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With so many people losing their abilities to taste and smell due to COVID-19, the internet has been overloaded with tricks, hacks and home remedies for how to get your senses back. One supposed “solution” that’s been making the rounds on YouTube involves burning an orange and mashing it up with sugar. But is this […]
The post Sorry, eating a burnt orange with sugar likely won’t bring back your senses appeared first on Poynter.
On Wednesday, Youmna al-Sayed, a journalist in Gaza City, was reporting live from a rooftop for Al Jazeera, wearing a large bowl-shaped helmet and a bulky flak jacket with PRESS emblazoned across the front. She was right by the Al-Shorouk tower, which housed at least seven media outlets, including the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV and a newspaper associated with the Palestinian National Authority—and which had just come under fire from Israel. These were “warning missiles,” Sayed said, “and right now they should be starting to bring down the entire tower.” Soon, that happened: Sayed flinched, said “Oh my God,” and ducked for cover, continuing to narrate as the camera pivoted to show twin plumes of smoke curling into the sky. “The destruction is massive,” she said. Later, she added, “Targeting such a building, which holds media offices, is a clear message by the Israeli occupation that it does not want any media to tell the truth of what is going on in the Gaza Strip.”
The Al-Shorouk tower wasn’t the first building that Israeli forces bombed this week; the day before, they’d destroyed the Al-Jawhara tower, which was home to at least thirteen media organizations, including the Qatari channel Al-Araby TV, the newspaper Felestin, and the Forum of Palestinian Journalists. The local office of Al Jazeera, in an adjacent building, also sustained damage. The International Federation of Journalists reported that the Al-Jawhara tower was evacuated and that no journalists were injured, though the Committee to Protect Journalists was unable to confirm that and noted that the BBC has reported civilian casualties. Israeli officials said they were targeting Hamas “weapons stores” and offices, including “the military wing’s public relations department.”
The Israeli military hasn’t attacked journalists just in Gaza City. A week ago, security forces fired rubber bullets at protesters in the Temple Mount Complex in Jerusalem, injuring at least five Palestinian freelancers, including Saleh Zighari, who also reported being hit with shrapnel from a stun grenade, and Atta Awisat, whom officers had also beaten with batons. Three journalists with Anadolu, a Turkish state outlet, were hit with rubber bullets; on Monday, two of them and another colleague were attacked again as they covered a raid by Israeli forces on the Al-Aqsa mosque, where at least six Palestinian journalists inhaled tear gas and another, Fatima al-Bakri, was physically assaulted by officers. (Israeli officials said they support press freedom, but not protesters documenting officers “in order to create a journalistic facade.”) A reporter named Ibrahim al-Singlawi said that he was assaulted by security forces at least four times while covering protests in Sheikh Jarrah, an occupied neighborhood whose Palestinian residents are facing forced displacement by Israeli settlers. On Wednesday, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Hazem Nasser, a photojournalist, was arrested in the West Bank.
There have been protests in Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere for weeks, but the situation became a major international story only on Monday: following a raid at Al-Aqsa, Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel and the Israeli government ordered air strikes on Gaza; so far, at least 119 people have been killed, 31 of them children, and hundreds more have been injured. Early this morning, Israeli ground forces fired shells into Gaza; a spokesperson said that troops also “entered” Gaza, but later claimed that was a miscommunication. Much of the top-line coverage in the United States has used fuzzy, passive language—“warlike violence erupts”; “the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, reignited”—that obscures who has done what to whom; after the Al-Aqsa raid, clashes was ubiquitous. “This is a straightforward attack by Israel on Palestinians,” Jack Mirkinson wrote, for Discourse Blog. Mehdi Hasan, a host on MSNBC and NBC’s streaming service Peacock, called the word a “journalistic shorthand” that “personally, I cannot stand.” He condemned Hamas for firing rockets, but added that “the fundamental, unavoidable reality at the heart of this conflict is that there is an asymmetry of power here. One side is the occupier. The other side is occupied.”
