2019年12月19日 星期四

With Local News in Retreat, The Community Fabric Frays 地方報退場 美面臨全國性危機

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2019/12/27 第290期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 With Local News in Retreat, The Community Fabric Frays 地方報退場 美面臨全國性危機
Rare Virginia Woolf Materials Sold to New York Public Library 紐約市圖 擴充維吉尼亞.吳爾芙主題館藏
With Local News in Retreat, The Community Fabric Frays 地方報退場 美面臨全國性危機
文/Julie Bosman

地方報退場 美面臨全國性危機

School board and city council meetings are going uncovered. Overstretched reporters receive promising tips about stories but have no time to follow up. Newspapers publish fewer pages or less frequently or, in hundreds of cases across the country, have shuttered completely.


All of this has added up to a crisis in local news coverage in the United States that has frayed communities and left many Americans woefully uninformed, according to a report by PEN America released last month.


"A vibrant, responsive democracy requires enlightened citizens, and without forceful local reporting they are kept in the dark," the report said. "At a time when political polarization is increasing and fraudulent news is spreading, a shared fact-based discourse on the issues that most directly affect us is more essential and more elusive than ever."


The report, "Losing the News: The Decimation of Local Journalism and the Search for Solutions," paints a grim picture of the state of local news in every region of the country. The prelude is familiar to journalists: As print advertising revenue has plummeted, thousands of newspapers have been forced to cut costs, reduce their staffs or otherwise close.


And while the disruption has hampered the ability of newsrooms to fully cover communities, it also has damaged political and civic life in the United States, the report says, leaving many people without access to crucial information about where they live.


"That first draft of history is not being written — it has completely disappeared," said Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America, a nonprofit organization that celebrates literature and free expression. "That's what is so chilling about this crisis."


The authors of the report spoke to dozens of journalists, elected officials and activists, who described how cutbacks in local newsrooms have left communities in the dark and have failed to keep public and corporate officials accountable.


In 2017, when work on the PEN project began, researchers planned to call it "News Deserts," examining pockets of the country where local news was scarce. But the more research the group did, the more it realized that the original scope was inadequate: Since 2004, more than 1,800 local print outlets have shuttered in the United States, and at least 200 counties have no newspaper at all.


"This was a national crisis," Nossel said. "This was not about a few isolated areas that were drying up."

Many Americans are completely unaware that local news is suffering.

許多美國人完全不知道地方新聞正遭逢苦難。根 According to a Pew survey earlier this year, 71% of Americans believe that their local news outlets are doing well financially. But, according to that report, only 14% say they have paid for or donated money to a local news source in the past year.



在新媒體時代下,地方報刊撐不過報業寒冬陸續宣布停刊,而慘況在海內外皆然,是個不可阻擋的全球趨勢,而文中首段單字tip意指「內幕新聞」,並非「小費」這個一般常見之意思,又第二段單字coverage則指的是「新聞報導」,深入報導的英文說成in-depth coverage,動詞型態則為cover。

此外,除newsroom外,編輯部也可說成editorial staff、editorial office或是a copy desk,而outlet一字意指「出口、出處」,文中末段提到的local news outlet意思則跟local news source相似,均意指「地方新聞媒體」。

而片語keep someone in the dark指的是「蒙蔽某人、將某人蒙在鼓裡」,其中動詞也可用leave代替,keep someone accountable則意指「讓某人負責」,另外paint a grim picture of則用來形容某一事物的嚴峻局面。

Rare Virginia Woolf Materials Sold to New York Public Library 紐約市圖 擴充維吉尼亞.吳爾芙主題館藏
文/Jennifer Schuessler


In 1907, Virginia Woolf sent her sister, Vanessa Bell, a mock proclamation in honor of her wedding, written by an imaginary bestiary of well-wishers named Billy, Bartholomew, Mungo and Wombat.

1907年,維吉尼亞.吳爾芙送給胞姐凡妮莎.貝爾一份紀念她婚禮的打油啟事,發文者是名為比利、巴薩羅謬、蒙戈和翁巴特(袋熊) 的虛構寓言動物。

"We the undersigned three Apes and a Wombat wish to make known to you our great grief and joy at the news you intend to marry," they wrote, before going on to celebrate the discovery of a new kind of ape "who can both talk and marry you."


"We have examined his fur and find it of fine quality, red and golden at the tips, with an undergrowth of soft down, excellent for winter," they declared. "We find him clean, merry and sagacious, a wasteful eater and fond of fossils."


The letter is part of a private collection of 153 Woolf-related items assembled over several decades by collector William Beekman. Now, it has landed at the New York Public Library, where it will join some 3,700 other Woolf materials in the library's Berg Collection of English and American Literature.


Carolyn Vega, the curator at the Berg, called the acquisition a milestone, if not quite a capstone, which gives the library plausible bragging rights to having the world's most complete and important collection of Woolf materials.


"At about 150 pieces, it isn't giant," she said of the newly acquired trove. "But there is something unique or exceptional about everything in the collection. There is no filler here."


The library's Woolf collection began in 1958, when it acquired her diaries directly from her husband, Leonard. Today, it includes draft materials of all her works of fiction, as well as some 3,000 pieces of correspondence.


The new acquisition, whose price the library is not disclosing, adds roughly 100 letters to that count, including eight from Leonard and Vanessa to Vita Sackville-West, Woolf's friend and sometime lover, regarding her disappearance and suicide on March 28, 1941. (Not all of those letters have been fully published, Vega said.)


There are also previously unpublished photographs and ephemera, like Woolf's passport, and first editions of her books, some of them inscribed to friends and family.


The Berg already owns the walking stick Woolf carried the day she drowned, which it acquired in 2002. But the new material also includes records of lighthearted moments, like an unpublished photograph showing a smiling Woolf and her brother-in-law, Clive Bell, on a beach in 1910.


"It shows a side of her we don't necessarily first go to, when we think of this great modernist writer," Vega said. "It brings out a dynamic picture of who Virginia Woolf was."



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