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Daniel M Horowitz
In the media

Katherine Maher new NPR CEO, go check Wikipedia, race in the race

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By Bri, Frostly, Oltrepier, and Smallbones

Katherine Maher to head NPR

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Katherine Maher in 2019

National Public Radio has announced that former Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher will take the reins as NPR's CEO at the end of March, following a conference ending her five month gig as CEO of Web Summit. NPR itself (maintaining its editorial firewall) introduced her as the former CEO of WMF, quoting her saying "There is a strong alignment in both [Wikipedia and NPR] around integrity and autonomy." The New York Times emphasizes the challenges currently facing NPR, and indeed most of the media, writing she "will take over at NPR during a critical period. Listenership of traditional radio is waning as Americans adopt alternatives ... pressuring NPR to reach its audiences in new formats." RTÉ, an Irish public service broadcaster, highlights her recent connection to Web Summit. Maher was formerly Chief Communications Officer at the WMF before her CEO role; she has resigned from the US Department of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board following her appointment to NPR, remaining Chair of the Signal Foundation and on the board of Consumer Reports.

The Signpost wishes her all the best. Congratulations Katherine!

See this 2019 interview with Maher in The Signpost

S, F

Tell it like it is

Tempest in a teapot
One of these again.

The New York Post was shocked to learn that Katherine Maher, the new NPR CEO, had tweeted in 2018 that "Donald Trump is a racist". They consider the six year old personal tweet to be inconsistent with NPR's policy that they provide "fact-based reporting; opinion and commentary are secondary." The Post also seemed shocked that some time since 2018, Maher deleted the tweet, implying that she was hiding something.

They might also be shocked to learn that many people have called this guy that thing, since early in his term as president. In 2018 and 2019, a majority of Americans agreed with the statement "Donald Trump is a racist", according to two polls; in 2019, 84% of African-Americans agreed. Nevertheless, another 2018 poll had only 49% agreeing against 47% disagreeing; at any rate it's difficult to see this as evidence of extremism.

The controversy about Trump's perceived racism has not subsided since. His attacks this month on Asian-American Nikki Haley are even causing more controversy. – S

Conservative commentator races to "go check Wikipedia"

Media watchdog Media Matters for America reports on Matt Walsh's use of Wikipedia to verify the skin color of Nikki Haley, the other candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. presidency. Walsh's commentary is simply dishonest. He says he never noticed that Haley is brown skinned and had to "check Wikipedia" to see if it's true. With a sleight of hand he reports that Wikipedia confirms the fact that her parents are from India. (More precisely they are Sikh.) Then he says Haley's claims of discrimination in a 1980s South Carolina beauty pageant based on her skin color "strain credulity" and that all kids get teased about something.

What did he leave unsaid?

In less than five minutes, he puts race back into the presidential race. – S

Former Wikimedia Italy president reflects on the state of Wikipedia and the open access movement

In Il Post (in Italian), Viola Stefanello breaks down the last ten years of the evolution and decline of the open access movement in academic publications, focusing on the controversies involving "shadow libraries" such as Sci-Hub and Anna's Archive, the legacy of the late Aaron Swartz and the current state of Wikipedia.

Anna's Archive, a website which hosts some 25 million books and 100 million papers totally unencumbered by copyright law (generally by virtue of just not following it), has recently been blocked by AGCOM, at the request of the Italian Publishers Association.

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Andrea Zanni in 2012

Among the experts cited by Stefanello for her article, former Wikimedia Italy president and Wikisource admin Andrea Zanni stands out. Now a digital librarian for openMLOL and a journalist for several Italian media, as well as the co-author of an e-book about the life of Aaron Swartz, Zanni says the death of the American hacktivist is not the only reason why the open access movement has lost the momentum it had gained throughout the 2000s and the early 2010s. According to him, this also happened due to the different priorities many of the people involved had to focus on when transitioning to adulthood – Zanni left Wikipedia himself, in order to spend more time with his family – and a decline in interest by newer generations, whose best IT talents often choose to make a personal profit out of their skills, instead. The former Wikimedia Italy president also reflects on the changes that have made the Internet more "capitalistic" and "egotistic" than it was ten years ago, underlining the web’s "centralization" in just a handful of privately owned social and entertainment media, its "mobilization" as a result of the shift of most online traffic from computers to smartphones, and its "dopaminization" through the wide spread of personalized content and advertisements.

