Sarah Newell directs you to “Something worth looking at today. #JournalismMatters #SinceParkland.” Since Parkland is a project directed by Akoto Ofori-Atta of The Trace and produced in partnership with the Miami Herald and McClatchy. Over the summer, more than 200 teen reporters from across the country began working together to document the children killed in shootings during one year in America. The site notes, “The reporting you will read in ‘Since Parkland’ is journalism in one of its purest forms — revealing the human stories behind the statistics — carried out on an exhaustive scale.”
Tweets Don Van Natta, “In the year since Parkland, 1,200 children were killed by guns. Every one gets a story. A remarkable, Pulitzer-worthy report by more than 200 student journalists.” As Jim Schachter says, “You must look at this.”
At The New York Times, Patricia Mazzei and photographer Eve Edelheit tell the story of the survivors in Parkland: A Year After the School Shooting That Was Supposed to Change Everything. Tweets Lisa Gartner, “This is how you report with grace. Beautiful piece on the Parkland shooting anniversary from @PatriciaMazzei with @Eve_Edelheit photos.”
Here’s some real news
“OH HELL YEAH,” says Brenden Gallagher,of the news that BuzzFeed’s U.S. journalists are forming a union, following the layoffs of more than 220 BuzzFeed staffers last month. Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith and Janet Paskin had the scoop, BuzzFeed Journalists Vote to Unionize in Wake of Layoffs, writing, “An overwhelming majority of workers were in favor of the decision to join NewsGuild, the labor union that’s part of the Communications Workers of America.”
As BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac says, “Here's some real news.” Jaclyn Peiser writes about the announcement and the decision-making behind it at The New York Times, quoting the organizing committee statement, ‘Not All Fun and Memes’: BuzzFeed News Employees Plan to Form a Union. Zoe Tillman notes, “Many years ago, I may or may not have played Jack in a camp production of ‘Newsies.’ And here we are.”
Efforts to squash the free press
But as Wolfgang Blau says, “This is terrible news. I know Maria as a fellow board member in the Global Editors Network. I regard her as one of the, if not the bravest journalist I have ever met.” Aika Rey of Rappler, the online startup that has been critical of President Duterte, reports that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has been arrested in the Philippines for cyber libel. Tweets Amy Webb, “World-class journalist, defender of free speech, champion of liberty and truly lovely person Rappler CEO @MariaRessa was just arrested for ‘cyber libel’ in authoritarian Philippines. It is a tragedy and we should rally around her now. #freemariaressa.” Adds Emily Bell, “What a brave and exemplary journalist in the face of harassment and arrest by a government that wants to squash the free press. Proud to know @mariaressa.” As Michael Sullivan points out, she was arrested “For a crime. She could not have committed. Because it wasn’t a crime. Four months earlier when it allegedly occurred.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a statement condemning the arrest of Rappler’s Maria Ressa on cyber libel charge.
Meanwhile, Ed Clowes of Gulf News reports from the Milken Institute MENA Summit in Abu Dhabi, where Trump backer Tom Barrack defended Saudi Arabia, saying, “whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal, or worse ...” “In which major Trump fundraiser & chair of his Inaugural Committee Tom Barrack gets on a stage in the UAE & defends how Saudi Arabia has handled the Khashoggi case,” tweets Avi Asher-Schapiro.
Real-time drug-world telenovela wraps up
Alan Feuer of The New York Times breaks the news that El Chapo has been found guilty on all counts and faces life in prison. Tweets Damien Cave, “I covered Chapo’s arrest in Mexico. Many of us never thought he’d face justice in the US. But now this.” Feuer writes, “At times, the trial was so bizarre it felt like a drug-world telenovela unfolding live in the courtroom,” and if you’ve been following his coverage of the trial at The Times, you know that’s an accurate comparison. For example, Alan Blinder highlights, “.@alanfeuer on the climax of a trial that ‘featured accounts of traffickers taking target practice with a bazooka, a mariachi playing all night outside a jail cell and a murder plot involving a cyanide-laced arepa.’” For what it’s worth, Ken Bensinger thinks, “Matthew Whitaker's awkward courtroom cameo has got to be a top 10 highlight of the Chapo trial.”
