OFF THE TOP
You might have heard: Media leaders struggle to embrace diversity in full (Reuters Institute)
But did you know: Corporation for Public Broadcasting faces scrutiny from Ted Cruz over diversity policy (Current)
Sen. Ted Cruz has sent a letter to the CPB, questioning whether the organization’s Community Service Grant diversity requirements are constitutional. The organization requires grantees to post plans and goals for how they will represent their community. Cruz argues that the requirements violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protections clause, citing the recent Supreme Court decision that ended affirmative action at colleges under the same rule.
+ Noted: New York Times hires first newsroom leader focused on artificial intelligence (The Wall Street Journal); News Leaders Association approves membership’s vote to dissolve by June 2024 (News Leaders Association); A CBS reporter refusing to reveal her sources could be held in contempt (The Washington Post)
Trust Tip: How to decide which stories to add transparency elements to (Trusting News)
We know that when newsrooms provide explanations and insight into the reporting process it can help people better understand your goals and motivations while also improving perceptions of your news organization. You don’t have to add transparency elements to every story. To make day-to-day transparency more realistic and doable, consider these questions:
- Is the story covering a controversial topic? If so, consider telling readers why you’re doing this story, how you’re doing this story, and what else they should know about your work.
- Was the story a talker? Did people in the newsroom have a lot to say about the story when it was pitched? If so, that’s a good sign the story could probably benefit from some transparency.
- Did the story take a lot of time/resources? Transparency here illuminates the depth of research, the complexity of the subject matter and the commitment to uncovering facts.
- Can you address user curiosity? This can help satisfy the audience’s interests while also potentially filling an information void for someone that could have instead been filled with an assumption (normally negative).
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Exclusive to Table Stakes alumni: How can automation and other emerging technologies help your news organization? Join the American Press Institute’s VP of product strategy, Elite Truong, in a virtual session that looks into the strategic decisions every newsroom has to make in the era of generative AI, whether to ignore or embrace new technologies.
The hour-long session will cover what you’ll need to evaluate:
- How automation can help scale reporting capabilities
- Ways to optimize processes in the news production cycle
- Strategies to maintain audience and newsroom trust
Register for the 1 p.m. ET session on Thursday, Dec. 14.
+ Exclusive private coaching: Alumni who attend the session are invited to sign up for 45 minutes of innovation coaching with Elite Truong. A limited number of spots will be available.
Need to check if your organization is part of the Table Stakes network? Check here.
TRY THIS AT HOME
Working with hackers: where — and how — journalists should use these sources (The Fix)
More journalists now have access to hacked datasets from trusted sources, raising ethical concerns about their use and disclosure. Data journalist collectives can act as gatekeepers, verifying accuracy and checking for inappropriate personal information before releasing leaked datasets. Another key component is whether this information has real public interest value — enough to overcome potential privacy and legal concerns. Guidelines for dealing with leaked data include not paying for it, restricting access internally, maintaining editorial control of the story and avoiding collaboration with live hackers.
BBC India staffers quit and form Collective Newsroom to comply with foreign investment rules (Variety)
Four of BBC India’s staff members have left the organization to establish a new entity, Collective Newsroom, in order to avoid conflicts with India’s new laws related to foreign investment in media. The now wholly-owned Indian company will be contracted by the BBC to create digital and video output, as well as news services in six Indian languages. The Indian government came after the BBC after it published a critical documentary about Prime Minister Narendi Modi, ultimately searching BBC India’s offices.
+ Related: Covert Indian operation seeks to discredit Modi’s critics in the U.S. (The Washington Post)
A financial news site uses AI to copy competitors — wholesale (Semafor)
Investing.com, a Tel Aviv-based financial news website, has been relying on AI to generate articles. The stories they publish are often very similar to human-written stories written by other news outlets only hours earlier. Some competitor sites say this diminishes the original reporting that their teams do, while others say the poor quality of the AI-generated content doesn’t pose a threat. If the site is simply taking existing content and asking AI to rewrite it, it opens up new questions related to AI and plagiarism.
Traffic reporter responds to body shaming email on live TV (The Washington Post)
Leslie Horton, a traffic reporter for Global News Calgary, responded on live TV to a viewer’s email criticizing her body and assuming she was pregnant. She instead revealed that she had lost her uterus to cancer the previous year, and asked readers to think before they criticize the looks of on-air personalities. She said that she had been receiving critical emails from the same person for four years, but this time, she felt compelled to respond. “This is what I look like, and you don’t get to make me feel embarrassed about what I look like,” Horton said in an interview with the Post.