Need to Know: November 16, 2022


You might have heard: Pandemic drives nonprofit media boom (Axios) 

But did you know: New nonprofit newsroom launches in Cleveland with $7.5M in funding (Axios) 

Signal Cleveland has launched with $7.5 million in funding from a variety of local charities and journalism nonprofits. The newsroom is trying to fill the void of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which was gutted during the pandemic. The outlet plans to make it all of its reporting free and available on many platforms, including newsletter and text messages. The newsroom also plans to partner with local TV and radio stations, and create civic resources such as guides about issues related to local government. Editor-in-chief Lila Mills says they are aiming for “a more nuanced and authentic representation of what’s happening in Cleveland.” 

+ Noted: Protocol, the tech-news focused website, will shutter and lay off its entire staff (CNN); Report for the World doubles down on global local news crisis, welcomes new corps members (Report for the World); Boston Globe names NPR’s Nancy Barnes its next editor (The New York Times) 


Trust Tip: Create a digital advisory group to hear from your community (Medium, Trusting News) 

We write a lot about investing in listening to the communities we aim to serve so our coverage can reflect their lives in a way that feels authentic and accurate. One effective way to hear from people is to form a community advisory board. Whether you bring people together in person or online, regularly connecting with a group of people in your community can allow for thoughtful and specific feedback to help influence your coverage and make it better. It also allows for a potentially safer and more private space for people to share opinions.


How the Washington Post is experimenting with reader access (What’s New in Publishing) 

Joy Robins, Chief Revenue Officer at The Washington Post, says the newspaper believes that full-subscription options will not be the only revenue model for the next generation. She says younger consumers have different expectations about access and products, and the Post is exploring limited subscription offerings. “This isn’t something we would do lightly so we’re being thorough about it, including in-depth qualitative interviews around the correlation between price, access, and willingness to subscribe,” Robins said. 


Voice of America removes story that embarrassed Vietnam’s prime minister (The Washington Post) 

After Voice of America’s Vietnamese-language service covered crude remarks made by Vietnam’s prime minister on a live video stream, the story went viral around the world. But the video was taken down after an official at the Vietnamese embassy in Washington argued that the video violated the prime minister’s privacy, reports Paul Farhi. A spokesperson for VOA says the video was pulled down because the language was considered offensive, though some Vietnamese-speakers say it was merely coarse. Journalists at VOA objected to the company’s decision, saying it damages the reputation of the organization. 


Election officials feared the worst. Here’s why baseless claims haven’t fueled chaos (NPR)

In the wake of the 2022 midterms, it seems that election denialism and baseless claims of election fraud have not taken hold. Shannon Bond, Miles Parks and Huo Jingnan write that election officials are cautiously optimistic that we will not see a revolt like the “Stop the Steal” movement that emerged in 2020. Across the country, officials proactively took steps to promote reliable sources of information and upgraded their processes so there were fewer opportunities for those who wanted to disrupt the proceedings. And despite accusations that social media platforms have not done enough to curb the spread of misinformation, it seems that blocking election deniers — particularly Donald Trump — has largely neutralized the conspiracy theory. 


A Donald Trump 2024 bid will test if the media’s learned anything since 2016 (Vanity Fair) 

After former President Trump vowed to make a “big announcement” at Mar–a-Lago on Tuesday, the political press corps is still figuring out how to cover him without being taken advantage of. “Most of us have experienced firsthand Trump making complete assholes out of all of us,” New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi told Charlotte Klein. Many journalists and news outlets say that this time around, they’re less interested in covering every stray comment from Trump and more focused on larger issues about his role within the GOP and the country at large.