Friday Reading S08E05

Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from the Guardian’s Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology, and other interesting nerdy things. It is also available as an email newsletter. Sign up here.

??? ??? – The climate crisis explained in 10 charts

The ExaminerLive in Huddersfield and West Yorkshire has launched a limited pay-as-you-go model for some stories on their local news site – here’s executive editor Lauren Ballinger on how it has gone.

Robyn Vinter of The Overtake on diversity, business growth and investigative journalism for millennials.

Heaven Taylor-Wynn and Alexa Volland (who leads MediaWise’s Teen Fact-Checking Network) on using social media apps to reach the most elusive news audience of them all — teenagers.

Mark Oliver gives four reasons why he thinks the BBC is failing to explain the news.

‘Hide replies’ is coming to a Twitter near you soon.

Stallman has gone and no doubt the absolute boss-level final paragraphs in this helped him along his way:

“Did I even really know who Richard Stallman was before those emails? To be honest, not really — I’m a mechanical engineer who didn’t pay enough attention, apparently. I did not possess the awe and reverence many people commenting and retweeting seemed to. Maybe if I had known I would have been more ‘careful’. Maybe if I had known I, too, would have been able to let such comments and behavior slide because of ‘genius’. Yet here we are. I don’t regret a thing. ✌?”

“Remove Richard Stallman and everyone else horrible in tech” – Selam G.

Danah Boyd’s shattering award acceptance speech should be read in full:

“‘Move fast and break things’ is an abomination if your goal is to create a healthy society. Taking short-cuts may be financially profitable in the short-term, but the cost to society is too great to be justified. In a healthy society, we accommodate differently abled people through accessibility standards, not because it’s financially prudent but because it’s the right thing to do. In a healthy society, we make certain that the vulnerable amongst us are not harassed into silence because that is not the value behind free speech. In a healthy society, we strategically design to increase social cohesion because binaries are machine logic not human logic.”

“Facing the Great Reckoning Head-On” – Danah Boyd

Long overdue: “‘This industry has a problem with abuse’: dealing with gaming’s #MeToo moment” – Lucy Orr


Everything old is new again. There’s a crowd-funded ‘Light phone’ that only allows you to text and make calls with the aim of helping people with social media and phone addiction. Dominic Rushe tried it out.

“It’s hard to know what to say to someone considering suicide, particularly in the heat of the moment. It’s a scenario nobody wants to find themselves in, but experts offer some guidelines on how best to talk to a person in crisis.”

“What I Should Have Said to the Man I Stopped from Jumping Off a Bridge” – Lydia Caroline Smith

“Why Plastic Is a Design Failure – and the brands and designers innovating to change that” – Tabitha Whiting


There are jobs going at the Guardian that might interest you: Social Media Designer and Social Producer.

The Telegraph are looking for a Women’s Sport Social Media Editor. They say “If you’re thinking of applying but don’t think you have quite enough experience or any other doubts please do apply anyway”.

Thank you to the team at the Reality Bomb podcast for allowing me the chance to pay tribute to Terrance Dicks in this episode.

“Friedrich points to the unjust lack of attention to editors everywhere, contrasting their relative invisibility to the much greater awareness of directors, writers, and even cinematographers that exists in film culture.”

“Hidden Histories: The Story of Women Film Editors” – Girish Shambu, The Criterion Collection

Newspapers did a story saying that – SHOCK! HORROR! – some of the RNLI’s money is spent training people about water safety overseas and, predictably, a load of racists and/or Russian Di$1Nf0 operatives claimed they were never going to donate again. You can donate here so kids learn not to drown and it annoys a load of old racists and possibly PuT1й. Lots of people did.

Talking of sea rescues, partly an inspiration for creepy Doctor Who lighthouse story Horror of Fang Rock, this is a fun if trashy overview of the “The Chilling True Story Of The Flannan Isles Disappearance”.

And talking of Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston has revealed he has suffered a lifelong battle with anorexia and depression.

Twitter account recommendation of the week: @Yokoonobot – “I’m a bot who imagines new Yoko Ono tweets. Follow and reply to me and I’ll chat & be your friend”. I genuinely love this – Rob Manuel based it on mashing-up Yoko’s real tweets with lists of bizarre objects and people and I just find them therapeutic and thoughtful.

This is phantasmagorically good: Goth or Moth? Simply work out whether each name is a goth band or a type of British moth.

From the ‘Not the onion’ headline files: “Garlic Expert Who Crusaded Against Importing Garlic Is Going to Prison For Importing Garlic”.

I saw someone complaining that it was disappointing that there had been a distinct lack of ‘killer clown’ panics this summer. It made me remember that at the Guardian we had to have a style guide edict forbidding us to call them ‘killer clowns’ because readers were writing in to complain that there was no evidence the clowns had actually killed anyone. Yet. There is still one ‘killer clown’ flying the flag for the circus of death in Cornwall.

I love the idea of someone one day suddenly having the “PING!” brain moment of ‘what if we stick this new-fangled camera thing on the viewing end of a telescope?’

“Whipple’s [1852 image] remains the earliest known surviving photograph of the Moon — an image that continues to stun with its simple visual poetics even as technology has far eclipsed the primitive equipment of its photographer.”

“John Adams Whipple and How the Birth of Astrophotography Married Immortality and Impermanence” – Maria Popova

I make electronic music about the paranormal. I’ll be supporting Agent Side Grinder in Dalston in October. You could come and watch me if you wanted. It will look a bit like this. But with me standing in front of it pressing buttons and looking worried.