December 22, 2017

In Bill de Blasio’s first formal interview with journalists from the now-shuttered local news sites Gothamist and DNAinfo, the New York mayor said that he would be open to using public funds to support independent media. “What’s happening now in New York, if it were to continue, will undermine democracy,” he said. “I’d be open to actually seeing the city invest in [local journalism]. . . . The BBC model, not always a perfect example, but in the best sense — there’s definitely a place for that.”

Jacqueline Rose

Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas is working on a memoir about his life as an undocumented immigrant. Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen will be published by Dey Street.

Jacqueline Rose, Val McDermid, Leo Robson, and Leanne Shapton will join Kwame Anthony Appiah as judges for the 2018 Man Booker prize.

The PEN America Foundation has released their 2018 Literary Awards longlist. Nominees include Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart, Wendy Lesser’s You Say to Brick, and Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse. Finalists will be announced in January.

Photojournalist Alexei Wood was one of six defendants found not guilty yesterday in a trial stemming from their arrest during protests of Donald Trump’s inauguration. HuffPost reports that the case “was seen as a bellwether that could determine whether the government will proceed with the prosecutions of many of the nearly 200 other defendants who have trials scheduled throughout the next year.”

Politico’s Jack Shafer mourns the slow death of the alt-weekly. Quoting a nineteenth century Chicago journalist—”It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell”—Shafer writes that “at their best, alt-weeklies subscribed to this quotation like a mission statement. With their passing our cities become duller, hell-less places.”