OFF THE TOP
You might have heard: Majority of Black Americans see racist or negative depictions in news media (PBS)
But did you know: Fewer than half of Black Americans say the news often covers the issues that are important to them (Pew Research Center)
White Americans (54%) are more likely to say the news covers issues most important to them, compared to Black (40%), Asian (38%) and Hispanic (37%) adults, according to a Pew Research Center study on Black Americans’ experiences with news. More than half of Black respondents said it’s extremely or very important for them to follow news on health and medicine, crime, economy and jobs, and education and schools — and that it’s not easy for them to find information on these topics. The study also found that a significant portion of Black respondents would like to see more positive coverage of their communities and Black Americans.
+ Noted: Texas Tribune staff unionize, five months after first-ever layoffs (Poynter); NPR names tech executive Katherine Maher to lead in turbulent era (NPR); Kansas lawmakers want a report on last year’s police raid of a newspaper (The Associated Press); The UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media invites journalists to take its survey on staying or leaving the industry (Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media)
TODAY: API Tech Talks x Table Stakes: Engaging audiences amid social platform flux
Table Stakes alumni are invited to join the American Press Institute’s newsroom success manager, Shay Totten, in a conversation on how to engage local news audiences and find ways to build trust, loyalty and community amid social media uncertainty. You’ll come away with some concrete ideas — as well as a printable ‘zine — to start connecting with your community of readers. The virtual event will be held at 1 p.m. Eastern time today. Not sure if your news organization is on the list? Check here.
How The Guardian raised a record amount of reader revenue in the U.S. (Nieman Lab)
The Guardian U.S. raised $2.2 million during its 2023 year-end drive, marking the highest reader revenue it’s raised since the start of the drive six years ago. The Guardian’s U.S. outlet gets 55% of its funding from digital reader revenue — making its financial makeup starkly different from The Guardian overall, where revenue sources are evenly split between reader donations, print revenue and advertising. Rachel Sturm, Guardian U.S.’s director of consumer revenue, said appeal emails written by star columnists were very effective. She said the outlet also focused on upping its number of yearly or monthly donors, which provide more steady support.
TRY THIS AT HOME
How publishers need to rethink their approach to community management (Media Makers Meet)
Ahead of the 2024 elections, news outlets’ social media and comment sections will likely see an increase in debate. Andrew Losowsky, head of community product at Vox Media, encourages collaboration between digital and editorial teams to come up with strategies for commenting and community management. Communicating a goal of building engaging, community-based discourse in comment sections, and building editorial and moderation policies that support that, may help these spaces be more productive, he says.
The world moved on from Boko Haram. This reporter went back to tell their victims’ stories (The Reuters Institute)
Nigerian investigative journalist Kunle Adebajo has long reported on the victims of Boko Haram despite a lack of data and transparency from the government, the hesitation of victims to speak for fear of retribution, public threats from the terrorist group and news fatigue from readers. He also acknowledged the effects of secondary trauma after serving as a conduit for stories of anguish, loss and suffering.
“We need more stories the world has moved on from. . .But when those stories are told, we also need action and acknowledgement and apologies and clarification and impact. More than awards, journalists need to know all that work was not for nothing.” — Kunle Adebajo, HumAngle
Most top news sites block AI bots. Right-wing media welcomes them (Wired)
About 90 percent of top U.S. news organizations are blocking web crawlers used to train AI projects — but no leading right-wing outlets block any of the bots, according to a survey by AI detection startup Originality AI. Of the 44 news sites surveyed, Fox News, the Daily Caller, Breitbart and The Free Press do not block any of the most prominent web scrapers. Originality AI’s CEO notes that the discrepancy could affect the bias of AI tools trained on available data, a potential strategic move by right-leaning outlets looking to fight back against perceived liberal bias in AI tools. However, Wired notes that after it reached out to right-wing news organizations for comment, the Washington Examiner began blocking web crawlers and the Daily Caller said not blocking the bots was an “oversight.”
How anti-diversity laws are jeopardizing pubmedia’s DEI efforts (Current)
At least five states have passed laws banning DEI efforts — including mandatory training, DEI offices and identity-based hiring practices — at public universities, impacting radio stations licensed to public universities. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting revised the diversity policy for its Community Service Grant recipients so that stations in affected states would not be disqualified from the grant. KUT in Austin, Texas has had to curtail its staff training, abandon its pursuit to hire an internal culture officer and modify its approach to hiring. Affected stations told Tyler Falk they intend to pursue the spirit of diversity and inclusion but have to walk a fine line when it comes to written guidelines and regulations.