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Need to Know: Jan. 9, 2018

Fresh useful insights for people advancing quality, innovative and sustainable journalism


You might have heard: Condé Nast has seen a number of leadership changes in recent months, with Glamour (WWD) and Vanity Fair’s (New York Times) top editors leaving

But did you know: Samantha Berry is named editor of Glamour, the first editor with a digital background to lead a Condé Nast title (New York Times)
Glamour’s next editor Samantha Berry has a background a bit different than your typical magazine editor: She was most recently the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Berry will be the first editor with an exclusively digital and television background to lead a Condé Nast magazine. “With her appointment, Condé Nast is signaling, once again, that it is barreling headlong into the digital age — if as much to reach its screen-obsessed consumers as by the financial realities of the magazine industry,” Sydney Ember writes.

+ Noted: NBC apologizes for a tweet that appeared to endorse Oprah as a presidential candidate in 2020, saying the tweet was sent by a “third party agency for NBC Entertainment” (Variety); The Washington Post hits its second year of profitability, and plans to expand its business and technology teams (Axios); Gannett fires Burlington Free Press editor Denis Finley after Finley sent a series of tweets last week about Vermont adding a third gender option to driver’s licenses that violated Gannett’s social media policies (Burlington Free Press); Google announces that it’s working on adding support for AMP pages that display publisher URLs, rather than Google AMP cache pages (Search Engine Land); More than 30 newsrooms sign on to Trusting News (Trusting News)


How to get past fear of change at work: Familiarize yourself with the new tool or workflow you’re adopting (Poynter)
“Learning new technologies, adapting to new workflows and even making grand organizational changes are all actually — brace for it — pretty easy,” Ren LaForme writes. Research shows that most change initiatives result in some kind of success. So why do we still find change challenging? Fear, LaForme argues. How to get past that: “A little familiarization with a new tool, technology, social network, workflow or even an idea makes it all a lot more palatable.”

+ “Most email tools are not built for editorial production. They’re built for marketing, and often editorial uses get shoehorned, sometimes awkwardly, into these tools” (Ernie Smith, Medium)


To avoid questions from journalists, Thailand’s prime minister put a cardboard cutout of himself in front of the press (Associated Press)
After attending an event on Monday, Thailand’s prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha briefly spoke to the press — but put a cardboard cutout of himself out before the journalists could ask him any questions. “If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict,” Prayuth said, “ask this guy.” The AP reports that this isn’t the first time Prayuth has dumbfounded the press: “In the past he has fondled the ear of a sound technician for several minutes during an impromptu news conference, flung a banana peel at cameramen, and threatened, with gruff humor, to execute any journalist who criticized his government.”

+ The BBC has banned journalists who tweeted support for Carrie Gracie’s resignation over the organization’s pay gap issues from covering gender pay issues at the BBC (Guardian)


Twitter has started to verify users again after promising a better system for verification (Fast Company)
Late last year, Twitter paused its verification process, saying that verification had become more of a status symbol than an indicator of whether a user is in the public interest and who they claimed to be. At that time, Twitter said it would be working on a new, improved verification system. Now, Twitter has quietly started to verify users again. Twitter hasn’t issued a statement on starting verification up again, so it’s unclear right now what its new standards are. However, Cale Guthrie Weissman notes that some accounts have received verification in the past few weeks: “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Mick Mulvaney, for example.


‘Is Facebook preparing to open up on fake news?’ (Politico)
“After months of criticism over their refusal to share data on whether efforts to halt the spread of false news are working,” Politico’s Jason Schwartz reports that Facebook may be preparing to open up. Facebook says it’s invited representatives from fact-checking groups to to its headquarters next month to “discuss, in part, what information could finally be shared.” Facebook says some reasons that more information hasn’t been shared thus far is privacy concerns and requests that have been “overly expansive.”


The weird world of Trump podcasts: ‘Everything that is #Trump is made into a podcast’ (Politico Magazine)
If it seems like there’s a lot of Trump-focused podcasts right now, that’s because there are: Slate, The Washington Post and NPR all have Trump podcasts, just to name a few. One reason that’s happening, Jaime Fuller reports, is that podcasting has a low barrier to entry: “So when a trend becomes visible, many people jump on the bandwagon, eager to go viral before the hunger fades.”

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