3 to read: How cartoons are changing journalism | Amazon’s Alexa delivers the news | The puzzle behind a puzzle

By Matt Carroll <@MattatMIT>

Sept. 7, 2016: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.com.

  1. How cartoons are changing the rules of journalism: Perhaps you’ve read the number of full-time editorial cartoonists has dropped. But that story is not complete — cartoons have jumped from a single-frame, political box to evolve into a long-read, sophisticated story-telling tool. It’s exploded in directions that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Some examples: Stories about kids with drug-addicted parents and an investigation into narco-terrorists. An interesting take by Shan Wang for Nieman Lab.
  2. Alexa, give me news: Amazon’s Alexa, the voice-powered speaker, is a huge hit. How newsrooms are figuring out the best ways to work with the AI software and provide news to listeners. From Joseph Lichterman at Nieman Lab.
  3. The cool story behind a newly-famous NYT crossword puzzle: Something a little lighter — I’m not a crossword person, but I love a good puzzle, and this is damn cool. The Times published a crossword puzzle in which certain answers could be read in two different ways (eg: “Black Halloween animal” could be either BAT or CAT.) It’s obviously a difficult accomplishment to create a puzzle like this, but even cooler is that the general theme fit perfectly with the ambiguous answers: “GENDER FLUID.” A nice story-behind-the-story piece by Oliver Roeder for Slate.

Matt Carroll runs the Future of News initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

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