Need to Know: August 5, 2022


U.S. journalists at Reuters went on strike Thursday, for the first time in decades, the same day that parent company Thomson Reuters reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. A new study from Pew Research found that 16% of journalists are in a union, and another 41% would join one if it was an option. (Axios, Reuters, Pew Research Center)

Other media outlets haven’t had such a good quarter. Gannett reported disappointing financial results and announced upcoming layoffs, while CNN has seen a major drop in ratings, with profits on pace to dip below $1 billion for the first time in six years. The New York Times announced that its digital ad revenue had slipped, though earnings still beat analysts’ expectations. (Poynter, The New York TImes, The Wrap) 


These are the stories that captured the most interest from Need to Know subscribers this week. 

The newsletter boom is over. What’s next? Newsletters are not “hot” the way they were in 2020, especially for solo writers. But media companies still see them as an attractive “minimally viable product.” (Vox)  

Can local news be saved? National news organizations like Axios and City Cast are betting on a one-size-fits-all model of local news. Some local journalists feel that these outlets, which rely heavily on aggregation, aren’t really helping to address the local news crisis. (Poynter)  

Can the Green Bay Packers inspire a new model for local journalism?  The Sentinel, a weekly publication in Aurora, Colorado, is looking to the NFL team’s public ownership model as an option to make the outlet financially viable. (Green Bay Press Gazette)  


API launches Election Coverage & Community Listening Fund

The American Press Institute is launching a small grants initiative to help newsrooms improve and deepen their relationships with their communities in this year’s elections. The grants will be awarded as part of API’s Election Coverage & Community Listening Fund, a program aimed at empowering news organizations to implement community listening in their elections coverage between now and November. News organizations that have ideas for ways to forge stronger community relationships through deep listening and engaged reporting may apply for these grants of $1,500 to $5,000 per newsroom through August 17.

API welcomes Lilly Chapa as new editorial manager

The American Press Institute announced today that Lilly Chapa has joined our team as Editorial Manager. In this role, Chapa will work on developing an editorial strategy for all of API’s content and resources, including articles, newsletters, reports and videos. She will also set editorial guidelines, style and standards, help execute audience research and manage the Need to Know newsletter. Chapa is an award-winning journalist with more than nine years of editorial experience in both publishing and freelancing roles. In her most recent position as a managing editor at The Wyman Company, she led content and managed writers and freelancers for three quarterly association magazines.

Pittsburgh Foundation awards grant to API for newsroom training in covering communities of color 

The Pittsburgh Foundation has awarded the American Press Institute $50,000 to support training for local newsrooms to more accurately cover communities of color. The funding will help underwrite API’s previously announced diversity initiative in the Pittsburgh area, which is also supported by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and The Heinz Endowments. In partnership with the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, API will provide its new Inclusion Index service to a cohort consisting of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, PublicSource and Pitt News.


+ New media venture Semafor takes shape as economic backdrop darkens (The Financial Times) 

+ Report for America — The frontline warriors in the battle to save journalism (Editor & Publisher) 

+ “I’m gonna be open even if sometimes that’s messy”: How Sally Buzbee is putting her stamp on The Washington Post (Vanity Fair) 

+ “A bigger focus on the human impact of technology”: Sisi Wei is The Markup’s new editor-in-chief (Nieman Lab)