The death of Hong Kong’s free press | How NYT tracked the pandemic | Journalists don’t deserve their bad rap

The death of Hong Kong’s free press: Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s 26-year-old tabloid paper, has finally folded, write Timothy McLaughlin and Rachel Cheung in the Atlantic. Unwilling to publish the propaganda that circulates in other Hong Kong papers, Apple Daily has been an outlet for activism and resistance since its foundation, meaning that the government of Hong Kong has been actively trying to suppress its voice. After multiple raids of the office and the arrest of founder Jimmy Lai, the paper has finally printed its last edition. With the tabloid gone, there is little outlet for resistance in Hong Kong as the pro-democracy fight looks increasingly difficult to win, say McLaughlin and Cheung. 

How NYT tracked the pandemic: In January of 2020, the New York Times began to track every known Covid case in the United States, write Tiff Fehr and Josh Williams in the Times. Two months later, when infection rates began to grow exponentially, the Times moved on from their manual tracking method and began to develop more advanced ways of monitoring the pandemic. Using over 100 Times journalists and engineers, the tracking team developed a successful — and public — ongoing dataset using web scraping and constant attention. Now the most-viewed data collection in the Times’ history, the Covid-tracking project ended up winning a Pulitzer Prize this year for public service.

Journalists don’t deserve their bad rap: Journalists are not immoral con artists, despite what people think, says Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post. Many people, including President Biden, have made comments about how journalists are overly negative, and there is a general lack of trust in the media and in reporters. But the recent deaths of Dick Stolley, who managed to acquire film footage of the Kennedy assassination, and Ron Ostrow, who broke one of the major Watergate stories, should remind journalists and other people alike that there is value and integrity in the profession of journalism. These tough, hardworking, and fair reporters demonstrate the best of what journalism can be. There is much improvement needed in media, and journalists could be much better, but that doesn’t mean they deserve the rap that they get, says Sullivan.

And totally unrelated to our normal fare, but an interesting read (by Matt): Charges against Exodus Road catch attention of anti-sex trafficker world – Global Observer https://bit.ly/3xTAe4S 

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