Need to Know: May 10, 2022


You might have heard: The winners of the 2022 Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday (Poynter) 

But did you know: Ukrainian journalists win special Pulitzer citation (Poynter)  

At Monday’s ceremony, the Pulitzer Prize Committee awarded a special citation to Ukrainian journalists “for their courage, endurance, and commitment to truthful reporting during Vladimir Putin’s ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda war in Russia.” At least three Ukrainian journalists have died so far in the war, and UN human rights experts say that journalists have been specifically targeted. Ukrainian journalists have written about their need for more equipment and funding to continue working.

+ Noted: BuzzFeed News Union ratifies first contract (Twitter, @bfnewsunion); Meta rethinks news partnerships as priorities shift (The Information) 


Podcast: 100 Days finds revenue streams beyond philanthropy (It’s All Journalism)

Michael O’Connell sits down with Editor-In-Chief Dana Coester and Executive Editor Ashton Marra of 100 Days in Appalachia to discuss how the team began experimenting with reader revenue and community membership to move beyond philanthropy. Since the 2016 election, 100 Days in Appalachia has been working with local voices to apply a cultural lens to national stories about the Appalachian region. The 100 Days team’s reporting, which covers 13 states, earned it a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award. Although 100 Days originated as a university-incubated collaborative media project, the newsroom recognized it needed to identify new streams of revenue beyond grants in order to become fully self-sustaining. That transition was the focus of its participation in the Poynter’s Local News Innovation Table Stakes program in 2021.


Reimagining the public square: What’s happening in Colorado’s information ecosystem right now (Inside the News in Colorado)

The news ecosystem in Colorado has fractured greatly in the past decade, writes Corey Hutchins of Colorado College’s Journalism Institute. In this round-up of the media sources in the state, Hutchins highlights four types of projects producing information and attempting to rebuild the media landscape. They include “ecosystem builders,” or collaborative organizations that are attempting to develop new models that can be replicated in other markets; “promising projects” that are trying to address specific issues; local news startups, both locally grown and national; and groups associated with media that are promoting “civic dialogue and democracy.”

+ Related: Media and democracy: Unpacking America’s complex views on the digital public square (Knight Foundation) 


Winnipeg Free Press creates fundraising supper event with local  food (International News Media Association) 

In Manitoba, community events known as “fall suppers” are a tradition in rural communities, where a hearty meal is served to raise money for a local charity. The Winnipeg Free Press developed its own version of a fall dinner alongside a feature about the production of the ingredients featured in the meal. A local chef prepared a meal of the exact items written and photographed in the feature, and the paper raised $4,500 (Canadian) to donate to a local food bank. A second Free Press Fall Supper is planned for this year, with the meal based on a community cookbook project that explores the history of the Free Press’ food coverage. 


Why Planned Parenthood is bolstering its news division (CNN)

Kate Smith left her role as a reporter covering reproductive rights at CBS News, she said, because her editors were no longer interested in covering abortion policies as a dedicated beat. Now, as the senior director of news content for Planned Parenthood, she says she tries to frame coverage of reproductive health issues outside of the traditional political debate. She says that stories about changes to abortion laws don’t often include vital information, such as whether someone can make an appointment at their local planned parenthood. She says she is trying to make Planned Parenthood’s website a source for authoritative health information. 


The New York Times ignores its 20th century homophobia (Substack, Ross Barkan) 

Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a long feature exploring the life of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who was closeted his entire life. Ross Barkan writes that while the feature is important in the larger discussion about Koch’s role in the AIDS crisis, the paper fails to address its own culpability in the homophobia that kept Koch from coming out. The Times’ executive editor at the time, A.M. Rosenthal, has been described as “famously homophobic,” and Barkan argues that not mentioning Rosenthal’s influence in New York City politics during the Koch era is a lapse in the paper’s coverage. “The reader gets the impression the paper would rather bury that part of its past,” he writes. 


How do newsrooms talk to readers when they’ve really screwed up? With process, transparency, and trust (Nieman Lab) 

A new paper from Journalism Studies has found that when news outlets issue “major mea culpas” over serious errors, the notes to readers “seek to assert and affirm journalistic identity.” A study of 30 such pieces finds some common themes: They acknowledged a breach of trust between newsroom and audience, they noted the failure to meet their own internal standards, and they often went above and beyond to demonstrate transparency about the process the newsroom went through after the fact. “Those are all great practices — journalism on its best behavior,” writes Joshua Benton. “What if it didn’t take a monumental screw-up for newsrooms to bring them to the foreground?” 

+ Earlier: Acknowledge when you mess up (Trusting News)