24 Jan 2020

What we're reading this week — January 24, 2020

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The coronavirus, The New York Times breaks with convention, the voice behind a hit podcast, gut health and angry quilters. These are some of the stories that caught our attention this week.


Now, even quilters are angry: How social-justice design started a feud

The Washington Post / Peggy McGlone

“A usually cheery online community of quilters has been ripped apart by a sewing challenge depicting a No. 2 pencil erasing the ‘in’ from the word injustice.”


The enemies of writing

The Atlantic / George Packer

The winner of the Hitchens Prize, George Packer, shares his views on the enemies of writing today.


Jeff Bezos hack: Amazon boss’s phone ‘hacked by Saudi crown prince’

The Guardian / Stephanie Kirchgaessner

An encrypted WhatsApp message from Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos may have compromised the data on the tech billionaire’s phone.


New York Times editorial board endorses Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren

The New York Times

The Times editorial board broke with convention and endorsed two candidates for the Democrat’s presidential nomination. They said it was meant to address the ‘realist’ and ‘radical’ models being presented to voters.

But the decision wasn’t well received by everyone …


All the problems with the New York Times' televised endorsement special

Intelligencer / Adam K Raymond

While it was notable that the The Times’ endorsed two women, its decision was labelled a ‘cop-out’ by some. Others took issue with its contrived TV endorsement special; “a self-indulgent spectacle that seemed less transparent than performative.”


Good shit

Tortoise / James Kinross

Is human waste the key to the world’s most pressing health challenges? James Kinross, a consultant colorectal surgeon discusses gut health and a new generation of medicine that may tackle some of the deadliest diseases.


Wuhan virus: A visual explainer

South China Morning Post

At least 570 people have been infected with the coronavirus in China. SCMP Graphics has put together a great visualisation of the outbreak and how the virus has spread.


Mourning in Moree: Why one community can’t celebrate on Australia Day

The Sydney Morning Herald / Ella Archibald-Binge and Rhett Wyman

“On January 26, the community of Moree in north-western NSW will mark two very different anniversaries. One celebrates the arrival of the First Fleet. The other commemorates a brutal massacre that occurred on the same day 68 years later.”

This reporting was supported by a grant from JNI.


The voice of a generation

Intelligencer / Matthew Schneier

An interesting examination of how presenter Michael Barabro and an army of editors and producers made The New York Times’ The Daily, into a podcast juggernaut.


From the Supreme Court, a reminder that justice was sacrificed to save a judge

The Wire / Siddharth Varadarajan

In 2018, a young woman lost her job after rebuffing the advances of her boss, Indian Supreme Court Justice Ranjan Gogoi. This week she was reinstated. What can this story tell us about the state of the Indian judiciary?


Mister Mouse’s Chinese New Year quiz


On Saturday, we’ll celebrate Chinese New Year. Test your knowledge of the festival.