Tom Jones at The Poynter Report: Who influenced the media this week?

The Poynter Report with Tom Jones asks “Who influenced the media this week?”:

The 1619 Project
One of the most significant journalism projects in recent years — The New York Times Magazine’s commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the English colony of Virginia — was first published in 2019. This week, two books about the 1619 Project were released. “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” is composed of 18 essays and 36 poems and works of fiction that look at the legacy of slavery in the United States. In addition, there’s a children’s book called “The 1619 Project: Born On The Water.” The project was led by Nikole Hannah-Jones, who told Trymaine Lee, host of the MSNBC podcast “Into America,” “It was the most difficult, emotionally draining project I’ve ever worked on. I cried a lot making the project, because it wasn’t writing about someone else’s community. It’s not like at the end of the day, I just went home and wasn’t thinking about it anymore. I thought about it all the time; and I also felt a tremendous burden to get it right, to do justice to our ancestors.”

Joaquin Sapien and Joshua Kaplan
Some superb digging for ProPublica by Sapien and Kaplan for the story: “Texts Show Kimberly Guilfoyle Bragged About Raising Millions for Rally That Fueled Capitol Riot.” They write, “In a series of text messages sent on Jan. 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden. Guilfoyle’s texts, reviewed by ProPublica, represent the strongest indication yet that members of the Trump family circle were directly involved in the financing and organization of the rally. The attack on the Capitol that followed it left five dead and scores injured.” I appreciated that passage. It explains what their report is about and why it’s important.

Sally Buzbee
The relatively new executive editor of The Washington Post is Kara Swisher’s guest on the latest “Sway” podcast for The New York Times. Buzbee talks about a variety of topics, including the Steele dossier, the Post being sued by one of its reporters (Felicia Sonmez), covering Post owner Jeff Bezos and today’s media landscape. Buzbee tells Swisher, “I don’t want to give up on any reader. Certainly there are people who are not going to trust the Washington Post, but I don’t think we want to give up on big swaths of the world.” … I also think it’s cool that a New York Times podcast would have a Washington Post editor as a guest, and that a Post editor would go on a Times podcast.

Diane Sawyer
We haven’t seen a bunch of Diane Sawyer lately, but she shows she still is an elite interviewer and journalist in her latest story about the 13 children, ages 2 to 29, who were held captive (some in chains) and abused by a couple in California. The awful story was uncovered in January 2018 when one of the children escaped and called 911. In a two-hour “20/20” special that will air tonight in prime time on ABC, Sawyer interviews two of the children for “Escape from a House of Horror — A Diane Sawyer Special Event.” One of the girls, who is now 33, told Sawyer what it was like when she woke up in the hospital and realized she was free. “Music was playing, I got up,” Jennifer Turpin said. “I made sure there was a little bit of a floor cleared out and I danced.”

Jacob Stern
If you only read one story today, read this in The Atlantic from Jacob Stern: “Can a Boxer Return to the Ring After Killing?” It’s the story of how two boxers — Charles Conwell and Patrick Day — arrived for a fateful fight in October 2019 and how Conwell has carried on after Day died from injuries suffered in that fight. It’s incredibly well-reported and eloquently written. The Atlantic’s Ed Yong tweeted, “This story about a boxer who accidentally killed his opponent in the ring is @jdkstern13‘s first print feature for The Atlantic. It’s so good, so compelling, even if you have no interest in boxing.

The Salt Lake Tribune
Utah’s Great Salt Lake is drying up — an apparent sign of climate change. Now The Salt Lake Tribune is working with AccuWeather to change its maps to accurately show that the lake has become smaller. This seems like a small thing, but it’s this kind of commitment that shows the impact and importance of covering climate. In case you missed it, I recently wrote about how things are going with The Salt Lake Tribune, which became the first major metropolitan newspaper to become a nonprofit. And executive editor Lauren Gustus recently wrote a piece with updates about the paper.


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