• March 3, 2015

    At the New Republic, Jamil Smith discusses the New York Times’s coverage of race, specifically its reassignment of Tanzina Vega from the race beat, which she had suggested herself, to the metropolitan section, and the more general tendency of papers across the country to shutter their race beats. Smith quotes Cord Jefferson, who wrote a piece for Matter last summer in which he described his exhaustion writing stories exclusively to do with race. Don’t “assign [minorities] to specific stories that go along with their minority group,” Jefferson wrote. “Give them jobs in your company.” But, Smith argues, “the race beat does not ghettoize race coverage. It embeds it in the body of the publication and makes it an essential part of its mission.”

    Marina Abramovic

    Marina Abramovic

    The performance artist Marina Abramovic will publish a memoir next year, to coincide with her seventieth birthday.

    At the Columbia Journalism Review, a piece on plagiarism: “Journalists are so fragile right now, so damaged by years of newsroom cuts and diminishing impact, that we’re more intent than ever on proving our purity, to ourselves and to our readers. We will therefore land ferociously on any miscreant who borrows even four or five words from another source. We will turn ourselves into the plagiarism police, vainly straining to show that our work is original, when, in fact, nearly all journalism is second-order—that is, we discover, report, and interpret the ideas and actions of others.”

    Graywolf has bought Fiona Maazel’s third novel, What Kind of Man.

    The New York Times has terminated the Home section of the paper, saying that its content “would fit best in other parts of the Times, including Food and Real Estate.”

    Wired has redesigned its website for the first time since 2007.

  • March 2, 2015

    When the New York Post reported Jill Abramson’s new book deal with Simon and Schuster last week, it noted that some at the New York Times might be “nervous” about the book (Abramson was “abruptly dismissed” from her position as the paper’s executive editor last year). The Times has now run a story about the book deal. The story is fairly straightforward, but it does conclude with some skepticism about how much Abramson was actually paid for the book. After interviewing Alice Mayhew, who will edit it, the Times reports: “Ms. Mayhew declined to disclose what the publisher paid for the book in an auction, but said that the rumored figure of $1 million that was reported by The Post is “not accurate.”

    Turkish novelist Yasar Kermal died on Saturday. A many-times contender for the Nobel Prize, he was also known as an outspoken critic of his country’s government and supporter of Kurdish rights, and his bravery was hard-won: According to the Times, “when he was five years old, he saw his father murdered, which left him with a severe stutter for years.” There are no records of his birth, but he was thought to be ninety-two or ninety-three when he died.

    Bruce Wagner

    Bruce Wagner

    In the movies: Novelist Bruce Wagner discusses his screenplay for David Cronenberg’s new  LA satire, Maps to the Stars. Richard Linklater is hoping to direct Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, based on Maria Semple’s 2012 bestseller.

    Vice Media’s creative officer Eddie Moretti said last week that the company is moving away from its male-centric point of view and sensibility. In its quest to court a larger female audience, the media company is launching Broadly, its first women-focused channel, this spring. Tracie Egan Morrissey, who left the Gawker blog Jezebel to join Vice last year, will be Broadly’s lead editor and director of content.

    The Princeton Poetry Festival, which takes place on March 13 and 14, will feature US poets Major Jackson, Maureen McLane, and Michael Robbins, as well Tomasz Rozycki (from Poland), Kwame Dawes (Ghana), Ocean Vuong (Vietnam), and others.

    At The Atlantic, Caner K. Dagli responds to a Graeme Wood’s article (also in The Atlantic) that argued that ISIS members “follow the texts of Islam as faithfully and seriously as anyone.”