• October 30, 2015

    Raif Badawi

    Raif Badawi

    Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger imprisoned for the past few years and soon to be flogged again as part of his sentence, has been awarded the European Union’s Sakharov prize for human rights.

    This week in conflicts of interest: There seems to be some disagreement as to whether it’s acceptable to assign a piece on tech entrepreneurs, including Airbnb, to a writer whose husband is one of Airbnb’s biggest investors. T magazine’s Deborah Needleman tells New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan she doesn’t regret commissioning Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, though perhaps there ought to have been some disclosure of the connection. Needleman also says: “I say this not as an excuse, but she is, separately from her husband, a billionaire (making her through marriage a billionaire twice over) and for that reason I think I failed to consider any monetary conflict in her case.” Isn’t this the same reasoning that suggests a billionaire is usually the best and least corruptible candidate for public office?

    NPR suffers a suitably genteel, understated plagiarism scandal in its music coverage with the resignation of WQXR reporter and online editor Brian Wise.

    In the UK, the publisher Virago and the New Statesman are together launching a literary prize for women writing about politics or economics.

    Who can afford a pseudonym nowadays? Sloane Crosley, author of the new novel The Clasp (and the popular essay collection I Was Told There’d Be Cake), has just outed herself as the coauthor of another book published this year: The hope is that more people will buy Read Bottom Up, a digital-age epistolary novel, now that they know its provenance.

    A 688-page book of previously unpublished writings by Frantz Fanon has come out this week in Paris, including political texts, theoretical work on psychiatry, and two plays.

    You may not yet have experienced Jonathan Franzen reading Stephen Colbert a hard-hitting bedtime story about the book business.