paper trail

Nonprofit news site The 19th* launches with a focus on inequality reporting; Ed Yong’s big-picture pandemic coverage

Ed Yong

The Cut profiles The 19th*, a new nonprofit news organization that launched this weekend. The publication’s name references the Nineteenth Amendment, with the asterisk signifying that the right to vote was, in practice, mostly granted to white women. The site will focus on deeply reported features on politics and inequality, highlighting the stories of women who are traditionally underserved by the mainstream media.

On August 5th at 8 PM EST, Kimberlé Crenshaw, N. K. Jemisin, and Saidiya Hartman will be present a panel discussion, “Storytelling While Black and Female: Conjuring Beautiful Experiments in Past and Future Worlds,” as part of the African American Policy Forum’s “Under the Blacklight” series. For more on Hartman’s work, see Bookforum’s review in the Spring 2019 issue.

At The Point, Merve Emre considers a new breed of wistful literati: “The Longing Man.” Beta narcissists, poetic sad boys, male Madame Bovarys: all descend from the same lineage of self-regarding romantics, a genealogy Emre draws back to Dante and Petrarch, Keats and Kafka.

At Vanity Fair, a look at Black storytellers who work in the horror genre. Victor LaValle, who has two television series based on his work in development, told the magazine, “The act of hiding something serious inside something that might be considered ‘mere entertainment,’ or just play, is the much harder thing than the straightforward, earnest, ‘Here’s exactly what we’re talking about, and then here’s what we will tell you about it.’ . . . Thoughtful horror can get past all those defenses, and while it’s entertaining them, it can get some really profound ideas lodged under the breastbone, inside the ribcage, right up next to the heart.”

At the Columbia Journalism Review, Jon Allsop offers an appreciation of Ed Yong’s coronavirus coverage for The Atlantic: “Great journalism often shocks us by telling us stuff we didn’t know. Sometimes, though, the skillful juxtaposition of everything we do know can have an even greater effect.”