• January 8, 2019

    Sally Rooney. Photo: Jonny L. Davies.

    Sally Rooney has won the Costa Novel Award for Normal People. Rooney is the youngest author ever to win the prize. Other winners include J. O. Morgan’s poetry book Assurances, Bart van Es’s memoir The Cut Out Girl, and Stuart Turton’s debut novelThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

    Two hundred Vice employees from the company’s TV and video departments have joined editorial employees in unionizing with the Writers Guild of America East.

    Observer editor in chief Ben Robinson has left the company after ten months. There are no plans to find a replacement, and social media editor Mary von Aue has taken over as editorial director.

    Columbia Journalism Review looks at media coverage of the federal government shutdown. “Shutdowns are always tricky stories for journalists, with complex technical negotiations often hiding behind political grandstanding,” Jon Allsop writes. “This shutdown—now the third-longest in US history—is even trickier, with lies, misleading statistics, and the volatile nature of Trump’s decision-making all thrown into the mix.”

    At The Guardian, Anakana Schofield argues that we should not follow Marie Kondo’s directions to get rid of books that don’t “give us joy.” “Books are not a reflection of our thoughts and values, because more often than not they reflect someone else’s, whether it is Lolita, Mrs Dalloway or Snoopy,” she writes. “Our book collections record the narrative of expansion, diversion, regression, terror and yet-to-be-discovered possibilities of our reading life.”

    In a five-thousand-word email to journalists, Julian Assange outlined over one hundred “false and defamatory statements” about himself that the media should avoid in their reporting, “including that Assange bleaches his hair, that he is a hacker, that he has ever neglected an animal or that he has poor personal hygiene.”

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