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Weekly Roundup: January 24, 2019

Our round-up of key news affecting authors. In this week’s edition: the future of journalism, layoffs at BuzzFeed and Huffington Post, and more…

To All the Introductions I’ve Loved Before
The Paris Review
“People who never bother to read what is more properly styled as a foreword (in which one writer presents the work of another) or a preface (in which the writer herself, often retrospectively, reflects on her own work) are likely as numerous as people who don’t bother with user manuals before launching the software application or powering up the widget.”

For a Diverse New Generation, Poetry Is a ‘Growth Industry’
Star Tribune
“More people — especially young people — are reading and buying poetry. About 12 percent of adults read poetry in the past year, a bump of 5 percentage points over 2012 and a 15-year high, according to a new survey by the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Trademark Fight over Vulgar Term’s ‘Phonetic Twin’ Heads to Supreme Court
The New York Times
“The Supreme Court, which is pretty squeamish about vulgar language, recently agreed to hear a case about whether the owner of a line of clothing sold under the brand name FUCT can register a trademark for the term.”

Does Journalism Have a Future?
The New Yorker
“‘We are, for the first time in modern history, facing the prospect of how societies would exist without reliable news,’ Alan Rusbridger, for twenty years the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, writes.”

Comping White
Los Angeles Review of Books
“Comps are the books that most frequently influence editors’ decisions about what to acquire, the books to which new titles are often compared, the books whose effects the industry longs to reproduce. In other words, comps are evidence of what the publishing industry values. It turns out the industry values whiteness.”

When the Supreme Court Had to Read an 18th-Century Erotic Novel
Fanny Hill was taboo for over 200 years, but didn’t reach the U.S. Supreme Court until 1965. “This time, it was because the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons had started printing copies of the novel.”

BuzzFeed, HuffPost Latest to Feel Pinch in Faltering Digital News Economy
The Washington Post
The companies will lay off about 15 percent of their staff in the face of domination of the advertising market by Google and Facebook.