What we’re reading: A recommendations roundup from Slate writers and editors for the week of Oct. 5.

“Reporting Is Ugly” and Other Great Reads From Around the Web

“Reporting Is Ugly” and Other Great Reads From Around the Web

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Oct. 8 2015 2:35 PM

What We’re Reading

The stories we liked from around the Web for the week of Oct. 5.

What We're Reading Oct. 8.

Photo Illustration by Sofya Levina. Images by JStone / Shutterstock and Vereshchagin Dmitry/Shutterstock

What We’re Reading is a curated list of great pieces from around the Web from Slate editors and writers, just for Slate Plus members. Here are our favorite stories for the week of Oct. 5:

Reporting Is Ugly” by Barry Petchesky, Deadspin
Barry Petchesky’s defense of the ugly side of reporting—asking invasive questions to people in traumatic situations—is great, and 100 percent correct. Reporting is ugly, but it’s necessary to getting and disseminating information. It’s a public good.—Allison Benedikt, news director

Emailgate Is a Political Problem for Hillary Clinton, But It Also Reveals Why She’d Be an Effective President” by Matthew Yglesias, Vox         
In peak #slatepitch form, our former colleague mounts a surprisingly persuasive case that Clinton is exactly the kind of rule-bender Democrats need in the White House today.—Will Oremus, senior technology writer

Forget the Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story on Blurbs?” by Colin Dwyer, NPR
This NPR piece on the “arms race of blurbs” is full of fun details about the origin of the term blurb, interesting context about the blurbing economy, and great tales of classic blurber-blurbee relationships. It’s also worth reading just for the sassy quotes from blurb machine Gary Shteyngart, such as “I’ve compared people to Shakespeare, Tolstoy, or whatever.”—Laura Bennett, senior editor

How Has Chinatown Stayed Chinatown?” by Nick Tabor, New York
New York
’s piece on Manhattan’s Chinatown is unusually in-depth and thoughtful. Having covered ethnic neighborhoods—and this one in particular—I know how hard it is to get in with sources in tight-knit (and often closed-mouth) communities, and to wrap your head around Chinatown.—Lisa Wong Macabasco, assistant social media editor

And the roundup from Twitter:

—Contributor Helaine Olen applauds Gawker’s piece on gun control, tweeting: “THIS. A hundred times THIS.”
—Science and health editor Laura Helmuth recommends an “important story about the dangers of mammography and over-diagnosis of cancer.”
—Of Wesley Morris’ New York Times Magazine piece on identity, columnist Reihan Salam tweets, “I disagree with a lot of this, but it’s excellent.”
—Slatest editor Ben Mathis-Lilley says he “enjoyed the New Yorker’s story on the Revel casino fiasco.”
—Carl Wilson, Slate’s music critic, thinks this Times story on New York’s banda music scene is “much fresher than the usual narcocorrido yarn.”
—TV critic Willa Paskin recommends Emily Nussbaum on television and advertising and wonders, “When there’s no such thing as selling out anymore, is there still such a thing as selling out?”
—After reading the National Journal’s piece on Trump supporters, War Stories columnist Fred Kaplan tweets, “Yes, this seems to nail it.”
—Editorial assistant Laura Bradley recommends the Spectator’s article on “how to defend the arts using liberal values.”
—And words correspondent Katy Waldman tweets: “This is a gorgeous Jeffrey Zuckerman essay on falling out of love with poetry.”