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Letter sent on Aug 26, 2016

Friday Reading S04E01

…and we’re back. Welcome to Season Four of “Friday Reading”, my weekly round-up of interesting links about media, tech and politics.

“After watching countless hours of live video in the past few weeks, I have hit upon many that are either plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring, by I imagine most anyone’s standards. Too many don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The New York Times.”

Refreshingly frank and self-critical review of the New York Times’ efforts with Facebook Live from the New York Times.

Here’s an analysis of what has happened to publisher’s referral traffic from Facebook during the recent round of newsfeed algorithm changes.

Look at the figure for the Guardian, look at my job title, and then give a hearty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Facebook has an app in the US that is only for young people and it’s kind of all wrong and weird.

The TL;DR of this article is “an audience of young people”.

What Univision saw in what’s left of Gawker” — Margaret Sullivan

Are ISIS changing their tactics? Fascinating way to tackle this topic in the shape of a cartoon.

“In a world where playing together on the couch is becoming rarer and rarer, YouTubers offer a substitute by straddling the line between reality stars, critics, and comedians. An open seat next to the play button.”

Why I watch people play videogames on the internet” — Jake Muncy

Have you ever tried sending the Guardian a message via Facebook Messenger?

I, for one, am gutted that in the 1960s they never built the proposed London monorail.

“Is this a real cold or one of those ones you always used to have two weeks into term at school? Like fucking clockwork, Joel. I never believed it.”

All The Things You’ll Learn At University That a Lecturer Will Never Teach You — Goel Jolby

Wonderfully visual piece about Danish-born Somali poet and photographer Amaal Said with some stunning images.

“Women, LGB, those of trans and nonbinary experience, people of colour, have had to step aside countless times for their own safety because event organisers choose not to prioritize their concerns and uninvite another speaker. It’s a difficult, high-conflict step to take as an organisation, and one that is hard. There are the known negative aspects — conflict, having to explain why, anger and potentially legal concerns — that often outweigh the unknown positives that result in being willing to do the tough things in order to make it better for everyone. You may never know how many people looked at your conference page, saw that speaker and said ‘Nope’, but in taking that action and choosing to exclude those that are harmful, your conference, and community, will be better. The richness and diversity that will arise because people feel confident at your event will be seen, and noticed, and valued by your audience beyond the life of the event.”

An Open Letter on Diversity to Event & Conference Organisers” — Natalie Kane

I went on a train.


Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from journalist and designer Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology. Martin is Social & New Formats Editor for the Guardian in London.

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