paper trail

NBC News digital employees unionize; Alexander Chee on writing the "other"

Alexander Chee. Photo: M. Sharkey

Editorial employees of NBC News’s digital department are forming a union, the New York Times reports. The decision to unionize comes as Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill has highlighted the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment and assault allegations. “Forming a union will afford us a collective voice in decisions that will benefit the entire company, providing much-needed transparency and ensuring a safer workplace,” the organizers said in a statement.

After Deadspin writers and editors spoke out against auto-play, sound-on ads running on their website, Farmers Insurance has cancelled a $1 million advertising deal with G/O Media.

For Vulture, Alexander Chee reflects on the questions authors should ask when they want to write a character with a different background than themselves. “Writers of color, LGBTQ writers, women writers, are told to write as white men in order to succeed, and thus are set up to fail,” he writes. “When I meet with those beginner students to discuss their first stories, I ask them to think of stories only they can write. Stories they know but have never read anywhere. Stories they always tell but never write down. That’s what this question is really about. Or could be. If the questioner asked it of themselves more often than they asked other people.”

Tobias Carroll talks to MCD Books executive editor Daphne Durham about literary horror and the imprint’s plans for the future.

The New York Times offers tips for writers participating in National Novel Writing Month, which starts tomorrow. Advice includes choosing your favorite word processor, using voice typing tools instead of writing long-hand, and proofreading your work.