Writing

Features

10 years after the storm: has New Orleans learned the lessons of Hurricane Katrina? (The Guardian) – A decade after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, I went in search of the people who were at the heart of its recovery, to understand what the city has gone through – and where it might be heading.

Can Politico rise again? (Columbia Journalism Review) – The news organization that took Washington by storm in 2007 is attempting to replicate the feat, to stand out once more in a world created in its own image. The question is whether lightning can strike twice.

The death of a great American city: why does anyone still live in Detroit? (The Guardian) – As the Motor City battles to remake itself, many still grapple with Detroiters’ ultimate dilemma: Should I stay or should I go? Here, I tell the story of Khalil Ligon, exactly the type of resident Detroit is fighting — and struggling — to keep.

Gannett and the last great local hope (Columbia Journalism Review) – America’s largest newspaper publisher is in the fight of its life—and trying to dispel the notion, pervasive in many media circles, that it’s already too late.

A billionaire, a fired publisher, and a spectacle at the LA Times (Columbia Journalism Review) – With billionaires pointed to as potential saviors for newspapers, the question for so many metro outlets is whether the juice is worth the potential squeeze.

The LA Times may emerge from turmoil as a model of digital success. It may not. (Columbia Journalism Review) – Outside of New York and Washington, the Times remains perhaps the most vaunted news organization in the United States. The great unknown remains whether it can find the elusive combination of vision from on high and daily execution in the trenches.

The death of the American mall (The Guardian) -For mid-century Americans, these gleaming marketplaces provided an almost utopian alternative to the urban commercial district, an artificial downtown with less crime and fewer vermin.

News & Analysis

Slate’s Biggest Enemies Are Donald Trump and Its Staff Trying to Unionize (Splinter) – As Slate has branded itself as a leader of the anti-Trump resistance, its staff has discovered the limit of the publication’s liberalism. I obtained internal emails detailing how management was pushing back against the newsroom’s union drive.

A divided empire: what the urban-rural split means for the future of America (The Guardian) – Cities have long been the backbone of the Democratic party, and rural regions the heartland of Republicanism – yet Donald Trump’s election has exposed these divides like never before. Will US metropolises increasingly turn into city-states?

Is New Orleans in danger of turning into a modern-day Atlantis? (The Guardian) – While physical walls and pumping stations make up the city’s baseline of protection, there is inherent friction between today’s storm defenses and the geographical realities that could worsen tomorrow.

For Obama’s second inaugural, fund-raising limits lifted (The Boston Globe) – In 2008, $50,000 was the maximum donation accepted for Obama’s inauguration, which touted such limits as evidence of its ethical standards. Four years later, that’s a bargain.

What’s the story in Cleveland? Don’t ask the national media covering the RNC (Columbia Journalism Review) – Perhaps it’s too much to ask political media to tell the broader story outside of the convention’s downtown confines. But that limitation speaks volumes to what political journalism has devolved into this election season.

Drone makers struggle for acceptance (The Boston Globe) – Domestic drone manufacturers face an uphill public relations battle to introduce the unmanned vehicles into US skies for commercial use. Drones’ military and intelligence prowess doesn’t help their cause.

Commentary & Criticism

Why the media don’t get Detroit — and why it matters (Columbia Journalism Review) – This city’s tale of decline is not a story that Americans want to hear, or have ever really encountered before. America doesn’t decline; it rises toward its destiny. But increasingly, this story is one we can’t afford to ignore.

The real history of fake news (Columbia Journalism Review) – Fake news is but one symptom of that shift back to historical norms, and recent hyperventilating mimics reactions from eras past.

Baseball writers face moral dilemma in Hall of Fame vote (Columbia Journalism Review) – Journalism, the adage goes, is the first rough draft of history. But baseball writers have something of a final-cut privilege on how the sport is recognized in our collective consciousness.

CNN’s pro-Trump posse clouds its journalism (Columbia Journalism Review) – The network’s pursuit of the appearance of objectivity in 2016 has distorted its final product on television, putting CNN journalists in the awkward position of fact-checking CNN contributors in real time.

Big lie, little lie, and the media’s role in telling the difference (Columbia Journalism Review) – With Donald Trump, it’s difficult to say whether he is actively deceptive or just so shamelessly unprepared that it gives off the tangerine-colored aura of deception.

Why Donald Trump can kinda, sorta say anything he wants (Columbia Journalism Review) -The reality TV star’s genius lies in a simple trick: He raises ideas while at the same time distancing himself from them just enough to deflect criticism. He establishes some measure of plausible deniability—at least for those who take his statements at face value.

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