Up for Debate

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers points of debate and discussion about what’s happening in journalism.

Ailes’ departure could lead to a younger future for Fox News

“[Roger] Ailes was clearly the right person to make Fox News what it is today,” Felix Salmon writes, “but he was never quite as convincing in the role of the man who could successfully navigate its transition to new realities, let alone reach a younger audience that increasingly doesn’t watch television at all. Indeed, while […]

Subscription models are necessary, because most publications can’t totally rely on advertising

“The idea of publications totally based on advertising is, I think, an illusion,” Talking Points Memo’s founder and editor-in-chief Josh Marshall says. “Some can do it, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be a sustainable model for most publications. There [needs to be] something great and special about any publication that people think […]

The risks and rewards of live-tweeting news: There’s limited context and fact-checking, but it can also deliver huge value for followers

News organizations often lean on live-tweeting as an easy way to cover breaking news as it’s happening. But live-tweeting comes with its risks that news organizations need to consider more carefully, Ian Lamont writes. The brevity and immediacy of Twitter means that there’s limited context, but it’s also easy for false or exaggerated information to […]

‘7 things I never learned in journalism school (because I never went)’

Sharing a presentation she made at the Entrepreneurial Journalism Educators Summit at CUNY last week, Hearken’s Jennifer Brandel says she believes she was able to create a series like Curious City (which solicits questions from the public) precisely because she didn’t go to journalism school. Brandel says because she never went to journalism school, she […]

‘What YouTube taught me about Facebook Live and violent footage’

While working for YouTube, Hunter Walk says protests in the Middle East and eventually Arab Spring forced YouTube to think about questions of “newsworthiness” for content that would otherwise violate YouTube’s terms of use — a situation similar to the one Facebook is facing around live video right now. Walk writes YouTube eventually decided human […]

Jay Rosen: Trump is crashing the presidential campaign system, and journalists need to build a new one in response

Journalists are in a tricky place when covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Jay Rosen writes. Should they take his claim that he’ll build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and have Mexico pay for it as a serious proposal and review it as such? As Rosen writes, if they take it seriously, they become […]

Dan Gillmor: We have an obligation to use our cameras to record, even if we may not be a part of what’s happening

Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds’ video about the last minutes of Philando Castile’s life teaches us an important lesson about our responsibilities, Dan Gillmor writes: “We all have an obligation to witness and record some things even if we are not directly part of what’s happening. That’s what two people did as they captured videos of the […]

Politicians are trying to declare war on the ‘news media,’ but social media makes nearly everyone part of the media

“It’s easy to blame ‘the news media;’ everyone does it,” John Robinson writes. “But the ‘news media’ as a singular noun has more arms than Trump has supporters. (Yes, everyone can publish.) The fact is, millions of us in the U.S. are ‘the news media’ because we share news on social networks. And much of […]

‘Face it, Facebook. You’re in the news business’

Though Facebook may not want to acknowledge its role in the news universe, it’s still forced to make many of the same decisions that news organizations must make: Questions like “Should a TV network air a terrorist beheading?” have their equivalents on social media. Margaret Sullivan writes: “Yes, social media platforms are businesses. They have […]

His photos are striking and real. But is Chris Arnade a journalist?

A former Wall Street banker, Arnade quit his cushy gig, and now his full-time, poorly-paid gig is driving his light-blue minivan around the country to photograph its poorest places. His photos and articles are regularly published on The Guardian, but his primary outlet remains social media, where he posts photos, comments, rants, and thoughts often […]