Need to Know: May 11, 2022


You might have heard: In Mexico, a mix of violence and economics threatens local news organizations (Nieman Reports)

But did you know: 11 journalists killed in Mexico so far this year (Axios)

Two more journalists in Mexico were shot dead this week, bringing the total to 11 so far in 2022. Last year, which was considered the most dangerous year for journalists ever, nine journalists were killed. Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera of El Veraz were killed in the Mexican state of Veracruz; the state’s attorney general has opened an investigation into the case. Press advocacy groups and international governments have called for the Mexican government to address the situation. Since the late 1990s, 153 journalists have been murdered in Mexico and another 29 have “disappeared,” according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

+ Related: Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh killed in Israeli raid (Al Jazeera)

+ Noted: Google paying more than 300 EU publishers for news (Reuters);  Report for America expands into all 50 states (Report for America); Impremedia, publisher of Spanish-language newspapers, has a new owner (The New York Times); OAN finally admits ‘no widespread voter fraud’after settling defamation suit (The Daily Beast)


API receives $1.65 million grant to extend management of Table Stakes through 2023

API today announced a $1.65 million grant from The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund to continue API’s management of the core activities of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program through 2023. The program advances innovations in local news through intensive change-management training for news leaders and has a proven track record of helping news organizations build foundations for sustainable futures in the digital age. In 2022, API’s Table Stakes programming will focus on advancing the work of the nearly 170 Table Stakes alumni organizations.

+ Trust Tip: Absorb this advice about your newsroom’s culture (Trusting News) 


Expansion of Nashville Public Radio prioritizes staff diversity with goals to better serve growing city (Current)

When Steve Swenson became CEO of Nashville Public Radio in 2019, he realized immediately that the station needed to become more diverse to reflect the city it served. Only 15% of staffers at the station were people of color, compared to 45% of residents in the area. Along with a shift in its music, the station added a one-hour daily news program covering local issues. The station hired eight new staffers for its newsroom and launched the new show, This Is Nashville, with help from corporations, foundations and a family trust. Now, 35% of the station’s staffers are people of color, and nearly half of the on-air voices identify as BIPOC.


Female sports reporters rail against sexism at Scottish newspapers (The Guardian)

Female journalists in Scotland are fighting back against discrimination in the industry after a speaker at an awards dinner told sexist, racist and homophobic jokes. The group Women in Journalism Scotland has since launched a campaign calling for more diversity in sports journalism. Only three out of Scotland’s 95 full-time sports reporters are women, and a study found that male sports journalists earned more money than female journalists with more experience. The group is offering mentoring, training and support resources for female sports journalists.


Research shows content rules on Twitter help preserve free speech from bots and other manipulation (The Conversation)

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was premised partly on the idea that he could restore “free speech” to the social media platform. But, writes Filippo Menczer of Indiana University, less aggressive moderation on the platform would actually impair the ability of the platform to curb bots and other bad actors. “The voices of real users would be drowned out by malicious users who manipulate Twitter through inauthentic accounts, bots and echo chambers,” Menczer writes. He also pushed back on the notion that the social network has a liberal bias, citing research showing that conservative information is more likely to be amplified on the platform.

+ Related: Elon Musk says he would ‘reverse the permanent ban’ of Donald Trump on Twitter (The New York Times)


Candidates in Republican primaries are trying to dodge journalists (CNN)

Republican primary candidates are barring members of the press from rallies and avoiding journalists, writes Brian Stelter. When CNN correspondents tried to attend a rally for Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, they were told that no media was allowed at an event that was open to the public. When reporters observed the event from the balcony of a hotel room, his campaign tried to remove them from the room. Other candidates, like Herschel Walker, a Republican candidate for Senate in Georgia, has refused all debates and avoided interviews. “We don’t want to just cover one party, that’s not helpful or healthy in our polarized politics,” said CNN correspondent Kyung Lah.


Median annual revenue increased 33% for LION members (LION Publishers)

LION Publishers said this week that its members increased their median annual revenue 33% between 2020 and 2021. The jump, from $94,000 to $125,000, is a sign of “journalism businesses becoming more financially healthy as they work to achieve long-term sustainability,” write Stephanie Snyder and Chloe Kizer of LION. In the survey, more than half of LION members experienced revenue growth in those two years, and more than 50 of the group’s one- and two-person organizations earned more than $100,000 in revenue. Diversity in the group is also rising; 22% of news founders identified as non-white in 2022, up from 17% in 2021.