“Palestine/Israel coverage in American media has always been poor,” Rowaida Abdelaziz, a reporter at HuffPost, tweeted Monday, “but it is actually insane to me how egregious it currently is.” Nevertheless, Palestinian voices have made themselves heard in the US. Mohammed El-Kurd, a writer and resident of Sheikh Jarrah, was invited onto MSNBC and CNN, where he called out the press for distorting his experience: when an anchor referred to Kurd’s possible “eviction,” he replied, “Forced ethnic displacement”; when the anchor asked if Kurd supported “violent protests” in support of his cause, he asked back, “Do you support the violent dispossession of me and my family?” (There followed an awkward silence.) The clip went viral; Kurd told Vice that this was probably because “there’s not been this kind of articulation about Empire in the media in recent years. I wanted to make the joke that it’s because I’m good TV, but it’s not. More often than not, it’s the fact that what I’m saying sounds unprecedented.”
Vice asked Kurd if he feared repercussions for being outspoken. “In addition to the media attention,” he said, “there have been hundreds of people reaching out to me, saying, ‘may God protect you, please be careful, I hope nothing bad happens to you.’ ” Then, on Wednesday, Israeli forces kicked Kurd and his family out of Sheikh Jarrah.
Below, more on Israel and Palestine:
- “Unheard of”: The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani and Lloyd Grove assessed the coverage of MSNBC’s Hasan and Ayman Mohyeldin, who, Tani and Grove wrote, have spent “the past several days challenging the US-media status quo by doing something practically unheard of on an American television outlet”—devoting “substantial airtime to the Palestinian point of view.” (Mohyeldin interviewed Kurd this week.) Their coverage “has prompted cheers among some within the network who have been pleased to see MSNBC elevate voices seemingly skeptical of Israeli military force,” though it has also prompted some “eye-rolling among a few of their NBC colleagues.”
- The regional angle: The BBC rounded up how the week’s events have been covered in Middle Eastern media. “The news remains relatively low down the running order of Syrian TV news, and in Iran it only started topping bulletins on Tuesday. In both countries—key members of the so-called ‘axis of resistance’ to Israel—domestic issues have taken priority,” the BBC reports. “Qatari Al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel, a traditional supporter of the Palestinian cause, gives the story full coverage. It is also the lead story on Saudi-funded Al Arabiya, which is pressing its guests and correspondents on claims by both sides.”
- Bibi: This week’s events have taken place against the backdrop of another round of domestic political wrangling in Israel, where negotiations to form a new government are in flux, and the ongoing trial of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, who stands accused of corruption, including in his dealings with media outlets. Reporters Without Borders has the latest on the trial; for more background, read Ruth Margalit in CJR.
Other notable stories:
- Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that fully vaccinated Americans need not wear masks or socially distance in most settings—not just outdoors but indoors, too. Tighter recommendations will remain in place for medical facilities, prisons, and public transit; still, the extent of the new guidelines came as a surprise—including to the White House—and a debate quickly played out in the media as to whether the CDC had gone too far. After the recommendations were confirmed, the White House lifted its requirement that fully vaccinated people—including members of the White House press corps—continue to wear masks on site.
- Adam Goldman and Mark Mazzetti report, for the Times, that Project Veritas, James O’Keefe’s right-wing sting operation, worked, during the Trump administration, “to discredit perceived enemies of President Trump inside the government.” The group aimed to use undercover operatives to expose anti-Trump sentiment within the FBI, and even planned a sting on H.R. McMaster, Trump’s onetime national security adviser. (That plan was abandoned after McMaster resigned; Project Veritas, which last year sued the Times for defamation in a different matter, called this latest report defamatory, too.)
- Robert Mackey, of The Intercept, profiled “the Riot Squad,” a group of eight journalists who, since the police murder of George Floyd last year, have roamed “from city to city, feeding the conservative media’s hunger for images of destruction and violence on the margins of left-wing protests.” The impact of their work “is hard to overstate,” Mackey writes. “Even as they remain relatively unknown, this tight-knit group has produced many of the most viral videos of Black Lives Matter protests over the past year.”
