• August 8, 2016

    New York Times public editor Liz Spayd explains the paper’s new Metro section, which will cut back on local news (which is “of no interest to readers in Beijing or London”) and focus more on “stories with larger, more consequential themes.” Using the story of a fire in the Bronx that killed two young children as an example, Spayd and Metro editor Wendell Jamieson argue that “when 90 percent of your audience lives outside New York, it makes sense to skip the small stuff and write stories with the kind of wattage that attracts attention from a farther distance.”

    After twenty years with the paper, music critic Ben Ratliff, author of books including Coltrane: The Story of a Sound and Every Song Ever, will be leaving the Times to focus on teaching and writing.

    James Baldwin. Photo: Allan Warren

    James Baldwin. Photo: Allan Warren

    James Baldwin’s home in Southern France is being torn down to make way for luxury apartments. Paris-based author Shannon Cain is attempting to convince the French government to protect the property, which has already been partially demolished. Baldwin lived in the home near Cote d’Azur from 1970 until his death in 1987.

    The French embassy has selected Ta-Nehisi Coates as the curator for this year’s Festival Albertine, a showcase French-American cultural exchange. The event will focus on black identity in France and the US, and feature artists Kehinde Wiley, New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb, and more.

    Olive Kitteridge author Elizabeth Strout talks about taking a risk and making the protagonist of her new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, a writer. “I just don’t think that writers are that interesting on the page. But it was when I was going back over different drafts, and I realised that Lucy stays behind at school and she reads,” Strout told The Guardian, “And I read what I had written–‘that brought me the world’, Lucy says–and then I realised, OK, all right then, let’s make this girl a writer. And so I went for it. I figured I was already up to my eyeballs in risks, I might as well go the whole hog.”

    Gawker Media is nearing a settlement with the parent company of the Daily Mail, Mail Online, over an article by a former Mail Online employee alleging that the British media outlet allowed plagiarism and published stories that were known to be false. In a recent bankruptcy filing, “Gawker asked the bankruptcy court for permission to pay the five different law firms that are representing it in various lawsuits.” The company will reportedly be paying the firms at discounted rates.