3 to read: The *real* inauguration story | Plagiarizing a freelancer | Charts that explain fake news

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 31, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. What *really* happened at Donald Trump’s inauguration: That bad media! They lie and distort everything about my wonderful inauguration! So here’s the true story of inauguration, written the way The Donald wants it. A comic read by Alexandra Petri of the WaPo. A lot of fun.

2. The horror when a freelancer is plagiarized:Freelancers have a tough time, under the best circumstances. What happens when you write a sensitive story on the sexual abuse of children, and the story gets plagiarized by crass rip-off mills? Nothing good. By Ginger Gorman for MediaShift.

3. The global state of fake news, in 5 charts: If you are wondering how pervasive is “fake news,” and how it is spreading, these charts help explain. Concise and interesting. Ross Benes for DigiDay.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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3 to read: Nate Silver aims to get it right | How to make Zuckerberg likeable | Crowdsourcing Trump’s empire

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 23, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. How journalists screwed up the ’16 election — and are still getting it wrong: Nate Silver, who’s made his career on highly accurate political prognosticating, is starting a series of why it all went so badly this time around for media outlets (including his own fivethirtyeight). He gives a thoughtful take on the election, wishful thinking, and how to do better next time. The first of what (hopefully) will be an interesting series.

2. The team making Mark Zuckerberg more likeable: Don’t you wish you had a Facebook team to make you a more likeable person? Mark Z does. The Facebook founder has a group devoted to making videos, photos and whatever for his Facebook page. They are intent on showing the world a kinder, softer guy. Look! His favorite pizza toppings! It’s a new take on an old idea: Big corporation tries to manipulate the public into changing its view of its top guy — and by extension, their view of the corporation. Nice story by Bloomberg Sarah Frier.

3. BuzzFeed crowdsources ‘TrumpWorld’: No other president has had such a complicated business and personal background. Here’s your chance to dig in and inform the world about what it all means. BuzzFeed has dug up as many business details and personal relationships as it could find, mashed them neatly into a downloadable spreadsheet, and asked for the public’s help in connecting the dots. What can you find? It’s a great idea. By John Templeton and a team.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

3 to read: Behind the scenes covering Trump | NYT’s Baquet on future | Revitalizing editorials

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 10, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. Behind the scenes covering Trump: David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post wrote a string of blockbuster stories on Trump — everything from the president-elect’s non-donations to charities to the “locker room” tape. Now Fahrenthold writes a behind-the-scenes account of his year in the story spotlight — it’s insightful, fascinating and funny. A great read.

2. NYT’s Baquet on plans, social media & covering Trump: An interesting, wide-ranging interview with the Dean Baquet, the New York Times’ executive editor. Speaking with public editor Liz Spayd, he talks about everything from how the Times plans to experiment with new storytelling techniques, to covering news with a smaller staff, and how much opinion seeps in the pages of the paper. Given how moves made by the Times influence other newsrooms, it’s worth a read.

3. How to revitalize editorials: What happened to influential editorials? They’ve fizzled like firecrackers in a thunderstorm. Will Bunch, a Daily News columnist in Philly, has some ideas on what should be done, like don’t aim editorials at pols. They ignore them, so what’s the point? Rather, use them to fire up your readers. Some thoughts on how to breath life into a page that is mostly ignored.

Bonus read: 12 takeaways for improving journalism from Newsgeist. 150 journalists and entrepreneurs from around the country gathered in Phoenix to talk journalism. Here’s what they said.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

3 to read: Making (cool) news with Legos | Fake news’s silver lining | A love letter to copy editors

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 4, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. The coolest investigation with Legos you’ve ever seen: The Tampa Bay Times had a complicated story to story to tell about bridge construction. They turned to Legos. Why? Because everyone loves Legos*. And they are perfect for building bridges. The story is awesome. Congrats to the staffers who worked on this.

2. The long, sordid history of fake news (but there’s a silver lining): Fake news has been around for centuries, causing chaos and sometimes even death and destruction. But there is a silver lining. People can only take so much crap — reams of fake news leads to pushback from readers who search out quality news. A good read by Jacob Soll of Politico.

3. A love letter to the copy desk: In an era of cutbacks, it seems that copy editors are among the first to lose their jobs. Here’s a wonderful read by David W. Dunlap of the NYT about these important, if often under appreciated, folks.

* Except when you step on one in the middle of the night heading to the bathroom. Ouch.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.