- Ariana Pekary, CJR’s public editor for CNN, considers whether journalists at the network should unionize. Cable news has been “conspicuously missing” from the recent trend of organizing at legacy and digital news organizations, Pekary writes. “As a former producer who has worked in both union and non-union newsrooms, I can attest to the value collective negotiation provides individual workers as well as the editorial process.”
- This week, after announcing that her eponymous talk show will end next year, Ellen DeGeneres sat for an interview with Savannah Guthrie, of NBC. DeGeneres denied that the show is ending over allegations, which BuzzFeed reported last year, of a toxic workplace culture, and assailed the negative coverage she’s received as “too orchestrated, too coordinated.” She continued, “I’m a woman, and it did feel very misogynistic.”
- Following bombshell reports—in the Hollywood Reporter and LA Times, respectively—of misconduct by the producer Scott Rudin and at the talent agency ICM, Liz Alper and Deirdre Mangan, of the campaign group #PayUpHollywood, examine, also in the Hollywood Reporter, whether the press is “the new HR.” Studios, they write, protect abusive staff and take action only when they learn a negative story is coming.
- A cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, which carries various types of fuel to the East Coast, has led to gas shortages in the Southeast, and media companies are among those to have been affected. In recent days, outlets including the Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer, in North Carolina, and The State, in South Carolina, have reported delays in delivering print newspapers to subscribers.
- According to internal emails exposed by hackers and reviewed by Block Club Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, the city’s mayor, canceled her subscription to the Chicago Tribune last year in response to critical coverage of her actions on parking tickets. She planned to tell the public of her decision and to urge them to “consider the source” the next time the paper “comes out with some big expose or a screaming headline,” but ultimately did not.
- And Bill McCreary, a longtime television journalist with WNEW (now WNYW), in New York, has died. He was eighty-seven. McCreary was “one of the first Black television journalists in New York,” Sam Roberts reports, for the Times, and his “perspective helped fill a noticeable gap in local public affairs reporting.”
Last week was World Press Freedom Day and this is Mental Health Awareness month. At first glance, these two might seem like strange bedfellows. But after years of working at the intersection of media freedom and safety, I’m convinced there can be no free press unless journalists are able to do their jobs safely, and […]
The post There can be no free press unless journalists are able to do their jobs safely appeared first on Poynter.
Poynter Report author Tom Jones is on vacation this week and will return Monday. Today’s Poynter Report was compiled by Kristen Hare, Angela Fu, Rick Edmonds and Ren LaForme. A bipartisan group of legislators reintroduced the Future of Local News Act Thursday. If passed, the bill would create a 13-member committee to study the state […]
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Covering COVID-19 is a daily Poynter briefing of story ideas about the coronavirus and other timely topics for journalists, written by senior faculty Al Tompkins. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely go […]
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Inflation — a phenomenon that most Americans haven’t had to think about much for a decade or two — has reemerged as a concern as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. On May 12, the government announced that the consumer price index was 4.2% higher in April 2021 than a year earlier, the fastest increase since […]
The post How big is the threat of inflation in the post-pandemic era? appeared first on Poynter.
There’s a real problem facing journalism today: the unprecedented assault in our democracies on the truth, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour shared on Thursday during the last day of the United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking. Social media has only made it worse in what she described as a massively polarized world. “Actual elected democracies […]
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NBC News correspondent and MediaWise ambassador Savannah Sellers says the impact of online falsehoods has never been more evident in everyday life. “There’s a very real issue when people, no matter what age they are, can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction online,” Sellers said. All week, NBC News has been examining the influence […]
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Please check Press Emblem Campaign’s list for the latest updates. How can we understand loss on the scale we’re now experiencing? Worldwide, more than 2 million people have died, according to The New York Times, with more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. Those numbers will keep changing. We’ll keep updating them. They’ll still be […]
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“The thing about student newsrooms — especially now that they exist virtually — is that there are no boundaries.” “Having an environment where I can pursue my passion for journalism while being surrounded by people who also share that passion is extremely important to me and my mental health.” “I knew before applying to write […]
The post USC’s Student Journalism Wellness Project offers a new resource for emerging reporters appeared first on Poynter.
