Need to Know: June 10, 2022


Last night, congressional hearings about the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol began airing on almost all broadcast and cable news stations — except for Fox News. The House hired former ABC News president James Goldston to help produce the television event, but given the fractured state of media today, it is unlikely that these events will have the same impact as the Watergate hearings. The panel’s approach on the first night was to focus on videos of interviews with Trump’s inner circle who presented the details of his bid to stay in power despite losing the 2020 election. (ABC News, Deadline, Axios, CNN, Politico)

Last week, after Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel retweeted a sexist joke, his colleague Felicia Sonmez publicly called him out. Wiegel was ultimately suspended for a month without pay, but the drama in the Post newsroom only grew from there. Charlotte Klein reported for Vanity Fair that staffers are not thrilled with executive editor Sally Buzbee’s handling of the issue, while at Gawker, Tarpley Hitt argued that the controversy is doing the industry no favors. Yesterday evening, Sonmez was reportedly fired for “insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating The Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity,” according to a termination notice seen by reporters. (CNN, Poynter, Vanity Fair, Gawker)


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

Gannett is scuttling daily editorial pages at its regional papers. The chain will “strongly suggest” that papers reduce their opinion content and focus more on local concerns rather than syndicated columns or national issues. (Poynter)

New Latino media startup launches with historic $80 million raise. The Latino Media Network has acquired 18 Hispanic radio stations across 10 markets from TelevisaUnivision. (Axios)

Detour, a brand new publication, will be dedicated to the Black travel experience. A joint effort between McClatchy and the Missouri School of Journalism, Detour aims to “connect Black travelers through the power of information and storytelling.” (Miami Herald)


Source Matters from API’s Product Strategy team receives international recognition

INMA announced that API’s Source Matters has received first place for “Best New Digital Product, National Brands” in its annual international awards contest, the Global Media Awards. The tool launched in 2020 to support automated and customizable source tracking by any news organization. The INMA judges shared this about the selection: “A much-needed tool to use in the whole news ecosystem. A great solution to a significant issue in news media that adds significant value to the editorial process.” Source Matters also won second place for “Best Internal Data Dashboards.”

API is hiring a Web Applications Engineer

The American Press Institute is hiring a Web Applications Engineer to join the Product Strategy team and support the technical development of API’s news products. The successful candidate will work at the intersection of journalism and product, so an understanding of media and the role product can play in innovating and serving audiences is crucial. This is a full-time position with a salary between $70,000 and $80,000. The deadline for applications is July 1.

+ Reminder: API is also hiring for two positions that have imminent application deadlines: A Vice President, Journalism Programs (deadline Monday) and an Editorial Manager (deadline today).

API continues support for Table Stakes alumni with new sprint program

The American Press Institute has announced that five news organizations and four coaches have been selected for the digital subscriptions growth and retention sprint program for alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, which advances innovations in local journalism through intensive change-management training for news leaders. The sprint program is funded by The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which recently awarded API additional funding to continue managing Table Stakes through 2023. The five news organizations are the Detroit Free Press, The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire, The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., the Salem Statesman Journal/Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.


+ Facebook rethinks news deals, and publishers stand to lose millions in payments (Wall Street Journal)

+ Have the dangers of social media been overstated? (Columbia Journalism Review)

+ All the newsroom’s men: How one-third of “The Watergate Three” got written out of journalism history (Nieman Lab)

+ During Watergate, John Mitchell left his wife. She called Bob Woodward. (The Washington Post)