Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard: In public media, we keep a strict firewall between funders (underwriters, major donors) and our editorial operations. This week, Jane Mayer wrote in The New Yorker of a breach of one such firewall. David Koch (of the Koch brothers), has given millions of dollars to public television. That turned out to be a problem when a documentary critical of Koch was set to air in New York. An executive with New York’s public television station reached out to Koch to minimize any potential damage. It’s a story with a lot of twists. Read A Word from Our Sponsor.
Joseph Lord: If you have a young daughter, like I do, you may find yourself in constant conversation about princesses—particularly Disney princesses, which are marketed incredibly effectively. The influence of Disney princesses on young kids has been an ongoing parent debate for several years—what sort of messages are sent by all these rescuing princes and pretty dresses, for instance? This Atlantic piece gives a nuanced perspective. Read Toward a More Expansive Definition of ‘Princess.’
Erica Peterson: In case you haven’t gotten your fill of Michael Pollan yet (he was in town earlier this month to discuss his newest book, Cooked), he wrote a recent New York Times Magazine cover story about the relationship between humans and germs. Microbes are a subject he got into when researching and writing Cooked, and in the article, Pollan delves more into how millions of different germs and microbes make our biological processes possible. Read Some of My Best Friends are Germs.