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You might have heard: The Medill Local News Initiative released its State of Local News 2023 (Medill Local News Initiative)
But did you know: US lost more than two local newspapers a week this year (Poynter)
More than 130 newspapers have closed or merged this year, meaning that the country is losing 2.5 newspapers every week, according to the Medill Local News Initiative’s report. More than half of the counties in the U.S. have only one or no local news outlets. The acceleration of newsroom closures is due to family-owned newspapers who have given up after struggling for years, as well as newspaper chains closing up or selling off properties.
+ Noted: Nieman Lab now has a WhatsApp Channel (Nieman Lab)
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Newsrooms want to diversify. These programs can help (Nieman Reports)
Bootcamps and fellowships that train aspiring journalists, particularly from underrepresented groups, are helping launch new careers while also diversifying the perspectives of newsrooms around the country. These programs are often focused on providing sought-after skills like data analysis and financial reporting. But pushback to diversity programs has put them at risk, with opponents of affirmative action claiming that some of these programs discriminate against white candidates.
LA Times blocks reporters who signed open letter criticizing Israel from covering Gaza (Semafor)
Dozens of staffers at The Los Angeles Times signed an open letter that condemned Israel’s attack on Gaza earlier this month and called on newsrooms to use more forceful language about war. As a result, the paper has barred any reporter who signed the letter from covering the war for at least three months. Last week, editor Kevin Merida reminded staff that the company’s policy states that a “fair-minded reader of the Times news coverage should not be able to discern the private opinions of those who contributed to that coverage.”
TikTok says that it is removing videos promoting Osama bin Laden’s justification for 9/11 (Deadline)
TikTok has announced that it will remove any videos that promote Osama bin Laden‘s Letter to America because they are a violation of the platform’s anti-terrorism rules. The letter, written after 9/11 as a justification for the attacks, had been posted on The Guardian’s website since 2002. (The paper took it down last week.) TikTok denied that the Bin Laden letter had gone viral, saying that it was not more popular on the platform than on other social networks.
+ Related: The Guardian deletes Osama bin Laden’s ‘Letter to America’ because it went viral on TikTok (404 Media)
The Post publishes photos from mass shootings and draws mixed reaction (The Washington Post)
Last week, the Washington Post published an article about gun violence that included graphic scenes of mass shootings. The story, part of The Post’s Terror on Repeat series, which focuses on the impact of the AR-15 in the U.S., prompted a debate about whether such graphic photos are necessary and useful when telling the stories of these tragedies. None of the photos showed identifiable bodies, and the piece featured many warnings about the graphic nature of the content. Most readers said that they appreciated the photos, but experts say they’re unlikely to make an impact.