paper trail

How (not) to cover Baltimore, Nepal

Shulamith Firestone posters

As the crackdown continues in Baltimore, and solidarity protesters are arrested in New York, there has been ||anger over media coverage| in major outlets like the Washington Post, which published this story, based on a “police document” it had “obtained,” suggesting that Freddie Gray had somehow caused his own injuries in custody.

Jonathan Katz, author of The Big Truck that Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster, who reported from Port-au-Prince during the 2010 earthquake, has words of warning for journalists rushing into Nepal.

The dispute over PEN America’s awarding a so-called Freedom of Expression Courage prize to Charlie Hebdo has grown. After six writers withdrew from the upcoming PEN gala earlier this week, twenty-six more have signed a letter of protest saying, “There is a critical difference between staunchly supporting expression that violates the acceptable, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression.” On Monday, PEN America president Andrew Solomon defended the decision to give the award to Charlie Hebdo, telling The Guardian, “if we only endorsed freedom of speech for people whose speech we liked that would be a very limited notion of freedom of speech. . . . It’s a courage award, not a content award.” Meanwhile, one of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists, Rénald Luzier (aka Luz), has said that he will no longer draw the Prophet Muhammad: “I’ve gotten tired of it, just as I got tired of drawing Sarkozy.”

James Risen, whose seven-year battle to protect his confidential sources, and thus the ability of journalists to report on issues the government doesn’t want reported, has a story about the American Psychological Association’s secret collaboration with the Bush administration to justify torture.

The New Yorker is teaming up with the station WNYC to produce a weekly one-hour national radio show and podcast. Terry Gross, be warned.

If you’re in London tomorrow night, Verso Books and queer feminist film curators Club des Femmes are holding a night of screenings and readings to celebrate the republication (not a moment too soon) of Shulamith Firestone’s 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution.