OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: Let’s talk about the 90 percent of Republicans who don’t trust us (Medium, Trusting News) 

But did you know: New survey results show ominous findings about the state of the journalism profession (The Hill) 

A new study out of Syracuse University “reveals blinking red lights on the dashboard of the news industry,” according to media critic Jeffrey M. McCall. He writes that the study’s findings — that 10 times more journalists describe themselves as Democrats than Republicans, that the average age of professional journalists is now older than the workforce overall, that 70% of journalists say they regularly use social media to gather information — indicate that the workforce is not reflecting the country at large. He worries that the move away from reaching the “widest possible audience” has fed into a polarized country. 

+ Noted: Applications for the California Local News Fellowship program are now open until February 25 (Berkeley Journalism); ‘CNN This Morning’ is moving to Atlanta, staffers asked to reapply for jobs (The Hollywood Reporter); President Biden declines Super Bowl interview for second consecutive year (Variety)   

API UPDATE

Six news organizations join the American Press Institute’s cohort to design live events

Six news organizations will participate in the American Press Institute’s live events sprint program, a five-month cohort aimed at helping news organizations design and market live events within their communities. This initiative serves alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, which advances innovations in local journalism through intensive change-management training for news leaders. API manages a network of more than 200 Table Stakes alumni organizations, helping journalists and news leaders stay current on best practices from across the industry.

The API team will lead the participating news organizations through an interactive, hands-on sprint to teach them how to design successful live events that bolster community engagement, build community trust, drive revenues and boost organizational resilience. 

The goal of the sprint is to meet the needs of the Table Stakes alumni community. The API team created this custom-tailored program based on the feedback of the Table Stakes alumni network and API’s organizational expertise and focus on community engagement, revenue, inclusion and civic discourse. 

Exclusive to Table Stakes alumni: How to find and apply for grants to support your journalism 

Register for this month’s alumni session on how to find and apply for grants to support your journalism at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 8. The one-hour training will be led by journalist, media consultant and Table Stakes alumna Jane Elizabeth.

The session will cover five common misconceptions about journalism grants and share best practices for applying. If you’re curious about where to find grant opportunities, this session is a great place to start.

As always, all staff, including development, marketing, membership, etc., at TS alumni organizations are encouraged to attend. This session will be recorded.

TRY THIS AT HOME

Young newsroom managers are often unprepared for leadership. Here’s how that can change (Poynter) 

Even in supportive settings, young newsroom managers often struggle because they don’t know where to turn for help, writes Jay Omar. They know that they shouldn’t burden their staffers with their own problems, but they fear bringing those problems to their managers in case they seem weak or incompetent. Omar writes that newsrooms can and must address these issues. 

OFFSHORE

Meet the newscaster in drag making LGBTQ+ history in Mexican television (AP News) 

Guillermo Barraza, in his drag character Amanda, is the first drag queen to host a news show in Mexico. Barraza says that he’s seeking to push the boundaries in a country where both LGBTQ+ people and journalists are often targets. He first hosted in drag during Pride celebrations last summer, and the huge amount of hate he received inspired him and his network to create a show that could discuss LGTBQ+ issues seriously.

OFFBEAT

3 in 4 U.S. adults can discern real political news headlines from fake ones (NiemanLab) 

A new academic paper has found that three in four American adults can discern a real political news headline from a fake one. When given two headlines, participants were much more likely to pick the true one, although older and more educated respondents did better than younger, less educated people. The fake headlines were written by journalists with a variety of backgrounds; the real headlines were chosen from Reuters articles by those same journalists. The paper’s authors say it casts doubt on the idea that we live in a “post-truth” world. 

SHAREABLE

The spectacular collapse of the Messenger is a lesson on how not to do journalism (The Guardian)

In her reflection on the folding of the Messenger last week, Margaret Sullivan writes that there are three primary takeaways. One is that any “quick fix” idea in journalism is probably doomed. Another is that the idea of “centrism” as a way of attracting a large audience clearly doesn’t work; CNN’s failed experiment is another example. And the third is that journalists should be wary of media outlets with a lot of money and grandiose ideas about “saving the industry.” 

+ Related: Former Messenger staffers file class-action lawsuit over news site shutdown (Axios); ‘Economic headwinds’? No, The Messenger’s flop is the result of one man’s blindness to his own bad ideas (NiemanLab); The Messenger was doomed. Grid was not. (Substack, Medialyte)