3 to read: LA Times debacle | Goodbye, alt weeklies | Amazing 1950s dataviz

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Aug. 29, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. What’s the matter with the L.A. Times?: The editorial leadership of the L.A. Times was fired this week, in a stunning move. Well, here’s some of the jaw-dropping backstory that led to the axings. Ed Leibowitz of L.A. Magazine details the ineptness of editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj, who sat on major investigative pieces for years, but had time to ask reporters to check out his new Italian shoes. The story ran in December, but it’s worth resurrecting for it’s excruciating detail of dysfunction at the top of what was once a great newsroom.

2. What we lose when we say goodbye to alt weeklies: The Village Voice is dead, at least in print. So, pretty much, are alt weeklies across the country. Paul Farhi of the WaPo has a nice elegy of what we have lost when those quirky mixes of band reviews, massage parlor ads, and hard-hitting political coverage closed up shop. A good read.

3. Amazing graphics from the 1950s NYT archive: Most people tend to think of “data viz” as a relatively new phenomenon. Not quite. News orgs have been doing impressive data viz for as long as they have existed. Stuart A. Thompson on Medium has a wonderful piece on some spectacular (and forgotten) visualizations done at the NYT during the 1950s. Check out the cool space travel illustrations (all b&w, by the way).

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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3 to read: Brietbart’s reclusive editor | Lessons from Charlottesville | Best reporting advice ever…

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

July 18, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. Breitbart & its reclusive editor: Trying to pivot a right-wing icon: I’d never heard of Alexander Marlow before this story, yet he is the editor of Brietbart, arguably the most powerful rightwing media site in the country. On one level, it’s an interesting take on a powerful but deliberately reclusive media player. But it’s also a revealing story about how Breitbart, which under the leadership of Steve Bannan, had a meteoric ride backing Trump with a series of caustic and inflammatory stories during the campaign, now is trying in a post-Bannon era to become a little more … mainstream? Well, in a right-wing kind of way. A good read.

2.Two journalistic lessons from Charlottesville: Margaret Sullivan from the WaPo talks about how the events there “should put the nail in the coffin for ‘both sides’ journalism.” And some practical advice from Poynter on how journalists should handle racist words, images and violence.

3. The best reporting advice I ever received was…: Interesting, and a fun read. Lots of great journalists, including David Fahrenthold of the WaPo, share wise advice they were given early in their careers. The words still resonate with these reporters today, with good reason. Great stuff from CJR.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.