A major systemic failure, a photogenic flag, and the ban on Huck: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

The second season of The Newsroom wasn’t totally inaccurate:

The Times made a pretty significant mistake in an article published recently covering the San Bernardino killers. The article states that Tashfeen Malik, who joined her husband in carrying out the massacre that took place in California in early December, spoke openly on social media about her support and desire to be a part of violent jihadism. A few days after the article was posted, an FBI director condemned this reporting, claiming the only places Malik spoke of such beliefs were in private emails or messages. Reporting a potential terrorist threat openly disclosing their views on a public platform implies that action could have been taken, and deaths could have been avoided– an implication made as a direct result of the Times’ sources not comprehending how social media works well enough to understand the difference. The reporters themselves didn’t push to seek out the social media posts in question, and this systemic failure within the Times led to the story being run without knowing better until it was too late. So how do they plan on avoiding these faults in the future? By avoiding an “overreliance” on sources–especially anonymous ones– and having their editors slow down a bit when it comes to sensitive news stories.

Maximizing your productivity:

Part of being a productive person is knowing what works for you– if you’ve ever wondered what productivity type you are, here’s a guide to help you figure it out. Once you understand more about the way you go about getting things done, you can enhance that productivity even more by narrowing in on methods that will work best for you. 

If you can, avoid taking glamour shots in front of national flags:

A high school student in Massachusetts thought submitting a picture of herself standing in front of an American flag to her school’s yearbook would be the best way to preserve her patriotism forever– sadly, she didn’t realize that “standing in front of” and “standing on” can have some drastically different implications, and her photo was banned from the yearbook altogether.

No more adventures for you, Huck:

A school in Philadelphia recently removed “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from its curriculum on the basis that the racist language and implications in the novel far outweigh any literary benefits.

An inside look at a writer’s education:

Well-known New Yorker writer George Saunders shares his entire writing education timeline with us— from his start at Syracuse, to his first postgraduate job, and even returning to Syracuse as a teacher. With each chapter of his life, he shares a lesson he’s learned about writing, working, and everything in between. If nothing else, this pieces proves that absolutely nothing happens overnight– and, if you’re pursuing a career in writing, your teachers will prove to be far more influential than you could ever imagine.

These things also happened this week: