Need to Know: June 5, 2020


You might have heard: New York Times says Tom Cotton’s op-ed did not meet standards (New York Times)

But did you know:

Journalists of color at the Philadelphia Inquirer called in ‘sick and tired’ (Twitter, @Elaijuh)

After the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a piece about property destruction related to the recent protests under the headline “Buildings Matter, Too,” journalists of color at the paper called in “sick and tired” in protest. In an open letter, the journalists wrote, “We’re tired of shouldering the burden of dragging this 200-year-old institution kicking and screaming into a more equitable age.” The paper apologized for the headline, saying their editing process will be reviewed and safeguards implemented.

+ Earlier: How a Seattle Times Slack channel lets people speak up about insensitive coverage (Better News)

+ Noted: News organizations worldwide join the JournalismAI Collab to experiment with AI in newsrooms (Polis); Medium launches its own newsletter platform (Medium); Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller to take two-month administrative leave after social media outburst (Deadline)


In this week’s edition of ‘Factually’

Helping people fact-check on their own, platforms cracking down on fake accounts, and misinformation versus disinformation about COVID-19. Factually is a weekly newsletter produced by API and the Poynter Institute that covers fact-checking and misinformation.


The City walks readers through the process of filing a complaint against the police (Twitter, @THECITYNY)

Reporting incidents of police misconduct can be a confusing, and scary, process for many people. In a Twitter thread, New York’s THE CITY explains the different options — i.e. filing a complaint against a specific officer versus highlighting systemic issues — and the best paths for each. They also highlight a legal aid option for those seeking counsel, and a call to action for those have tried to file complaints in the past.


Journalists in UK consider legal action after 10% coronavirus pay cuts (The Guardian)

Staff of several British newspapers owned by the publisher Reach, including the Daily Mirror and the Manchester Evening News, are considering legal action after their pay was reduced by 10% without any corresponding lessening in duties. The indefinite pay cuts came at the start of April, as ad revenue plunged during the pandemic. But staffers are particularly upset that top executives received six-figure salaries and bonuses in March, related to the previous financial year. The National Union of Journalists says the pay cuts are a breach of contract.

+ Senate confirms Michael Pack as CEO for U.S. Agency for Global Media (Deadline)


Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S. (Axios)

Facebook said it would stop state-controlled media outlets from buying ads in the U.S. this summer. The head of security says that the company hasn’t seen any examples of foreign governments buying manipulative ads in the U.S., but that the rule is a precaution in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Beginning immediately, posts from outlets like Russia’s Sputnik and China’s People’s Daily will be labeled as such to “provide transparency” for users.


Should photojournalists refrain from showing protestors’ faces? (Poynter)

With protests in all 50 states in the U.S., images of demonstrators on the streets are covering many newspapers. But some have called for journalists to refrain from showing protestors’ faces, in case those people are subject to retribution. It is legal, on public property, for a journalist to take anyone’s photo, and some argue that human faces are an important tool in telling the story of the demonstrations. But some journalists have decided not to share pictures that include identifiable faces, out of concern that the police will use them to identify protestors.

+ Related: Is it linguistically possible to report objectively on protests against police brutality? (Medium)


Dear newsroom managers, journalists of color can’t do all the work (Poynter)

In an open letter, Doris Truong, Poynter’s director of training and diversity, calls on newsroom leaders to take action to increase diversity in the news media. Highlighting the difficulties that journalists of color face every day, she writes that it is “harder than ever not to bring our whole selves to our work,” even if that means reporting with more humanity than objectivity. White editors and journalists, she says, can create more room for journalists of color, and elevate their voices.


+ What’s next for BuzzFeed News? “We will never just be pizza and kittens” (The Drum)

+ America’s labor crises hit a depleted labor beat (CJR)