paper trail

Nadxieli Nieto joins Flatiron as editor at large; Morgan Jerkins on social distancing and touch

Morgan Jerkins

Nadxieli Nieto is joining Flatiron as an editor at large. Formerly the PEN America literary awards program director, Nieto will focus on literary fiction, nonfiction, and young adult literature by Latinx and BIPoC authors.

At Jewish Currents, Mairav Zonszein talks to writers and editors who have been affected by COVID-19. “When you work in media and people start talking about a recession, you know that’s not good news for the industry,” said Brandy Jensen, an editor who was recently laid off with the rest of the staff at The Outline. “The paradox of how media is funded is that traffic numbers are up in most places. People are clicking and reading stories. But the business model perversely does not translate into more money.”

In an open letter, PEN America called on Congress to fund local news organizations in the next COVID-19 stimulus package. “Americans cannot endure an accelerated decline in access to vital information,” they write. “We’re calling on you to include the journalism sector in the congressional assistance packages revitalizing affected industries and sustaining workers across our nation.”

Hyperlocal news website Patch tells Axios that the company has doubled its page views and is hiring four new full-time reporters.

For Zora Magazine, Morgan Jerkins reflects on isolation, social distancing, and the human need for physical touch. “Sometimes at night, there’s a phantom-like presence in my bedroom. I imagine what it would be like to feel the mattress weighed down by another body, to feel someone’s hot breath on my neck,” she writes. “Every time I wash my hands, I think about what life will be like on the outside again. Will I be afraid to touch anyone again?”

Despite banning sales of racist books from their online store, white supremacists are still using Amazon’s self-publishing platform, ProPublica reports. “Virtually no idea is too inflammatory, and no author is off-limits,” they note. “As major social networks and other publishing platforms have worked to ban extremists, Amazon has emerged as their safe space, a haven from which they can spread their message into mainstream American culture with little more than a few clicks.”