Tuesday News: 100th Pulitzer Prizes, wine train book club settles suit, SCOTUS turns down Authors Guild, and Russia’s “womanhood schools”
100th Pulitzer prizes announced – Journalism awards, in particular, stood out this year, with the Los Angeles Times winning for their breaking coverage of the San Bernadino shooting, and digital media ProPublica and the Marshall Project’s collaborative win for explanatory reporting. The full list of winners can be found here, and it includes Lin-Manuel Miranda for drama (Hamilton), and Viet Thanh Nguyen for fiction (The Sympathizer).
The AP won the gold medal in public service for its investigation series entitled “Seafood from Slaves” about the Southeast Asian fishing industry. The series helped secure the freedom for more than 2,000 slaves. It is the 52nd Pulitzer won by the AP.
The Washington Post was recognized for its enterprise work on police shootings in the United States. The Post won the Pulitzer for “Fatal Force,” a project that detailed the number of deadly police shootings throughout the country last year.
There are 14 journalism categories, primarily recognizing the work of print newspapers, but also recognizing magazines and digital news organizations. There are five book categories, one drama category and one music composition. – CNN Money
Book club members settle suit over ejection from Napa wine train – The eleven women (10 of whom are African American), who were ejected from the Napa Valley Wine Train for allegedly being too boisterous during their book club (they were scheduled to read Brenda Jackson’s A Man’s Promise, by the way), have settled their racial discrimination suit with the Wine Train (which was sold in September, not long after this incident).
The settlement still needs to be approved by the Wine Train’s governing board. But the women’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, described the agreement as amicable and said he hopes the case serves as “a learning experience for all businesses” in the need for “diversity and sensitivity training.”
Representatives of the Wine Train did not immediately respond to a request for comment. – SF Gate and Napa Valley Register
Google wins copyright battle over books – Well, hallelujah, the U.S. Supreme Court finally shut down the Authors Guild, eleven long years after they sued Google for their scanned book database, which the company consistently defended as Fair Use (“a card catalogue for the digital age,” as they call it). Orphan works, in particular (those books for which the copyright holder could not be located, for example) were at issue, in part because orphan works have become more and more common, especially as copyright terms have increased beyond all reason. Google had already been granted summary judgment on the fair use issue in 2013, which was affirmed on appeal in 2015.
The Authors Guild said it was “disappointed” that the Supreme Court would not hear its appeal.
The organisation’s president Roxana Robinson said: “We believed then and we believe now that authors should be compensated when their work is copied for commercial purposes”.
A Google spokeswoman said: “We are grateful that the court has agreed to uphold the decision of the Second Circuit which concluded that Google Books is transformative and consistent with copyright law.” – BBC News
Inside the strange, retro world of Russian ‘womanhood schools’ – A fascinating and at times disturbing look at the growing industry of training programs for Russian women who want to get married but are having no luck finding a husband. On the surface, these “schools” look a little like the Russian version of the Millionaire Matchmaker or self-helpy relationship consulting. But there are deeper issues related to Russia’s social and economic evolution following the dissolution of the USSR. while high numbers of educated women wanted to pursue their careers, other women pursued marriage for economic and social security, and growing conservatism has helped solidify a strongly patriarchal model of “traditional” marriage and family life. Some of these “schools” go so far as to instruct women on what facial expression is appropriate during sex (and, of course, what kind of sex will be most pleasing to their prospective husband).
In Russia, where unmarried women are considered old maids by their mid-twenties, a cottage industry has sprung up around women’s last-ditch efforts to find or keep a man. On VKontakte, the country’s Facebook equivalent, dozens of “womanhood schools” have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. There seems to be one for every taste imaginable, from how to catch a husband by giving the perfect blowjob to saving oneself until marriage, a strategy [“Woman Inside” founder Alesya] Terekhova recommends. . . .
Nadezhda Nartova, a professor at Russia’s Higher School of Economics, says that while civil rights movements were popping up left and right across the world in the mid-20th century, none were happening in Russia. Because of this, along with Russia’s extensive military history, the old model of masculinity still dominates. “It’s not only that men want a woman to stay at home and cook borscht,” she says. “It’s also on a symbolic level–how else can a man prove his masculinity, prove he’s a normal, cool macho?” – Fusion