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Need to Know: July 6, 2017

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


You might have heard: NPR tweeted out the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July (@npr, Twitter)

But did you know: Some Trump supporters thought NPR’s tweets were a statement against the president, claiming bias (Gizmodo)
When some Trump supporters saw NPR tweeting phrases like “unworthy the Head of a civilized nation” on the Fourth of July, they thought NPR was criticizing the current president — not King George in 1776. NPR has had a tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence on air for 29 years, a tradition that it extended to Twitter this year. But some Trump supporters on Twitter failed to recognize the Declaration of Independence, firing back tweets such as “So, NPR is calling for revolution. Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound ‘patriotic’. Your implications are clear” and “this is why you’re going to get defunded.

+ An NPR spokesperson said tweeting the Declaration of Independence this year was intended to be a way to include more people in the tradition (Washington Post)

+ Noted: Apple News will let “top media partners” use their own technology to deliver ads within the app (Ad Age); The Guardian reports that U.S. investigators are looking at whether Russia colluded with hyperpartisan news sites to release fake news during the U.S. presidential election (The Guardian); Snapchat is letting all users attach external links to posts: Websites attached to a Snapchat open in an internal browser, a feature that was previously only available for paid ad campaigns and Discover (TechCrunch); A new report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism examines the role of automated news stories during the 2016 presidential election: “We reached the boundaries of automation faster than expected” (Nieman Lab)


What can fact-checkers learn from Wikipedia? Wikipedia editors have the mindset that they’re working to gain readers’ trust every day (Poynter)
Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation (the organization that hosts Wikipedia), gave the keynote address at the Global Fact 4 fact-checking conference in Madrid on Wednesday, explaining how fact-checkers can use transparency and user engagement to gain reader support. Ahead of that keynote, Duke Reporters’ Lab’s Rebecca Iannucci talked to Maher about what fact-checkers can learn from Wikipedia. Some highlights from the Q&A: Wikipedia started from the position that it needed to earn readers’ trust, editors still believe that they’re working to earn readers’ trust every day, and Wikipedia readers are comfortable with the idea that Wikipedia is a work in progress and knowledge is constantly evolving.

+ Data from Storybench on what kinds of local TV news stories perform the best on social media: The most shared stories from local TV news on social media are more often soft news rather than hard news, often in the form of entertainment and human interest stories (Storybench)


Two print editions in Russia are coming to an end: Moscow Times will end its print edition and lose much of its editorial staff, and New Times will end its Russian-language print edition (Talking New Media)
Last month, The Moscow Times reported that New Times it would end its Russian-language print edition. Yesterday, The Moscow Times announced it would end its English-language print edition as well. Both publications say they plan to continue to publish digitally, but most of the Moscow Times’ editorial staff has been let go. “Having a paper publication is a quality sign of sorts, whether we like it or not. We held as long as we could. But we can’t do a magazine without money,” said Moscow Times editor-in-chief Yevgenia Albats on the last print edition.

+ Fifteen hyperlocal news outlets will partner with the BBC on the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme: The partners will share local news content with the BBC, and the project will fund 150 “local democracy reporters” across the U.K. (Cardiff University Centre for Community Journalism)


Thinking about diversity beyond recruiting and hiring: ‘How I got Facebook to invest in minority-owned businesses’ (Wired)
“When most people think about diversity, they think recruiting and hiring, and it ends there. They are mistaken,” writes StubHub’s head of business operations Bärí A. Williams, who previously served as lead counsel for Facebook. While at Facebook, Williams started a supplier diversity program, identifying partnerships Facebook could make with women- and minority-owned small businesses on things like catering, print shop services and human resources consulting services. “With increased purchasing power of minorities, women, and LGBTQ populations, including these groups in a company’s supplier base provides understanding and insight into these communities, while also encouraging and increasing reciprocal use of services. Simply put, you can’t ask people to patronize your business if you aren’t willing to patronize theirs,” Williams writes.


CJR’s Kyle Pope: The way to prove the media’s value is ‘to get the hell out of the picture’ (CJR)
“Every time Trump fires a shot in his war against the media, there’s an opportunity for a more serious, nuanced argument about why everyone benefits from a free and vigorous press,” CJR publisher Kyle Pope writes. “Airing a president and his policies to open discussion and scrutiny results in better government. Squashing those things, or seeking to discredit the scrutiny before it even happens, neutralizes a key check against power baked into our Constitution. Dialing up the outrage meter every time Trump attacks CNN, The Washington Post, or The New York Times gets us no closer to that important debate, which is just fine for a president who has very little else to offer. For that fuller portrait to emerge, we, the press, need to get the hell out of the picture.”

+ “Evaluating coverage priorities is never a bad idea, but to the extent that news outlets divert their attention from Trump’s media-bashing tweets because they think such a move will weaken his support, they will perpetuate the notion that the press is an oppositional force working strategically to undermine the president,” Callum Borchers writes (Washington Post)

+ After criticism on how it reported on the Reddit user behind Trump’s CNN video (Washington Post), CNN issues a statement: “CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety. Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false” (Mediaite); Trump’s tweet with the video is now his most retweeted post (Associated Press)


A new study from the Reuters Institute studies the emotional impact on journalists covering the refugee crisis (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism)
A new study from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism examines the mental and emotional impact on journalists covering the refugee crisis — a study that the Reuters Institute says is the first of its kind. “We recognize that the trauma experienced by journalists as witnesses could never be equated with the suffering endured by the migrants, but we wanted to try to understand better what some journalists were experiencing so we could better support the industry and ensure those covering the refugee crisis could continue their important work of recording history,” says the report’s co-author Hannah Storm. You can read the full report here.

+ If you watched this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight about Sinclair Broadcasting (Hollywood Reporter), you might have noticed a familiar name in the segment: After Circa shut down in 2015, it was acquired by Sinclair Broadcasting — and it’s now an integral part of Sinclair’s national strategy (Nieman Lab)


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