Kristen Hare


Patricia Smith’s new life as a poet

The New York Times

In The Working Life, Rachel Swarns’ column for The New York Times, Swarns reintroduces readers to Patricia Smith, “Staten Island’s literary sensation, a poet, an English professor and a star on the national stage.”

She’s the same Smith, Swarns writes, who left The Boston Globe in 1998 after admitting to fabrication. Smith doesn’t talk much about that time in her life and asks, basically, to be allowed to move on.

“It’s been 16 years, you know,” said Ms. Smith, 59. “People have to give you a chance to be who you are now.”

Some people who claw their way out of the abyss turn their fall into a strand of their personal narrative. But Ms. Smith does not aspire to be the star of anyone’s tale of reinvention.

Swarns writes about Smith’s work now and the awards she has won. Swarns also spoke with one of Smith’s former colleagues at the Globe. Read more

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In the move downtown, New Yorker staff dug through paper and booze

The New Yorker

The New Yorker’s latest cover is a farewell to 4 Times Square, where the magazine’s offices were located for 15 years. Nick Paumgarten writes for The New Yorker about the move to 1 World Trade Center and the things staff sifted through on the way out.

Frankly, it was harder to get ready to leave. As a prelude to the move, the staff, told that it would have to travel light, spent weeks purging offices of the detritus of the decades. Some of it was easy to bid goodbye to: here and there a shrine of exotic booze (flask of Ugandan banana gin, anyone?) or a Cornell-box assemblage of promotional doodads. The things we keep around! But mostly it was paper, whole forests’ worth. Thousands upon thousands of orphaned books, some hoarded for novelty appeal, or a nascent interest, or a bygone assignment, or out of allegiance to (or guilt about) writer friends—an “accretion of intention,” as one acquaintance put it—were trucked off to Housing Works and the like.

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The word of the day is bombogenesis

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Please don’t get blown away today (and don’t get frostbite)

    Vox voxifies on where the mighty storm came from (Canada) and how much snow may fall (lots.) (Vox) | The word of the day is bombogenesis. It's a "rapid intensification of a cyclone (low pressure) with surface pressure expected to fall by at least 24 millibars" in 24 hours. (NJ.com) | Last March, Mark Robinson and Chris Scott were blown off camera while reporting from a blizzard in Nova Scotia. They recovered quite admirably. (YouTube) | Previously: Poynter's Al Tompkins has tips from journalists who work in cold weather on how to stay safe. The tips include wearing lots of layers, keeping your batteries in a cooler and keeping your car cool (even though you may want it really warm.) (Poynter)

  2. Jason Rezaian is reportedly out of solitary in Iran

    The Washington Post's Jason Rezaian is out of solitary confinement in Iran and sharing a cell with another person, according to Rezaian's brother, who lives in the U.S.

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The U.K.’s National Newspaper Building is open. Here’s what it looks like

British Library | Harrogate Advertiser | The Baltimore Sun

More than 60 million newspapers are now at home at the National Newspaper Building in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, according to the British Library. The building opened on Friday.

The National Newspaper Building was purpose-built to provide the ideal environmental conditions in which to store millions of old newspapers – many of which are in a fragile state. The vast facility, which houses around 33km of newspapers, maintains constant temperature and humidity, and a dark and airtight, low-oxygen environment to eliminate the risk of fire. The newspapers are stored in high-density racking 20 metres high and collection items are retrieved by robotic cranes, which transfer stacks of newspapers via an airlock to a retrieval area where staff can remove requested items and send them either to the British Library Newsroom at St Pancras or the on-site Reading Room at Boston Spa.

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Modern Farmer’s last 2 paid staffers walk out

The New York Times | Mashable

The last two paid staff members at Modern Farmer walked out on Friday, Kim Severson reported for The New York Times. The magazine and website, founded in 2013, “ceased publication Friday, as the last of the paid editorial staff members walked out its doors. The future of what remains of the Modern Farmer brand is uncertain.”

Founder and editor Ann Marie Gardner left the magazine in December, Joe Pompeo reported then for Capital New York.

Gardner was known to have a fraught relationship with Modern Farmer’s investor, the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who recently agreed to keep the magazine afloat in exchange for additional shares from Gardner, who was a minority owner.

