Christine Kenneally is an award-winning journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Time, New Scientist, The Monthly, Good Weekend, and other publications. Her book, The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures was published by Black Inc in November 2014. She is currently a contributing editor for Buzzfeed News.
Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Who do you work for?
I’m a contributing editor for BuzzFeed News
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Melbourne, and after finishing a PhD in the UK, I moved to the US and started to freelance. It was the dotcom boom (the first one!), so there was a great sense of openness and possibility. I wrote about anything and everything if an editor would take it—restaurant reviews, movie reviews, travel, cultural criticism, but I kept circling back towards ideas journalism, which became my main focus.
Now, my favourite stories bring together complicated ideas with human drama. While I freelanced, I wrote a book, “The First Word,” and just finished another, “The Invisible History of the Human Race.” Three months ago, I got an opportunity to work for Buzzfeed News under the Investigations editor, Mark Schoofs. Schoofs is a Pulitzer Prize winner and is well known in journalism circles as an extraordinary reporter and a wonderful person, and Buzzfeed is where some of most exciting things are happening in journalism today. It’s a thrilling time to come in from freelance cold.
What are your career highlights?
Having an opportunity to report on the Black Saturday bushfires.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
The possibility that words can right wrongs, change lives or help someone feel seen.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
Helen Garner, Anna Goldsworthy, Monica Dux, Cordelia Fine, Amanda Schaffer, Neal Stephenson, Tom Rob Smith, Sheri Fink, Lev Grossman, Lawrence Wright
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
The tragedies and triumphs of writing about complexity.
Where can we find you?