OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: Media industry cuts top 20,000 in 2023, report finds (Poynter) 

But did you know: The worst year in digital media history (Medialyte)

The media industry had lost over 20,000 jobs this year as of October — and at least half a dozen other publishers have announced layoffs since, writes Mark Stenberg. This makes it a worse year for media jobs than even 2020. He writes that this is partly due to advertisers not wanting to compete against the big tech platforms for attention, and instead returning to print products and live events to promote themselves. 

PQ: “Eventually, maybe, my hope is that we will look back on this period as a time of immense transition, one in which the information ecosystem lurched painfully from the analog world to the digital one.” — Mark Stenberg, Medialyte 

+ Noted: The Nation magazine to become monthly (The New York Times); NBC News demands Trump campaign take down fake clip of reporter (Semafor); Center for Community Media publishes first-ever directory and map of media outlets run by and for AAPI communities (Center for Community Media) 

API UPDATE

API Inclusion Index cohort learns community listening and asset mapping basics in Pittsburgh 

The American Press Institute convened its second Inclusion Index cohort in Pittsburgh in late October to begin their in-person training in collaboration with Resolve Philly. Inclusion Index coaches, each of which are paired with a cohort newsroom, shared best practices for building asset maps and brainstorming practical solutions for improving community engagement.

The five news organizations present — PublicSource, City Cast Pittsburgh, WESA, WQED and YaJagoff — participated in a full day of training and brainstorming sessions, as well as a walking tour of the Deutschtown neighborhood, a small enclave located on the city’s North Shore. The walking tour was used as part of a larger training focused on direct engagement with communities — cohort newsrooms will target the Perry South and Allentown/Beltzhoover areas for their community listening efforts.

Tell API and AP how to support your election coverage

The American Press Institute and The Associated Press want to support your 2024 election coverage. Read about our collaboration, and take this 4-minute survey to help us better support you.

Exclusive to Table Stakes alumni: How can automation and other emerging technologies help your news organization? Join the American Press Institute’s VP of product strategy, Elite Truong, in a virtual session that looks into the strategic decisions every newsroom has to make in the era of generative AI, whether to ignore or embrace new technologies.

The hour-long session will cover what you’ll need to evaluate:

  • How automation can help scale reporting capabilities
  • Ways to optimize processes in the news production cycle
  • Strategies to maintain audience and newsroom trust

Register for the 1 p.m. ET session on Thursday, Dec. 14. 

+ Exclusive private coaching: Alumni who attend the session are invited to sign up for 45 minutes of innovation coaching with Elite Truong. A limited number of spots will be available.

Need to check if your organization is part of the Table Stakes network? Check here.

Better News podcast: Tips and strategies for improving community-focused election coverage

One of the most important missions a local news organization has is covering local politics and elections. However, with shrinking staffs and limited resources, many digital media outlets struggle to effectively achieve this mission.

David Plazas, director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network Tennessee, recently wrote a piece for the Better News initiative on how The Tennessean created a significant, authentic public service experience around local politics. Read the full piece. 

On the latest episode of the Better News podcast, Plazas talks to host Michael O’Connell about the opportunities, resources, and collaborations The Tennessean employed during the 2023 election. He also offers tips and strategies other news organizations can use to enhance their coverage of local politics.

TRY THIS AT HOME

The Washington Post’s Newsprint launches this December with new features (The Washington Post)

For the second year, The Washington Post’s Newsprint offers a personalized wrap-up based on subscribers’ consumption through the year. The feature, similar to Spotify’s Wrapped feature, offers recommendations for more reading, video messages from most-read journalists, and an immersive quiz to reveal “reader types.” Newsprint is part of The Washington Post’s efforts to enhance subscriber features, following the introduction of Post games Keyword and On The Record earlier this year.

OFFSHORE

European fact-checkers prepare for elections under a new law that regulates tech companies (Poynter) 

Ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections, fact-checkers in Europe met to make plans for cross-border collaboration. They will be aided by the Digital Services Act, a 2020 law that holds tech companies accountable for the information that spreads on their platforms. Companies are required to compile tactics for discouraging misinformation, and meeting with fact-checkers is one way companies can show their commitment. Fact-checkers say that the law is an effective tool for labeling disinformation without risking censorship. 

OFFBEAT

Elon Musk restores X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (The Associated Press) 

Elon Musk has reinstated the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s account on  X, formerly Twitter, after asking his followers in a poll whether it was the right call. Musk called it a move to protect free speech, and said that the platform’s fact-checking service Community Notes would “respond rapidly” to any misinformation that Jones posted. Jones was banned after promoting his conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax to try to tighten gun laws. 

SHAREABLE

Actually, people don’t hate the media as much as you think (The Washington Post) 

Low trust in the media, particularly among conservatives, has been a frequent concern in the news industry, but a close look at surveys on media trust reveals a more complex reality, write Tom Rosenstiel and Mariana Meza Hernandez. Depending on the wording of the question, trust levels vary, with up to 61% expressing confidence in national news organizations. Both conservatives and liberals give better reviews of local news, with more than three-quarters saying that the media does at least “somewhat well” covering local issues. “The point is that we should be wary of generalizations and monolithic assumptions when thinking about how to rebuild the infrastructure for a responsible press and about how that press should operate,” they write.