I’m the one that found all those birds’ nests: this week on Fresh Powder

A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

Fresh Powder is taking the next two weeks off. We’ll be fully decked out in a Santa costume when we return. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The lede

“It’s not fake news but it’s not exactly what we want people to be consuming either.” A growing network of close to 40 websites posing as local news outlets have popped up all over Michigan to push politically-slanted information, the Lansing State Journal originally reported.

. . . These websites have also shown up in, at least, Iowa, Montana, Maryland and Florida. The Michigan Daily traced the history of the operation, setup by one guy for the same politically-motivated purpose whose been rebranding his corporation over again every time it’s found out. “It’s one thing to have a blog that explicitly states a person’s opinions and viewpoints, it’s another thing to make a politically targeted message under the guise of journalism.”

. . . Other recently-discovered fake local news sites aren’t motivated by political beliefs; rather, they’re driven by potential advertising revenue and ad networks like Google’s aren’t doing a good enough job policing them. “It’s a license to pretend, and to print money”: BuzzFeed News


“Unlike the self-consciously transgressive byproducts of Gen-X ‘serial killer culture,’ this murder was okay to post about on Facebook, or to discuss openly with coworkers. This murder came with a pledge-drive tote bag.” AV Club: “Serial didn’t invent true crime, but it did legitimize it”


Last week, I delivered a couple links on the early feedback for two of the marquee Apple TV Plus shows, “The Morning Show” and “Dickinson.” One of those — at least, on my social feeds — has sustained an overwhelmingly positive narrative. Whether or not that has absolutely everything to do with my personal Hailee Steinfeld fandom … yes. Even so, “Dickinson” has garnered such praise for being unapologetically unique-slash-insane. “Dickinson is both stranger and more charming than any historically-revisionist show about a badass, twenty-something incarnation of Emily Dickinson has any right to be.” (The New Republic)

. . . Did you already forget about Apple TV Plus?


“We can feel its gnostic effects on our everyday reality, but we rarely see it, and it’s quite inscrutable to non-initiates.” Slate lists “The Lines of Code That Changed Everything.” (Sorry, amateurs: There’s no Da Vinci, Pass or even Red on this list.)


Mary Cain was the fastest girl in America, at 17, and then she joined Nike — and they destroyed her. Listen to her story, in her own words, in The New York Times’ “Equal Pay” video series, which continues to be excellent.

Thinking ahead

The entire scholastic journalism world is descending on Washington D.C. next week… in the middle of impeachment hearings. (Exactly as NSPA/JEA planned it.)

This also happened last week: The Freedom of the Press Foundation is partnering with the Internet Archive to preserve the archives of journalists at Splinter and Deadspin that might otherwise be at risk of being deleted. Pretty cool.