In a memo to staff, the New York Times’s standards editor Phil Corbett asks writers to not use alt-right as a stand-alone term. Corbett reminds Times employees that “any description can touch on some key elements, based on our own reporting. . . . It’s a racist, far-right fringe movement that embraces an ideology of white nationalism and is anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist. It is highly decentralized but has a wide online presence. Followers rail against multiculturalism and what they see as ‘political correctness.’”
At the New Yorker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds readers to stay vigilant after Trump’s election. Adichie calls out journalists who give Trump’s unsubstantiated claims more credit than they deserve. “Pretending that both sides of an issue are equal when they are not is not ‘balanced’ journalism; it is a fairy tale—and, unlike most fairy tales, a disingenuous one,” Adichie writes.
Politico editor Susan B. Glasser reflects on the real reason that 2016 election coverage failed. “The media scandal of 2016 isn’t so much about what reporters failed to tell the American public; it’s about what they did report on, and the fact that it didn’t seem to matter,” Glasser writes. “The bully pulpits, those of the press and the pols, have proliferated, and it’s hard not to feel as though we’re witnessing a sort of revolutionary chaos: the old centers of power have been torn down, but the new ones have neither the authority nor the legitimacy of those they’ve superseded.”
Nitasha Tiku explains why Snapchat doesn’t struggle to control the spread of fake news. Unlike Facebook, Snapchat editors vet the news sites before they are allowed to publish stories and “the content is curated by Snapchat and goes through a human editor first.” Tiku’s analysis comes amid rumors that Facebook will be releasing a new feature called Collections, aimed at combating fake news.
BuzzFeed analyzed Trump’s tweets to find out exactly where the president-elect gets his news. After collecting posts from the time that Trump announced his presidential campaign to a week after the election, BuzzFeed found that “the stories shared by Trump’s account throughout his campaign suggest the president-elect has constructed a powerful online filter bubble that largely flatters and confirms that which he claims to be true.”
F*CK YOU, 2016, Michael Joseph’s book that looks back at “the year that David Bowie died, Brexit shocked us, ‘Hiddleswift’ was a thing and Trump trumped” comes out tomorrow.
Tonight in Manhattan, Tim Wu stops by Book Culture to talk about The Attention Merchants.