• December 2, 2016

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s library has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection includes numerous signed books, from authors like Toni Morrison and Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as gifts from world leaders like Bill Clinton and Fidel Castro.

    Nation Books has bought the rights to The New York Kidnapping Club. Written by historian and professor Jonathan Daniel Wells, the book tells the story of “the frighteningly effective network of corrupt judges, lawyers, police officers, and bankers who kept the illegal slave trade alive and well in antebellum New York City.”

    Merriam-Webster is urging users of its online dictionary to look up the definition for any word other than fascism, which is dictionary’s most-searched word of 2016 and therefore the top contender for “Word of the Year.”

    A recent report by the Index on Censorship found that 2016 was “one of the most dangerous times to be a journalist,” with 406 reports of violence, threats, or other violations throughout Europe. Poynter details the many ways that the reporters who investigated the Panama Paper leaks earlier this year are being threatened, fired, and sued for their work.

    At the New Yorker, Adrian Chen questions the motives behind PropOrNot, the anonymous website that claimed to have identified websites that actively spread Russian propaganda. After the Washington Post used PropOrNot to support an article about Russian influence on the election, Chen and other journalists noticed that some of websites on the list were recognized American news sites, including Truthdig and Drudge Report, and that sites could be put on the list for minor offenses, like criticizing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Chen writes that although Russian influence on American elections is concerning, “the prospect of legitimate dissenting voices being labelled fake news or Russian propaganda by mysterious groups of ex-government employees, with the help of a national newspaper, is even scarier.”