Need to Know: June 25, 2018

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


You might have heardTwitter can be a hostile and dangerous place for women (New York Magazine)

But did you know: A new study finds male political reporters retweet other men three times more often than their female colleagues (Vox)

Anyone who follows Beltway Twitter knows it’s a deeply insular and self-involved world dominated by men who almost exclusively speak to each other, writes Laura McGann. But now there’s research to prove it. “When male journalists reply to other beltway journalists, they reply to another male journalist 91.5% of the time,” according to a study to be published in the the International Journal of Press/Politics. Of the 25 reporters who received the most replies from male political reporters, zero were women. The study also identified the 25 political reporters who male political reporters retweet the most. Of the 25, just three are women.

+ Noted: Ex-Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is launching his own media company (New York Post); Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze laid off more than a dozen employees (The Daily Beast); Reddit starts beta testing a “News” tab (TechCrunch); NABJ’s executive director resigned Friday (Journal-isms)


As part of our fact-checking journalism project, Jane Elizabeth and Poynter’s Alexios Mantzarlis and Daniel Funke highlight stories worth noting related to truth in politics and on the Internet. This week’s round-up includes highlights from the fifth annual Global Fact-Checking Summit in Rome last week, new research finds that distrusting science has nothing to do with politics, and how you should handle lies from President Trump in a headline.

+ ICYMI: Here are all the notes you need from Global Fact V (Poynter)


How to host a public newsroom in your community (City Bureau)

City Bureau, a civic journalism lab based in Chicago, has hosted nearly 70 public newsroom workshops, where journalists, community organizers, activists and others can gather to discuss local issues and share resources and knowledge for better reporting. City Bureau’s Andrea Faye Hart explains how these gatherings foster transparent dialogue about community issues and can increase trust in local media, especially at a time when local news outlets are fewer and farther in between.

+ How New York Media grew median daily users 42 percent: Focusing less on Facebook, more on search, AMP pages, Apple News and Google News (Digiday)


What happens when China’s state-run media embraces AI? (Columbia Journalism Review)

China’s largest state-run media agency Xinhua News is equipping itself with an AI technology called “Media Brain,” which — press freedom advocates worry — could make it easier for the agency to spread government propaganda. “Adding AI into the mix could have insidious consequences for truth-seeking individuals in China and in the numerous countries around the world where Xinhua shares its content,” writes CJR’s Kelsey Ables.


If strategy is so important, why don’t we make time for it? (Harvard Business Review)

In one survey of 10,000 senior leaders, 97 percent of them said being strategic was the leadership behavior most important to the success of their organization. Yet in another survey, 96 percent of the leaders said they lacked time for strategic thinking. Turns out the barriers to strategic thinking may be rooted in corporate cultures, which prize long working hours and “busyness” over techniques that promote creative thinking and innovation.

+ How to go above and beyond at work without being a pushover (Fast Company)


Is Jeff Bezos losing the Washington Post newsroom? (Vanity Fair)

It’s coming up on five years since Jeff Bezos, who officially became the world’s richest man this week, rescued The Washington Post from a future that looked bleak, writes Joe Pompeo. “This is the first tangible conflict,” a Post journalist told Pompeo, referring to a negotiating impasse that has, quite publicly, pitted a union that represents non-management Post employees against the wealthy benefactor to whom they owe their publication’s revival. “When Bezos first came, he brought really good vibes,” this person, who is a union member, said. Now, five years in, “People are wanting more of the accoutrements that come with that.”

+ The ACLU and conservative group Parents Television Council both oppose Sinclair expansion bid (Bloomberg)


How an affair between a reporter and a security aide has revealed tough ethical questions and ongoing concerns over records seizure (The New York Times)

Relationships between reporters and sources are an art, not a science: In Washington, meals and late nights out with sources are part of a journalist’s job description. But becoming romantically involved is widely viewed as a conflict, write Michael M. Grynbaum, Scott Shane and Emily Flitter. The case of federal prosecutors seizing NYT reporter Ali Watkins’ records has turned into an ethical debate over the relationship between Watkins and James Wolfe, senior aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee. This NYT story details exactly what was Watkins’ relationship, which she disclosed to her employers in varying degrees of detail, while asserting that she had not used him as a source during their relationship. Since meeting Wolfe in 2013, Watkins reported on the Senate Intelligence Committee for Politico, BuzzFeed News, The Huffington Post and McClatchy, where her reporting was part of a submission that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

+ Tensions between Brian Roberts and Rupert Murdoch have complicated Comcast’s efforts to buy 21st Century Fox (Wall Street Journal); NYT’s Meredith Kopit Levien: We’ll continue cutting vendors post-GDPR (Digiday); Instagram deleted a 2017 ProPublica video identifying members of a violent white supremacist group (Business Insider)