Friday Reading S06E04

Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from journalist and designer Martin Belam covering journalism, media and technology. It is also available as a frequently badly-formatted email.

“It’s not just teenagers. Chase Haverick, a 30-year-old development communications manager from Oklahoma City, has seven streaks and recently hit 100 days with one friend. Special ‘100’ and ‘fire’ emojis now hover next to a digital representation of their relationship on Snapchat. Hitting the 100 mark was a “bucket list” goal for 2016, Haverick said, only half joking.”

Inside the Mind of a Snapchat Streaker” – Lizette Chapman

From the ‘No s*** Sherlock files: “A police force which snooped on regional journalists’ phones did so unlawfully, top judges have ruled.

“I had no real training in journalism — I’m pretty self-taught. I don’t believe in the idea of journalism school. I do believe in taking the work seriously, and in reading and writing and observing what other writers have done. You write a lot over a long period of time and you learn what you’re doing.”

Interesting profile of journalist Sarah Kendzior.

Kathleen McLaughlin writes from Montana about the crisis in American local journalism. Also includes a brilliant anecdote about waiting tables.

Martin Robbins looks into the claims doing the rounds a couple of weeks ago that it was social media data science that swung the election for Trump, and finds them somewhat wanting.

“Fact checkers are terrible at telling stories, and in this dark new age can cause more problems than they solve.”

What the Left Can Learn from the Alt Right” – off the top of my head I’d say racism and being a dick, but Hussein Kesvani has put forward a slightly better list than that.

Here’s How France’s National Front Is Using Trump Supporters To Make Hashtags Go Viral” – I think these types of stories that Buzzfeed are doing are really important, because genuinely, how many journalists covering politics are actually across what is going down in chan culture? Unless you’d ever immersed yourself in something like #GamerGate or #SadPuppies you wouldn’t even recognise these as tactics.

The absolute shade of Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler telling staff they know how to cover Trump because they already work “independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack.”

Amol Rajan wrote a #FakeNews primer for the BBC, and classifies it into three types.

Oh fab. Almost real-time manipulation of video and sound is coming. Great. Just great.

The noise around ad-blocking has kind of tailed off, but these figures suggest mobile ad-blocking could be the next thing for hard-pushed ad-funded publishers to worry about.

A round-up of some places freelancers say are decent outlets to write for, which includes the Guardian. “The editing experience” is cited as one key factor. They clearly never asked anybody who’d written for me.

Interesting idea but with the doomed air of ‘linux for the desktop’ about it: Mastodon is a free, open-source social network server. A decentralized alternative to commercial platforms, it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Anyone can run Mastodon and participate in the social network seamlessly.

This four letter tweet made Hugo’s day, and mine too.

FIFA have put a load of world club champions into the memory hole by declaring that the competition they won is no longer regarded as a proper one.

“I just googled something like ‘simpleton with crap hair’”

Cracking read about the person behind one of those fake ‘in the know’ football Twitter accounts – and how they started life as a wind-up merchant on messageboards. Assuming you can believe a word of it.

A quick and pleasingly nerdy skip through the way that London bus routes get their numbers.

You should read Emily Reynolds talking about mental health stigma, and sign up for her newsletter.


SEO Analyst at the Telegraph.

UX role at the Guardian. Also we are taking applications for editorial work experience.

Young journalists can apply for the Stern Fellowship. Or the Scott Trust Bursary.

I can’t stop thinking about this and laughing

my name is Cow,
and wen its nite,
or wen the moon
is shiyning brite,
and all the men
haf gon to bed –
i stay up late.
i lik the bred.