10 takeaways from the ReNEWS conversation, Journalism & History
The night before the ReNEWS conversation on Journalism & History, I was struggling to get the show’s opening script points into a story that would clarify the relevance of the topic and its vital connection to today.
True story here. I picked up a book from my coffee table — something I had received a few days earlier as the next online book club choice and therefore not something I knew much about yet — and read the first page. …
I have been taking an online class about the years 1962–1965, focusing exclusively on the two leading musical forces of this short but extraordinary time: The Beatles and Bob Dylan. In a recent class, one of my fellow students took umbrage with a lyric by Bob Dylan in which he says he’s sorry if he hurt some women in the past through what we’re led to believe is some pretty rotten treatment, as that was never his intention. …
Two weeks ago, ReNEWS launched with a pilot program entitled, “Culture Wars: Are They Co-opting The Mainstream Narrative”? A virtual event featuring four speakers: journalist Bari Weiss, formerly of The New York Times; journalist Suzanne Moore, formerly of The Guardian; Katie Herzog, journalist and co-host of the podcast Blocked and Reported; and social psychologist, professor and bestselling author, Jonathan Haidt.
NB: This was written just days after the insurrection at the United States Capitol and one week before President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ inaugurations.
An honest question, as I stop for the red light and take in the messages on the back of the car in front of me. How is this even possible?
First, there is the reality of putting all those stickers on your car, which feels messy and sticky and at least semi-permanent. …
Every business, every endeavor, every person lives to values: those immutable things (not the technical term) that form our reason for being. Values are the filter through which we put decisions and choices. If one path does not live to a value, it is crossed off the list. For example, I could become a millionaire, perhaps, if I were willing to become an arms dealer. I’m not willing to do that. Moving on to Option B…
At ReNEWS, we have three values:
We have no ties or obligations to any organization, news or otherwise. …
This year, the news has been increasingly about the news. We’ve witnessed editors apologizing and/or resigning; we’ve seen journalists walking out of newsrooms in protest; we’ve seen letters signed by tens or even hundreds of members of staff criticizing their senior editorial staff and supervisors for out-of-touch, possibly dangerous editorial choices.
“War in the newsroom!”
“Journalists prefer silos to the marketplace of ideas.”
“Woke rebellions in America’s newsrooms.”
By nearly all accounts, it is one of the biggest stories in decades for the news industry. What’s at stake is free speech. And when free speech is shouted down…
It’s Christmas Day at Logan Airport, and at International Arrivals the blue wall-mounted computer screen announces that the flight from London Heathrow has just landed. From the sound system above, Burl Ives wishes one and all a holly jolly Christmas.
I wait in the greeters’ herd, standing in a semi-circle around the cordoned off terminal entrance. Before us, the mouth of the cannon, spilling out loved ones and flight crews. …
Two weeks ago, I suffered a personal disappointment. It wasn’t an end of the world kind of disappointment. But, I was definitely a bit mopey.
It was in that spirit, on a cold and overcast Thursday afternoon, that I trudged —braless and wearing hospital socks — to answer my doorbell.
“Christ! Who is RINGING MY DOORBELL? Why can’t they just leave me alone?” I said under my breath, exhausted by the effort and offended by the intrusion on my privacy by the outside world.
“Flower delivery for Amy Selwyn,” said a smiley, cheerful woman with long dark hair and a…
Tracy Chapman, “Talkin’ About A Revolution”
Up until now, we’ve been the low, low murmur of whispers. Anything louder and we would be labeled shrill. Or hysterical. Or shrill and hysterical. Out of control. Women on the brink. Dangerous and deranged or just silly.
So we whispered.
“I said no. I said no. I said no.”
“He told me if I said anything, he’d see to it that my career was over forever.”
“I can’t say anything. I need this job.”
“I said no. I said no. I said no.”
“He said he was sorry. He cried. …