Need to Know: September 12, 2022


You might have heard: Political campaigns are advertising on streaming services (Protocol)

But did you know: Transparency issues haunt digital ads ahead of midterms (Axios)

Political advertisers are increasingly hiring programmatic ad companies to post ads on various platforms, in part to avoid working directly with tech companies, which have cracked down on political ads after the 2020 election. These programmatic ad companies automate the buying and selling of ads on digital platforms with no specific content restrictions or transparency tools, according to a new report from the University of North Carolina’s Center on Technology Policy and supported by the Knight Foundation. This shift could further muddy the use of social media for political advertisements, which is already unregulated, the report notes.

+ Noted: How murdered journalist Jeff German’s colleagues hunted down his alleged killer (The Daily Beast); Condé Nast workers win recognition of company-wide union, joining a wave of media unionization (The Washington Post); The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism launches a $25 million state-funded program to strengthen local reporting (Berkeley Journalism)


API to present ONA session on connecting with communities of color 

The American Press Institute is gearing up for the 2022 Online News Association Conference September 21 to 24, including hosting a session on building your newsroom strategy for connecting with communities of color. API and Trusting News will offer tips on assessing how well you engage with communities of color and how to build a system of accountability to help your newsroom make meaningful progress. Specific tools, such as a DEIB index, source auditing and community listening, will also be discussed. The session will be held at 2:30 p.m. on September 21.


Newsday boosted its subscriber audience with graphics and video (International News Media Association)

Beginning in 2020, Long Island news source Newsday underwent a multi-year effort to create content for its audience based on community feedback — resulting in double their number of digital subscribers and an increase in views and engagement on a variety of social platforms. By analyzing metrics, Newsday noticed that graphics that highlighted percentages, used compelling art and put headlines on photos resulted in higher engagement, writes Gabriella Vukelic, Newsday’s social media editor. They also focused on monetizing Facebook videos and using their YouTube channel to attract younger subscribers.


Reporters are finding new ways to report on the Amazon (Reuters Institute)

The recent killings of The Guardian contributor Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon have highlighted the dangers of reporting on the rainforest and bringing illegal activity and environmental damage to light. Marina Adami spoke with three journalists reporting on the Amazon about how they use technology to cover the region. Since Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s president in 2019, protections for the Amazon and Indigenous populations have been weakened while organized crime and other illegal activity have risen, creating a dangerous environment for journalists. Using tools such as satellite imagery and machine learning to monitor mining activity allows reporters to safely cover activity and crowdsource reporting help.

+ UK journalism union postpones three-day strike in the wake of the Queen’s death (Hold The Front Page)


How Wikipedia’s ‘deaditors’ sprang into action on Queen Elizabeth II’s page after her death (Gizmodo)

Volunteer editors rushed to Queen Elizabeth II’s Wikipedia page within moments of her passing, according to Annie Rauwerda, who runs the popular Depths of Wikipedia Twitter account. Necessary updates included choosing an older photo of the queen — once someone dies, Wikipedia typically uses a historical photo of the person instead of an elderly photo — changing the tenses, and adding new pages about her death and reactions. Despite the real-time updates, Wikipedia editors maintained their commitment to verified information, and ultimately the Queen’s Wikipedia page was edited 824 times on the day of her passing.


High school news advisor faces suspension after refusing to edit story (Los Angeles Times)

The student-run news website of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Los Angeles ran a story last year that named a faculty member who refused to comply with the school district’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The faculty member asked advisor Adriana Chavira to remove her name from the story, citing HIPAA violation concerns. After learning from the Student Press Law Center that they were legally allowed to keep the faculty member’s name in the story, student reporters and Chavira decided against editing the story. But last week, Chavira was issued a three-day unpaid suspension, which she has appealed. Meanwhile, students published a story on Chavira’s suspension, along with an editorial titled, “They don’t respect us as student journalists.”


Your career is just one-eighth of your life (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson acknowledges that most career advice is almost always fatally flawed, but offers five pieces of advice based on psychology and economics. While work should be taken seriously, the average person’s working time accounts for one-sixth of your waking existence — “Behave accordingly,” Thompson says. Role-switching, whether at another company or within your own organization, can be highly beneficial to help you home in on what you want to do. He also advises not taking the job you want to tell people you do, but the one you want to do, and considering how much personal success matters to you.