Need to Know: December 3, 2021


Twitter has updated its Private Information Policy, banning users from posting photos or videos of a person without their consent. The ban does not apply to public figures or photos that “are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.” Twitter says it will also consider whether photos have appeared elsewhere in a journalistic context. The goal, the company says, is to address photos of private individuals meant “to harass, intimidate or use fear to silence.” Far-right activists have begun trying to use the new rule to get photos of themselves at neo-Nazi and other hate rallies removed. (Engadget, The Washington Post) 

Lee Enterprises, owner of the Omaha World-Herald,  St. Louis Post-Dispatch and several other papers, says it has adopted a “poison pill” plan to guard against a takeover from Alden Global Capital. The company says the plan would give the shareholders time to review the proposal “without undue pressure.” Under the plan, Lee’s stock will become free or steeply discounted for current shareholders if Alden acquires 10% of the stock in the next year, flooding the market and making it more expensive for Alden to acquire a controlling stake. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


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

Local news outlets could reap $1.7 billion in Build Back Better aid. The payroll tax credit could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for small independent news outlets, and tens of millions for big chains like Gannett. A Wall Street Journal editorial criticized the plan, calling it an attempt to “subsidize Democrats’ media allies.” (The New York Times) 

The Solutions Journalism Network published a playbook for generating revenue from solutions journalism. The guide, aimed at news entrepreneurs, discusses philanthropic revenue streams like grants and sponsorship as well as positioning solutions journalism as a marketable product. The resource also includes case studies from the Solutions Journalism Revenue Project pilot program, which earned $1.5 million in new revenue. (Solutions Journalism Network)

What J-Schools should teach about freelancing. With freelancing becoming more and more common in the industry, journalism schools could do more to prepare students for the realities of pitching, running a small business and personal branding. (International Journalists’ Network) 


Start your 2022 source tracking goals now

Is your newsroom working to broaden the diversity of your sources to better reflect and serve the communities you cover? API recently launched a source-auditing tool called Source Matters to help newsrooms monitor the sources they use in local news coverage. We are hosting an open demo of Source Matters, as well as a discussion of general strategies for source auditing, on Monday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. EST. Register here.


+ Depth and breadth: How news organizations navigate trade-offs around building trust in news (Reuters Institute)  

+ The great exploiter: What business do journalists have in revealing intimate details related to the personal lives of private citizens? (Columbia Journalism Review) 

+ The AP publishes its Top Photos of 2021 (Associated Press)