Three years ago, I spoke with a photographer and filmmaker who wanted to make a short film about local news. Dustin Cohen has seen the challenges facing the industry up very close — his dad was the publisher of Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, which he sold to Knight Ridder and are now part of Alden […]
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Since January, when Marty Baron announced his retirement as editor of the Washington Post, the media beat has hummed with speculation about his replacement: Would it be an internal candidate? Or one of a bevy of editors from the New York Times? Or Ben Smith? So it was impressive yesterday when the Post appointed someone who hadn’t appeared in the guessing game: Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of the Associated Press. Online, the unexpectedness of the hire sparked a mini-debate as to whether media reporting is bad or not; Nieman Lab’s Hanaa’ Tameez asked why we had “to suffer through so many think pieces that ended up being way off?” Management at the Post certainly maintained a high wall of secrecy around the process, blinding not just outside media reporters but the paper’s own staffers, some of whom, the Daily Beast reported recently, were irked by their lack of insight. At one point, the paper’s union wrote to Fred Ryan, the publisher, requesting input into the decision. “Given the confidential and sensitive nature of the executive editor search,” he replied, “we do not plan to broadly address the search process with employees.” Maybe not so impressive after all.
The news of Buzbee’s hire was broken, in the end, by Paul Farhi, a media reporter at the Post. (“I was just telling @farhip that I’m looking forward to finding out who the next executive editor of the Washington Post will be via the bot in our Slack telling us that his story about it published,” Elahe Izadi, Farhi’s colleague on the media desk, tweeted. “That’s how I found out.”) Ryan told Farhi that he valued Buzbee’s experience atop an international news organization given that the Post is in the process of expanding overseas, with plans for new “hubs” in London and Seoul and bureaus in Sydney and Bogotá; Ryan also told staff, in a memo, that he “looked carefully for someone who shares our values of diversity and inclusion, and who is committed to prioritizing them in our news coverage as well as our hiring and promotion.” The decision won plaudits from journalists with ties to the Post and the AP: Laura Helmuth, a former Post staffer who now leads Scientific American, wrote that she was “so happy (and frankly, relieved) for my former colleagues”; Julie Pace, the AP’s Washington bureau chief, made the case that “there is simply no better newsroom leader and mentor than Sally,” and hailed her, too, as a “role model” for moms working in journalism. “This is normally the part where everyone fires off kiss ass tweets to the new boss,” Devlin Barrett, a Post reporter who formerly worked at the AP, tweeted, “but honestly, even knowing what it makes me look like? Sally is a… tremendous editor.”
Buzbee, who is fifty-five, will be the first woman ever to lead the Post. Farhi noted on Twitter that six of the paper’s ten most senior editors are now women, as are the heads of other major news organizations such as ABC News, MSNBC, Reuters, and the Financial Times. (There are many more examples, as the replies to Farhi’s tweet attest.) “The fact that this is not a big deal is kind of a big deal,” he wrote. Many observers praised the path-breaking nature of Buzbee’s appointment, though some also pointed out that Buzbee—like many other senior women in journalism—is white, and that there is much diversity work still to be done. Responding to Farhi’s tweet, Wesley Lowery, a former Post reporter who vocally criticized Baron’s leadership, called Buzbee’s hire “unquestionably a big deal,” though he wrote elsewhere that “the overqualified black candidate not even getting a serious call about the job, only for it to go to a white lady and be framed as a win for diversity is the entire story of newsroom diversity efforts.” (He was referring to Kevin Merida, a former Post editor who was reportedly not courted aggressively to succeed Baron, despite his strong credentials and enduring popularity among the paper’s staff. Last week, Merida was named executive editor of the LA Times.)
