Black History Month 🗞 News From Africa 🗞 Where Did Our Attention Spans Go?
OptOut is holding it first-ever public event next month! On Feb. 27, we are hosting a 2023 kickoff party and fundraiser in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We hope to meet you there! Please RSVP if you're planning to come, and share this with anyone who'd be interested!
The OptOut Network Keeps Expanding
In other OptOut news, please welcome the following newsrooms to our independent media network!
Arkansas Advocate (States Newsroom member)
Edge of Sports with Dave Zirin (a podcast from The Nation)
Food and Environmental Reporting Network
Going For Broke (podcast from Economic Hardship Reporting Project)
Indiana Capital Chronicle (States Newsroom member)
Kentucky Lantern (States Newsroom member)
Maryland Matters (States Newsroom member)
South Dakota Searchlight (States Newsroom member)
Start Making Sense (a podcast from The Nation)
The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer (a podcast from The Nation)
Black History Month
And now for your weekly roundup of news content from the 185 independent media organizations in the OptOut network.
February is Black History Month, and the PENNSYLVANIA CAPITAL-STAR has some reading recommendations.
Tracey Rogers criticizes conservatives' attempts to rewrite history and ban books about Black history.
Kali Holloway writes about misogynoir—prejudice against Black women—and its effects for THE NATION.
A BOSTON REVIEW article explores the racism of the Social Security Act and the GI Bill.
The media critics at FAIR have something to say to editors at The New York Times and other legacy and corporate publications: stop calling murders by police "fatal encounters." Cops killing civilians, most often Black men, hasn't stopped, and until it does, media organizations have a responsibility to accurately reflect the tragedies that happen on a regular basis.
So when a paper tells you that a traffic stop “escalated into a violent confrontation that ended up with” a dead Black person, understand that they are trying to gently lead you away from a painful reality—not trying to help you understand it, and far less helping you act to change it.
PRISON JOURNALISM PROJECT recommends seven stories and poems by incarcerated writers of color.
TIM BLACK doesn't support Black History Month. Here's why.
The founder of OptOut member THE MARKUP is moving on to work on other projects. Julia Angwin leaves us with "the lessons I learned building a newsroom that integrated engineers with journalists and sought to use a new model for accountability journalism: the scientific method." Her lessons include "data is political" and "objectivity is dead."
Stolen Focus author Johann Hari says that our dwindling attention spans, taken from us by Big Tech, threaten our ability to think about and fight the climate crisis. He spoke with ATMOS:
Staying with climate:
A dire new report has sounded the alarm on the future of Utah's Great Salt Lake, which could vanish in as little as five years unless lawmakers in Utah take drastic action. Save Our Great Salt Lake co-founder and organizer Chandler Rosenberg joins THE REAL NEWS NETWORK Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez to explain the crisis facing Utah and what must be done to avert environmental and economic catastrophe.
News from Africa
"Black apartheid nostalgia is hardly widespread...Rather than dismiss the phenomena, however, I suggest that it provides a useful glimpse into the frustrations of the present," writes Marcel Paret in AFRICA IS A COUNTRY.
BEHIND THE NEWS looks at Ethiopia's bloody war with journalist Ann Neumann.
Nigeria has its presidential elections on Feb. 25, and FOREIGN EXCHANGES explains the country's approach to the power of the presidency.
In Other News
As a new dog dad, I wholeheartedly agree with Jack Mirkinson of DISCOURSE BLOG: we need Pet-icare for All!
The 2024 Democratic presidential primaries will be a bit different. The silly and unfair staggered primaries will still occur, but South Carolina, where the majority of Democrats are Black, will go first, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire, and then Georgia. President Biden, whose strong showing in South Carolina in 2020 turned things around for him in the primaries, wanted to lessen the influence of the heavily white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which previously held the first two caucuses, and the DNC obliged.
As mass shootings somehow become even more frequent in the U.S., THE TRACE seeks to answer the question, are they contagious?
Adam Johnson has a good analysis of the corporate media's Chinese spy balloon frenzy in THE COLUMN.
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Thanks as always for following the news from the best independent media outlets in the U.S. and beyond. See you soon.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.
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