I owe my favorite feature of my career to Nick. He took my brief musings and—effortlessly, it seemed—shaped them into an award-winning cover story. Nick is all those things a great editor should be—empathetic, sharp, intuitive. But he’s also a total blast to work with. In this fraught moment, I cherished writing for someone who not only understands the power and urgency of a good story, but also knows how to have fun in the process of telling it.
— Elaina Plott, White House Correspondent at The Atlantic & Political Analyst at CNN
In addition to his generosity and insightfulness as a person, Nicholas Jackson is that rare kind of editor, one who can glimpse into the core of a story and locate its most powerful iteration. While helping me with a cover story for Pacific Standard, Nick teased out latent ideas in the draft and helped me express them more forcefully. Any writer would be lucky to receive his stewardship and intelligence.
— Barrett Swanson, 2015 Pushcart Prize Winner & Author of the Essay Collection Lost Causes
When I was a brand new reporter, Nick Jackson took a chance on me. He hired me as contributing writer at Pacific Standard and worked patiently to help me hone my narrative voice and deepen my reporting skills. He also gave me space to experiment. Our work together led to a long series of feature stories and investigative articles about environmental controversies and political upheaval in the American West. Those stories were the foundation on which I built my career as a freelance investigative journalist. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Nick’s wise counsel and his keen eye for editing. I am so grateful for his guidance, and you will be too.
— Jimmy Tobias, Independent Investigative Reporter at The Nation & The Guardian
Nick understands something rare and extremely desirable in an editor: how to approach his craft from both a micro- and macrocosmic perspective. He’ll make your sentences better and your paragraphs tighter, but he’ll also help shape and fine tune the greater argument and narrative of the piece; he cares about how it’s written as well as what it’s saying, which certainly can’t be said of everyone in the magazine world. At the same time, he has the gift of knowing where not to edit, which is just as rare and desirable a quality. He understands how to protect the writer’s intrinsic voice and vision, even when cuts need to be made, and he doesn’t edit just to make his presence felt. (And this doesn’t even cover his abilities as an EIC, which were obvious in the breadth, depth, and imagination of Pacific Standard during his tenure.) I’ve always been in great hands with Nick as an editor, and I can’t imagine anyone feeling differently.
— Kevin Lincoln, Freelance Writer for The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, GQ & More
Nick is one of the few editors who understands the shape of the media industry today but has a vision of how to make it better. It was such a pleasure to work with an editor who focused not only on crafting a good story, but was concerned about its impact—all you can ever ask for as a writer.
— Lois Parshley, Freelance Journalist & Photographer
Nick Jackson is one of the finest editors I’ve ever worked with. He took a flat story and transformed it into one that truly moved, and I think haunted, readers. It’s not something I could have done on my own. Nick is an editor with a vision, a vision for stories and their impact on both people and policy—the kind of empathetic approach that journalism, that writing, needs in this moment.
— Jack Shuler, Author of The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose & Associate Professor at Denison University
Nick is one of the smartest editors I’ve ever worked with. First, he took a pitch from a random charity worker with an essay he wrote on spec. A few years later, once that charity worker was a freelancer who had gotten way too attached to a reporting assignment, Nick turned a sprawling, 8,000-word mess into an actual story. He’s patient, thoughtful, and ruthless in track changes when he needs to be. Most importantly, he built Pacific Standard into the kind of publication journalists want to read and work for.
— Michael Hobbes, Senior Enterprise Reporter at HuffPost
From the first day I met Nick, I was struck by his intellectual curiosity, his creativity, his irreverent humor, his energy, and his confidence. Nick was never intimidated by the power structure at Texas Monthly, which can be hard to break into. He kept knocking on writers’ and editors’ doors until everyone knew who he was and had given him work to do.
— Pamela Colloff, Senior Reporter at ProPublica & Staff Writer at The New York Times Magazine
By the time I spoke to Nicholas Jackson about my idea to investigate two dozen places across the U.S. where extremely toxic substances pose a direct health threat to immigrants, several editors already told me to think smaller. But he encouraged me to take a big swing and provided the resources to do it right. Three years later we published “Failure at the EPA” as a cover story in Pacific Standard. We argued that these threats to community health are a direct responsibility of our government. Nick took me all the way from the story idea to publication. He can see the big picture, the important details, and a damn good story. He is a fantastic editor and a pleasure to work with.
— Kevin Stark, Science Reporter at KQED
Nicholas Jackson is one of the best editors I’ve worked with—inspired, meticulous, and thoroughly professional.
— George Johnson, Science Writer at the New York Times & Author of The Cancer Chronicles
Nicholas is a very bright and resourceful editor who is brimming with ideas. If you are looking for an industrious and hard-working young editor, you need look no further.
— Charles Whitaker, Dean at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications


"Back in my idealistic youth, I liked to say that the purpose of journalism was to 'make what matters interesting.' It's easy enough to make interesting things interesting—sports, scandals, disasters—and it's even easier to make important things dull. What makes journalism different from entertainment is that it is supposed to deal with 'real' issues, problems, and concepts. Presenting them in a way that holds people's attention—that's the standard journalism, in its different forms, is always aiming for. Terry Gross does it in one way, Michael Lewis in another.... [Pacific Standard] is earning a place on that list."

James Fallows
The Atlantic

"Pacific Standard is a bimonthly that focuses on social issues and public policy with the same passion that supermarket glossies lavish on Biggest Loser spreads and Heidi Montag's latest turn under the plastic surgeon's knife."

The Los Angeles Times

"Pacific Standard relaunched with a new, slick website—more mobile- and tablet-friendly, more Obama-era sans serif blue. ... The staff has grown too: Nicholas Jackson, a young editor who has thought hard about how to make the Internet work for places like The Atlantic and Outside, joined as digital director...."


"Small, off-beat magazines dominated the industry's annual awards competition, beating back their better-known, better-financed rivals. In category after category, it was editors and brass from Time Inc., Hearst, and Meredith standing to applaud folks from Mother Jones, Pacific Standard, Good, Eater, and Modern Farmer as they picked up their Ellie for excellence in magazine publishing.


"As digital director, [Jackson] was charged with taking the bi-monthly [Pacific Standard] and building a Web presence around it that included a healthy dose of digital-only content. It was around this time that the magazine began producing some blockbuster articles that reverberated well beyond the publication's Santa Barbara headquarters into the larger media world."

Thoughts on journalism

“The loss of [Pacific Standard] leaves digital media a little less brainy. ‘Even when they were writing about the debate of the day or the moment, they were doing it in an intelligent way,’ said Casey Cep, a former columnist for the magazine who now writes regularly for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and other publications.

The new york times