Need to Know: June 2, 2020


You might have heard: U.S. police have attacked journalists more than 100 times in the past four days (Nieman Lab)

But did you know: Some curfew orders allow exemptions for media — but not all (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)

With protests around the country following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, curfews have been imposed in cities with large demonstrations. Some of the curfews, like Washington D.C., have a curfew exception for “working media with their outlet-issued credentials.” Other cities, including Atlanta and Cleveland, include no exception for media. Still others, like Detroit, have carveouts for those on their way to or from work, while Philadelphia has an exception for persons defined as essential under the coronavirus emergency order. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is tracking the media-specific language of curfew orders around the country in an interactive map.

+ Related: 18 journalism groups have signed an open letter calling for police to “halt the unprecedented assault against journalists in the field covering the protests for social justice.” The European Federation of Journalists wrote a letter expressing solidarity with journalists in the US.

+ Black journalists are carrying unique burdens right now (The Washington Post)

+ Noted: Cheddar, the live-streaming business network, will merge its two networks into one single stream (LinkedIn, Jon Steinberg); Members of the Boston Newspaper Guild worry that the Boston Globe’s owners are planning to sell (CommonWealth Magazine); San Francisco Chronicle editor in chief Audrey Cooper, the paper’s first female EIC, will leave the paper (San Francisco Chronicle)


New grant will allow API to help newsrooms better understand and refine their coverage of the 2020 elections 

With the help of a grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, API is building a special elections-focused dashboard in its Metrics for News analytics platform. The dashboard, which will be made available for free for up to 60 newsrooms, will help newsrooms keep track of how audiences are interacting with election coverage and identify opportunities to build relationships and trust with readers. Learn more about how to apply here.


Publishers are tying virtual events to subscriptions (Digiday)

With most events cancelled due to coronavirus, publishers have switched to virtual get-togethers — but, often, only for their members and subscribers. These virtual events are driving subscriptions for companies like TechCrunch and Bloomberg Media, who are offering exclusive content to paying customers. Digital events have some extra benefits for publishers, as they are more scalable and more measurable. They also have led to more collaboration between teams, as event producers work with digital content editors and technical advisors to host virtual events.


Australian media outlets consider High Court appeal over Facebook defamation ruling (Sydney Morning Herald)

Media outlets, including News Corp Australia, are debating filing an appeal in New South Wales after a court held that media companies are legally responsible for comments posted by readers on their Facebook pages. The appeals court ruled that the companies “encouraged and facilitated” discussion by setting up Facebook pages, and therefore were responsible for defamatory comments made by readers. In a joint statement, several media outlets said the ruling was out of line with modern publishing, especially as Facebook does not give publishers the option to turn off comments.


The importance of performance reviews in the COVID-19 era (Fast Company)

With many people working remotely during the pandemic, giving feedback to employees will look and feel different for many managers. But check-ins and performance reviews are still important — perhaps more so than ever. Managers should be intentional in gathering peer feedback and taking into account the challenges of remote working. Giving feedback over video is key, as is remaining empathetic about the challenges that everyone is facing right now.

+ Twitter length study: Longer tweets encourage more engagement (Medium, Kurt Gessler)


New York Times public editor says, enough with ‘all the news.’ Time for what’s fit to print. (CJR)

The New York Times has been billing its pages as “All the News That’s Fit to Print” since 1896, when it was an ad slogan meant to distinguish it from the yellow journalism of its competitors. But Gabriel Snyder at CJR says that the paper’s use of “both sides” coverage during the pandemic, such as quoting Alex Jones’s conspiracy theories, doesn’t take a firm enough stance on what is true and what is not. “But there is, especially now, a critical difference between doing something important and being able to explain why it is important,” Snyder writes. “Those who can’t define themselves leave themselves open to being defined by others.”

+ Related: The New York Times was widely criticized for today’s front-page headline “As chaos spreads, Trump vows to ‘end it now'” (Twitter, @TomJolly); Later edition changed It to “Trump threatens to send troops into states” (New York Times)


CNN turns 40 today. Here’s what it was like on Day One. (CNN)

In 1980, the Cable News Network went on air for the first time, ushering in the era of the 24-hour news networks. Lois Hart and David Walker shared the anchor desk on the first day of broadcasting, which also featured a tour of the studio and a speech from owner Ted Turner. Turner dedicated the network to America, saying to the goal is “to provide information to people when it wasn’t available before, to offer those who want it, a choice.”