In addition to the secrecy of the Post’s search, Buzbee’s name may have been absent from the post-Baron media chatter because the AP is often absent from general media chatter—as it noted in its own story on Buzbee’s departure, the AP is “both ubiquitous and somewhat invisible, since it sells its journalism to thousands of outlets that use it on their websites, front pages and broadcasts.” This is an oversight—the AP is one of the biggest news organizations in the world, and it routinely does important work with an impressive range of scale; as Fenit Nirappil, a former AP reporter who is now at the Post, put it yesterday, the AP “doesn’t get enough love in this industry” given that it’s “a massive global multimedia operation adept at ambitious and reader friendly work while championing state-level accountability reporting.” It is also very traditional in its tone, a fact that didn’t always serve its day-to-day coverage of the Trump era all that well. “Here’s the first question that springs to my mind: The AP is well-known as our most buttoned-down straight-news organization,” whereas Baron “succeeded in straddling those old-school values with newer forms of journalism characterized by voice, attitude and ‘swagger,’” Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University, wrote yesterday. “Will Buzbee be able to adapt?” A similar question sprung to my mind—except I’d note that Baron failed to establish consistent rules as to how much of a voice his reporters were allowed to develop, especially on social media. Buzbee has only ever worked for the AP. It’ll be interesting to see how much of its culture comes with her to the Post.
Buzbee’s past statements about journalism offer cause for optimism—she told CJR in 2017 that some journalists don’t understand what “a dangerous weapon polling is,” and argued ahead of the early stages of the 2020 primary campaign that reporters should ignore horserace polls altogether—as well as reason for skepticism: when CNN’s Brian Stelter asked her last year if the AP wasn’t labeling Trump’s lies as “lies” because doing so might inject “emotion” into its coverage, Buzbee replied that she didn’t “want to put any filter, or any sort of off-putting thing there, that keeps [readers] from going to good, old-fashioned, factual journalism.” (The AP has recently been more blunt in labeling Trump’s election lies, as several media-watchers have noted.) According to Farhi, on a staff call at the Post yesterday, Buzbee avoided speculating on how her leadership might change the paper, though she did emphasize a focus on “deep, factual journalism,” and pledged to run a newsroom where “a wide, very wide diversity of voices are heard and have influence.” After Baron announced his retirement, I wrote that a strong successor would understand that ensuring the latter is integral to the former, and that factual journalism needn’t be old-fashioned. That challenge now falls to Buzbee.
Below, more on the Buzbee hire:
- Some background: Buzbee is originally from Olathe, in Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas in 1988, Buzbee began her career as an AP reporter in Topeka, Farhi reports. “She was also a reporter in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Washington. She made the jump to editing in 1996 as assistant bureau chief in Washington. Beginning in 2004, she was AP’s Middle East regional editor in Cairo, supervising coverage of the Iraq War. She also holds an MBA from Georgetown University.”
- The role of Bezos: Jeff Bezos—the Post’s billionaire owner, who also owns Amazon—also took part in the search for Baron’s successor. (Baron was already in the job when Bezos bought the paper, in 2013.) Buzbee will inherit a newspaper in good financial health—but not everyone is sanguine about Bezos’s involvement. “I have no reason to believe Sally Buzbee isn’t a great choice,” Judd Legum, who writes the newsletter Popular Information, tweeted yesterday, but the fact that “the billionaire CEO of one of the world’s most powerful companies picks the top editor of one of the world’s most important news orgs is not a good thing.” Last month, Hamilton Nolan, CJR’s public editor for the Post, asked what would happen should Bezos at some point decide to abandon his hands-off approach. “Bezos is, despite all appearances, not a robot,” Nolan wrote. “And he can snap.”
- On foreign reporting: In 2019, Mya Frazier reported for CJR on concern, among some veterans of the AP’s overseas bureaus, on changes to the agency’s foreign-reporting model, including “the shrinking of its global footprint as bureaus are quietly closed; the phasing out of the salaried ‘expat package’ for correspondents; and the reliance on local stringers and staffers, who often are paid far less than full-time American correspondents once were.” Buzbee told Frazier that she gets “a little prickly that someone in the US thinks they should have a salary out of whack with the very talented people in the country where they are working… I admit it might be unfair for the people who aren’t getting expat packages anymore, but it was a two-tier system.” Buzbee added: “I think the old two–tier system sucked.”
