• September 30, 2015

    Poets and wits may lose their advantage on Twitter if people no longer have to abide by the 140-character limit (it could well happen).

    The German publisher Axel Springer, which earlier this year teamed up with Politico on its make-Brussels-sexy European operation and recently lost out on a deal for the Financial Times, has just bought Business Insider for $343 million.

    Speaking of Politico, you may have missed its plan to save or eat journalism over the next five years. See the founders’ memo to staff: “Our dream is a Politico journalistic presence in every capital of every state and country of consequence by 2020. With each passing month, we grow more confident our model can save journalism in state capitals and spread it in new countries.”

    Julie Schumacher

    Julie Schumacher

    This week the Thurber prize for American humor went to a woman, Julie Schumacher, for the first time in its history. A small victory, too, for beleaguered academics, whose plight is illuminated by Schumacher’s winning book, Dear Committee Members, an epistolary novel told through the recommendation letters a professor must write for almost everyone he’s ever met.

    Digital staff at Al Jazeera America voted yesterday on whether to go ahead and unionize after management there refused to recognize their efforts voluntarily. The results will be out on October 6, but meanwhile the bosses at AJAM look tougher than those at VICE or Salon, or even Gawker’s “intensely relaxed” Nick Denton, all of whom have conceded “at least de facto union recognition.”    

    Amid the latest Republican efforts to remove Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler and his wife Lisa Brown gave a million-dollar donation to the organization, which Brown noted had “gone through a series of unfortunate events” this year.

    Tonight at McNally Jackson, don’t miss Lydia Davis, August Kleinzahler, and others reading from Lucia Berlin’s story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women, which Joy Williams will review in the next Bookforum.