OptOut is holding it first-ever public event next month! On Feb. 27, we are hosting a 2023 kickoff party and fundraiser in Gowanus, Brooklyn. We hope to meet you there! Please RSVP if you're planning to come, and share this with anyone who'd be interested!

🎉 Save the Date: OptOut News Party/Fundraiser in Brooklyn! 🍾
Come to our 2023 kickoff party and fundraiser on Feb. 27.
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The OptOut Network Keeps Expanding

In other OptOut news, please welcome the following newsrooms to our independent media network!

Arkansas Advocate (States Newsroom member)
Edge of Sports with Dave Zirin (a podcast from The Nation)
Food and Environmental Reporting Network
Going For Broke (podcast from Economic Hardship Reporting Project)
Indiana Capital Chronicle (States Newsroom member)
Kentucky Lantern (States Newsroom member)
Maryland Matters (States Newsroom member)
South Dakota Searchlight (States Newsroom member)
Start Making Sense (a podcast from The Nation)
The Column
The Time of Monsters with Jeet Heer (a podcast from The Nation)

Black History Month

And now for your weekly roundup of news content from the 185 independent media organizations in the OptOut network.

February is Black History Month, and the PENNSYLVANIA CAPITAL-STAR has some reading recommendations.

A Black history primer on African Americans’ fight for equality. Five key reads | Analysis - Pennsylvania Capital-Star
Here’s a closer look at the never-ending quest to form what the Founding Fathers called a more perfect union.
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Tracey Rogers criticizes conservatives' attempts to rewrite history and ban books about Black history.

Teach Black history — don’t ban it - Ohio Capital Journal
Much of Black history in this country isn’t easy to learn, teach, or digest — there is nothing comfortable about it. But the point isn’t to make students feel “guilty.” It’s to help them learn. It is America’s history. This Black History Month, don’t ban it — teach it, writes Tracey L. Rogers.
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Kali Holloway writes about misogynoir—prejudice against Black women—and its effects for THE NATION.

The Crisis Killing Black Women
Misogynoir gained widespread attention in the wake of the violence experienced by Megan Thee Stallion and Meghan Markle, but the problem goes much deeper.
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A BOSTON REVIEW article explores the racism of the Social Security Act and the GI Bill.

The media critics at FAIR have something to say to editors at The New York Times and other legacy and corporate publications: stop calling murders by police "fatal encounters." Cops killing civilians, most often Black men, hasn't stopped, and until it does, media organizations have a responsibility to accurately reflect the tragedies that happen on a regular basis.

So when a paper tells you that a traffic stop “escalated into a violent confrontation that ended up with” a dead Black person, understand that they are trying to gently lead you away from a painful reality—not trying to help you understand it, and far less helping you act to change it.
You Don’t Stop Police Killings by Calling them ‘Fatal Encounters’ - FAIR
Describing repeated police murder of Black people as “fatal encounters,” the New York Times works to soften a blow that shouldn’t be softened.
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PRISON JOURNALISM PROJECT recommends seven stories and poems by incarcerated writers of color.

For Black History Month, 7 Stories and Poems from Incarcerated Writers
Reflections from contributors to Prison Journalism Project — before, during and after incarceration.
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TIM BLACK doesn't support Black History Month. Here's why.

OptOut exists because of tax-deductible donations from readers like you. Become an OptOut 🎟 Member, 🏀 Baller, or 👑 OG to help us keep curating and promoting trustworthy independent media!


The founder of OptOut member THE MARKUP is moving on to work on other projects. Julia Angwin leaves us with "the lessons I learned building a newsroom that integrated engineers with journalists and sought to use a new model for accountability journalism: the scientific method." Her lessons include "data is political" and "objectivity is dead."

Journalistic Lessons for the Algorithmic Age – The Markup
A farewell letter from Julia Angwin
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Stolen Focus author Johann Hari says that our dwindling attention spans, taken from us by Big Tech, threaten our ability to think about and fight the climate crisis. He spoke with ATMOS:

Johann Hari: Our Attention Spans Are Being Stolen | Atmos
Our ability to focus is being systematically taken from us. And it’s prohibiting us from taking collective action on the climate emergency.
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Staying with climate:

A dire new report has sounded the alarm on the future of Utah's Great Salt Lake, which could vanish in as little as five years unless lawmakers in Utah take drastic action. Save Our Great Salt Lake co-founder and organizer Chandler Rosenberg joins THE REAL NEWS NETWORK Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez to explain the crisis facing Utah and what must be done to avert environmental and economic catastrophe.
DOWNLOAD the free OptOut app for Android or iOS for more curated content like this every day!

News from Africa

"Black apartheid nostalgia is hardly widespread...Rather than dismiss the phenomena, however, I suggest that it provides a useful glimpse into the frustrations of the present," writes Marcel Paret in AFRICA IS A COUNTRY.

Apartheid nostalgia
South Africans agree that redistribution and economic security are urgent. But will they arrive via a deepening of democracy and public accountability, or a return to authoritarianism?
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BEHIND THE NEWS looks at Ethiopia's bloody war with journalist Ann Neumann.

The war in Ethiopia, and a common currency for Brazil and Argentina? | KPFA
Ann Neumann, author of this article (sorry, probably paywalled), on the bloody war in Ethiopia • two views on a proposed South American currency arrangement launched by Brazilian president Lula, one from Andres Arauz, the other from Brian Mier
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Nigeria has its presidential elections on Feb. 25, and FOREIGN EXCHANGES explains the country's approach to the power of the presidency.

Nigeria’s Election and the “Green Lantern” Theory
Could a more dynamic president solve the many challenges facing the Nigerian people?
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Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Mastodon, and Facebook for more daily independent news updates!

In Other News

As a new dog dad, I wholeheartedly agree with Jack Mirkinson of DISCOURSE BLOG: we need Pet-icare for All!

Pet-icare for All
The government should cover the cost of pet healthcare. You know it makes sense.
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The 2024 Democratic presidential primaries will be a bit different. The silly and unfair staggered primaries will still occur, but South Carolina, where the majority of Democrats are Black, will go first, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire, and then Georgia. President Biden, whose strong showing in South Carolina in 2020 turned things around for him in the primaries, wanted to lessen the influence of the heavily white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which previously held the first two caucuses, and the DNC obliged.

DNC delivers blow to New Hampshire, Iowa with overhaul of primary calendar - South Dakota Searchlight
The Democratic National Committee approved a presidential primary calendar Saturday that placed South Carolina as the first nominating state in 2024.
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As mass shootings somehow become even more frequent in the U.S., THE TRACE seeks to answer the question, are they contagious?

Are Mass Shootings Contagious?
High-fatality shootings are becoming more frequent. A reader asks if the media spectacle could be making things worse.
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Adam Johnson has a good analysis of the corporate media's Chinese spy balloon frenzy in THE COLUMN.

US Media’s “Chinese Spy Balloon” Meltdown Shows Intellectual Vacuity of “National Security” Coverage
Was it a “spy balloon” at all? To US media outlets it didn’t matter, what matters is something Bad And Dire and Sinister has happened and we must all freak out.
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Thanks as always for following the news from the best independent media outlets in the U.S. and beyond. See you soon.

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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