Need to Know: January 14, 2022


The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released its trends and predictions for journalism, media and technology in 2022. The wide-ranging study found optimism among global media leaders, with 75% saying they feel confident about their organization’s prospects in 2022. The survey also found that while subscriptions have become the most important revenue stream, nearly half of news leaders (47%) worry that the industry is increasingly “super-serving richer and more educated audiences and leaving others behind.” (Reuters Institute) 

Last week, The New York Times announced that it was purchasing the online sports outlet The Athletic for $550 million. After the announcement, Aron Pilhofer worried that the purchase would harm local newspapers by placing the Times “in direct competition with every local news site for the same pool of subscribers.” Considering most people only subscribe to one news outlet, this could be devastating for local newspapers, he argued. But, Joshua Benton countered, while The Athletic may cover regional sports franchises, it can’t compete with true local sports coverage, such as high school football and smaller college teams. (The New York Times; Medium, Aron Pilhofer; Nieman Lab) 


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

Racial justice protests influenced local news reporting, study finds. After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, newspapers were more likely to have inclusive sourcing and use less dehumanizing language when writing about criminal justice. But, the study found, coverage of policing is still likely to rely heavily on police narratives. (Media, Inequality and Change Center) 

Texas GOP’s voting meme shows how Trump-style messaging wins the internet’s attention. The meme, which compared waiting in line for COVID tests to waiting in line to vote, angered many on the left, which in turn made it one of Twitter’s top trending posts. “You are being rage farmed,” wrote one researcher. (Texas Tribune) 

Chicago journalism is undergoing a dramatic restructuring that has turned the nation’s third-largest media market into a center for news experimentation. Outlets like WBEZ, the Better Government Association, and Block Club Chicago are collaborating, expanding their missions, and innovating new methods for distribution and audience engagement. (Medill Local News Initiative) 


API is hiring a Marketing Manager

We’re looking for a Marketing Manager to increase the awareness, reach, relevance and engagement of our brand, programs, products and services. This person will play a central role in helping us to tell our story to partners, program participants, funders and other stakeholders. We are seeking candidates with professional marketing experience. Experience working in a media or news organization is not a requirement, but an awareness of or exposure to journalism, media or its business is helpful. Applications should be submitted no later than Feb. 1. 

+ API welcomes Michael Bolden as its new executive director and CEO 


+ Bismarck was wrong. We need better coverage of Congress. (Second Rough Draft) 

+ Indigenous news outlets and nonprofits drive deeper coverage (Associated Press) 

+ Project Veritas battles for journalism, and against it (Columbia Journalism Review)

+ How the Los Angeles Times refreshed a newspaper staple, making videos from letters to the editor (Poynter) 

Editor’s Note: Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We’ll see you back here on Tuesday!