Nieman Foundation at Harvard
The Washington Post launches a year in news à la Spotify Wrapped
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Jan. 31, 2022, 3:56 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   January 31, 2022

Bluebird, we come to you for facts, for valuable
Information, for secret reports.
Bluebird, tell us, what do you feed on?

—Carl Sandburg, “Bluebird, What Do You Feed On?

I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!

—Robert Frost, “The Last Word of a Bluebird?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see

—Charles Bukowski, “Bluebird

@verified this was my fourth time applying!! wtf is up

—freelance journalists

That blue bird over at Twitter certainly is inscrutable when it comes to verifying accounts — the granting of the blue checkmark that deems someone some combination of important, extant, and ready to be lumped together with all the other horrifying elite “bluechecks.”

Twitter has done a lot to try to make the process more scalable and less opaque…but transparent it still ain’t. Maybe “translucent” is a good interim goal? Here’s Charlotte Tobitt for the Press Gazette:

Freelance journalists are “frustrated” at the Twitter verification process which has left even well-established writers with large followings feeling like “second-class citizens”.

Twitter began rolling out its new verification system last summer, with journalists among those encouraged to apply for blue ticks on their profiles to allow the public to see that they are trustworthy sources of information.

But not everyone feels the rollout has been successful or fair and almost 80 freelance journalists have now added their names to a list of those who feel their applications have wrongly been rejected. Some staff journalists who have struggled to get a blue tick also feel Twitter’s policies have been applied inconsistently.

Here’s that list, now at 78 names; here’s one of its organizers, established freelance health journalist Emma Wilkinson:

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The Washington Post launches a year in news à la Spotify Wrapped
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Plus: Exploring why women leave the news industry, the effects of opinion labels, and susceptibility to disinformation.
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“We learned that people have an interest if they can get to us.”