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Need to Know: April 12, 2018

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


You might have heard: The Los Angeles Times newsroom unionized in January, “reversing more than a century of anti-union sentiment” at the paper (New York Times)

But did you know: Data from the L.A. Times Guild shows that Tronc is underpaying women and people of color (L.A. Times Guild)
According to an analysis of newsroom salaries by the L.A. Times Guild, Tronc is underpaying women and people of color at the newspaper by thousands of dollars per year. The guild’s report is based on data for the 320 full-time journalists in its collective bargaining unit. On average, women at the paper make 70 cents for every dollar earned by a man, the report found. The average reporter salary is about $95,000: The average salary for female reporters is $87,564, while the average for men is $101,898; the average salary for reporters of color is $85,622, while the average for white reporters is $100,398.

+ Journalists at the Chicago Tribune informed the newsroom’s management on Wednesday that they are preparing to organize, a historic move for a newsroom that traditionally took a “hard-line stance against unions” (NPR); You can read their mission statement here (Chicago Tribune Guild)

+ Noted: In the second day of his Congressional testimony, Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly relied on the promise of AI to weed out “bad content,” a defense that lets Facebook avoid responsibility (BuzzFeed News); Ad companies are partnering to create the Advertising Protection Bureau, which will demand more accountability from media platforms for ad placement (Fast Company); After Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti left the company earlier this week, Fusion Media Group employees “clashed with their new digital boss at a meeting that left people ‘panicked’ and ‘frustrated’” (Digiday); Community Listening and Engagement Fund announced 34 news organizations that will receive grants to subsidize the costs of Hearken and GroundSource in their newsrooms (Lenfest Institute)


API Field Notes: We’re talking about subscriptions and analytics in California, New York, and Wisconsin this week
We’ll be meeting with news publishers in New York, Wisconsin and California over the next few days to share some insights about how to run a subscriber-driven news business and how to get real value out of analytics. Read about what insights we are sharing, and how you can get involved.


What if newsrooms have been paying attention to the wrong metrics? (Poynter)
“Newsrooms have tracked audience for years now,” Kristen Hare writes. “But what if they’ve been watching the wrong numbers, or, perhaps, not all the right numbers?” Hare takes a look at how the Seattle Times built a single tool to answer the question, “How’s my story doing?” Part of that process was deciding which metrics matter to the newsroom. Real estate reporter Mike Rosenberg says: “The consensus is we’d rather have a story that had a smaller number of good readers who wind up subscribing than a viral story that a bunch of people in New York and Chicago read but will never come back to Seattle again.”


Google is trying to limit the ‘right to be forgotten’ by claiming that the company is ‘journalistic’ (CJR)
In the first “right to be forgotten” case to reach England’s High Court, two businessmen are trying to keep their past white-collar crimes out of Google’s search results; in return, Google is arguing that it’s “journalistic.” Google says it should be protected under an exception for journalism, because it provides access to journalistic content. “Even as a legal sleight of hand, the argument is quite a departure from Google’s customary efforts to present itself as a disinterested arbiter of information, a position that has become more untenable with time,” Chava Gourarie writes.

+ Inside The Telegraph’s newsletter strategy, which is “centered around drawing clear lines between editorial newsletters and the commercial ones” (


Paying attention to how you use your time can help you delegate tasks, spend more time on the things that suit you best, and become more productive (Harvard Business Review)
After tracking how she used her time for 30 days, Dorie Clark writes that she now has a better understanding of what areas she can successfully multitask in, and which activities come with a “disproportionate psychological weight.” “If you can manage to keep it up, the knowledge gleaned from time tracking can be invaluable. Understanding where you can successfully multitask, essentially giving yourself more hours in the day, can transform your productivity,” Clark writes in favor of tracking your time. “And recognizing which activities are stressful enables you to make smarter decisions about how to delegate or reshuffle your workflow, so you can optimize for the tasks that suit you best.”


Women journalists face a threat of online harassment on social media: ‘It was not criticism of my work; it was actually the destruction of my person’ (Center for Media Engagement)
The harassment female journalists face on social media “can be different from what male journalists face because it can target women based on their gender or sexuality,” a new report from the Center for Media Engagement says. For the report, the Center for Media Engagement interviewed 75 female journalists who have worked for news organizations worldwide, asking how harassment affects how they do their jobs and what strategies they use to prevent harassment or deal with it once it’s occurred.


The race to solve media measurement is getting ‘increasingly complicated’ (Axios)
Networks are creating their own ad standards to bring consistency to how they measure digital, live, on-demand and TV audiences. But, Sara Fischer writes that challenge is getting more complicated: “All of these bodies are trying to get their standards adopted across the entire industry, but so far, none of them are, which makes video ad buying across the video universe difficult and confusing for ad buyers.” And to make things more complicated, the Media Rating Council is proposing its own uniform standard for video consumption across all networks.

+ NBCUniversal is rolling out a new metric called CFlight, which will measure all ad impressions across all of NBCU’s properties (Ad Age), while ESPN is creating a similar “total live audience” metric (Broadcasting & Cable)

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