This @benyt article about dysfunction in public radio reminds me that I've been meaning to pose a question about ReplyAll and its return-after-controversy episode:…
In the episode they say they spent *two months* drilling down and reflecting on what went wrong (ostensibly! I add) with their piece on Bon Appetit. But then they... don't ever level with the audience.
The most we get is the assertion that 1) journalists should always ask, "Am I the right one to tell this story?" and the claim that 2) they didn't ask or adequately interrogate if they were the right ones to tell *that* story.

Both 1 and 2 were glaringly underdeveloped.
On claim number one: I started in community newspapers. A lot of times, the person sent to cover breaking news on a weekend was... whoever happened to be scheduled to work the weekend shift that day. Does ReplyAll think that's wrong?

More broadly...
if we're going to take it as obvious that all journos should ask *should I tell this story* at the beginning of every story we need some theory of how to figure out if the answer is yes or no. They give none. They treat as obvious & broadly agreed on something that... isn't
As to the particulars, is it wrong to report on diversity at Bon Appetit if you previously opposed a union at Gimlet? Their answer seems to be yes, given *waves hands around* yes... but they offer no articulation of why that is so that would allow listeners to understand...
...or have a sense of what standards or protocol or theory of journalism will operate going forward. At times I felt like they were actively trying to avoid committing to anything in particular at all even as they adopted the tropes of *a reckoning*
And I am far from alone in feeling confused in this way. This captures it brilliantly…
In the end I'm left feeling they're treating what is actually internal Gimlet drama as if it's about the listener when actually these decisions and characterizations are being made largely for and because of fellow journalists.

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More from @conor64

22 May
Apropos this convo between @benyt and @WesleyLowery on the convention of "objectivity," inspired by the unjust firing of an Associated Press reporter, I'm reminded of an obscure but powerful example of how that conceit has gone wrong that I'm privy to for personal reasons. 1/x
It will surprise some of you to learn that in 2011 some Occupy Wall Street protesters put a critique of Goldman Sachs that I wrote on a protest sign and chanted my words on the streets of New York City. 2/x
The sentence in question, describing a dubious deal Goldman did, was, shall we say, amusingly unwieldy--had I known it might appear on a sign I'd have done one more draft.

Nevertheless, you can watch the protest video here:
Read 8 tweets
3 May
Actually, the whole conference is online now, so a quick thread. Here's the always excellent and nuanced Randall Kennedy on race and freedom of expression
The next session was "What are the empirical facts about lack of intellectual diversity in academia and what are the causes of existing imbalances?"

"To what degree is this a problem?" panel

Read 6 tweets
29 Apr
At The Wedge, it's rare to see someone turn right. After all, if you turn right your hurtling toward a rock jetty. The day I was there, I saw just one person turn right all afternoon. A look at his ride in twelve tweets, starting here:
At first the ride seemed uneventful. But at The Wedge, there's the wave coming in from the ocean and the mini-wave bouncing back off the jetty. Here he is looking at that mini-wave:
It bears mentioning that he's moving pretty fast here.
Read 12 tweets
19 Apr
Here's my article urging that we investigate police killings in the same way that we investigate plane crashes.… In this thread I'll engage a critique from the left: Image
First, there is a bit of common ground here, in that the writer suggests some reforms I've repeatedly advocated. For example:… Nothing about these reforms is incompatible with adding an NTSB-like approach.
Second, the idea that there is an expert consensus for the writer's views is simply incorrect. Police killings are a hugely complicated phenomenon, criminologists argue a lot about them, treating them all as "murders" is simply false, and the writer doesn't even mention
Read 7 tweets
3 Apr
Some thoughts on a reader email that I just received (apropos this interview with a Black school board candidate…), which begins: Image
First, if there's a viewpoint that black as well as white people hold, isn't "white fragility" a very strange name to give it?
Second, if you're a black kid with rich, highly educated parents, attending school in a wealthy suburban district, there is, in fact, no system that forecloses your ability to be a lawyer, let alone *the same system* as enslaved people faced.
Read 4 tweets
3 Apr
I interviewed Ndona Muboyayi. She worries that the public school system is teaching her Black children in ways that disempower them while prejudicially stereotyping whites.

Here is the piece:

I can share a few more things she told me, too.
Reflecting on an ascendant term, she told me, "It’s white supremacy to teach Black and brown children that they’re weak, they’re victims, it isn’t up to them if they get ahead. And it teaches the white children that the Black and brown children are weak!"
As an example, she said:
Read 8 tweets

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