Need to Know: September 7, 2023


You might have heard: Do you avoid the news? You’re in growing company. (The Washington Post)

But did you know: Non-news sites expose people to more political content than news sites. Why? (Nieman Lab)

As news avoidance grows because audiences feel helpless or depressed in the face of bad news, people instead turn to alternatives to news and politics, such as streaming services, social media platforms or online games. But they still face incidental exposure to news during their browsing, and a recent study finds that of every 10 views of political content, 3.4 come from news and 6.6 from non-news websites. This is due in part to the infrequent use of news sites by most survey participants, but people who consume political news from shopping, celebrity gossip or entertainment sites react to it in the same way as if they’d read it on a news site.

+ Noted: Jeff Jarvis says he plans to leave CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the end of this term and will “technically” retire (Medium/Jeff Jarvis); Julio Ricardo Varela steps down as president of Futuro Media (Los Angeles Times); X launches Community Notes for videos (Tech Crunch); One America, Chanel Rion settle lawsuit with Dominion Employee over false election rigging claims (Deadline)


Join us to explore mental health solutions for journalists 

The American Press Institute will host its next API Local News Summit on helping news leaders prioritize and support their journalists’ mental health. If you have ideas about how news leaders can support their staff’s mental health or solutions to change the often-toxic cultures of the news industry — and especially if you are working on this yourself — we’d like to extend this call for participation in our summit. 

This summit, scheduled for Oct. 10-11 to coincide with World Mental Health Day, will gather approximately 60 media leaders and non-journalism experts in Atlanta. We are open to people with various responsibilities and titles from for-profit and nonprofit media of all platforms. Request an invitation for the remaining spots at our summit no later than Sunday, September 17, at 11:59 p.m. ET. 


Amedia drives revenue with native advertising (INMA)

Native advertising — paid content with the style and format of the platform it is on — is filling the void left by the decline of print advertising for Amedia, Norway’s second-largest media company. Amedia has seen more engagement with native ads compared to banner ads due to the content’s relevance as well as with a “banner blindness” that audiences have developed. And as more readers view news sites on their phones, native ads integrate into the sites more seamlessly than banner ads. 


The Trans Journalists Association is expanding to meet the moment (Poynter)

It’s only been four years since the Trans Journalists Association developed its style guide, but the media landscape has totally transformed since then — due not only to the pandemic, but also to the hundreds of anti-trans bills state lawmakers have introduced in 2023 alone. The association is expanding and revamping to address the shortfall in coverage of trans people and legislation targeting them. Its updated style guide addresses topics like whether to identify someone as trans in a breaking news situation and includes new sections on “editorial best practices” and “politicized or inaccurate phrases.” 


What being thrown out of Russia taught me about the Kremlin’s war on the media (Politico)

Following Moscow-based journalist Eva Hartog’s sudden expulsion from Russia last month, she’s heard from other journalists who have also been kicked out by the Kremlin. Hartog describes a troubling trend of Russia quietly cracking down on the few independent voices detailing the domestic impact of the war in Ukraine, especially ahead of next year’s presidential election. While independent Russian reporters quickly fled to avoid prosecution, it seemed foreign correspondents wouldn’t be sent to jail for their reporting — until Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich was arrested on espionage charges, and the treatment of foreign journalists has gone downhill from there, she writes.


Social media is filling the void in post-disaster reporting in Maui (Forbes)

It’s been a month since sweeping wildfires devastated the town of Lahaina and killed at least 115 people, and national news has moved on while local news outlets struggle to do more with less. Social media has helped locals keep the conversation going online, especially when it comes to communicating constantly-changing information such as the status of a loved one or up-to-date answers to questions. Sharing post-disaster information on social media comes with challenges, however — strict control of posts, including updated timestamps, is necessary to ensure accuracy of information. And misinformation about the disasters can spread alongside relevant updates on these platforms. 


Global publishing, journalism organizations unite to release comprehensive global principles for artificial intelligence (News/Media Alliance)

Twenty-six publishing organizations from around the world released Global Principles on Artificial Intelligence to provide guidance on the development, deployment and regulation of AI. The guidance, which applies to the use of content to train and deploy AI systems, embraces the opportunities AI offers to the publishing industry while protecting intellectual property. The principles also address transparency, accountability, quality and integrity, fairness, safety, design and sustainable development.