- What next for the AP?: Gary Pruitt, CEO and president of the AP, told David Bauder, an AP media reporter, that management will immediately begin scouting a replacement for Buzbee, and that he expects the search to take several months. In the interim, Bauder reports, Brian Carovillano, a vice president and managing editor, will lead the AP’s news team, while David Scott, who holds the same title as Carovillano, will handle operations. Buzbee will assume her role at the Post at the beginning of next month.
Other notable stories:
- In January 2020—while splitting its Democratic presidential-primary endorsement between Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar—the editorial board of the Times said it hoped that another candidate, Andrew Yang, would enter New York politics. Now Yang is running for New York mayor, and is considered the favorite—but this week, the Times endorsed Kathryn Garcia, the former sanitation commissioner, for the post. “Mr. Yang has praised Ms. Garcia and repeatedly suggested he would hire her to run the city,” the editorial board wrote. “‘If Andrew Yang thinks I need to run his government, then maybe I should just run the government,’ Ms. Garcia told us. Agreed. Cut out the middleman and elect the most qualified person.” The Times’s joint Warren/Klobuchar endorsement was widely ridiculed; its Garcia endorsement, observers argue, could prove more influential.
- On Monday, staffers at The Appeal, a nonprofit news site that covers criminal justice, formed a union; five minutes later, management announced layoffs, a move that the union alleged was retaliatory. Yesterday, managers appeared to do a U-turn, “pausing” the planned layoffs pending discussions with staff, and “enthusiastically” recognizing the union; they also reinstated Ethan Corey, an Appeal staffer who had already lost his job. (ICYMI, I wrote about the initial union fallout at The Appeal in yesterday’s newsletter.)
- In media-business news, Hearst Magazines sold the US edition of Marie Claire to Future, a British company that already publishes the title’s UK edition; Future said it plans to retain the magazine’s existing staff. Elsewhere, The Information’s Jessica Toonkel reports that BuzzFeed hopes to acquire Complex Networks, a lifestyle publisher, as part of its planned merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. And Bustle Digital Group rebranded as “BDG” ahead of its own planned SPAC tie-up.
- This week, the Media Rating Council, a group focused on industry research standards, reported that Nielsen, which measures TV ratings, consistently underreported viewership figures for the month of February. TV executives believe, and Nielsen acknowledged, that coronavirus protocols implemented by the company have led to the discrepancies. As Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports, tens of millions of advertising dollars are at stake.
- For CJR and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Sara Sheridan spoke with Larry Ryckman, the managing editor of the Colorado Sun, and Elizabeth Hansen, a Tow fellow who runs the nonprofit National Trust for Local News, after they partnered to take over a chain of Colorado newspapers. “We’re creating ownership groups and ownership structures that can be part of the fabric of the places these papers serve,” Hansen said.
- This morning, The Nation launched a new Fund for Independent Journalism, a nonprofit that will aim to expand the magazine’s “longstanding dedication to fostering and mentoring early-career journalists” while “developing rigorous educational programs to train the next generation of boldly independent journalists.” The fund will oversee an internship program and a project for college-aged journalists, among other initiatives.
- A year ago, News Corp, Rupert Murdoch’s business in Australia, shuttered a hundred local print titles in response to the financial pressures of the pandemic, affecting around a thousand staffers. Now the company is planning to create a hundred new editorial jobs, some of them at local outlets. Facebook and Google recently finalized deals to pay News Corp and other publishers for their content; the Sydney Morning Herald has more.
- On Sunday, authorities in Thailand arrested three reporters who fled neighboring Myanmar following a military coup and brutal crackdown on protesters and the press in that country. The reporters, who work for Democratic Voice of Burma, a news agency whose license was revoked by Myanmar’s junta, were charged with breaching Thai immigration laws. Press advocates are urging Thailand not to deport the trio.
- And NBC’s Brandy Zadrozny writes that the online platform Trump just launched—which is really just a blog—has not been “lighting up the internet.” In the week since its debut, “Trump’s new blog has attracted a little over 212,000 engagements” on social media, Zadrozny writes. By contrast, before he was banned from Twitter, “a single Trump tweet was typically liked and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.”