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Student journalists celebrate paper’s 100th birthday with a new site and an old look

For months, they’ve thumbed through old newspapers. Some years are bound in blue and red books, some loose, “but they’re all kind of decrepit,” said Setareh Baig, editor-in-chief of FSView & Florida Flambeau at Florida State University.

On Friday, the independent student newspaper celebrates 100 years and the staff celebrates with a commemorative edition and a redesigned site. The 18-page issue begins with how the paper looked in 1915. The inside pages are devoted to the decades since the paper launched, with stories and images from those periods.

Gerald Ensley wrote about the two papers that are now one on Thursday for the Tallahassee Democrat, including the Florida Flambeau’s feminist and activist past.

Initially, the paper’s content was heavily controlled by faculty members. But after World War I, the women students began exercising their journalistic muscle. In the 1920s, the paper became a voice for women’s suffrage and feminism, it protested censorship and hypocrisy: One of its first controversies was questioning why some faculty members did not attend mandatory chapel services.

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5 things journalists actually could have used from SkyMall

If you’ve been in an airplane ever, you’ve thumbed through SkyMall and likely wondered why you’d need a globe that opens into a bar or an NFL high heel wine holder. On Thursday, SkyMall filed for bankruptcy, so our time to turn those thin pages and hate-browse could be ending. In honor of SkyMall, here are five things journalists actually could have used from the magazine.

The Narrative Clip 5MP Camera

It’s small and cute and includes the word narrative. “You won’t even notice it’s there.”

Screenshot from SkyMall

Screen shot from SkyMall

Get Off the Internet T-Shirts

For the late-adopters in your newsroom.

Screen shot from SkyMall

Screen shot from SkyMall

FitDesk v2.0 Pedal Laptop Desk

This is actually a cool idea but would make phone interviews weird.

Screen shot from SkyMall

Screen shot from SkyMall

iDream3 Eye & Head Massagers

Co-workers might think you’re testing out Oculus Rift or HoloLens. But you’ll be getting an eyeball massage.

Screen shot from SkyMall

Screen shot from SkyMall

Yesterdays News Canvas Art

Print is not dead. Read more

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Las Vegas Review-Journal cuts comments

Good morning and happy Friday. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Another end to comments, this time in Vegas

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal has temporarily cut comments "due to an increase in uncivil behavior and dialogue..." (Las Vegas Review-Journal) | The newspaper explained the move more in-depth on Medium. "The First Amendment protects us from, among other things, laws that abridge our freedom of speech. Nowhere does it require the media to provide you a platform for that speech, whether hateful or not." (Medium)

  2. '...data is or data are?'

    On Thursday, The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham, FiveThirtyEight's Ritchie King and David Yanofsky of Quartz took part in a Reddit AMA on data visualization and journalism. They talked about how they got their jobs, the need to have a woman in the AMA the next time around, tools and the correct way to talk about data. Here's King's answer: "So 'data are' is correct, and I kind of like when people use it in conversation cause it has that weird, shocking elegance that only correct-but-infrequently-used grammar has.

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What’s it like to cover Davos?

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Overheard in Davos

    "Some news organizations send small armies to cover Davos. One, for example, takes over the town’s library for its operations." (Associated Press) | Thanks to those reporters, you can know what's officially happening at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland (and what's happening in the hallways.) (New York) | This piece makes Davos sound like high school, if high school for you was awkward and painful. (Quartz) | There weren't that many private jets, you guys. (Fusion) | Best headline so far: "Davos '15: Gates, Soros, Pharrell to tackle crises." (CNBC)

  2. ASU students are headed to the Super Bowl

    Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism is putting students to work at the Super Bowl this year through partnerships with a number of media organizations and the NFL.

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Anti-long-form journalism PSA: ‘Watch a video’

In a YouTube video against long-form journalism, a woman reading her phone walks into a wall again and again.

“It’s like reading a book,” says another woman in the video, “but getting tricked into doing so.”

Derek Brown, an independent writer and video producer (he works in corporate communications, too,) created “Let’s End Long Form. Watch a Video.”

Here’s it is:

Brown, who writes about horse racing, is launching a web series called “Off the Rails” in March, which will be a comedy series “that happens to take place during major horse races around the world,” he told Poynter in an email. So yes, he has a good reason to want people to watch videos.

“I’ve never done long-form,” he said. “Mad respect to anyone who is putting in that kind of effort to something, but my attention span wanes around 400 words or three minutes for video.” Read more

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