Two of our entries this week stem from this week’s Pulitzer Prize announcements. We strongly believe in the principles of journalism, so important reporting is something we like to honor and celebrate.
Also, check out what Greentarget Founding Partner Aaron Schoenherr had to say about the still-unfolding situation at United Airlines – which (we think) barely beat out White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for having the worst week ever.
With that, here’s Recent Reads.
The Fighter – CJ Chivers just won a Pulitzer Prize for this story about a young Marine veteran struggling with PTSD after his return from Afghanistan. Chivers chronicles Sam Siatta’s felony arrest in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, after breaking into someone’s home. The arrest reveals the seriousness of Siatta’s PTSD, anxiety and alcoholism. Lawyers worked for over a year to appeal his conviction and, in turn, get him the help he needs. This hit close to home for me as it’s semi-local, and he also attended Illinois State. – Erin Wojcicki
The journalist who won the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s first Pulitzer still does a monthly night cops shift – Full disclosure: I worked with the journalist mentioned in the headline. But even if that wasn’t the case, the story of Eric Eyre is important in an era of shrinking newsrooms and pressing local issues that would go uncovered without dogged, old-fashioned reporting. You’ll have a difficult time picking your jaw off the floor after reading his 2016 coverage of West Virginia’s opioid crisis. Eric did that while writing around 250 stories a year, covering the statehouse … and still manning the police scanner one night a month. Incredible. – Paul Wilson
How Stephen Colbert Finally Found His Elusive Groove – Calling all of my fellow control freaks! This article provides a glimpse into the benefits of letting go and, more importantly, trusting your team. I admittedly don’t watch a lot of Stephen Colbert, but it’s interesting to think that his willingness to be vulnerable, to give up a little control, boosted his show’s ratings. That extra touch of humanity clearly resonated with his audience. It makes me think that maybe we all need to let go a little more. – Megan Duero
Is Instagram Ruining the Great Outdoors? – At the risk of imploding if I see one more social media post with a sepia filter accompanied by #nature #outdoors, here’s an interesting article on Instagram’s impact on distant places and the increasingly fragile world we live in. On the plus side, driving foot traffic (literally) to some of the most remote locations on the planet, to the point where rangers “began asking backcountry hikers not to post precise maps or GPS coordinates of their adventures on the web,” isn’t a bad thing. – Christian Erard
Smartwatch-making company CEO: Smartwatches are pointless – The other morning, I was admiring my roommate’s Apple Watch and explaining to her how much I wanted my own smartwatch – something to monitor my heartbeat, track calories burned and remind me of appointments. But is it really necessary? As explained by Huawei CEO Eric Xu Zhijum, “when the smartwatch team in Huawei presents their ideas to me with great excitement, I keep reminding them to consider whether there are tangible needs [for these products] in the market.” While he’s right in saying smartwatches are NOT a necessity, his comments make me wonder if Huawei is greasing the skids for something revolutionary. – Sarah Rocca
GT Podcast Recommendation
S-Town – It’s from the makers of Serial and This American Life, so you know it’s well-executed and delivers the expected twists and turns. It begins with the story of a clock repairer, John McLemore, who hates his small hometown in Alabama. John is obsessed with climate change and meticulously cares for his backyard maze, among other eccentric behaviors. From there it takes you down a rabbit hole of Deep South poverty, mental health, drug abuse and murder. – Agatha Howland