Friday Readng S06E03

Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from journalist and designer Martin Belam covering journalism, media and technology.

“The new rules more explicitly restrict publishers from posting questionable pictures on Discover that do not have news or editorial value. Snapchat also clarified guidelines that prevent publishers from including reports or links to outside websites that could be considered fake news, saying that all content must be fact-checked and accurate.”

Snapchat Discover Takes a Hard Line on Misleading and Explicit Images” – Katie Benner, New York Times

Paul Bradshaw lists 45 key moments in the history of online journalism

Sadly Breaking News was closed down last year, but this is an excellent overview of 8 things they did that they considered innovations in the news space.

“When developers for Alexa and its competitor, Google Assistant, do get someone to enable a voice app, there’s only a 3 percent chance, on average, that the person will be an active user by week 2”

Alexa and Google Assistant have a problem: People aren’t sticking with voice apps they try” – Jason Del Rey

“When we are overwhelmed with false, or potentially false, statements, our brains pretty quickly become so overworked that we stop trying to sift through everything. It’s called cognitive load—our limited cognitive resources are overburdened. It doesn’t matter how implausible the statements are; throw out enough of them, and people will inevitably absorb some. Eventually, without quite realizing it, our brains just give up trying to figure out what is true.”

Good look at the psychology and brain impact of living under a liar-in-chief.

We shouldn’t lose sight of this

“Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.”

Fantastic and necessary essay from Bim Adewunmi about how the success of the #WomensMarch owed it to “the labour of generations of protesting black bodies.”

Jonn Elledge dissects Dan Hannan’s erroneous views on the #WomensMarch

Marie reads all Piers Morgan’s stuff to find out how much of a hypocrite he is so you don’t have.


A digital sub-editor job is going at New Statesman.

The Scott Trust Bursary is open for business – it might help pay for your post-grad journalism training.

There’s a dev job at Tweetdeck in London up for grabs.

If you are in NYC then there’s a workshop on Saturday for teaching how to build mobile news alerts without an app.

This is an incredibly raw and emotional post from Tom Kiss about his daughter Uma, who was stillborn. He says:

“One of the things that we have kept hearing since Uma’s death is how common child loss is. How many people we know who have lost babies and how little people talk about it, despite the fact that in the UK, 1 in every 200 births is stillborn. It’s the fact that people don’t tend to talk about it which has encouraged me to write about my experience and to share it. To keep talking about it. Also perhaps because men are less likely to talk about it. I hope that it in some way helps awareness and encourages others to share their experiences if they feel ready.”

It’s beautifully written. I have an elder sibling I never met. I don’t think about that very often, but after reading this I’m going to remember to give my mum an extra hug next time I see her.

“No one talks about Empire in Britain. It’s what gave this country the resources to industrialise and become the preeminent capitalist hegemon in the 18th and 19th century; it’s what allowed it to establish trading routes and military bases in key strategic centres around the world; it’s where Britain experimented with the use of aerial bombardment and concentration camps as a means of controlling populations well before they were used in World War Two; it’s what gave the post-war Labour Party the resources to build the welfare state”

Brexit Will Force Us to Face Up to the Grisly Truth About Empire” – Yohann Koshy

“We did badly enough at Eurovision when we were just a swaggering warmonger with an artificially inflated sense of entitlement. But now we’ve had Brexit”

On Friday night we get to pick the song that will come last in this year’s Eurovision.

I got to meet a replica of K-9 at an event this week promoting the James Goss novelisation of Douglas Adams’ Doctor Who story “The Pirate Planet”. My 6 year old self could not have been happier.

K-9 and company

K-9 and middle-aged fanboy company

Wonderful question: Is any of Jesus’ carpentry still around?

I may have done a twitter

…and may have got some replies…