150 Attacks on Press Freedom in 50 Days

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

Posted on: May 28, 2020

UN Chief Calls for Press Protection

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."  

Source: CPJ

Posted on: May 26, 2020

Top New Zealand Publisher Moves to Staff Ownership

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

Posted on: May 26, 2020

France’s Libération Pivots to Nonprofit

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."

Source: Digiday

Posted on: May 19, 2020

Take This: Global Survey on Journalism and the Pandemic

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.

Source: ICFJ

Posted on: May 13, 2020

Help Create Guide for Membership Models

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

Posted on: May 12, 2020

New WhatsApp Chatbot to Debunk Coronavirus Hoaxes

You can now debunk thousands of coronavirus-related hoaxes with a few texts on WhatsApp. Poynter Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports journalism, launched a bot on the Facebook-owned service that will allow people across the globe to debunk over 4,000 hoaxes.The chatbot relies on information supplied by over 100 independent fact-checkers in more than 70 countries. The service is currently available in English, but support for other languages including Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese are in the works.

Source: Tech Crunch

Posted on: May 5, 2020

Pulitzer Prizes Honor Enterprise, Digging

This year's Pulitzer Prizes, announced today, honor a host of enterprising and investigative reports. Among the winners: the Anchorage Daily News with contributions from GIJN member ProPublica, for a searing look at how after decades of neglect, one-third of Alaska’s villages had no police protection; radio program This American Life for revealing the the personal impact of the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy against refugees; The New Yorker for "a devastating account of a man who was kidnapped, tortured and deprived of his liberty for more than a decade" at Guantanamo Bay; The Seattle Times for exposing design flaws in the Boeing 737; ProPublica for its investigation into deadly accidents in the US Navy; and the New York Times for high-risk stories that exposed "the predations of Vladimir Putin’s regime."

Source: Pulitzer Prizes

Posted on: May 4, 2020

How to Handle Sensitive Remote Interviews

Jo Healey, a senior BBC news journalist and author of Trauma Reporting: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering Sensitive Stories, wrote up a list of interviewing tips for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. As she notes, "working with people who are grieving always requires sensitive handling, but there are some added considerations when interviewing people remotely who have been bereaved through coronavirus." Check out her suggestions on what to keep in mind before, during, and after the interview, as well as dealing with technology issues.

Source: Dart Center

Posted on: April 29, 2020

Freelancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Freelancers who spoke with the Committee to Protect Journalists said they often subsist in a netherworld in which they lack official credentials and work on spec, meaning that they cannot prove they are journalists. And many lack access to the vital personal protective equipment needed to cover COVID-19 safely. At the same time, a sharp drop in advertising revenue amid the global economic shutdown has led to outlets postponing or cancelling assignments, further imperiling freelancers’ incomes, CPJ found in interviews with freelancers and advocacy groups.

Source: CPJ

Posted on: April 23, 2020