Need to Know: June 9, 2022


You might have heard: Why the press will never have another Watergate moment (The Washington Post)

But did you know: Don’t look to Watergate and Army-McCarthy for guidance on Jan. 6 hearings (CNN)

When it comes to big televised congressional hearings, people might think of Watergate in 1973 or the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, writes David Zurawik. But because the world has changed so much since then, those hearings do not offer much in the way of a template for the Jan. 6 hearings, he says. Nowadays, people are not all home watching it simultaneously on TV, said Brandeis professor Thomas Doherty, and the country is now more divided, so there is not a “disinterested and impartial jury of 40 million Americans watching this to try to find out what’s going on.” Another professor, Danilo Yanich, told Zurawik the fate of the hearings is “already sealed,” and won’t change the minds of people who think the 2020 election was stolen.

+ Related: Fox News aside, blanket TV coverage set for Jan. 6 hearing (ABC News) 

+ Noted: Juana Summers named host of All Things Considered (NPR); The Columbus Dispatch names Edwina Blackwell Clark as next executive editor (The Columbus Dispatch)


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 tomorrow).


New online magazine to focus on Black travel (Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer) 

McClatchy and the Missouri School of Journalism are partnering to launch a new digital travel magazine, Detour, aimed at connecting Black travelers and telling stories at the intersection of race and place. “Black people want a messenger whose experiences reflect at least some of their truth, and, more than ever, we’re willing to go the distance to find it,” wrote the magazine’s publisher, Ron Stodghill. Its editor, Dawn S. Booker, wrote that Detour will provide tips and recommendations on where travelers can explore local culture, shop, eat and gather, while also producing “stories of freedom, love, community, and inspiration, rooted in the deep tradition of Black travel, culture and exploration.”


Threats, then guns: A journalist and an expert vanish in the Amazon (The New York Times)

Authorities in Brazil said they were questioning a suspect in the case of British journalist Dom Phillips, who has been missing in the Javari Valley in the Amazon rainforest since Saturday, along with Bruno Araújo Pereira, an expert on Indigenous groups in the area. The indigenous groups have set up their own patrols against illegal fishing, hunting and mining in the region, a struggle Phillips has been covering for years for various outlets, most recently the Guardian. The person being questioned was one of three fishermen who had threateningly shown their guns to a patrol boat accompanying Phillips and Pereira on Saturday. 

+ Related: Global news organizations urge Brazil to step up rescue efforts (The Washington Post)


How pandemic evacuations created openings for pubcasters to build new studios (Current) 

During the pandemic, when people’s home offices — or closets or kitchen tables — were converted into studios or control rooms for public broadcasters, the dislocation allowed some stations to upgrade or improve their permanent spaces, writes Scott Fybush. He spoke with three stations about how they were able to use the time to either build or transition to the space they wanted. In Salt Lake City, the pandemic gave KRCL time to figure out its space plans after it sold its building; in Houston, KPFT was able to upgrade from a building damaged by white mold; and at San Francisco’s KQED, technology upgrades installed right before the pandemic made remote broadcasting possible.


The Washington Post meltdown is not helping the public perception of media (Gawker) 

Public feuding at the Washington Post began last week when reporter Dave Weigel retweeted a sexist joke and was called out by his colleague Felicia Sonmez. The drama has dragged on in the days since, writes Tarpley Hitt. Detailing the back-and-forth tweets, memos from Post management and The Post’s failure to institute a clear social media policy, Hitt concludes that the situation has produced no winners — and is not good for the news industry’s image. “A good chunk of the country already sees journalists as a bunch of sniveling high school students fighting over cafeteria real estate,” she writes. “No need to do the work for them.” 

+ Related: Inside The Washington Post’s social media meltdown (Vanity Fair); Welp, even ‘The View’ is now weighing in on WaPo’s drama (The Daily Beast) 


Journalists advised to more specifically describe service members’ military training (Task & Purpose) 

The new AP stylebook advises reporters against using the term “military training” broadly, saying they should be specific when describing a service member or veteran’s experience. The guidance is “better late than never,” writes Max Hauptman, citing several examples of news stories where a veteran’s experience is exaggerated or mischaracterized. “You’ve probably seen it before — military terminology being misinterpreted to make someone seem like the ultimate badass trained warrior,” Hauptman writes. Stories about a man who killed four people in Florida, for example, described him as an “ex-Marine sharpshooter,” when his military occupational specialty was “3531 Motor Vehicle Operator.”