From CJR, the digital winter turns apocalyptic (and more). Thread: “For those who aren’t quite sure why these media layoffs keep happening, or think ‘it’s the internet!’ or ‘people don’t pay to subscribe,’ there’s a lot more going on”. Did we just experience the hardest decade in journalism? Local newspapers have already been gutted — there’s nothing left to cut. Cancel in protest, or stay with a local newspaper that’s being strip-mined for profits? A fresh look at the rise of nonprofit journalism — and the issues that remain. Does journalism have a future? In an era of social media and fake news, journalists who have survived the print plunge have new foes to face. What Jill Abramson gets wrong about the future of journalism: Josephine Livingstone reviews Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson.

How journalism can win back public trust: Julia Belluz interviews Alan Rusbridger, author of Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now. In the era of fake news, a cottage industry of startups is competing to turn media credibility into a booming business — do we really want that? Facebook and Google need to start paying journalists what they owe us. Regulating Facebook and Google won’t save journalism: It will help — but the industry needs much more to survive.


Luciano Floridi (Oxford): Semantic Capital: Its Nature, Value, and Curation. Kelsey Ables on a magazine’s unlikely rebirth in Sri Lanka. Howard Schultz might reelect Trump because he doesn’t understand how politics works: “It is entirely possible that the course of American history will turn on Howard Schultz’s egomaniacal ignorance” (and more and more and more). Why CEOs tend to make bad politicians. Martin Longman: “A Howard Schultz candidacy doesn’t frighten me”. Family behind OxyContin maker engineered opioid crisis, Massachusetts AG says. When solid progressives like Vaughn Stewart find themselves in office, they need help if they’re going to resist corporate lobbyists and be effective.

Congo just had its first peaceful transfer of power in 60 years. The shutdown cost the US economy $3 billion that isn’t coming back. This is how to end government shutdowns forever. Trump’s complaint to White House guests: Obama watched too much TV. A US-Taliban peace deal may be on the way — but it could easily fall apart. Afghan women fear peace with Taliban may mean war on them. In the new progressives vs. Davos, round one goes to the Left. Are we past peak Davos? Wall Street is scared shitless about Bernie and Liz 2020. Hollywood’s obsession with cartels: It would be nice to see Latinos living regular lives — not stereotype-fueled fantasies — onscreen.

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