Up for Debate

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

Should journalists use images of tragedies from Facebook and Twitter?

Immediately after the Brussels attacks earlier this week, journalists were being criticized for asking people on social media if they could use their photos and videos of the attack. Martin Belam writes that the attacks this week highlight an ethical dilemma for journalists: While there’s a public interest in using those images, should journalists contact […]

News organizations should be building the products that today’s young adults will be interested in 20 years from now

In all the discussion of the best ways to reach young adults, former Time magazine foreign correspondent and co-founder of news startup Worldcrunch Jeff Israely says that we often forget that these young adults will inevitably grow older. Instead of just asking what those readers are looking for now, Israely suggests that we should also […]

What will it take for people to pay for news? Engagement is the key to converting readers to subscribers

Rounding up some of the best ideas lately about how to get readers to pay for news, Local News Lab says that engagement is essential to turn casual readers into paying subscribers: “Engagement can’t be marginalized, it has to be central to the work we are doing and has to be designed strategically and supported […]

Shifting the industry from paywall to membership models will require a cultural shift

The next step in newspapers’ attempts to get readers to pay for news will be membership models, Matt DeRienzo writes. But changing the thinking industry from “paywall” to “membership” will require a cultural shift to something a bit more altruistic. DeRienzo suggests that newspapers look to membership models such as NPR’s, where a base of […]

‘The mutual dependence of Donald Trump and the news media’

In Donald Trump’s candidacy for president, Jim Rutenberg says news organizations and Trump are both benefiting from his over-the-top campaign: News organizations get “click-worthy” stories perfect for social media, Trump riles up his fans, and readers get what they’re looking for — more Trump coverage. Rutenberg writes: “There is always a mutually beneficial relationship between […]

Margaret Sullivan: Given the importance of the Sanders story, why weren’t all editing changes made before it was published online?

Writing about a controversial story about Bernie Sanders that was edited after publication, Margaret Sullivan says: “The Sanders article was not a breaking news story, but rather a look back at his legislative record. Given its sensitivity and importance (it ended up on the front page on the morning of major primaries), why didn’t senior […]

New York Times and other news organizations should be more transparent about story changes made after publication, because editing after publication doesn’t build trust

The New York Times has come under criticism lately for editing a story about presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and changing the tone of the story after publication. Those kinds of edits are fairly common, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said, but Mathew Ingram says news organizations still need to be more forthcoming about the changes […]

Why would journalists want to come out against Trump? They want clear consciences

Cokie Roberts isn’t the only journalist to make statements against Trump recently, Callum Borchers writes: Glenn Beck, Arianna Huffington, Bill Kristol and others have all publicly come out against Trump. These journalists don’t really think that their statements will change public opinion, Borchers writes, but instead, they want clear consciences: “They want to be able, […]

After Cokie Roberts publishes an anti-Trump column, NPR clarifies her role as a commentator

Longtime NPR analyst and commentator Cokie Roberts co-wrote a syndicated newspaper column that called for “the rational wing” of the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump’s presidential nomination, leading NPR to clarify what Roberts’ role is as a commentator. While NPR forbids its journalists from taking a stance on public affairs, Roberts is not a […]

Should newspapers make money off mugshot galleries?

Many local newspapers’ websites included photo galleries of mugshots, and most of those websites are making money off those mugshots, Fusion reports. Fusion analyzed 74 U.S. newspapers, most of which were owned by Tribune Publishing or McClatchy, and found that 40 percent of those newspapers publish mugshot galleries. But the business model of making money […]