About the author

Writer, journalist, and editor from Western Pennsylvania. Founded the journal Annals of Americus; published by The Atlantic, Esquire, Forbes, and Guernica, among others.

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1970s, just as the steel industry was starting to collapse. Growing up in a town dotted with the rusted hulls of blast furnaces and shuttered storefronts, dilapidated houses sheathed in curling Insulbrick and abandoned cars cannibalized for parts, left an impression. It instilled me with a fascination for not only people and places, but cycles of decline and rebirth as they relate to neighborhoods, towns, and cities. As a result, these themes are prevalent in my work. I’ve written for The Atlantic, Esquire, Forbes, Spin, and Guernica, among others, and I’m currently at work on No Place for Disgrace, a series of nonfiction stories about the life and death of the American suburbs. My first e-book, Death of a Good Job: A Memoir of the Great Recession, was published in March of 2013.

Contact/Follow: If you are interested in commissioning work or discussing a potential project, please contact me at mr.newton@gmail.com. You can follow me on Twitter @newtonmatthew; or Instagram. If you would like to receive regular updates, you can follow my blog on Tumblr, subscribe to receive updates via Facebook, or join my mailing list to receive an email newsletter.

Selected Writings


Eternal Spring: The Immortality of the American Shopping mall
Publication: Bullett (February 7, 2013)
Link: http://bullettmedia.com/article/eternal-spring-the-immortality-of-the-american-shopping-mall/

On the Wrong Side of History: Further Thoughts on an Iconic Civil Rights Photograph
Publication: BagNewsNotes (January 28, 2013)
Link: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2013/01/on-the-wrong-side-of-history-further-thoughts-on-an-iconic-civil-rights-photograph/


Shopping the House of the Dead
Publication: Thought Catalog (September 5, 2012)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/shopping-the-house-of-the-dead/

‘We Buy Houses’: Decline and Opportunity in Pittsburgh’s East Suburbs
Publication: The Atlantic (August 21, 2012)
Link: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/08/we-buy-houses-decline-and-opportunity-pittsburghs-east-suburbs/3013/

Visualizing (And Monetizing) Our Declining Suburbs
Publication: Very Short List (August 21, 2012)
Link: http://www.veryshortlist.com/culture/daily.cfm/review/2249/Website/Matthew-Newton/

Notes from the Underground
Publication: Guernica (August 1, 2012)
Link: http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/notes-from-the-underground/

New Art for the Aftermath of the Great Recession
Publication: Very Short List (July 12, 2012)
Link: http://www.veryshortlist.com/design/daily.cfm/review/2219/Other_art/Matthew-Newton/

American Dread, American Dreams: Mark Dery’s ‘I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts’
Publication: The Verge (April 24, 2012)
Link: http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/24/2968603/mark-dery-i-must-not-think-bad-thoughts-book-review

Thought Catalog and the New Age of Confessional Media
Publication: Forbes.com (February 8, 2012)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2012/02/08/thought-catalog-and-the-new-age-of-confessional-media/


The Year That Wasn’t
Publication: The Morning News (December 30, 2011)
Link: http://www.themorningnews.org/article/2011-the-year-that-wasnt

The Year That Was
Publication: The Morning News (December 29, 2011)
Link: http://www.themorningnews.org/article/2011-the-year-that-was

The Worst Sounds In The World
Publication: The Awl (December 9, 2011)
Link: http://www.theawl.com/2011/12/the-worst-sounds-in-the-world

How ‘Juggalo Journalism’ Became Post-Empire America’s New Beat
Publication: Forbes.com (September 29, 2011)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2011/09/29/how-juggalo-journalism-became-post-empire-americas-new-beat/

Selling The New Cool: Inside The World Of ‘Influencers’
Publication: Forbes.com (September 7, 2011)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2011/09/07/selling-the-new-cool-inside-the-world-of-influencers/

The Curious Case of ESPN The Magazine‘s White Michael Vick
Publication: Forbes.com (August 25, 2011)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2011/08/25/the-curious-case-of-espn-the-magazines-white-michael-vick/

Levi’s Latest ‘Go Forth’ Ad Romanticizes Youth Riots At The Wrong Time
Publication: Forbes.com (August 10, 2011)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2011/08/10/levis-latest-go-forth-ad-romanticizes-youth-riots-at-the-wrong-time/

How The Media Reacted To News Of A Non-White Spider-Man
Publication: Forbes.com (August 4, 2011)
Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewnewton/2011/08/04/how-the-media-reacted-to-news-of-a-non-white-spider-man/

How Sitcoms Promote ‘Socially Sanctioned’ Homophobia
Publication: Forbes.com (July 26, 2011)
Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/matthewnewton/2011/07/26/how-sitcoms-promote-socially-sanctioned-homophobia/

American Apparel’s Near-Death Experience, Starring Dov Charney
Publication: Forbes.com (July 15, 2011)

Does The Social Mapping Of Celebrity Death Sites Translate To Pageviews, Revenue
Publication: Forbes.com (June 30, 2011)
Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/matthewnewton/2011/06/30/does-the-social-mapping-of-celebrity-death-sites-translate-to-pageviews-revenue/

Reporters Without Borders Uses Perverse Censorship To Defend Freedom Of Speech
Publication: Forbes.com (June 24, 2011)
Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/matthewnewton/2011/06/24/reporters-without-borders-uses-perverse-censorship-to-defend-freedom-of-speech/

‘Hahn’s Homeboyz’: When Political Ads Intentionally Stoke Controversy
Publication: Forbes.com (June 17, 2011)
Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/matthewnewton/2011/06/17/hahns-homeboyz-when-political-attack-ads-intentionally-stoke-controversy/

