Six great pieces of writing

Six great pieces of writing

Syria to VR for misogynists

Continuing our occasional series praising good writing wherever we find it. Much is written about the long slow death of journalism. These pieces show the opposite.

From Brighton to the battlefield

Mark Townsend, the Guardian

If you read one thing in next few days make it this. It’s long, exceedingly well-written, well researched and totally shocking. The premise is a simple one – to put together every detail from the story of a group of young Muslims from Brighton who went to Syria. No one can fully know, but the question of why they did it is certainly illuminated. Harrowing but rewarding. From Brighton of all places.

Films where the title is the pitch

John Rentoul, the Independent

Rentoul is a serious fellow so a listicle from him ought to be classy. “American Werewolf in London, 1981. The story starts with the American backpackers in North Yorkshire, but otherwise that’s all there is.”

VR can help men feel like a woman

Tabi Jackson Gee, the Telegraph

So there could be a lot more to immersive technology than merely pleasing gamers who ought to get out more. Jackson Gee says: “From tackling sexism, racism, and ageism, to gender-blind hiring processes and more flexible working opportunities, the possibilities are endless and exciting – particularly for women.”

To comment or not to comment?

Stephen Pritchard, the Guardian

My old colleague has a nice dry tone. In the tricky role of Guardian Readers’ Editor, Pritchard describes three occasions when comments below pieces had to be shut down. “Editors need to think harder about when it would be wise to switch off the ability to comment if a subject is likely to attract so much rage that a mature conversation becomes impossible. It devalues our journalism and offends our readers.”

Is LinkedIn getting uglier?

Linda Wright

Uglier certainly, more given to offensive language, but also looking more like Twitter or the Daily Mail strip of shame. Wright says: “Whilst I loathe diva-like statements, I have to say this. If LinkedIn continues to degenerate at its current rate; I shall no longer want to be a part of it. I am already devoting less time to it. It is simply not enjoyable. The descent has been rapid; let us cease the degeneration now.”

The Guardian’s own tax haven

Toby Young, Spectator blog

Since these columns have been kind to the Scott Trust’s newspaper, it’s only fair to take a cheap shot, courtesy of Mr Young. “Something odd happened at the Guardian on Monday as the paper’s editorial staff were basking in the glow of their just-published splash about the Panama papers… they either didn’t know or had forgotten about the Guardian Media Group’s use of a tax-exempt shell company in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying corporation tax when it sold its 50 per cent holding in Auto Trader to Apex Partners in 2008 (hat tip to Guido Fawkes).”

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