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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Brink magazine


In the fall of 2012, Brink editors and I 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.

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. 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, and the emotional aftermath of being raped.

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 at

As young journalists, 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.

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