Brad Plumer sets up “Our latest: We were curious to see how far the US could cut emissions if it adopted just a handful of the most ambitious policies that are already in place around the world. So @EnergyInnovLLC helped us explore, using their energy policy model.” He links to his New York Times interactive with Blacki Migliozzi, How to Cut U.S. Emissions Faster? Do What These Countries Are Doing, which Eric Roston refers to simply as “Amazingness,” and Dennis Overbye calls a “smart analysis on how we can make a serious dent on climate change.”
Also pretty amazing, The Senate just passed the decade’s biggest public lands package (58,000+ shares). Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni of The Washington Post give us the details on what’s in that package. Tweets Bill Weir, “Wow. Actual bipartisan agreement around an effort to protect more American wilderness, create more monuments and steer offshore drilling $ into conservation. Not The Onion.” Which is a helpful note, because as Tom Zeller says, “News like this is so rare these days that I had to check three times to make sure I wasn't reading a parody site, or that there wasn't some punchline or gotcha lurking in the margins.” “More of this,” Bill Ritter requests.
If you think it’s impressive that Chuck Schumer is actively recruiting a high-profile fighter pilot to take on Mitch McConnell in 2020 — which Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO says is “a calculated act of aggression against a leading Republican foe” — well, just wait. In his story for POLITICO, Marc Caputo presents Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million anti-Trump moonshot, aka “TFW you’re worth $50 billion and you wanna stop President Trump.” As Dave Levinthal says, “What a time to be on the money-in-politics beat.”
Paul Wells links to “New from me, on the whole damned thing.” That’s his latest for Macleans, Canada, the show, about which Alexandra Paul tweets, “OUCH!” Mason Wright points out, “You know who watches this gleefully from the sidelines? The next ‘change candidate’. Who’s the change candidate in waiting? Ulp... Doug Ford.” Paul Vieira says it’s a “fantastic piece on Tuesday’s SNC/JWR/PMO affair could also have the title of, How Canada’s Modern Day Family Compact Operates.” And here’s how John Geddes describes it: “This is the good @InklessPW stuff here. Proprietor’s reserve, single estate, limited edition, cold pressed, certified organic.” We’ll drink to that.
Reporter walks into a bar…
Speaking of having a drink, Angus Walker of ITV had a well-timed nightcap last night and overheard UK chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins warning MPs the choice is May’s deal or extension. Tweets Robert Peston, “.@anguswalkertalk last night overheard Olly Robbins, @theresa_may’s Brexit negotiator, in a bar in Brussels saying MPs would in March be presented with a choice between her reworked deal or a potentially long delay to Brexit. Great scoop.”
The best — or worst — list ever
Get ready to complain, because as Lucas Peterson of the Los Angeles Times warns us, “I am pleased to announce the triumphant return of OFFICIAL FOOD POWER RANKINGS, which will now be a regular thing for @latimesfood. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll totally, completely disagree. Check it out!” That’s The official fast food French fry power rankings, and Sam Sifton starts us off with “EXPLANATION DENIED.” Matt Johnson is right there with him, tweeting, quite reasonably, “I’ve never been more offended in my life.” And Richard Nieva is succinct: “This list is stupid.” But have a little sympathy for the poor LA Times intern, who tweets, “hello I am the social media intern and have to share this but I totally dont agree with it.” Chris Krewson notes that it “Looks like the LA Times has reached the ‘start arguments about fast food’ phase of its growth plan, right on schedule.” Sounds like a good time to break for lunch, folks.
He doesn’t like it, but according to two sources who have spoken directly with him, Trump intends to sign border deal to avoid another shutdown, report CNN’s Dana Bash and Betsy Klein.
A big scoop from Shahien Nasiripour of Bloomberg, who found out that even before the Bezos fight, Enquirer publisher AMI faced steep losses, with more than $1 billion in debt and a negative net worth. Tweets Josh Marshall, “Heavily leveraged money losing operation desperate for foreign cash. No wonder Trumps a fan.”
“Apple is attempting to woo big news publishers to join its upcoming subscription bundle, but has met resistance because it wants to take half of the revenue and keep all the data.” Go figure. Lukas Alpert links to his story with Tripp Mickle and Ben Mullin at The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Chafe at Apple’s Terms for Subscription News Service.
In a column for the Forward, Peter Beinart writes about what he sees as The Sick Double Standard In The Ilhan Omar Controversy.
“Almost unbelievably, the government has introduced no new laws in the wake of the #CambridgeAnalytica/Brexit scandal. So guess what? It’s still going on.” George Monbiot links to his new column in The Guardian, Dark money is pushing for a no-deal Brexit. Who is behind it?