September 27, 2016

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas launched his digital media project EmergingUS on Medium yesterday, aimed at a growing demographic that Vargas identifies as wanting “to see the women of Black Lives Matter next to The Bamboo Ceiling next to White people talking about diversity and inclusivity next to mixed-race people.” Vargas had originally partnered with the Los Angeles Times, but struggled to find a new host for the documentary series after the deal fell through. He hopes the project will change how digital media reports on “issues of identity, race, and immigration.”

Dan Slater. Photo: Sophie Herbert

Dan Slater. Photo: Sophie Herbert

After Dan Slater’s Wolf Boys was added to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s list of banned books the very same week it was published, The Guardian takes a look at the Texas prison system’s approved reading materials. Books like Bob Dole’s World War II: An Illustrated History of Crisis and Courage; Friday Night Lights; and Jon Stewart’s America don’t make the cut, but Mein Kampf and David Duke’s Jewish Supremacism are allowed.

The Huffington Post details the threats that Donald Trump poses to free speech and reiterates the need for banned book week. “By electing someone so cavalier about the nation’s most cherished foundational rights, we could risk what’s taken 200 years to build.”

Charles Seife investigates the Food and Drug Administration’s widespread use of close-hold embargoes with reporters. Not only do these agreements require news outlets to hold off on publishing an article until a specified date, but they also ban the writer from interviewing non-FDA approved sources. The result, writes Siefe, is that “the watchdogs are being turned into lapdogs.”

Presidential historian and biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin interviews President Obama for Vanity Fair’s November issue. The two first met in 2007, when then-Senator Obama called Goodwin to praise one of her books: “Hello, this is Barack Obama. I’ve just read Team of Rivals and we have to talk about Lincoln.” Besides the legacies of Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Reagan, and nearly every other twentieth-century president, the pair discuss Obama’s legacy as his final term comes to an end, and whether he’ll “feel melancholy or nostalgic” at the next inauguration.

Tonight at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn, Rivka Galchen talks to Ruth Franklin about her new book, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.

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