re a good reporter, but maybe not a terrific wordsmith. So, you do more rewriting. Then there’s the other person that’s a really lovely, lovely writer that doesn’t have the structure and the reporting so you push on that. It’s sort of a three or four-pronged thing—it depends on the piece. I will say, somewhat controversially, there aren’t that many pieces that come in pretty clean.”
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