Voice of America, Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe Journalists Left Behind in Afghanistan

From a Wall Street Journal story by William Mauldin headlined “Afghanistan Voice of America, Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe Staff Left Behind”:

Lawmakers and media organizations are calling on the Biden administration to help get more than 100 government-funded media employees out of Afghanistan, where they risk retribution from the Taliban for their affiliation with the U.S. government.

Combined with their family members, the number of workers for Voice of America and the Afghan branch of Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe left behind totals more than 500….The media staffers, who aren’t U.S. citizens, are contractors, unlike their colleagues in the U.S., who work directly for the U.S. government.

O. Henry: “He mastered a form of the short story that featured a surprising conclusion”

From a Wall Street Journal Bookshelf column by John J. Miller headlined “A Twist Comes at the End”:

Before he was known as O. Henry and the author of “The Gift of the Magi,” William Sidney Porter wrote another yarn about a husband and wife who miscommunicate. Instead of trading Christmas presents in a touching tale of self-sacrifice, they exchange “some hard words” over breakfast. A little later, they regret their remarks and seek to make peace. When they meet again, however, they fire off a new round of accusations—painful to them in their fictional world but amusing to readers who recognize a comic mixture of spite and affection in a marriage.

“Rebalancing the News to Focus More on Solutions, Less on Problems”

From a story on tucson.com by Caitlin Schmidt headlined “Here’s why the Star is launching a solutions journalism beat”:

In my eight years reporting for the Arizona Daily Star,  there’s one phrase I’ve heard in interviews more than any other.

“Tucson is a special place.”…

That’s what led the Star to its newest endeavor and me down my latest path, as solutions beat reporter.

Solutions journalism is rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. It includes stories about people and places trying to fix what’s broken and tear down systemic barriers, to make the community a more equitable place. It intends to rebalance the news and focus not just on problems, but on potential solutions to those problems.

At Top Fashion Magazines, Black Representation Remains a Work in Progress

From a New York Times story by Jessica Testa headlined “At Top Magazines, Black Representation Remains a Work in Progress”:

On the last Friday morning in August, the website for Harper’s Bazaar magazine led with an image of a Black model smiling widely in an Hermès gown, her hair in dreadlocks. Beneath that was a portrait of Lil Nas X and, just below it, an assemblage of stories about Aaliyah’s personal style.

The magazine’s most recent print cover featured Beyoncé, photographed by a Black photographer, Campbell Addy, and styled in part by Samira Nasr, who in 2020 became the first person of color to lead the publication in its 154-year history….

Jack Shafer: “The Trump drop-off has benefited journalists, giving them a chance to dismount from the junk news treadmill”

From a Jack Shafer Fourth Estate column on politico.com headlined “The Trump News Show Is Over and We’re All Healthier For It”:

What have you been doing with your time? The numbers tell us that the average news consumer is watching a whole lot less cable news and has gone on a restricted online news diet. Over the past year, the major cable channels have lost from 34 percent to 43 percent of their audiences. The New York Times website lost almost 34 percent of total unique visitors between June 2020 and June 2021, and the Washington Post has seen a similar 27 percent drop in uniques over the same period. Nearly every online news leaderboard has taken a hit, whether they have paywalls or not: CNN.com, uniques down 20 percent; the Atlantic down almost 52 percent; Business Insider down 31 percent; POLITICO down 44 percent.

New AP Editor Julie Pace: “We can take all of the journalism that we do and make it more digital-friendly, more social-friendly.”

From an AP story by David Bauder headlined “Julie Pace named new Associated Press executive editor”:

Julie Pace, a longtime Washington journalist who managed coverage of the U.S. government during a period of historic tumult, was named as the executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press.

The 39-year-old Pace has been the AP’s Washington bureau chief since 2017, guiding reporting on the Trump administration, national security, politics and the new Biden White House. She rose to the newsroom’s top leadership spot with a promise to accelerate the AP’s digital transformation.

“I’ve lived through a lot of storm-tossed nights. But they can prompt productive reflection on what matters most.”

From a Wall Street Journal column by Danny Heitman headlined “The Long Night of Hurricane Ida”:

Baton Rouge, La.

As Hurricane Betsy tore through Louisiana in 1965, my mother held me in her arms and rocked me through the night. I was an infant with an ear infection, and as raging rain and the late hour kept us from getting medical help, Mama did what she could to comfort me in the long stretch before daylight. While the winds howled and I howled louder, the woman who had given me life a year before rocked and prayed.

“As Lou Grant, Ed Asner gave us comedy, drama, and an indelible portrait of a hard-working journalist”

From a Washington Post column by David Von Drehle headlined “As Lou Grant, Ed Asner gave us comedy, drama, and an indelible portrait of a hard-working journalist”:

The Season 1 opening sequence of the long-ago television series “Lou Grant” was a wry little wonder. It begins with a bird chirping in a forest, followed by the roar of a chain saw and the transformation of a tree into newsprint — all told in a few quick cuts. The newsprint rolls through giant presses. Folded newspapers are tossed to subscribers. One lands in a puddle, another on a rooftop. But one copy is unfolded and read over a breakfast table. In the final shot, it winds up at the bottom of a bird cage, where another bird chirps.

The AP Names a New Top Editor

From a New York Times story by Katie Robertson headlined “The Associated Press Names a New Top Editor”:

The Associated Press named Julie Pace, its Washington bureau chief, as its new top editor, a job that gives her oversight of a news organization with 250 bureaus in 100 nations.

Ms. Pace, 39, will become The A.P.’s executive editor, succeeding Sally Buzbee. Ms. Buzbee left the organization, which she had led since 2017, to take the executive editor job at The Washington Post in May.

In an interview, Ms. Pace called The A.P. “a bit of an unsung hero of the journalism industry.”

Margaret Sullivan: “Congress may be about to help local news. It can’t happen soon enough.”

From a Washington Post story by media columnist Margaret Sullivan headlined “Congress may be about to help local news. It can’t happen soon enough.”:

When I published a book last summer about the troubles of the local news industry, I intended it to be a loud alarm bell, not a prescription for how to solve the growing problem. (I didn’t have very good answers.)

But I found out quickly that once readers understood the scope of what was happening, and the dire effects on our society, they wanted solutions.