31 Jan 2020

What we're reading this week — January 31, 2020

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Coronavirus cases have popped up around the world, stirring anti-Chinese racism on social media. Holocaust survivors discuss their experiences at Auschwitz, 75 years after the liberation of the death camp. Job cuts at the BBC and News Corp. launches a news aggregator to rival Facebook and Google.

These are some of the stories that caught our attention this week.


Coronavirus map tracks the spread of the virus across the world

ABC News

Johns Hopkins University has set up a map visualising confirmed cases of the virus, which originated in Wuhan. The ABC explores the tool’s use and limitations.


I experienced anti-Chinese racism during SARS. But with coronavirus scare, social media makes it so much worse

Toronto Star / Evelyn Kwong

“To many Asian Canadians, this comes as no surprise. We’re often all lumped together, and the idea of ‘yellow peril’ — a racist stereotype that generalizes Asians as unsanitary, lower-class, and alien — is embedded in our nation’s history.”


TNI to aid Australia in fighting bushfires

The Jakarta Post / Dian Septiari

Indonesia’s military is set to send aid personnel to Australia to support the bushfire recovery efforts.


One year inside Trump’s monumental Facebook campaign

The Guardian / Julia Carrie Wong

An investigation of 218,100 ads shows how much the campaign spent in 2019 on social media ads — $US20 million.


Why Democrats still have to appeal to the centre, but Republicans don’t

The New York Times / Ezra Klein

Both parties have polarised, in very different ways. What will be the consequences for US politics?


75 years after Auschwitz liberation, survivors urge world to remember

NPR / Rob Schmitz

The Soviet army liberated the largest Nazi extermination camp 75 years ago. Now, survivors fear the horrors of the Holocaust will be forgotten.


A radical experiment, at an uncertain time, for BBC News

BBC / Amol Rajan

This week the BBC announced it would cut 450 jobs as it moves away from traditional broadcasting towards digital audiences. The cuts come at a time when the Beeb is under financial strain, is struggling to connect with younger Brits and the licence fee is under political pressure.


Q&A: Jason Rezaian on Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s nightmare in Iran

The Interpreter / Daniel Flitton

A former Washington Post correspondent, Rezaian spent 544 days in an Iranian prison. He says Australia should be pushing harder for the release of jailed academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert.


News Corp. launches news aggregation site Knewz to counter Facebook, Google

Reuters / Helen Coster

News Corp launched its free new aggregation service, Knewz, this week. It aims to provide an alternative to Google and Facebook.


Washington Post clears reporter who tweeted link to Kobe Bryant rape allegations

The Washington Post / Paul Farhi

WashPo journalist Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave after tweeting a story referencing rape allegations against the basketballer from 2003, soon after Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash. After a brief investigation, the reporter was reinstated.