10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish blend coffee, grab a seat by the fire, and get ready for our longer form weekend reads: • Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Is there anything good we can say about 2018? (Miami Herald) • Fear Not (Above the Market) • Why It’s Hard to Escape Amazon’s Long Reach (Wired) •…

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Reporting on poverty: ‘Listening is the most important thing’

The Guardian’s social affairs correspondent spent two eye-opening weeks in the UK with UN rapporteur Philip Alston

It was past midnight and, as another deadline loomed, the news editor of the Sunday paper I used to work for could no longer mask his frustration at how badly I was fouling up a story. Reporting was simple, he said: pick up the phone, ask a question and write down the answer.

Amid the fatigue of another late shift, it felt sarcastic. But in the following years the simplicity of what he said stayed with me. It was essentially an instruction to listen, the most important thing reporters do. Persuading people to start talking can be hard. Finding the reason to publish what they say – why these people? Does it matter? Why should the readers care? – is not always easy either. But listening is the key, especially when covering social affairs, in which the patterns of people’s lives often emerge slowly.

Double-checking is the stuff of good reporting too. The more people we listen to, the clearer the picture becomes

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Your money in 2019: what to look out for in the year ahead

Uncertainty over Brexit dominates the landscape – but there will be more predictable changes, such as rail fare rises

We will soon be waving goodbye to a turbulent 2018 and saying hello to a 2019 that – because of the ongoing Brexit chaos – will also be swathed in uncertainty. The UK is due to leave the European Union in about 90 days’ time, but will Brexit actually happen, or will it be delayed or even halted? How the year pans out will inevitably have a huge impact on the money in our pockets.

Here are some of the key dates over the next year:

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