Need to Know: September 13, 2022


You might have heard: Why the New York Times is buying The Athletic (Vox) 

But did you know: New York Times brings ads to The Athletic (Axios)

On Monday, the sports site The Athletic, which is now owned by The New York Times, debuted ads for the first time. The paper is hoping that the outlet will be profitable within three years — the time frame that it gave investors when it purchased The Athletic in January. The ads will be similar to those that appear elsewhere on The Times’ website to create continuity, reports Sara Fischer. The Athletic made roughly $10 million in advertising revenue last year, mostly from podcasts. In the future, the Athletic is likely to look to licensing deals, ticketing partnerships, fantasy sports and merchandise for revenue. 

+ Related: Inside The New York Times’ plan to bring ads to The Athletic (AdWeek) 

+ Noted: Brian Stelter joins Shorenstein Center as Fall 2022 Walter Shorenstein Media & Democracy Fellow (Shorenstein Center)


API’s Letrell Crittenden speaks at Reimagining Philadelphia Journalism Summit

Letrell Crittenden, API’s director of inclusion and audience growth, is in Philadelphia today speaking at The Lenfest Institute’s 2022 Reimagining Philadelphia Journalism Summit. Crittenden will join Jesse Hardman, founder of the Listening Post Collective, and Natalie Stroud, professor at UT Austin’s Center for Media Engagement, to discuss landscaping the news ecosystem. The conversation will highlight research into news ecosystems and how to serve communities in Philadelphia and across the country. Reach out to Crittenden at @LDeshan to connect at the summit.


How journalists can document international crimes (International Journalists’ Network) 

A new guide from the Centre for Law and Democracy helps journalists cover international crimes in a way that ensures the evidence gathered can be used in court. The guide covers serious incidents like genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, each of which has very specific definitions. In order to collect information that has an “absence of prejudicial effect” for court proceedings, the guide recommends collecting information in several formats whenever possible. Other recommendations include gathering metadata, cross-corroborating photos with other images, ensuring that you have informed consent from any interviewees and storing information in encrypted formats. 


Crikey creates an editorial series with a marketing campaign in mind (INMA) 

In 2021, Australian news outlet Crikey decided to try to create an editorial campaign with the explicit purpose of using it as a marketing campaign. The result was The Dirty Country: Lifting the lid on corruption in Australia. The 13-part series was published over two weeks via a pop-up newsletter, alongside a social media and email marketing campaign. The marketing team also hosted an event on the topic of corruption to promote the campaign via the outlet’s digital event series, Crikey Talks. That edition of Crikey Talks broke the outlet’s sign-up and attendance records, and the magazine overall saw a 12% quarterly growth. 


Members of New York Times, NBC News Digital unions defy return-to-office plans (The Wall Street Journal) 

Some union members at the New York Times and NBC News have refused to come back to the office this week, despite company-wide directives to do so. Members of the Times’ union, which is part of the NewsGuild of New York, are in the middle of negotiating for more flexible working conditions alongside higher wages and improvised diversity efforts. Similarly, NBC News’s digital teams, also with the NewsGuild, are negotiating for the option to work remotely. 


Jay Rosen on the mess at CNN and the perils of “both sides” journalism (Substack, Public Notice) 

In the wake of a management shake-up at CNN, several prominent critics of President Trump — like Brian Stelter and John Harwood — have left the network. In an interview with Thor Benson, Jay Rosen says that he thinks the new leadership at CNN has been “opaque and frightening to the journalists who work there” about what is acceptable. Rosen also says that journalists need to be actively pro-democracy and reject the idea that such a position is political. 

“When you watch that pattern occur again and again, you realize that the decades-long campaign to persuade journalists that they are filled with liberal bias was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in post-War America,” Rosen said.


Why news consumers experience crisis fatigue (Nieman Lab) 

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, news consumers around the world closely followed the war’s events; six months later, many have tuned out. This “crisis fatigue” occurs when viewers feel overwhelmed or helpless, and bad actors like Vladimir Putin take advantage of it. “Our smartphones and other technology with incessant communications — from trivial to apocalyptic — engineer environments to keep us perpetually distracted and disoriented,” writes Rebecca Rozelle-Stone. She advises that readers focus more on long-form articles than breaking news, and that journalists focus on solutions-based stories.