One writer we know dropped out of journalism school in order to take a degree in history. “I knew how to write,” he said. “But I desperately needed something to write about.” Researching the story, getting the “something to write about,” is the hard work of magazine journalism. And for this issue, two staff writers paid their dues—one with the books, another on the scene.

For “The Abortion Wars” (p. 16), Tim Stafford read everything available on the history of conflict over abortion. But he also talked to former CT editors from the period in which evangelicals caught the vision of the moral horror of abortion. It was a strange feeling to read Tim’s initial draft and find how the history of this magazine intertwines with the history of the abortion debate.

Meanwhile, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kim Lawton was trying to attend the trial of televangelist Jim Bakker. Knowing how second-hand information can be distorted, CT wanted its own eyes and ears in the cramped courtroom—so small that only 14 journalists were allowed in the first day. And since seats were on a first-come, first-served basis, Kim showed up at 6:00 A M. There she found paid stand-ins for the network superstars. She got in, but the next day the rules changed, and Kim’s number wasn’t drawn in the lottery. Day three found her again on the inside for the most bizarre happenings: the fainting of a key witness and Bakker’s last appearance before his nervous breakdown.

DAVID NEFF, Senior Associate Editor

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