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Letter sent on Oct 19, 2016

3 to read: Answering political threats | The economic case for investigations | ‘Data diaries’ for learning

By Matt Carroll <@MattatMIT>

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  1. “How do we respond to threats after our Hillary endorsement? This is how”: With grace, dignity and steely resolve. The Arizona Republicpublishes in a Republican stronghold — and it had never endorsed a Democrat for president in its history, until this election. Their endorsement of Hillary Clinton ignited a wave of threatening responses. To those who sent in “vile threats,” the Republic’s Mi-Ai Parrish delivers a measured response that touches on forgiveness, the First Amendment, and fierce determination to be fair. A brilliant response.
  2. An economist makes the case for saving investigative journalism:Investigative reporting is expensive and time consuming. For that reason, many newsrooms have reluctantly dismantled or cut back on investigations to deploy scarce resources in other spots. Yet Stanford Prof Jay Hamilton argues in his book, “Democracy’s Detectives,” that investigative teams actually make economic sense. They help newsrooms differentiate and strengthen their brand against competitors, and hugely benefit society. For those worried about the state of investigative journalism (ie: me), it’s a refreshing read. Book review by Rick Edmondsfor Poynter.
  3. Creating a ‘data diary’ to understand your news consumption: How many of us give active thought to how we consume data? Where we go and how we use it? Miguel Paz instructed his students to track their data consumption over a week. They learned fascinating lessons about themselves and the media. (Transparency alert: Miguel and I attended a similar class together.)
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Matt Carroll runs the Future of News initiative at the MIT Media Lab.

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