Recent Reads Isn’t Ashamed about Liking True Crime (Really)

Partly because of the proliferation of podcasts, true crime is seemingly everywhere these days. And that’s made it more socially acceptable! At least, that’s what Associate Kyerstin Hill keeps telling herself.

We’re also reading about Judy Woodruff’s new role on PBS, teen activist Malala Yousafzai, nationalism’s rise in Europe’s least ethnically diverse country and … efforts to turn London into a national park. Yes, really.

With that, here’s the latest edition of Recent Reads.

‘My Favorite Murder’ and the growing acceptance of true-crime entertainment – As a lover of true crime, I have always felt somewhat guilty for being so enthralled by these stories/podcasts. With “My Favorite Murder” bringing in over 10 million downloads a month, this article points out that true crime is no longer a creepy interest, but rather a “secret society of people figuring out they’re not the only ones.” In the PR world, it is our job to tell stories, and I’ve actually learned a thing or two from the way the hosts of this show are able to “direct the conversation” and shift the lens of a seemingly awful crime into a story of entertainment and education. – Kyerstin Hill

Judy Woodruff, the Woman of the Hour – I grew up watching PBS NewsHour with my dad, who constantly shushed me as I tried to ad lib over the anchors discussing the top news stories of the day. Back then I was never quite captivated by the show (what teenager would be, honestly?), but I certainly have a greater appreciation for its simple, straight-to-the-point nature now, considering the craziness that is the news in today’s world. This feature paints a nice picture of the show overall, but I especially like it for its behind-the-scenes detail on Judy Woodruff – how she works, exemplifies grit and remains steadfast in her delivery of the news, especially after the passing of her co-anchor and friend Gwen Ifill. – Agatha Howland

What Happens When The World’s Most Famous Teen Activist Grows Up? – My daughter has been enraptured by Malala Yousafzai’s experiences and is shocked that in some places girls are not allowed to attend school, let alone face violence if they attempt to become educated. This article notes that education for girls is an issue that continually becomes buried under other world problems. However, as Malala readies to attend Oxford (she’s 19 already!) and talks with young people in places like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and around the world, girls’ education will not remain buried for too long. – Pam Munoz

One Man’s Plan to Transform a Major City Into a National Park – Well, it’s all about perspective, right? While my vision of a national park typically involves boot-trodden paths and skylines shaped by trees and mountains rather than buildings, Londoner and “guerilla geographer” Daniel Raven-Ellison has a different take on it. He wants London to be declared a national park, and has argued that a number of the bustling city’s features – namely, its 47 percent green space, its biodiversity (including humans!) and a number of other traditional park-like characteristics – make London a true contestant for a title only ever associated with landscapes that are polar opposites of a metropolis. Is it going too far to name London a national park? Maybe. Or maybe it just takes a shifted perspective to realize that these two “opposites” aren’t so different. – Megan Duero

Poland’s populist government let far-right extremism explode into the mainstream – If the unending pace of daily news in the United States has understandably kept you from monitoring current events in Poland, this article is there for you as an (unnerving) crash course. The nationalist trend lines in Europe’s most homogenous country are, frankly, disturbing. But this is a compelling and well-crafted read with some details that sadly ring true in America. – Paul Wilson

What Brad Pitt Could Learn from Prince Harry about Life’s Tragedies – Writer Melissa Braunstein reflects on interviews Brad Pitt and Prince Harry gave about struggles in their lives. The two are very different in nature, as Braunstein points out; Pitt’s is emotional and revealing, while Prince Harry’s is “dignified and uplifting,” according to the columnist. She uses these interviews to reflect on what we, as readers, as non-celebrities and as people, should be demanding of others’ (public) vulnerability, particularly those in a position of fame, as both men are. Braunstein provides an interesting dive into the positives that can come from suffering a tragedy. – Erin Wojcicki