paper trail

Remembering Gwen Ifill; Rewriting Obama's legacy

Gwen Ifill

PBS NewsHour co-host Gwen Ifill has died at 61. After beginning her career as a newspaper reporter for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others, Ifill joined PBS’s Washington Week in Review as the show’s moderator in 1999. Yesterday, President Barack Obama called Ifill “an extraordinary journalist.” “I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting,” he said, “even when I was at the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews.”

Gizmodo reports that prior to the election Facebook had developed an update to its News Feed that would have removed fake news stories, but work on the tool was discontinued after it became apparent that it would affect mainly right wing-affiliated sites. “There was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” said an anonymous source, referring to the revelations last spring that an editorial team was suppressing content from right-leaning websites.

Facebook isn’t the only company taking heat for its part in the election. The first result on Google for “final election count” is a WordPress site that claims “Trump won the popular vote by a margin of almost 700,000 votes.” (At last count, Clinton had a lead of nearly one million votes.) At Current Affairs, Emily Robinson calls out the “lazy political journalism” that fed off of Twitter.

Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston is launching the Nevada Independent, a nonprofit news site focusing on politics, government, and business. "I am doing it because I have long believed room existed in this state for a new paradigm, maybe one that can be a model for elsewhere: A donor-supported community news outlet that is focused only on truth and transparency, with no agenda,” Ralston said. The site launches early next year.

The Washington Post is offering free subscriptions to students, government employees, and members of the military. Rebecca Solnit and Haymarket books are giving away a free ebook edition of Solnit's classic 2004 book on activism Hope in the Dark. 

Historians are scrambling to rewrite books and papers on the legacy of President Barack Obama after the election results of 2016. At a conference planned more than a year ago, historians discussed how to update their works without forgetting how surprising the results were. “Trump’s election may end up being a turning point, and historians will want to tell the story as if it were destined to happen,” said Gary Gerstle, a University of Cambridge professor. “But we were not totally crazy to think it wouldn’t.”

Fusion’s digital editorial staff has voted to unionize, with over 90 percent supporting the decision.