October 11, 2016

Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s largest daily newspaper, was shut down last weekend in a move that its employees called a “coup.” In a statement on the paper’s website, parent company Mediaworks called the closure a business decision, but journalists say the shutdown is reprisal for publishing articles critical of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government. “Mediaworks argues that the paper has been making losses since 2007, so why did they invest in it in 2014?” deputy editor-in-chief Marton Gergely told EU Observer. “They couldn’t silence us, so they closed us down.”

The Columbia Journalism Review looks at the “unusually aggressive approach” of Sunday night’s debate moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. David Uberti writes that the misinformation of the Trump campaign has changed the job of the moderator from that of director and timekeeper to interrogator and translator: “Confusion—purposeful or not—has been a strategic pillar of the Trump campaign like no other candidate before him. That puts greater onus on moderators, the public’s representatives on stage, to coax meaning out of the reality television star’s scattershot words.”

At the New York Times, public editor Liz Spayd talks to political editor Carolyn Ryan about the paper’s decision to not censor the transcript of the Donald Trump tape in print or online. The Washington Post talks to possibly the only woman to be excited about Trump’s language: Regena Thomashauer, the author of Pussy: A Reclamation, which is now a bestseller. Thomashauer is not pleased with how the word was used, but says she hopes that “p—y will rise and push back.”

The National Book Foundation announced yesterday that former Nightly Show star Larry Wilmore will host the upcoming National Book Awards next month.

Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett

The Times talks to Brit Bennett, whose debut novel The Mothers earned her a spot on the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list. Bennett notes that writing about the black community is “absolutely its own form of advocacy,” but also feels conflicted about her subject matter. “There’s this sense of guilt that my writing career is going well because black people are being killed,” she told the Times. “I’ve reached a point where I don’t know if I have anything new to say. It’s the same narrative over and over.”

Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 co-author Jeffrey Kluger is writing a book on the first manned moon flight. Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon will be published next May by Henry Holt.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie opened up to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant about her long silence on Beyonce’s 2012 song “****Flawless,” which sampled audio from the author’s TED Talk, “We Should All Be Feminists.” Ngozi Adichie quashed the rumor that Beyonce hadn’t asked for permission to use the excerpt, and said she harbors no ill will toward the singer. “I think she’s lovely and I am convinced that she has nothing but the best intentions,” Adichie told the paper.

Tonight at the New York Public Library, publisher Dan Simon hosts a panel discussion with the Boston Review’s Matt Lord, Guernica’s Katherine Rowland, and n+1’s Dayna Tortorici on politically-oriented writing and the connection between journalism and social action.

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