2018 was an exciting year at Pacific Standard. We celebrated 10 years as a publication, and we drew up an ambitious plan for our all-online future. In 2019 and beyond, you'll be seeing more investigative reporting and digital innovation from us as we continue to work toward our mission of producing some of the best public service journalism out there.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's take a moment to celebrate the thousands of stories we published this year on a wide range of subjects, including #MeToo, racism, extinction, and pipelines.
Here are our editors' picks for the best stories we published this year.
- "Awakening the Grizzly," by Jeremy Miller
Inside the effort to reintroduce grizzlies to California.
- "My Brother, the White Nationalist," by Gabriel Thompson
When Josh Damigo finds out his brother is the new face of the white nationalist movement, finding the roots of radicalization becomes personal.
- "The Shocking Legacy of America's Worst Modern-Day Lynching," by John Savage
Twenty years after the brutal, racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas, some residents are trying to scrub the crime—and the bigotry behind it—from the town's history.
- "The Slow Silencing of Sexism at the Symphony," by Tom Jacobs
This season, works by women composers are being featured more frequently by many American orchestras. Mozart and Schubert, meet Mazzolli and Shaw.
- "The Country's First Climate Change Casualties?" by Elaina Plott
Scientists predict Tangier Island could be uninhabitable within 25 years. This is the story of the people willing to go down with it—and why they've risked it all on Donald Trump to keep them afloat.
- "Francisco Ayala Resigned After a University Inquiry Found Him Guilty of Sexual Harassment. But What Happened to the Federal Grants He Received?" by Francie Diep
What happens to taxpayer money when scientists are faced with accusations or findings of wrongdoing?
- "The Endling: Watching a Species Vanish in Real Time," by Ben Goldfarb
On the frontlines of extinction in the Gulf of California, where the vaquita faces its final days.
- "A Massive Pipeline Is Being Planned in Oregon. But Local Landowners Won't Go Down Without a Fight," by Kate Wheeling
A proposed natural gas pipeline is uniting Oregonians across the political spectrum.
- "My Brother's Keeper," by Sabine Heinlein
When her brother is sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit, one woman takes on the corrosive culture of capital punishment.
- "Surviving Racism," by Terese Marie Mailhot
A Native writer struggling against the ignorance of white culture finds that her stories are her lifeline, her wounds are her power, and though the scales have been weighted against her in almost every way, there are many reasons to survive.
- "Deleting a Species," by Rowan Jacobsen
We are on the brink of being able to genetically engineer an extinction. Should we?
- "Death on the Dakota Access," by Antonia Juhasz
An investigation into the deadly business of building oil and gas pipelines.
- "What Happened at Camp Lejeune," by Lori Lou Freshwater
I grew up drinking and bathing in the toxic waters around a military base in North Carolina. Thirty years later, I went back to investigate.
- "How Will Publishing Deal With Lemony Snicket Amid #MeToo?" by David M. Perry
Numerous authors and librarians allege a pattern of sexually humiliating comments at public events from one of YA literature's biggest stars.
- "The Secret Betrayal That Sealed Nike's Special Influence Over the University of Oregon," by Joshua Hunt
In the mid-1990s, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer needed money to save his school. Alum and Nike chief executive Phil Knight was happy to help—as long as the university could be managed in a way that would maximize the company's brand and profits. But when Frohnmayer made a key misstep, Knight exacted a brutal punishment.
- "Letter From Mancos, Colorado: Seeking Sanctuary in Trump Country," by Krista Langlois
Even under the hardline policies of President Donald Trump—which resulted in a 25 percent increase in deportation arrests from 2016 to 2017—ICE officers largely avoid churches, mosques, and synagogues.