Need to Know: April 11, 2022


You might have heard: The consequences of horse-race reporting: What the research says (The Journalist’s Resource)

But did you know: The media is failing the public on the good news about jobs (The Washington Post)  

The media is partly to blame for the public’s lack of knowledge about the nation’s “encouragingly low” unemployment rate, Margaret Sullivan writes. As recent reports by the U.S. Department of Labor show a steady increase in the number of new jobs, Sullivan argues that the media’s “addiction to conflict” and “horse-race coverage” has contributed to the public’s lack of understanding. “If we’re putting information out there, truthfully and in real time, and people aren’t getting it, some significant share of the blame falls on us,” she wrote. To address the disconnect, Sullivan recommends that journalists look to produce balanced coverage of the economy, examine their story’s framing and write creatively about work trends and the modern workplace.

+ Noted: Apply for the Complicating the Narratives Fellowship (Medium, The Whole Story); Register for the 2022 Collaborative Journalism Summit (Collaborative Journalism Summit); Introducing Voces Internship of Idaho (Twitter, @nicoleMfoy); Register for Belonging in the News with Versha Sharma (Maynard Institute)


Moving on from the way it’s always been done to reach new audiences

Publishers are constantly looking for new ways to reach new readers. That was the premise of a recent months-long cohort hosted by API’s Metrics for News – Reaching New Audiences – which brought together publishers from around the world to think about how to use data-driven strategies to engage new readers. In its quest to better serve readers between the ages of 25 and 44, the Chattanooga Times Free Press embarked on two mini-experiments to shake up its event and entertainment coverage – especially its coverage of a quirky, annual community event. What it learned from this new coverage surprised them and is leading them to try new ways, including community partnerships and events, to directly engage with these younger readers. 


​​For Axios, social audio builds journalists’ profiles and skills (Digital Content Next)

For the past two years, Axios has experimented with using social audio to develop its relationship with audiences and launch new products, writes Jessica Patterson. For example, Axios has used Twitter Spaces to host a live discussion about the launch of its What’s Next daily newsletter and one with reporters about President Biden’s first 100 days in office. “What we think is most impactful is you really need to make it about the topic that people care about, not just about Axios,” said Neal Rothschild, the company’s director of audience and growth. He also points out social audio’s win-win opportunity for reporters, who can build their on-air experience, and for organizations “to introduce those personalities to the world, at a low cost.” 


This Indonesian outlet reports for deaf and hard of hearing audiences (International Journalists’ Network)

In 2018, KamiBijak became Indonesia’s first sign language broadcast news outlet. It is dedicated to addressing information gaps for the country’s estimated 22 million people living with disabilities. Founded by Paulus Ganesha Aryo Prakoso, KamiBijak’s content focuses largely on the progress of deaf individuals who often experience significant job discrimination and lower levels of education and healthcare. More than half of the outlet’s full-time staff is deaf, which is intentional, as Prakoso also sees the organization as a vehicle for career opportunities in journalism. “Our hope is that KamiBijak will not only be a source of information, but also an encouragement for people with disabilities to continue working,” Prakoso told IJI’s Ainur Rohmah.

+ Three disability questions every editor should ask (Reynolds Journalism Institute)


Why we use personality tests at work (Fast Company)

Research shows larger employers rely on workplace personality assessments to better understand the capability and compatibility of current and prospective employees, writes Heather Hartnett. “You can leverage people’s natural strengths, and develop a better understanding of their individual styles and team working dynamics,” she writes. Questionnaires are meant to gauge an individual’s learning style, how they perceive the world and make decisions at work. Among the most commonly used tests include The Big 5, The Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which invites users to answer questions across four different scales to identify their most dominant personality type.


The New York Times would really like its reporters to stop scrolling and get off Twitter (Nieman Lab)

On April 7, the New York Times announced an update to its social media policy, saying Twitter “is now purely optional” for Times journalists. After the announcement, Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton spoke to Times executive editor Dean Baquet, who said he believes Times journalists have become overly reliant on Twitter as a reporting tool and as a source of feedback on their work. “I was worried that some people were spending too much time on Twitter,” said Baquet. Benton points out that some will argue that reporters use Twitter to leverage its vast pool of “ideologically, demographically” thinkers for their reporting, and that some journalists simply “really like being on [the platform].” Not every journalist treats their Twitter account as just another conduit for their employer’s journalism, he writes. 

+ Related: Why Twitter is bad for journalism (Twitter thread by Megan McArdle, @asymmetricinfo)


Noor Tagouri on Examining Muslim Representation in Her New Podcast: “Our History is Still Relevant Every Day” (Vogue Arabia)

Journalist and producer Noor Tagouri believes that the journey to true and accurate representation begins with an examination of one’s own past. For Tagouri, a 28-year-old American of Libyan descent, testing this belief resulted in the creation of “Rep,” a podcast series about media representation of Muslims in America. “My hope is that listeners come to ‘Rep’ with an open heart and mind and that they leave curious about themselves. After each episode, I hope they go to their dinner table or group chat and ask their family and friends about their history — and build their stories together,” Tagouri said in an interview with Naheed Ifteqar for Vogue Arabia. In ‘Rep’s’ first episode, released last week, Tagouri interviewed two family members on the impact of the U.S. bombing in Libya in 1986, which she called “one of the most traumatic tragedies in [her] family’s history.”