Special Friends, Self-teaching and Super Textual News:this week’s Fresh Powder Report

A new email leak from the Clinton campaign is so shocking-not shocking. Turns out, the campaign has a few journalists it likes to keep close. Turns out, they like to wine and dine their special reporter friends in super secret “off the record” gatherings. And, they like to feed the media stories. In short, the Clinton campaign likes to curate their media coverage. Are we surprised? Absolutely not. Why? Because we among the cynical expect that all politicians do it. We just don’t want them to write it down.

Teach Yo’self

You’ve heard it before: the best way to learn is to teach. Recently, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Instituteemployed this model of learning by tasking journalism students with creating a web resource for journalists covering race and hunger. Students weren’t given a model and were expected to identify and distill elements of reportage. It was useful; students learned what kind of resources aid effective journalism and built a useable website. Check it out the result: “Reporting Stories Hidden in Plain Sight.”

Show me the… text?

Here’s a surprising thing: younger adults prefer to get their news via text rather than video. A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that while people over the age of 50 prefer to watch their news rather than read it, people between the ages of 18-29 choose text platforms, and online ones at that. But it makes sense: text-based news online can be consumed at will, anywhere and anytime, without the commitment of carrying around a physical paper or listening to a news story. Web publishers, who have been increasingly focusing on video-based news delivery, may have to recalibrate if they want to maintain audience engagement. And with younger adults less interested in the news overall, news orgs will just have to knuckle under and give this petulant population what they want.

Your reading list just got super long

The longlist got shorter, but your list of required reading got longer: finalists for the National Book Awards were announced last week and it looks like good stuff. Roll up your sleeves, get reading, and see if you can pick the winners ahead of the ceremony on November 16th. You’ve got five weeks: go!

The time of our lives

This is the best thing that happened this week, and it’s pretty good.

These things also happened last week:

Clowns became a thing: in a bizarro manifestation of every coulrophobic nightmare ever, people dressed as creepy clowns began appearing around the country, sometimes making menacing threats or chasing passers-by. Clown expert and author of Bad Clowns, Ben Radford, theorizes that clown sightings are more common during times of social anxiety.

Incidentally, the second presidential debate took place on Sunday night and featured it’s own tangerine-skinned, goofy-haired buffoon. After tapes emerged Friday of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women (minimized by the capering candidate as “locker room talk,”) he spent the evening channeling his clownish brethren by lurking behind his opponent as she spoke. Social anxiety? Radford is right. We can thank the clowns.