Zanni ends his reflection on a high note, celebrating the success and the very existence of Wikipedia for over twenty years as one of the "huge battles won" by the movement, a topic he already wrote about for Domani in 2021. Given the disputes related to open access and public domain we still witness worldwide and the challenges Wikimedia projects will likely face in the near future, perhaps his words should be taken as more than just a good omen to start from. – O

In brief

George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia
Is someone smearing dirt on the 49ers?

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On a side note not exactly related to this Signpost article, I was kinda shocked when former South African cricketer AB de Villiers told that he literally had tears in his eyes after reading the Wikipedia profile of Guyanese and West Indies cricketer Shamar Joseph. I myself started the article on Shamar Joseph but I literally wrote based on facts from a Cricbuzz article written by Bharat Sundaresan on the incredible rags to riches story of Shamar Joseph. Well AB quoted to have said "Do yourself a favour, go read about his life on wikipedia! Literally had tears in my eyes while reading about his journey. Inspirational to say the least". Abishe (talk) 16:42, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Literal who?

Since when should anyone here care what rando Matt Walsh says? (And arguably, since when in the past week, or 6 months, should anyone care about Nikki Haley either?) More seriously for a WP publication, the article in question does not claim nor quote Walsh as implying that WP reports on anything like Haley's skin color. The entirety of the article that has to do with WP is a quote from Walsh: ... And when I found out, like most people, I said, what? Nikki Haley isn't white? And I had to go check Wikipedia, and sure enough, like, oh, she's from -- her family's from India. I had no idea.

So how does article this warrant even a mention here, much less 200 words? SamuelRiv (talk) 18:44, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

We pick ITM items based on a mix of tips, personal interest, and patrolling of news aggregation newsfeeds. This one happened to appear on my radar the third way, indicating that at least the aggregator thought it was newsworthy. It's worth pointing out that Matt Walsh is deemed a notable commentator by our own standards (I decided not to link his name in the item for reasons). Two of us on the Signpost team worked this item, so I'll stand by to see if the other author has anything more to say about it. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:21, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Am I the only person who sees a conceptual switcheroo in this? First of all, just to address the elephant in the room here, Nikki Haley is not really brown... So, if Nikki Haley's brown, she's only brown in the sense that any white person is brown. I'm not doubting that Haley's family is really from India. They are. But the point is that if she doesn't tell you she's brown, you would never know. In fact, like most people, I didn't find out until this election cycle that Haley is Indian. And when I found out, like most people, I said, what? Nikki Haley isn't white? And I had to go check Wikipedia, and sure enough, like, oh, she's from -- her family's from India. I had no idea. All that to say her stories of anti-brown persecution strain credulity from the start.

He's complaining that Nikki Haley claims she's brown, says he didn't believe it until he checked Wikipedia where he found out that her family is from India. I would have thought that any political commentator would have known that she was ethnically Indian back when she was UN ambassador, or maybe during last year's debates when two Indian-Americans, Haley and Vivek, were on the stage together. But he's not talking about Indian ethnicity, the elephant in the room is her skin-color. So, according to him, he hears Haley is brown-skinned and checks out Wikipedia and sure enough learns that she is Indian. Totally bogus IMHO. The rest is just as bogus. No discrimination in SC in the 1980s (!). That she is creating stories about anti-brown persecution. (Just bogus).

ML King said "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". Walsh would disagree with me on this being an important priciple, I'm sure. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:01, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

SF Gate

I'm noticing that an SFGate article was mentioned in this, but is attributed to the San Francisco Chronicle. While the two newsrooms were connected historically, they were split in 2019 and have since then been independent of one another. My apologies for not catching this before publication, but would someone please correct the attribution in the article? — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 20:47, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

User:Red-tailed hawk Good catch! It's SFGATE. I thought I keep pretty good track of these things, but, 5 years after the fact, I guess I haven't. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:31, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

In brief

I took a look at the article Military operations in Ukraine (from 2022), and it is as you'd expect, for example citing from "westerners" only Nicolas Sarkozy and Elon Musk on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Related articles are similarly partisan. All the best: Rich Farmbrough 09:08, 1 February 2024 (UTC).[reply]

Tell it like it is

The New York Post was shocked to learn that Katherine Maher, the new NPR CEO, had tweeted in 2018 that "Donald Trump is a racist".

The Signpost missed an opportunity to note that former reality television actor Donald Trump has been accused of racism since at least the early 1970s (see Racial views of Donald Trump), and that the New York Post has been shilling for Trump since the 1980s.[3] Viriditas (talk) 23:28, 4 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Harper's Magazine

"Comprised of" isn't a "grammatically incorrect phrase". Even Giraffedata himself says it isn't. Nardog (talk) 01:45, 12 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]


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