It is 50 days since Index on Censorship began collecting reports of attacks on news media during the pandemic, and the results are dismaying. “We are alarmed at the ferocity of some of the attacks on media freedom we are seeing being unveiled," noted the group's chief editor Rachael Jolley. "In some states journalists are threatened with prison sentences for reporting on shortages of vital hospital equipment." Of special concern is that the attacks are coming not only from usual suspects like Russia, Turkey, and Hungary, but also in Spain, New Zealand, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Source: Index on Censorship
UN Secretary General António Guterres, in a letter to the Committee Protect Journalists, forcefully called for protection of journalists under attack and release of those in prison. The letter came in response to CPJ's #FreeThePress Campaign, which demands that imprisoned journalists -- under threat of COVID-19 infection -- be freed around the world. "I wish to reiterate my personal commitment, and that of the United Nations as a whole, to continue to defend media freedom and the safety of journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond," Guterres wrote. "No democracy can function without press freedom, which is the cornerstone of trust between people and their institutions, and which is most critical at a time of crisis when citizens demand accountability."
Following its sale, Stuff, New Zealand’s largest publisher of journalism, announced it is moving to a staff ownership model and a charter for editorial independence. Stuff prints many of the country's daily newspapers and employs some 900 staff. “It’s no silver bullet," said Sinead Boucher, who bought the paper for $1. “But it does give us a sense of being more in control of our own futures...”
Source: The Guardian
French newspaper Libération, founded by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, is transferring into a nonprofit company in a bid to secure a more prosperous future. Libération’s current owner, French telecoms giant Altice, will create an endowment fund and cover the newspaper’s debts of roughly €50 million ($54 million). The decision was made before the pandemic but a spokesperson told Digiday, the current climate deepened the "rationale behind the decision."
The International Center for Journalists and Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism have launched a global survey to map the impacts of COVID-19 on journalism worldwide, and to help reimagine its future. Currently available in English, with translations into Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese underway, the survey will ask: how the pandemic is transforming the business and practice of journalism; what threats to media freedom and journalism safety have emerged with COVID-19, and how journalists and news organizations are responding; and how journalists and news organizations are working to combat the flood of misinformation and disinformation accompanying the pandemic.
The Membership Puzzle Project has embarked on its capstone research effort: a practical, tactical guide to launching a membership program and establishing memberful routines. It will cover the full arc of a news organization’s membership journey, from determining whether membership is the right model for you to best practices for retaining the members you have. Publishing date is in August. But the team is looking for feedback to be sure they have covered all their bases. Share examples of something that has worked for your newsroom with them.
Source: Membership Puzzle Project