paper trail

Tommy Pico on soundscapes; Lauretta Charlton joins the "New York Times"

Tommy Pico. Photo: Niqui Carter

Literary Hub talks to poet Tommy Pico about karaoke, plants, and Feed, his recently-recorded soundscape for the High Line in Manhattan. Pico says that he saw the collaboration “as one of reconciliation”—”reconciling ‘nature’ with ‘the city,’ the city’s past with the park’s future.” Pico also had a more personal reason to be interested in the project. “I just so happened to be reconciling with an ex with whom I’d had many, many dates at the park itself,” he explained. “Just vibes all around.”

Lauretta Charlton has been named editor of the New York Times Race/Related team. Charlton was most recently assistant news editor at the New Yorker.

“It is not necessary to agree that ‘How to Write an Autobiographical Novel’ is itself a kind of novel in order to appreciate that Chee has written a moving and personal tribute to impermanence,” writes J.W. McCormack on Alexander Chee’s new essay collection. 

At Slate, Will Oremus looks at the news site’s sharp decline in referral traffic from Facebook and what it means for online publishing. After Facebook decided to prioritize individuals’ posts over content from news outlets last winter, Slate’s traffic from Facebook dropped by 81 percent. “Facebook’s waning influence could help to reverse some of the trends that the social network stoked: pandering headlines, overt partisanship, filter bubbles,” Oremus concludes. “It has certainly already forced many publications to prioritize the loyalty of their existing readers over chasing the wider but more fickle audiences available on social platforms.”

Sources tell the New York Times that former Fox News president Bill Shine is in the running to be the next White House communications director. CNN reports that Sean Hannity has “been pushing shine for the position . . . behind the scenes ‘big time’ over the last several months.”

“Technology platforms, both big and small, must grapple with the reality that they are now powerful instruments in an increasingly toxic political and cultural battle,” writes BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel on use of sites like Yelp and Twitter for political revenge. “After years attempting to dodge notions of bias at all costs, Silicon Valley’s tech platforms are up against a painful reality: They need to expect and prepare for the armies of the culture war and all the uncomfortable policing that inevitably follows.”