OptOut's Weekend Picks (Sep. 27, 2020)
It’s time for our round-up of the best content of the week from our more than 70 media partners. But first, we want to share a Twitter thread with you about the changing media landscape.
Many independent writers, including some recently laid off from newsrooms plagued by budget cuts or recently ravaged by private equity, are starting their own news operations, often in newsletter form via this platform, Substack. In a discussion with Columbia Journalism Review’s Mathew Ingram and others, Caroline McCarthy noted that, for readers in a newsletter-based environment, the deluge of emails can be onerous.
What she didn’t know is that we’ve already got a solution! Unlike the corporate news aggregator apps, we’re partnering with exclusively independent media for our forthcoming nonprofit news app, which will put hundreds of terrific creators under one roof. We’re featuring work by established reporters who’ve made the move to independent media as well as by lesser-known up-and-comers. A number of our partners—The Daily Poster, Foreign Exchanges, What Went Wrong, and What’s Left, for example—publish on Substack.
You can’t find this type of unvarnished work by using Apple News, Google News, and the like. We (Walker and Alex) are independent reporters ourselves, so we understand and live the challenges of our industry today: the advertising-driven push for clicks, the myth of objectivity, Wall Street predation, you name it.
Development of our app is underway. We’re a totally volunteer operation so far, but we’ll need money for hosting, marketing, and hiring. If you haven’t already, please help us make this app, and the nonprofit organization behind it, a reality by becoming a paid subscriber. Just $5 per month is a big help!
The Daily Poster: Barrett Crushed Gig Workers Weeks Before Likely SCOTUS Nomination
The Daily Poster—formerly TMI—did a series of pieces about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett this week. While other outlets have focused on what Barrett making it to the bench would mean for issues like abortion and gun control, The Daily Poster took a look at her anti-labor record and her involvement in the 2000 decision of Bush v. Gore.
Support The Daily Poster, an investigative journalism project led by award-winning reporter David Sirota.
Also on Barrett:
- Read The Daily Poster on Barrett’s role in Bush v. Gore.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Sludge: New Bill Would Shed Light on Congress’ Stock Trades
Sludge reports on new legislation from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), known as the STOCK Act 2.0, which would make Congress’ financial transaction records searchable and sortable by the criteria members are already required to report. Current financial reports are often handwritten, sometimes undecipherable, and presented online via scanned PDFs. If passed, STOCK 2.0 would be an invaluable tool not just for journalists but also for voters, who’d be able to identify potential conflicts of interest.
Support Sludge, an investigative news site focused on money in politics.
Also on DEMOCRACY:
- OptOut partner Lisa Newcomb writes about a recent court ruling that will likely make Maine the first state in history to use ranked-choice voting in a presidential election. (Common Dreams is not our partner…yet! If you’d like to see more Common Dreams articles in this newsletter, feel free to let them know.)
Acute Condition: Private Equity in Ambulances
Acute Condition is publishing a multi-part exposé about how private equity has infiltrated the medical field. This week’s installment focuses on ambulances—how just three companies now service two-thirds of the market for air ambulances and how that has coincided with a sharp increase in prices.
Subscribe to Acute Condition for health care industry coverage each week.
Image credit: Alistair Fernandez/Wikimedia Commons
What Went Wrong: Why Don't Politicians Listen to Voters?
“The climate movement has convinced Americans global warming is an urgent threat. But D.C. hasn't noticed.”
Harry Cheadle breaks down why U.S. politicians are so out of touch with their own constituents.
Image credit: Mark Dixon/Flickr
Jacobin: Yes, the Biden Campaign Should Be Canvassing Voters Right Now
For Jacobin, Ross Barkan writes that the Biden campaign’s decision not to canvass, even while some Democratic Senate candidates have resumed knocking on doors, puts him at a huge disadvantage.
While Biden cedes the ground to Trump, other campaigns are learning that canvassers, properly masked, can have safe conversation with voters more than six feet away. Beyond the political firmament, U.S. census workers have resumed door-to-door activities, uneventfully tabulating households in-person.
Support Jacobin, a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.
Image credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
Triple Canopy: LITTLE GIRLS
Read (and listen to) Nikita Gale’s essay on Tina Turner and segregation, the power of the Top 40, and the prospect of being heard without being controlled.
Support Triple Canopy, a unique nonprofit publication that encompasses digital works of art and literature, public conversations, exhibitions, and books.
The Nomiki Show: Facing the climate emergency
Nomiki Konst talks with author and climate activist Margaret Klein Salamon about her forthcoming book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth. David Doel of OptOut partner The Rational National joins to discuss U.S. politics.
Support The Nomiki Show on Patreon.
The Delusionals: Naming Names
The Delusionals, a new podcast from South Brooklyn leftists Sal Laimo and Anthony Baucicaut, talks about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and progressive electoral victories in Rhode Island this week.
Listen on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Simplecast
Support The Delusionals on Patreon.
District Sentinel Radio: ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions’
Wednesday’s District Sentinel Radio episode gets into the Trump Justice Department’s ridiculous designation of several major cities as “anarchist jurisdictions.”
Listen on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts
Discourse Blog: Watch the Presidential Debate With Us
Don’t miss Discourse Blog’s live Twitch stream and Discord chat on Tuesday night for the first presidential debate.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for tuning in to OptOut, and please forward this email or share our Substack site with anyone who might want to subscribe!