Need to Know: July 18, 2018

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


You might have heard: Despite the fact that women make up the majority of students in undergraduate and graduate photojournalism programs, photojournalism is an industry still heavily dominated by men (The New York Times)  

But did you know: Investigation finds that sexual harassment is rampant in photojournalism (Columbia Journalism Review)

In an investigation spanning more than five months, the Columbia Journalism Review interviewed more than 50 photojournalists who described experiencing sexual harassment from colleagues that ranged from inappropriate comments to assault; behaviors so common that “they have long considered it simply one of the realities of working as a woman in the profession,” writes Kristen Chick. The report sheds light on the factors that allow sexual harassment to proliferate in the industry: a hyper-masculine culture; the few women working in the profession; increasing reliance on freelancers, which affects accountability; and even workshops and events for early-career photographers that are exploited by older, established photojournalists.

+ National Press Photographers Association releases a statement on stopping sexual harassment in photojournalism (NPPA)

+ Noted: Snapchat is launching a news partnerships initiative (Axios); Judge lifts order forcing LA Times to delete information it had published from a sealed plea deal made public by mistake (Los Angeles Times); Vox will begin licensing its publishing technology Chorus to publishers of all sizes (The Wall Street Journal); In wake of June 28 shooting, Annapolis’s Capital Gazette calls for volunteer reporters and editors (Investigative Reporters & Editors)


How a station used ‘deep listening’ events to take on Sacramento’s housing crisis (Current)

Jesikah Mariah Ross, community engagement strategist for Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio, knew that the city’s shortage of affordable housing affected residents from all walks of life. “But there isn’t a place where this diverse range of community members can come together” to find common ground on the issue, she writes. That is, until she started “Story Circles,” bringing together Sacramento residents in small groups to share their own (very different) experiences with housing. Ross and her CapRadio colleagues used simple gestures to welcome participants, including flowers, a photo booth, personalized thank-you notes and child care. Then they collected feedback from participants and worked with social impact firm Impact Architects to assess the effectiveness of the events. “We need [spaces] like CapRadio’s Story Circles that bring people together across silos to engage in meaningful conversations about pressing social issues,” writes Ross. “The question is: Are public radio stations game to shift resources from their newsrooms or hustle additional funds to make it happen?”


A tabloid changes course — and could change Britain (The Atlantic)

Britain’s Daily Mail — a print publication that still commands a vast, conservative, pro-Brexit readership — has brought on a pro-Europe editor, veteran journalist Geordie Greig. Greig, as the next editor of the Mail, assumes a vital role as the date for Britain’s departure from the EU looms, writes Tom Rachman. “Nobody expects the Mail to flip its politics overnight. Imagine if Fox News abruptly approved of Democrats, or The New York Times began applauding Trump. A fraction of their audiences would revise their opinions; most would just find another source.” But Greig is expected to implement a toned-down conservatism that will be “less angry, less rabid, less divisive, and perhaps more constructive,” at a time when the country is facing a critical crossroads.

+ Egypt passes law to block social media accounts and penalize journalists for publishing fake news (Reuters); Vietnam suspends local news website on accusation of false news (Committee to Protect Journalists); Google fined $5.1 billion by E.U. in Android antitrust ruling (The New York Times)


We take more risks when we compete against rivals (Harvard Business Review)

A team of researchers studying various relationships defined by rivalry, such as between NFL teams and students that attend rival universities, found that rivalry increases propensity for risk-taking. “Our findings carry some important implications for individuals and organizations,” they write. “Risk-taking is not inherently good or bad; it depends on the context. In organizations and industries in which experimentation, innovation, bold strategic moves, and thinking outside the box are valued (e.g., technology), rivalry could be an important lever for managers to pull to incentivize risk-taking. On the other hand, some jobs and industries demand high-reliability, mistake-free output (e.g., accounting). In these contexts, managers would be well-served to minimize the effect of rivalry on their own, and their employees’, decisions.”


Social media companies defend filtering practices before Congress (Reuters)

Representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress Tuesday that they are not discriminating against content for political reasons. Conservative Republicans in Congress have criticized social media companies for what they claim are politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies have rejected, writes David Shepardson. House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican, said that since an April hearing Congress has “seen numerous efforts by these companies to improve transparency,” but he also pointed to anecdotes of some content being removed. Meanwhile, Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat, blasted the hearing and said Facebook for two years has “bent over backwards to placate and mollify conservatives.”

+ Related: Undercover Facebook moderator in the U.K. was instructed not to remove fringe groups or hate speech (The Verge)


Farewell to a newspaper office: The L.A. Times sports desk bids adieu (The Ringer)

As the Los Angeles Times prepares to leave its 83-year-old headquarters, writer Bryan Curtis tours the old Times sports department. “Getting romantic about a newspaper sports office is like getting romantic about a laptop,” he writes. “A newspaper office is at best functional and at worst a pain in the ass. Yet the Times leaving its old headquarters felt like the occasion for a tribute to the guys who used to work there. Not the writers. A sports page belongs to the writers. A sports desk belongs to the editors, and more specifically, to the night staff who served as the writers’ backstops, grammarians, and, occasionally, their nemeses.”

+ A number of CNN’s most prominent women are pregnant while juggling maddening news cycles (Cosmopolitan); How one weekly newspaper increased its security measures over years of threats and intimidating visits from readers (Columbia Journalism Review)