paper trail

Writers and readers celebrate Ray Bradbury’s centennial; Alex Shephard on the media’s poor coverage of the USPS

Marlon James. Photo: Penguin Random House, © Mark Seliger

At Poynter, a story on the crisis in international reporting as a result of the pandemic: “At a time when global coverage has never been more important, the coronavirus has created a devastating cocktail of economic turmoil and heightened risks that throw the fate of foreign reporting into jeopardy.”

Beginning on August 22nd, writers, actors, librarians, and young readers will participate in a read-a-thon for Ray Bradbury’s centennial. Participants include Marlon James, William Shatner, and Susan Orlean.

At the New Republic, Alex Shephard diagnoses why the media is uniquely terrible at covering the US postal service. Shephard notes that the latest crisis is only the latest manifestation of years of neglect, and argues that reporters have bought into right-wing talking points when they frame the story: “When journalists see inefficiency—when they walk into the drab, life-sucking interior of the average big-city post office—they don’t see neglect or sabotage; they see ‘broken government.’”

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor looks back at how the US has continually failed to answer calls to address systemic racism, instead turning national focus toward crime and a politics of punishment. “It is much harder,” Taylor writes, “to acknowledge and address how Black communities have been strangled by racial segregation, housing discrimination, and other exploitative real-estate practices for more than a hundred years.” Defunding the police is an overdue first step.

The AP reports on two brothers who have started an e-reader program for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Nicky and Sam Woolf began the e-reader drive, Books for Dad, after their father was in critical care from the disease.

Tonight at 8 PM EST, presents “One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives Matter.”