Need to Know: December 1, 2022


You might have heard: France fines Google $268M for adtech abuses and gets interoperability commitments (TechCrunch)

But did you know: Adtech antitrust class damages claim filed against Google in UK — seeking up to $16.3 billion (TechCrunch)

Thousands of British digital publishers are suing Google and parent company Alphabet for up to $16.3 billion in damages for its approach to online advertising. The suit claims that Google, as a dominant advertiser, earned large profits for itself at the expense of thousands of British publications and platforms. Google abused its dominance of adtech infrastructure to dictate pricing and terms that have damaged businesses with little choice but to use its tools if they wished to generate revenue from advertising, the lawsuit states.

+ Noted: CNN begins layoffs in what CEO says will be a ‘gut punch’ to the network (CNN); NPR to impose near-freeze on hiring but avoids layoffs as budget cuts loom (NPR); The Washington Post will end its Sunday magazine, eliminate positions (The Washington Post); Sympathy, and job offers, for Twitter’s misinformation experts (The New York Times)


How can photojournalists build trust through their work?

There are several things photojournalists can and should be doing to provide more context and transparency around their work. We spoke with Dr. T.J. Thomson, a visual communications and media scholar at Queensland University of Technology, about the questions journalists should ask themselves to be sure they’re composing an honest, accurate image.


How the Covid-19 pandemic pushed preprint-based journalism into the mainstream (Nieman Lab)

Reporting on preprints — research studies that haven’t been formally vetted by the scientific community — has historically been discouraged for fears that findings could be exaggerated or flat-out wrong. But Nieman found that preprint-based journalism became more mainstream in order to report on the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, studies must be reviewed by at least two experts before they can be published in a scientific journal and more widely reported on. But a wide range of media outlets reported on COVID-19 preprints during the height of the pandemic, leading to a “complete paradigm shift” in science journalism.


The fight against China’s protest censorship (Axios)

The current protests in China against the government’s zero-COVID policy are the largest since the Tiananmen Square movement in 1989, and protesters are racing to evade censorship to share news of the movement. Online censors are deleting social media posts with news of the protests, but individuals are screenshotting any photos or information they come across and sharing them on WeChat before they are deleted. People are also altering images to circumvent censors but still convey dissent.

+ Related: BBC says Chinese police assaulted one of its journalists at Shanghai protest (Reuters)


Journalists near and far react to the journalism of ‘Alaska Daily’ (Seattle Times)

ABC’s new show Alaska Daily is inspired by the real-life reporting of journalists at the Anchorage Daily News. Created by Spotlight director Tom McCarthy and co-written by playwright and journalist Vera Marlene Starbard, the show strives to provide a more authentic portrayal of Alaska Natives in television and journalism. Native journalists discuss what the show got right in portraying the importance of Native reporters in newsrooms, but note that white saviorism is still prevalent in the storyline. 

“What resonated with me was that sense of constantly adapting to having less and less resources and still trying to produce something meaningful and useful even with a half or a quarter or a tenth of the resources of what you had before.”

-Brandon Block, Crosscut

+ Puerto Rican journalist’s work featured in Bad Bunny music video (Democracy Now)


What our independent news experts learned from auditing 75 news businesses (Lion Publishers)

Independent newsrooms are embracing the business side of journalism, reaping benefits from audience research strategies and serving audiences even with small newsrooms, the LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program found. Thinking in the local news space has evolved, leading to news businesses creating better products, developing creative ways to generate revenue and finding scalable ways to understand what audiences want. The insights are encouraging, but there is still more work to do, the program found.