Need to Know: November 29, 2022


You might have heard: About a third of news organizations have already adopted a remote or hybrid working model (Nieman Lab) 

But did you know: Media leaders around the world embrace hybrid work despite challenges (Reuters Institute) 

According to a new report, 61% of news outlets say they have implemented hybrid or flexible work rules for their staff. In the survey of 136 newsroom leaders from around the world, just 20% of respondents want to return to a pre-pandemic work model. The models vary; some companies have a required number of days per week or month that employees must be in office, while others have a more voluntary approach. Nearly half say they have redesigned their offices to better accommodate hybrid working.

+ Noted: Journalists at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have gone on strike (Twitter, @FortWorthGuild)  


Are you a Table Stakes Alumni? Apply for a sprint cohort.

API is partnering with News Product Alliance to hold a product development sprint open to Table Stakes alumni organizations. The cohort, beginning in February 2023, will take you from idea to product prototype. At the end of the 18 weeks, you’ll have a functional draft of a product, such as a ready-to-go newsletter or a minimum viable product for a bigger project like an app, and a pitch to win over stakeholders. Apply by Monday, December 5.

+ We’re looking for input on your future plans for social media. Fill out our one-minute social media survey here. 


The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists (Digiday) 

In the last four years, the Washington Post has expanded its climate team from six to more than 30 journalists. Editors say that the coverage is part of a specific strategy to reach younger audiences. Sara Guaglione writes that the paper will soon be launching a new vertical called Climate Lab as well as columns focusing on “green” living, the changing planet and the effects of climate change on animals. In recent years, brands have become more interested in advertising alongside climate and environmental coverage. 


How a narrative podcast from Radio Svaboda helped counter news fatigue in Belarus (The Fix) 

In the years since Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko took power after a fraudulent election, residents have turned away from the news, writes Carla Pedret. Radio Svaboda, a radio station that became a digital news outlet, decided to focus on telling audio stories in a narrative format. After a successful COVID-related podcast, the team decided to turn leaked recordings about the Belaursian election in 2020 into a narrative story, bolstered by interviews to provide context. The project, which was translated into English as Lukashenka’s Lackeys, has received hundreds of thousands of listens, finding its primary audience on YouTube. 


Twitter grapples with Chinese spam obscuring news of protests (The Washington Post) 

In the wake of mass protests around China related to coronavirus restrictions, Chinese Twitter accounts have been spamming the platform with pornographic and adult links alongside the names of cities where protests have occurred. The idea is to fill users’ feeds with useless content to prevent them from seeing information about the protests. Government-related accounts have used this technique before, but now Twitter — which has approximately one-quarter of the staff that it did several weeks ago — is struggling to deal with the problem. 

+ Why the World Cup adds to, rather than eases, all that ails Twitter (Digiday)


Major news outlets urge U.S. to drop its charges against Assange (The New York Times)

Five news organizations that worked with Julian Assange have called for the U.S. government to drop some of its charges against the Wikileaks leader. The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País have said that charging Assange for obtaining and publishing classified information under the Espionage Act threatens freedom of the press. The letter does not call for charges against Assange related to hacking to be dropped.