Your Monday news roundup: Honoring Lester Holt, ‘The Mule’ origins, helping our own

December 9, 2018

HONORING TWO GREATS

On Saturday, advocates of journalism gathered for Poynter's fourth annual Bowtie Ball, in which "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt and New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger were honored.

Partygoers at the festive event donned bowties in homage to founder Nelson Poynter, a champion of journalism, which led to a Google spike locally in searches for "how to tie a bowtie," joked Poynter President Neil Brown in his opening remarks. 

Holt, the host of the "NBC Nightly News," received the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement, while Sulzberger won the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award. Read more here.

FROM PAGE TO SCREEN

A new Clint Eastwood movie opens Dec. 14, based on reporting by Sam Dolnick for the New York Times Magazine. "The Mule" stars Clint Eastwood as a veteran with no criminal record who began working for Sinaloa drug cartel. Dolnick's story published in 2014, and this week he wrote for the Times Insider about what it was like to have been the starting point for what evolved into a full-length film.

Far from wishing the screenwriter had struck strictly to the facts, Dolnick embraces the idea that it's a better story with Hollywood magic. "Fiction filled in the spaces where journalism could not go," he writes. "I cannot wait to see it."  

FOX NEWS CHIEF DOCUMENTARY IS OUT 

Speaking of movies, "Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes," a documentary about the Fox News chief, was released this weekend. J. Max Robins writes for CJR about his and other journalists' experiences covering Ailes. The Hollywood Reporter says the movie's box office debut was disappointing, but not unexpected, since it was simultaneously released on video  — you can rent it on Vudu for $6.99.

ONE OF ITS OWN

The New York Times' Neediest Cases Fund is in its 107th year of raising money for those struggling financially in New York and beyond — $300 million to date. This week, we meet a journalist whose move for a new job and subsequent layoff left him strapped and sleepless. 

“I wasn’t prepared,” said Kevin Carr, who's worked in video production for the Associated Press and Thomson Reuters. “I didn’t have a safety net. I found myself in a situation that was very frightening.”  

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