Six journalists are now facing felony charges after being arrested while covering protests at the inauguration. Vocativ’s Evan Engel, RT America’s Alex Rubinstein, Story of America producer Jack Keller, and freelancers Matt Hopard, Shay Horse, and Aaron Cantú have all denied the charges. According to The Guardian, “none of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong,” and five of the six arrest reports contain identical language. Carlos Lauria, the senior Americas coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, called for the charges to be dropped. “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests,” Lauria said.
After Svetlana Alexievich resigned from Russia PEN in protest over the group’s treatment of a jailed filmmaker, the organization released a statement that said that the author “has never been a member of the Russian PEN, so her declaration of leaving it sounds bizarre.” Alexievich responded with both a photo of her original membership papers from 1995, as well as screenshots of the website’s list of members from earlier this year. “Russian PEN is made out of really old people who don’t have an easy relationship with technology,” Alexievich said. “They forgot that the internet stores everything.”
Man Booker prize-winning author Howard Jacobson has written a book in response to Donald Trump’s election. Pussy will be published by Jonathan Cape in April and tells the story of Prince Fracassus, an heir that presides over a land of “golden-gated skyscrapers and casinos.” Jacobson told The Guardian that he had been thinking about the book since the early days of Trump’s campaign in 2016, but that Trump’s win drove him to work on the book every day for two months straight. “Satire is an important weapon in the fight against what is happening and Trump looks like a person who is particularly vulnerable to derision,” Jacobson said.
The Trump administration has placed a gag order on multiple federal agencies. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Agriculture are just a few of the departments that have been ordered to cease all outside communication with the press and members of congress, as well as halt all social media, blog posts, and press releases.
After Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway claimed that the administration was offering “alternative facts” about the size of the inauguration crowd, George Orwell’s 1984 has become the number-one best-selling book on Amazon. Penguin will be printing 75,000 new copies to keep up with demand.
Netflix has bought the worldwide rights to Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press, a documentary which is being screened at Sundance.
Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer, the journalists who first broke the story of the Panama Papers, implore journalists to work together in order to effectively cover Trump. Like the story of the Panama Papers, they write, much of the stories about Trump’s conflicts of interest will be “too big and too important to do alone.” The journalists also encourage White House correspondents to stand up for each other when Press Secretary Sean Spicer ignores or refuses to answer their colleagues’ questions. “If the media doesn’t want to see more press conferences like the disastrous one we saw recently,” the pair write, “they will need to be bold.”