OFF THE TOP
You might have heard: Trump’s threat to democracy is now systemic (The Atlantic)
But did you know: A second Trump administration will ‘come after’ people in the media in the courts, an ally says (AP)
Kash Patel, a former Trump administration leader, said if Trump is elected again his administration will retaliate against media critics “criminally or civilly.” Patel worked in Trump’s Justice Department and the National Security Council and said on Steve Bannon’s podcast that Trump allies would target “conspirators” of the 2020 election, which he falsely claims was stolen from Trump. Earlier this fall, Trump posted on Truth Social that he would investigate NBC and MSNBC for “treason” and curb their access to airwaves.
+ Noted: BBC overhauls American website amid broader overseas push (Axios); TikTok’s biggest hits are videos you’ve probably never seen (The Verge)
How the AJC used a pop-up newsletter on a big news story to build new audience (Better News)
When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the Fulton County, Ga., criminal indictments of Donald Trump and 18 of his associates this summer, it became clear that the coverage was garnering attention from new audiences — people from outside of Georgia, and people who don’t normally read the news. Combined with AJC’s goal to cover the entire arc of the indictments, not just the initial charges, the newsroom decided to launch a pop-up newsletter to keep new and existing audiences alike updated on the ongoing coverage. Editors shared their takeaways of quick-launching a new newsletter, including solidifying a workflow, not letting blockers stop progress and planning for organic growth.
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Allbritton nonprofit plans ‘News of the United States’ to showcase rising talent (Semafor)
The Allbritton Journalism Institute will launch a nonprofit newsroom in Washington, D.C. that will train early-career reporters. At News of the United States — NOTUS — aspiring journalists will work alongside seasoned reporters and editors to cover national politics and the 2024 election. NOTUS’s young journalists will be employed for a year and earn a $60,000 salary with healthcare and paid time off. Robert Allbritton, Politico’s founder, pledged $20 million to launch AJI earlier this year.
How authoritarian regimes go after journalists beyond their borders (Time)
Freedom House has identified 112 transnational repression incidents — an assault, detention, deportation, rendition or assassination conducted by a government beyond its borders — against journalists since 2014 Saudi Arabia’s assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 is a high-profile example, but at least 25 other governments have targeted journalists abroad, too. Exiled journalists also report digital attacks by authoritarian governments that undermine their ability to build credibility with audiences and sources. Democracies owe a duty of care to these exiled journalists, according to Freedom House, and should punish regimes that carry out cross-border attacks.
How generative AI could help foreign adversaries influence US elections (Politifact)
Fake news sites and social media accounts used by bad actors to sow disinformation is nothing new — the tactic was deployed prominently in the leadup to the 2020 U.S. election. But researchers note that generative AI tools will take this approach to a new level, as posts, images, audio and video can be realistically faked. A measure of the effectiveness of a disinformation campaign is whether it seeps into “real life” and is unwittingly shared on social media or through news outlets. Image and voice cloning of candidates could target poll workers, voters and other candidates, and AI could also be used to manufacture last-minute news events.
The AP Stylebook, a ‘toolbook, not a rulebook,’ is in constant evolution (Poynter)
A recent AP Stylebook Workshop — a four-week course that dug into the nuts and bolts of AP style and editing — highlighted how the guides shift along with language. The AP Style Committee focuses on big-picture issues that reshape or require new guidance, such as gender-neutral language and coverage of AI, race, disabilities, immigration and criminal justice. Reporters are also encouraged to practice inclusive storytelling best practices and seek a wide variety of voices for accuracy and clarity.