Need to Know: May 5, 2022


You might have heard: Online harassment of female journalists is real, and it’s increasingly hard to endure (The Washington Post)

But did you know: Women journalists see harassment as part of the job (Nieman Lab)

A new study based on in-depth interviews of 32 journalists in the U.S. found that female journalists see harassment as part of the job. Survey author Kaitlin Miller found that while male journalists saw attacks as a badge of honor, women saw them as “part of the price they pay for being female journalists,” writes Shraddha Chakradhar. Miller suggests that news outlets, particularly television stations, avoid sending reporters out alone in the field, where they are vulnerable to harassment. She also suggests that newsrooms need a clearer system for reporting harassment; many journalists never say anything about the incidents.

+ Related: What newsrooms must do to support women journalists under attack online (International Journalists’ Network); More than 1 in 5 TV news directors say their journalists were attacked in 2021 (RTDNA)

+ Noted: The Chronicle of Philanthropy unveils plan to become nonprofit (The Chronicle of Philanthropy); Journalists from multiple news outlets test positive after White House Correspondents Dinner weekend (CNN)


How local Gannett sites embraced a whole-community approach to public safety stories (Better News)

Local news sites nationwide rely heavily on law enforcement sources, and crime stories dominate their news coverage. Gannett newsrooms committed themselves to repairing relationships and building trust with members of marginalized communities by rethinking community justice and public safety coverage. Gannett’s Public Safety Mission Statement focused on making journalists less reactive and more enterprising in covering public safety issues, and ensuring that a multitude of voices are included in coverage beyond simply law enforcement. This story is part of a series on Better News that showcases innovative and experimental ideas that emerge from Table Stakes, the newsroom training program; and shares replicable tactics that benefit the news industry as a whole.


5 things we learned from listening to audiences when launching a LGBTQ+ collaborative (Local Media Association)

In early 2022, the queer collaborative News is Out distributed a survey to learn more about the readers of LGBTQ+ publications, and led 13 focus groups with participants. From this outreach, organizers found that people wanted to financially support outlets that brought value to their lives as part of a marginalized community. Respondents were in favor of donations, memberships or subscriptions — but not paywalls. Participants also said that they appreciated being asked for their thoughts, and compensated for their time. When it came to LGBTQ+ issues, respondents said that they often didn’t feel represented in media, that people living outside big cities felt “invisible,” and that brands need to support LGBTQ+ issues outside of Pride Month.


Czech news publishers are preparing for the cookieless future the Swiss way, introducing a single sign-on system (The Fix)

After Google Chrome replaces its third-party cookie system this fall, media companies in Czechia will be adopting Czech Ad ID, a unified login system that will allow major publishers to track users. Swiss publishers developed a similar joint login in 2021, which allows users to access a range of services with one login and manage their personal information all in one place. The system also ensures that all of the features comply with strict data protection standards, and allows the publishers to make targeted improvements of their content and products.

+ Earlier: These Swiss competitors joined forces to allow readers to use a single login across their news sites (Nieman Lab)


Former social media employees lead new push to fix social media (The Wall Street Journal)

Neeraj Arora and Michael Donohue, formerly of WhatsApp, are launching a new social platform, HalloApp. They say that, unlike with their ex-employer Facebook, the app will not focus on maximizing how much time people spend on it, or pushing people to expand their networks to be as large as possible. Instead, they plan to charge a small fee — less than $5 per month — and cap groups at 50 members. Rob Ennals, another former Facebook employee, has created a service called Talkwell, which aims to “overhaul the way public debates take place online,” reports Deepa Seetharaman, by ensuring that one user cannot dominate a discussion.


Ruling or leak? A battle to shape the media narrative on abortion. (The Washington Post)

Following the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, conservatives — and conservative media — are focusing more on the fact that it was leaked than on the content of the opinion, write Jeremy Barr and Elahe Izadi. On the left, many have criticized mainstream media outlets like The New York Times for focusing too much on the intrigue of the leak, rather than the substance of the ruling. Barr and Izadi write that “in a media economy that incentivizes newsiness,” algorithms have favored headlines that focus on the details and ongoing investigation into the leak.

+ Related: Media coverage and reaction to Politico’s Supreme Court scoop about Roe v. Wade (Poynter)


Buying Wordle brought ‘tens of millions of new users’ to The New York Times (The Verge)

When The New York Times announced its quarterly earnings on Wednesday, CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said that the word game Wordle, which the paper acquired in January, brought tens of millions of users to the paper, many of whom stayed to play other games. The Times paid more than a million dollars to Wordle creator Josh Wardle, but so far has not put the game behind a paywall. In the last quarter, the paper has added 387,000 digital-only subscribers, though it’s not clear how many are Wordle players.

+ Related: New York Times experiences growing pains with The Athletic (Front Office Sports)