Committee Recommends: Week 8

Welcome to the last Committee Recommends of Michaelmas term. It’s been a bizarre term, hectic despite the unprecedented imposition of a global pandemic, and we hope that you might have found some welcome diversions along the way.

Our ‘Recommends’ series is a round-up of news articles, long reads and internet miscellany to keep you informed and entertained.



Welcome to the last Committee Recommends of Michaelmas term, the series in which we collate content from across the media that has engage, excited, or moved us this week. It’s been a bizarre term, hectic despite the unprecedented imposition of a global pandemic, and we hope that you might have found some welcome diversions along the way.

So, without further ado, here is our 8th week selection: from divisions in news rooms to the ongoing crisis in Syria, we hope you find something to make you pause.

Long Reads

How does the media recover from Trump?

The press itself needs to learn from the prolonged emergency of the past four years. Just as it must go on applying investigative and analytical pressure

There has been no lack of coverage of Trump’s fractious and damaging relationship with the press, but this New Yorker article helpfully condenses 4 years of acrimonious confrontations and blatant untruths, whilst looking ahead to how this damage might be undone.

The Dignitas flight to beat lockdown

It feels that in order to protect my family, I must betray them. The cruelty of this is staggering to me.

This deeply moving account of a woman facing a painful and traumatic death from an aggressive breast cancer if she doesn’t take action into her own hands is a reminder of the myriad traumas that the pandemic is aggravating.

Suzanne Moore on leaving The Guardian

The Guardian. Labour-supporting except for its Lib Dem blip in 2010. Endlessly “good”. Yeah; right.

The long-term Guardian columnist, accused by fellow staff of transphobia after a controversial piece on trans rights that led to a letter of disquiet signed by hundreds of her colleagues, has left the organisation. This extended essay, published in the conservative UnHerd gives her side of the story, and is an important read whether you agree with her or not in order to understand competing ideologies in contemporary media. TW: transphobia; uncensored racial slurs.

In the News

Penguin Random House acquire Simon & Schuster

The merger that might lead to Penguin controlling a third of books published in the US has grave implications for the democracy of publishing, and is a sign of our progressively monopolised times.

Parisian police force mired by multiple incidents of violence

Video footage captured a brutal and unprovoked attack upon a Parisian music producer in the same week that they violently cleared a short-term migrant settlement, precipitating widespread anger at systematic issues in the force.

A Bit of Listening

Rabbit Hole

This NYT podcast series about online radicalisation explores the way in which amoral YouTube algorithms can lead you down alt-right rabbit holes. This will be of great interest for those interested in the evolving responsibility of social media, and leads fascinatingly on from points raised in Alan Rusbridger’s talk last week.

Intrigue: James Le Mesurier and the White Helmets

As the war in Syria rages on, this powerful podcast about the co-founder of the White Helmets and the disinformation surrounding the conflict provides a sobering reminder of the enormity of the atrocities and the tragedy that persist there.

Watch List

The trials of Oscar Pistorious

Involving interviews with people close to both Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorious, this BBC documentary delves deep into a trial that shocked a nation and brought a global superstar to his knees.

That’s all for this week. We’re signing off for now but we’ll be back with a new team and even more ideas in the new year! Interested in writing for us in the meantime? Contact us to chat about submissions.