Local news or hyperpartisan hoax?: Hyperpartisan sites have discovered a new approach to gaining readership: masquerading as local news. Over 400 of these sites have been identified across the country, many of them in swing states such as Iowa, Florida and North Carolina. While there are a few liberal-leaning sites on the list, the vast majority (421 out of 429) tilt conservative, and are often funded by government officials, politicians and super PACs. Jessica Mahone and Philip Napoli of NiemanLab take a deeper look at where these sites are coming from, and how they are contributing to political polarization within the U.S.
Revisiting Edna Buchanan: Former Miami Herald crime reporter Edna Buchanan has reached a level of acclaim that few reporters can hope to achieve. In addition to winning a Pulitzer prize for her reporting and writing a bestselling book, she was the subject of a famous New Yorker profile. However, as Diana Moskovitz writes in an essay for Popula, Buchanan’s tactics and style of reporting have not aged well, particularly in light of several prominent instances of police brutality against Black Americans. Writing as a former crime reporter at the paper where Buchanan once worked, Moskovitz examines the many ways in which Buchanan’s reporting set the tone for crime reporting, as well as how our understanding of crime and justice has changed.
NYT opinion writer resigns: Opinion writer Bari Weiss resigned from the New York Times Editorial department last week, citing a culture of bullying from colleagues who disagreed with her views. A resignation letter she posted on her website alleged that Twitter has become the Times’ “ultimate editor,” and that a culture of “new McCarthyism” is preventing other writers from speaking freely. The reaction from the journalism world has been mixed, according to Washington Post writers Elahe Izadi and Jeremy Barr. While many journalists and editors have condemned her treatment at the Times, others argue that those who disagree with her are exercising their right to free speech, an issue Weiss has highlighted in her columns.
Bonus Article: New Yorker editor Michael Luo delves into the history of the Hutchins Commission, a group of scholars and policymakers formed in the 1940s to reflect on the state of journalism in America. Luo reflects on the Commission’s goal of a “free and responsible press,” and ponders whether journalism in America has lost sight of its original purpose.
By Maya Homan & Matt Carroll