Time Seeks Young Male Readers With Its Apocalyptic Ad Campaign
Publication: Forbes.com (June 13, 2011)
Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/matthewnewton/2011/06/13/time-seeks-young-male-readers-with-its-apocalyptic-ad-campaign/

Post-Mortem Social Media Promises Digital Immortality
Publication: Thought Catalog (May 13, 2011)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/post-mortem-social-media-promises-digital-immortality/

Notes on Osama bin Laden’s Death Party
Publication: Thought Catalog (May 2, 2011)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/scenes-from-osama-bin-ladens-death-party/

A Tale of Two Googles: Race, Labor, and Hierarchy in the Digital Age
Publication: Thought Catalog (March 17, 2011)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/a-tale-of-two-googles-race-labor-and-hierarchy-in-the-digital-age/

Narcissism Inc.: A Look Inside Ark Music’s Fantasy Factory
Publication: Thought Catalog (March 17, 2011)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/a-look-inside-ark-musics-factory-farm/


The Year Detroit Was Taken Off Death Watch
Publication: The Bygone Bureau (December 10, 2010)
Link: http://bygonebureau.com/2010/12/10/the-year-detroit/

The White Lines of Suburban Exile
Publication: Thought Catalog (November 16, 2010)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2010/the-white-lines-of-eastern-exile/

The (Artistic) Upside of the BP Oil Spill
Publication: Esquire (September 9, 2010)
Link: http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/bp-oil-spill-artwork-090910

Porn in the U.S.A.: Turning Sarah Palin, Tiger Woods into Cold Hard Cash
Publication: Thought Catalog (August 4, 2010)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2010/sarah-palin-tiger-woods-porn-cold-hard-cash-in-the-usa/

Corporate Takeover: The Inherent Distrust of Subsidized Creativity
Publication: Thought Catalog (August, 3, 2010)
Link: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2010/corporate-takeover-glengarry-glenn-ross-coke-burn/

Art Crime: Graffiti Wars
Publication: The Crime Report (February 22, 2010)
Link: http://thecrimereport.org/2010/02/22/art-crime-graffiti-wars/

Why the incarceration of Lil Wayne may be worth more than his freedom
Publication: True/Slant (February 5, 2010)

Police Brutality Breeds Public Outrage After Pittsburgh Teen’s Beating
Publication: Colorlines (February 1, 2010)
Link: http://colorlines.com/archives/2010/02/police_brutality_breeds_public_outrage_after_pittsburgh_teens_beating.html


Crazed Kanye West, Naked Lady Gaga
Publication: Colorlines (December 23, 2009)
Link: http://colorlines.com/archives/2009/12/crazed_kanye_west_and_naked_lady_gaga_where_have_we_seen_this_before.html

‘Animals in the hood’: L.A. Gang Tours ‘zooify’ citizens living in poverty
Publication: True/Slant (December 14, 2009)
Link: http://trueslant.com/matthewnewton/2009/12/14/animals-in-the-hood-l-a-gang-tours-zoo-ify-citizens-living-in-poverty/

RJD2 Takes Ownership of his Music
Publication: PSFK (August, 21, 2009)
Link: http://www.psfk.com/2009/08/rjd2-takes-ownership-of-his-music.html

Detroit Unreal Estate Agency
Publication: PSFK (July 21, 2009)
Link: http://www.psfk.com/2009/07/detroit-unreal-estate-agency.html

The Arnsberg Miracle Tree
Publication: PSFK (July 16, 2009)
Link: http://www.psfk.com/2009/07/the-arnsberg-miracle-tree.html

MTV pulls video, claiming ‘suicidal undertones would be problematic’
Publication: True/Slant (May 21, 2009)
Link: http://trueslant.com/matthewnewton/2009/05/21/mtv-pulls-video-claiming-suicidal-undertones-would-be-problematic/

The Memory War
Publication: Good (March 30, 2009)
Link: http://www.good.is/post/the-memory-war/


Special Report: Is Sampling Dead?
Publication: Spin (November 21, 2008)
Link: http://www.spin.com/articles/sampling-dying?page=0%2C0

The Inquisition: Girl Talk
Publication: Spin (September 22, 2008)
Link: http://www.spin.com/articles/inquisition-girl-talk

RZA: Beyond Shaolin
Publication: XLR8R (September 10, 2008)
Link: http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2008/09/rza-beyond-shaolin


Art Company, Inc.
Publication: Next American City (December 2007)
Link: http://americancity.org/magazine/article/art-company-inc-newton/

The Redemption of David Choe
Publication: Juxtapoz (January 2007)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/661

American Twilight
Publication: Swindle (September 2007)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/91


Programmed Perfection
Publication: Pittsburgh City Paper (February, 26, 2006)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/85

Pedal-Powered Revolution
Publication: Anthem (January 2006)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/674


Writers’ Bloc
Publication: Pittsburgh City Paper (November 24, 2005)
Link: http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A29161

Eve of Destruction
Publication: Swindle (December 2005)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/138

Team Sleep: Not your little brother’s Deftones
Publication: Pittsburgh City Paper (June 30, 2005)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/643

Publication: Swindle (June 1, 2005)
Link: http://swindlemagazine.com/issue04/box-bots/

Aesop Rock: Labor Days
Publication: Pittsburgh City Paper (March, 21, 2005)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/130


Múm: Summer Made Good
Publication: Pittsburgh City Paper (July 15, 2004)
Link: http://matthewnewton.us/node/653

(Illustration: Ben Tour)

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