paper trail

Knight Foundation matches non-profit donations; Maria Semple's "Today Will Be Different" gets TV adaptation

Maria Semple

Starting today, the Knight Foundation is matching donations made to non-profit news organizations through the end of Obama’s term in office. Qualifying organizations include The Marshall Project, ProPublica, PBS NewsHour, and more.

Flatiron Books has announced a name for Oprah Winfrey’s imprint, as well as its first titles. An Oprah Book will first publish a cookbook written by Winfrey, Food, Health and Happiness, on January 3.

Julia Roberts has been tapped to star in a TV adaptation of Maria Semple’s novel, Today Will Be Different. Semple, who has written for shows like Suddenly Susan and Arrested Development, will write the screen version. 

Four more major tech companies have asserted that they will not assist in building a registry of Muslim citizens. BuzzFeed spoke to Google, Apple, Uber, and IBM, who said they would not participate in any such project. Amazon and Oracle did not respond to requests for comment.

New York Times public editor Liz Spayd calls out the paper’s lack of diversity. Spayd points out that the entire White House press team is made up of white reporters, and that only two people of color covered the presidential campaign. Spayd notes that the most diverse segment of staff are the news assistants, who are also the least paid. “The Times can be relentless in questioning the diversity at other institutions,” she writes. “Fixing its own problems comes less easily.”

The Washington Post has created a Chrome extension that fact checks Donald Trump’s many tweets. In addition to pointing out false claims made by the president-elect, the extension also offers more context to tweets that may simply need more explanation. Trump or Trump-related statements make up nearly half of the paper’s round up of “The Biggest Pinocchios of 2016.” The paper notes that they have previously tried to “assemble a relatively equal number of claims by Democrats and Republicans but find that this is impossible this year.”

Charlie Sykes, a talk-radio host in Wisconsin who leaving his show at the end of the year, reflects on his experience as both a media figure and a conservative Trump critic during the election. Sykes writes that although conservative news sources helped discredit mainstream media among many voters, they also did nothing to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and fake news. “For years, we ignored the birthers, the racists, the truthers and other conspiracy theorists,” Sykes writes. “Rather than confront the purveyors of such disinformation, we changed the channel because, after all, they were our allies, whose quirks could be allowed or at least ignored. We destroyed our own immunity to fake news, while empowering the worst and most reckless voices on the right.”