paper trail

April Ryan named NABJ Journalist of the Year; Ben Strauss on the politics of ESPN

April Ryan

The first plans for Barack Obama’s presidential library in Chicago were unveiled yesterday. Designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the library will include classrooms, an auditorium, and a public garden. In his announcement, Obama said that the campus-like design was chosen to “create an institution that will train the next generation of leadership.”

White House reporter April Ryan has been named the National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalist of the Year. “In the White House press corps circle, where too few black women have been given an opportunity to report, April has excelled and persevered in spite of the many obstacles she has confronted,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

The LA Times talks to Paula Hawkins about film adaptations, family dynamics, and troubled women. Hawkins said that she is committed to creating complex female characters, but that she tends to gravitate toward the damaged. “If I were writing about happy people it wouldn’t be a crime novel,” she said.

Carolina A. Miranda remembers Jean Stein, who died earlier this week. Miranda spent a summer working as Stein’s research assistant for an oral history project about Los Angeles. “That summer, Jean and I interviewed cops, lawyers, judges, community activists, small business owners and ministers. We hung out in South L.A. motels and fancy-pants restaurants in Beverly Hills,” she writes. “Jean was at home everywhere with everybody.”

Hulu announced that The Handmaid’s Tale will get a second season, with a premiere in 2018. In a statement, Hulu head of content Craig Erwich said, “We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision.”

At Politico, Ben Strauss wonders whether the recent round of layoffs at ESPN were caused by the network’s increasing political coverage. After one critic attributed the company’s financial collapse to the “absurd decision to turn into MSESPN, a left wing sports network,” Strauss examines ESPN’s changing viewer demographics, falling subscription numbers, and historically apolitical nature.

James Poniewozik analyzes the new prime-time lineup at Fox News. According to Poniewozik, the “fleur-de-sel-of-the-earth” persona of Tucker Carlson might seem at odds with the typical Fox viewer, but common enemies bring them together. “What matters more than policy is your side’s winning, and what matters more than your side’s winning is the other side’s losing,” Poniewozik writes. “So the major product of much conservative news media, to quote a popular postelection souvenir mug, is liberal tears. And Mr. Carlson drinks them like a refreshing chablis.”