paper trail

MTV News relaunches

Darryl Pinckney

MTV News is relaunching with some big-name new hires from both old- and new-media, including Grantland’s former editorial director Dan Fierman, longtime Spin author Charles Aaron, Pitchfork Review editor Jessica Hopper, political author Ana Marie Cox, and the New Republic’s Jamil Smith (among others).

The UK newspaper The Independent will publish its last print edition next month.

Gawker’s executive editor John Cook has given his writers the go-ahead to make political donations (and to write about the candidates they give to) as long as they disclose their gift. In a memo to Gawker staff, Cook says: “Writing about political candidates to whom one has donated money or time is often described, inaccurately, as a ‘conflict of interest.’ It’s really more a confluence of interest—as long as you make no claims to objectivity, there is no reason to believe that the fact of a political donation could somehow compromise the authenticity of the views you are expressing.” At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple disagrees with Cook’s position, writing that “the discipline of a donation ban is a painless way to ensure that coverage is as fair and flexible as possible.”

The forthcoming book, Is That Kafka: 99 Finds, is a volume of Kafka ephemera collected by Reiner Stach in the course of assembling his three-volume biography. An excerpt at The Nation finds Kafka contemplating his desk, in a passage that any writer can relate to: ”Now I’ve taken a closer look at my desk and realized that nothing good can be produced on it. There’s so much lying around here, it creates disorder without regularity, and with none of that agreeableness of disorderly things that otherwise makes every disorder bearable.”

On Saturday at the Brooklyn Public Library, frequent New York Review of Books contributor Darryl Pinckney will discuss his new novel, Black Deutschland.