Need to Know: November 18, 2022


Last week, Axios reported that newspapers are worried about the prospect of a recession. This week, a slew of layoffs were announced at Gannett, Morning Brew and Outside Media. Vice Media has laid off about a dozen editorial staffers and plans to reduce its costs by about 15%. And the Hollywood Reporter writes that “belt-tightening is in full effect” in the TV news industry. (Axios; USA Today; Twitter, @maxwelltani; Ad Week; Deadline; Twitter, @BenMullin; The Hollywood Reporter) 


These are the stories that captured the most interest from Need to Know subscribers this week. 

Meta’s layoffs make it official: Facebook is ready to part ways with the news. Many news-related positions have been eliminated, and funding for many news organizations is likely to wrap in 2024. (Nieman Lab)  

‘We’re experimenting with reader access’: Interview with The Washington Post’s Chief Revenue Officer, Joy Robins. The paper is considering limited subscription options to appeal to younger readers. (What’s New In Publishing)  

NBC News suspends reporter for retracted Paul Pelosi story. Today show correspondent Miguel Almaguer’s inaccurate description of the attack on Pelosi fueled right-wing conspiracy theories. (The Daily Beast)  


Knowing the news: How Gen Z and Millennials get information on essential topics

A new in-depth API and AP-NORC Center study of 16- to 40-year-olds provides practical guidance to news organizations on how Gen Z and Millennials engage with important news topics. As the U.S. continues to learn more about public behavior during the recent midterm elections and enters a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study reveals that members of the Gen Z and Millennial generations are intensely interested in the most salient issues of the times. Topics such as crime and public safety, information about COVID-19, health and mental health, and information on traffic, transportation and weather are closely followed by Gen Z and Millennials, regardless of age, gender, race and ethnicity, type of community, and education level.

What’s next for social media? 

With major changes afoot for Twitter, API’s Product Strategy Team would like to know if these changes will impact your reliance on the platform and if you’re thinking differently about news distribution on Twitter and social media platforms in general. Will your readers stick with Twitter? Will you?

How to engage readers without giving away content and losing access to valuable audience and reader information to other platforms is a never-ending conundrum. Every algorithmic, ownership, or design change only exacerbates our situation as an industry. What to do? 

API is interested in hosting a strategy session on what newsrooms can, or want, to do in the face of ongoing transformation in social media and news distribution made by Big Tech. We’re looking for input on your future plans for social media. Fill out our one-minute social media survey here. 


+ Journalists want to re-create Twitter on Mastodon. Mastodon is not into it. (Columbia Journalism Review) 

+ How the media — including NPR — overlooked the significance of a landmark study on reading education (Current) 

+ The unbearable lightness of BuzzFeed: It built a digital media empire in part by aggregating viral content from social media. A decade later, what’s next? (The Verge)