Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles good for slow consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that’s your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.
This feels like the perfect week for Gabriel Snyder’s in-depth look at how the “failing @nytimes” is adapting to a rich but chaotic content environment. Since a leaked copy of the Times’ “Innovation Report” made unlikely headlines in 2014, the publication has engaged in an ongoing experiment to keep “Timesian” journalism relevant and pay-worthy.
Passion, tenacity, and resilience are what make reporting great; they may also be the keys to the paper’s survival in a digital, post-Trump world.
At stake isn’t just the future of a very old newspaper that has seen its advertising revenue cut in half in less than a decade — it’s the still unresolved question of whether high-impact, high-cost journalism can thrive in a radically changing landscape. Newspaper companies today employ 271,000 fewer people than they did in 1990 — around the population of Orlando — and with fewer journalists working with fewer resources, and more Americans getting their news on platforms where the news could very well be fake, the financial success of the Times isn’t an incidental concern for people who care about journalism. It’s existential.
Out of a flood of quick takes and Twitter threads around Michael Flynn’s resignation from the National Security Council, Nicholas Schmidle’s long-form profile knits it all together: the rocky first weeks of the Trump presidency; revelations from The Washington Post; and the inner workings of a “Byzantine court” administration. With so much attention on the star of our new national reality show, we need this reminder that the Trump administration is an outcome and not an aberration.
Flynn remembered Election Night fondly, a moment of triumph. “I like to think that I helped get Donald Trump elected President,” he told me. “Maybe I helped a little, maybe a lot.” One of Trump’s first major decisions was to appoint Flynn his national-security adviser, calling him “an invaluable asset to me and my Administration.” Flynn told me, “Service was something our family was always encouraged to do.” He went on, “I made some mistakes, but I’m still serving. It’s like being a priest, you know. I’ve been called to serve.”
And finally: Kevin Wong returns to the Sunday Post with an oral history of the iconic video game. A great story of three Minnesota teachers who created a classic teaching tool purely for the pleasure of it — and so much nostalgia for Gen Xers who learned about both BASIC and typhoid from a tiny blinking cursor.
"This would be a perfect application for a computer," I said. "Instead of shaking dice to determine how far you went, the program could take into consideration how much you spent on your oxen and your wagon and how much of a load you were carrying."
"Well," Don replied, with a tone of resignation, "That sounds great, but I need it next Friday."