Editors’ Note

From left to right, Lexi Pandell, Alexis Kenyon, Meghan Walsh, Monica Cruz Rosas and Stacey Kennelly

[/media-credit] From left to right, Lexi Pandell, Alexis Kenyon, Meghan Walsh, Monica Cruz Rosas and Stacey Kennelly

Last fall, Brink editors set out to reinvent the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism publication, and extend it to include multimedia features and mobile accessibility. We were aware of the opportunity before us to curate and showcase the work of our peers. First, though, we had to define quality journalism for ourselves.

For us, a team of students in our 20s (who, as it happens this year, are all women), selecting and editing the pieces in this magazine was an intellectual and emotional journey. By the time we launched, we had worked with more than 50 students and recent alums, mainly writers, photographers, and documentary film, audio, and multimedia producers.

We spent hours debating the strengths and unreached potential of the submissions. We learned how to guide a writer through a story, draft after draft—a task that requires skill as well as humility on behalf of the editor, and trust on behalf of the writer. We also came to understand that a compelling feature includes not only facts but also a strong, nuanced narrative. Over time, what makes not just a good story, but a good Brink story, became more obvious.

What you’ll find here are thought-provoking articles that contemplate social issues, such as whether it’s safe for young women to donate their ova to fertility clinics, “The Girl With the Golden Eggs.” In “Never Say Die,” we show, through one family’s experience, why thousands of North Americans flee their medical system to seek cancer treatment in Tijuana.

In a time when people worry about climate change, resource sustainability, and animal rights, we are forced to rethink what we eat. In “Matters of Taste,” we take an unconventional, and sometimes humorous, look at the ethical dilemmas behind eating fish, bugs, and dogs.

Addressing deeply intimate experiences, our essayists reveal what it was like growing up in a war zone “Dreading the Night,” and the emotional aftermath of being raped “Into the Light.”

For the first time, in addition to the print copy, Brink staff created a multimedia issue, featuring a selection of the J-School’s best visual journalism. You’ll find it all here. Our multimedia elements are evidence that modern storytelling tools do not impede rigorous, thoughtful journalism.

Jessica Lum, creator of Slab City Stories: Squatters, Snowbirds and Wanderers of Southern California’s Desert (slabcitystories.com) is one contributor who used new media to tell stark and salient stories. Lum passed away while we were making this magazine after a long-fought battle with a rare cancer. At 25, she was a brave and accomplished journalist who cared deeply about the people she documented. One of the images she captured is featured on our cover—a portrait of a young musician who moved to the Southern California desert looking to escape the stresses of the real world and to set his inner artist free.

Like Jessica, we have committed our lives to telling meaningful stories, and we disregard those who say that conscientious journalism is waning. Society will always need the kinds of stories that force us to pause and reconsider the world around us. Therefore, we cannot neglect the importance of training smart, compassionate editors who can help writers reach their full potential. Magazine journalism is very much, and will continue to be, alive. Brink is proof of that. —THE EDITORS

  • Managing Editor Stacey Kennelly
  • Features Editors Lexi Pandell, Meghan Walsh
  • Front of Book Editor Monica Cruz Rosas
  • Back of Book Editor Lexi Pandell
  • Photo Editor Alexis Kenyon
  • Contributing Editors Michelle Konstantinovsky, Jessie Schiewe, Catherine Traywick
  • Advisor Deirdre English
  • Art Director Tim J Luddy
  • Multimedia Editors Stacey Kennelly, Erik Reyna
  • Associate Photo Editor Avni Nijhawan
  • Associate Social Media Editor Steve Fisher

Special Thanks to Jennifer Kahn, co-advisor; the J-School faculty who supervised the projects we selected and edited; Richard Koci Hernandez, Jeremy Rue, and Paul Grabowicz for multimedia advising; Roy Baril for tech support; the staff who kept our accounts; our mentors at Mother Jones, including Clint Hendler, Mark Murrmann, and Claudia Smukler; our copyeditors and proofreaders Ian Gordon, Bronwyn Ximm, Titania Kumeh, Alana Levinson, and Byron Wilkes; Bob Bishop, Nion McKay, and the Felker Magazine Center at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

All rights reserved to the writers and photographers. Text and images should not be reprinted in any form without permission.

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