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Bernard Ferguson on poetic lineage and Gwendolyn Brooks; Meredith Shiner argues for the end of “both sides” journalism

Bernard Ferguson

The publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Daily News—Tribune Publishing—has agreed to give Alden Global Capital full ownership of the company. Alden has a history of dramatically cutting costs at the papers under its control, and has been pursuing ownership of Tribune, of which it is already a 32 percent stakeholder, for years. In the New York Times, Marc Tracy indicates the magnitude of the deal: “The combination of Tribune and MediaNews Group, an Alden-controlled chain of roughly 100 newspapers, including more than 60 dailies, would put another significant chunk of newspaper publishing under the strong influence or outright control of the financial industry.”

Five finalists for the Aspen Words Literary Prize have been announced, including works by Louise Erdrich and Danielle Evans. The books “deal with serious topics, but among these novels and story collections are also stunning love stories and characters who will make you laugh out loud,” said Adrienne Brodeur, executive director of Aspen Words. A winner will be announced on April 21.

Swati Sharma, currently a managing editor at The Atlantic, is joining Vox as editor in chief. She starts next month.

For the Paris Review, Bernard Ferguson considers poetic lineage and his search to contextualize Gwendolyn Brooks’s elusive 1985 poem “To the Young Who Want to Die” through Ross Gay’s “Sorrow Is Not My Name.” Brooks’s poem, Ferguson writes, is “a banger: it’s a powerhouse, a marvel, a jewel.”

At the New Republic, former DC journalist Meredith Shiner argues that the Capitol riots of January 6 should change how Beltway journalists do their jobs, and put an end to the “view from nowhere” approach to political coverage. Shiner asks: “If this is not the event that frees reporters from the chains of ‘both-sidesism,’ when one side, the Republicans, contributed to an attack in which reporters almost died, what will?”

In the current issue of n+1, Lizzie Feidelson writes about the day-to-day life of two homeless young adults in New York City during the pandemic, amid train station closures and curfews.

On Thursday afternoon at 2 PM EST, Patricia Lockwood will discuss her new novel, No One Is Talking About This, with John Lanchester, a fellow contributing editor at the London Review of Books. Audrey Wollen reviews the novel in the spring issue of Bookforum.