In this week’s edition of the New York Times Magazine, writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis again goes inside a closed world for an NYT mag cover story. The writer of recent insider articles on down-low culture and contemporary teen sex, this week looks at modern frat life in the wake of an alcohol ban at many colleges. He talked about his approach in an interview with Gawker:
My “method,” if I have one, is really about hanging out as much as possible with the people I’m writing about, but always knowing when to give them some space before they get annoyed with me. I’m pretty good, I think, at knowing when to back off. My goal is also to get the subjects I’m writing about to forget that I’m a reporter. Because once they do that, they drop the bullshit facade. I think that my age, 29 (and the fact that people guess me to be anywhere between 19 and 25) helps, especially when I’m writing about young people. When I’m dealing with older subjects, it can get a little weird at times, with them asking me what college newspaper I write for. With that said, my age really is an advantage there, too, because they often underestimate me.