Over at The Huffington Post, Jason Linkins turns in a fantastic Q&A with Dale Maharidge, the Pulitzer-winning journalist, author, and professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, who, for the past thirty years, has been telling the stories of working-class Americans.

It’s worth reading in its entirety; in the meantime, an excerpt:

We have to raise questions, the foremost being, “What sort of country do we want to be?” I think something big is happening. I think there’s a massive cultural shift. The country is not so much liberal or conservative — as it’s usually portrayed. It’s different. John Russo talks about the “parabola,” where left meets right and they agree on the same issues. I think what we have going on is that people are scared and their [sic] stressed. And this is giving rise to populism. Is is a liberal or a conservative populism? I think if you look just at the town hall meetings you’d say it’s a conservative populism, but remember: this is just a fraction of the electorate.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.