Media

James Foley, Ferguson, Gawker, ‘NY Post': The Whiplash of Journalism at Its Best and Worst

James Foley was a 40-year-old freelance photojournalist. He was born in New Hampshire, and was a graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. In 2011, he was abducted (along with three other journalists) in Libya, while covering that country’s civil war; 44 days later, he was released. But in 2012, he was kidnapped again, and his whereabouts were unknown — until last night, when ISIS posted a YouTube video of Foley’s beheading, announced as retaliation for recent airstrikes in Iraq. And then Gawker linked to that video, a fucking monstrous but not uncharacteristic editorial decision. And then, loath to let anyone else win the race to the bottom of the sewer, the New York Post put a screen-grab from the same video (of the knife to Foley’s throat, even) on their cover. And tweeted it. (We’re not linking to either of those outlets in this piece, because fuck them.) … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Wells Tower on Burning Man, Elephants, and Porn Star James Deen

In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, being classic pieces of work, or by just a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. … Read More

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The Crisis in Ferguson and Why a “Free” Press Needs Social Media

Watching live streams of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week might make you question the worth of pretty much everything — not least writing about art and culture. Seeing a town of 20,000 people devolve into something that looks like a war zone is terrifying, as are the visions of the city’s police force pointing weapons at unarmed men and harassing journalists. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is dumping ice water on its head and playing the Kim Kardashian game. But if there’s anything remotely positive to come out of Ferguson, it’s this: the ubiquity of social media, and of cameras in the hands of citizens, means that events like this can no longer happen in a void. … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Cool Surfing Articles, Brah

In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether it’s unified by topic, publication, writer, being a classic piece of work, or just a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re in the lazy, hazy days of August, where thoughts turn to the beach, and that evergreen topic of surfing. Here’s a collection of articles about our obsession with endless summer and the perfect wave. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Helen DeWitt’s Diary, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: Helen DeWitt’s diary entry, the history of pants, the weird history of the heroes in a half shell, and more. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: From ’80s Thrash Metal to Cybersex in the ’90s

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: borderline NSFW stuff, heavy metal in the ’80s, and more. … Read More

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Why Does Sports Media Ignore Women?

Anyone who follows US sports in more than the most cursory manner probably has an opinion on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith — and anyone who’s been paying attention will know that he is, as Australian basketballer Andrew Bogut put it rather succinctly a couple of months back, a wanker. Smith is a professional loudmouth, a man whose career revolves around spouting “controversial” opinions in a controversial manner. As such, it wasn’t entirely surprising to hear him make an ass of himself last week with his opinions about women provoking domestic violence, and it’s been rather heartening to see his comments being ridiculed around the Internet. What’s less heartening is the way that ESPN has refused to sanction him — the network played a taped apology yesterday, but Smith will go back to work as though nothing’s happened, at least until the next time he says something stupid. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Als on Flannery O’Connor, Writers and Money

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around: editing while you work, Hilton Als on Flannery O’Connor’s prayers, and more. … Read More

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Plagiarism, Explained in ‘Forrest Gump’ GIFs

If Media Twitter seemed more jubilant than usual yesterday, it may well have been due to the news that BuzzFeed’s conservative-leaning “viral politics editor,” Benny Johnson (you may know him from such posts as “The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In ‘Jurassic Park’ GIFs” and “What It’s Like Being Conservative On A Liberal Campus”), has been accused of plagiarizing from various sources to construct his highly considered political analyses. You’d think someone in Johnson’s position would know better, but look, surely it’s not all his fault — after all, the people making this kerfuffle are nasty liberal-media troublemakers, and anyway, how was he supposed to know not to plagiarize, eh? They never teach you that at the likes of Bob Jones University. Now he’s in trouble, and it’s not fair! So for the benefit of anyone else struggling with the concept of not lifting other people’s work, here’s plagiarism, explained in GIFs from a film that anyone sharing Benny’s political leanings will love: Forrest Gump! … Read More

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“Do It Now”: Ira Glass’ Comforting, Terrifying Advice for Journalists

Earlier this year, the radio classic This American Life moved away from its longtime distributor, Public Radio International (PRI), to an independent model. Ira Glass, the show’s host and producer, has been doing more rounds in the press of late, discussing where the show is after 17 years, and where he is at this point as a journalist. The takeaway from the New York Times profile earlier this month was that Glass is, literally, dancing as fast as he can, working as both professional talking head (the bulk of his income comes from speaking appearances) and as the soul of a really good radio show when he’s not harboring dreams of Broadway. Whew! … Read More

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