Need to Know: May 6, 2022


On Monday evening, Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that showed the court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. The leak has become a news story in itself. While it wasn’t the first leak about Roe, it “punctured the court’s reputation as a leak-proof vessel,” writes Jack Shafer. Conservative media has focused heavily on how the leak could damage public trust in the court, although some speculate that it was a conservative who leaked the draft in the first place. (Politico, The Washington Post, New York Magazine)

A new study published in the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly determined that women in journalism consider harassment to be “part of the job.” Another survey found that, in 2021, more than one in five TV news directors said their journalists were attacked. At least 17 journalists from across the world have been killed so far this year, and the Committee to Protect Journalists’ president, Jodie Ginsberg, says that reporters are increasingly becoming targets. (NiemanLab, RTDNA, CNN)


These are the stories that captured the most interest from Need to Know subscribers this week.

Huge layoffs expected at Lee Enterprises. After avoiding a takeover bid by Alden Global Capital, Lee is expected to eliminate more than 400 roles this year, or roughly 10% of the staff. (Axios)

Publishers are experimenting with more homepage personalization sections. Legacy outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post are applying lessons from apps to their homepages. (Digiday)

How it became normal for public officials to attack journalists. As demonization of the press has spread online, some in the public eye find that attacking the press is politically beneficial. (The Washington Post)


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 have 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 is focused on making journalists less reactive and more enterprising in covering public safety issues, and ensuring voices are included in coverage beyond those of 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.

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. This Web Applications Engineer 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 application submissions is June 1.


+ The rise and fall of the star White House reporter (Politico)

+ ‘Everyone failed these young, Black girls’: Journalist Jim DeRogatis on his decades-long battle to expose R Kelly (The Guardian)

+ Our misguided obsession with Twitter: The social media platform has become a spectacle driven by a narrow and unrepresentative group of elites. (The New Yorker)

+ Elon Musk left a South Africa that was rife with misinformation and white privilege (The New York Times)