USA Today has laid off between 60 and 70 staffers—about half of them editors and writers, according to Jim Romenesko. “Today is my last day at USA TODAY, after 30 years,” Edna Gundersen, the paper’s longtime pop critic, tweeted yesterday. “I was laid off this morning, along with several great colleagues. Onward.”
David Remnick has responded to environmental activist Vandana Shiva, who recently fired off a harsh rebuttal to Michael Specter’s profile of her in the August 18 New Yorker. “Part of the problem is that after encouraging Mr. Specter to travel with you both in Italy and India, you apparently changed your mind, and stopped replying to his interview requests (or emails.)”
Inc. profiles Dao Nguyen, who, after being fired from Le Monde, went on to become the head of data and growth at Buzzfeed, where she has become a key player in the company’s ongoing surge in traffic.
At the Believer, Chris Kraus writes about a mid-’90s email exchange between Kathy Acker and cultural theorist Mackenzie Wark, which will soon be published by Semiotext(e): “In some ways, Acker and Wark’s correspondence amounts to a cautionary tale against casual sex, but, in a larger sense, they’re trying to forge a brave friendship that includes sexual and intellectual intimacy aided by total disclosure. Comfort matters less to them than knowledge.”
Andrew Sullivan considers the problem with every web outlet thinking they need a “take” on the latest trending news (or “news”) story: “The Takes wouldn’t be produced if they weren’t profitable—or at least aspirationally, potentially profitable—to the publishers, but the defining feature of modern web publishing is that the Takes are ruining the Brands. When your worst, laziest, least-polished writing is also the most frequently published content at your publication, that writing defines the voice of your site.”