OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: On the front lines of the local news crisis, a lot of pain but some reason for hope (Poynter) 

But did you know: Five seasoned reporters reflect on the vanishing landscape of local news around the world (Reuters Institute) 

Journalists around the world are seeing local newspapers continue to disappear and weaken drastically. Brazilian daily newspaper Diário de Pernambuco will celebrate 200 years in 2025 — but the tiny newsroom that still exists is a shadow of its former self, with employees regularly seeing pay delays that can last three months. And journalists in Nigeria, France and the U.S. say that the demolition of local newsrooms is making it harder for young journalists to cut their teeth. 

+ Noted: The Washington Post threatens layoffs if it doesn’t hit buyout target (The Daily Beast); Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in Smartmatic defamation case against Fox (Reuters); After 151 years, Popular Science will no longer offer a magazine (The Verge); Russia extends detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich (The Washington Post)    

API UPDATE 

Trust Tip: Make your reporting on guns less polarizing (Trusting News) 

Reporting on guns is full of potential landmines. If we want our coverage to aid in civil discourse and ultimately, solutions, we have to first commit to avoiding perpetuating stereotypical narratives and tell more accurate and complex stories about the spectrum of perspectives in our communities.

When doing a big state-wide investigation on gun deaths, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter John Diedrich wrote a behind-the-scenes piece that clearly lays out the goals and mission of this investigation and how the reporting process worked. 

Make your “stop doing” list for 2024

With 2024 around the corner, what do you want to change about your news organization’s day-to-day work? Table Stakes alumni are invited to a workshop led by Emily Ristow, director of local news transformation  for the American Press Institute, to create their “stop doing” lists for the new year.

Much of the hour will be dedicated thinking time for you, you and a colleague, or you and your team to think strategically about what you can stop doing. The session will cover how to:

  • Use a “stop doing” list to help you give up low-value work
  • Prioritize based on ease and impact
  • Identify the value of your work as it relates to your mission and business needs
  • Make “stop doing” part of a regular practice and offer tips to help you figure out what to “start doing” instead 

The 60-minute workshop will take place twice to accommodate a range of schedules. These sessions will not be recorded. Join live on:

Not sure if your news organization is part of the Table Stakes network? Check bit.ly/TS-alumni-finder

TRY THIS AT HOME

How Bloomberg Media got to 500,000 subscribers – and how it plans to reach a million (Press Gazette) 

Five years after launching a paywall, Bloomberg hit 500,000 subscribers — making it one of only 16 English-language publishers to have reached half a million digital subscribers. Chief digital officer Julia Beizer said the publication has become focused more on retaining loyal subscribers by nurturing and engaging current readers. She says market coverage and technology are the subject areas that draw the most subscribers, with personal finance becoming more popular as well. 

OFFSHORE

Can Taiwan continue to fight off Chinese disinformation? (The New York Times) 

Ahead of the presidential election in January, misinformation about Taiwanese politicians and candidates has flooded the internet — much of it believed to have originated in Beijing. One deepfake video appeared to show President Tsai Ing-wen advertising cryptocurrency investments. But after years of meddling by the Chinese government, Taiwan is ready with fact checkers, media literacy programs, government funding to fight misinformation, and “a public sense of skepticism” about the information they hear. 

OFFBEAT

How top PR firm uses ‘trust barometer’ to promote world’s autocrats (The Guardian) 

Edelman, the largest PR firm in the world, has been known as one of the leading authorities on global trust thanks to its annual “trust barometer.” Edelman’s survey has found repeatedly that citizens of authoritarian countries have more trust in their government than those in democratic countries — without divulging that some of their clients are these same authoritarian governments. The government of the United Arab Emirates became an Edelman client in 2007, and has used Edelman’s survey as proof that Emeratis strongly trust their government.  

SHAREABLE

Sports Illustrated published articles by fake, AI-generated writers (Futurism) 

Two people involved in the creation of content for Sports Illustrated said that the publication has been using AI to generate articles as well as create fake authors. After Futurism reached out to the magazine’s publisher, The Arena Group, those articles and author profiles disappeared from the site. The publisher claims that the content came from a contractor who had previously assured them that the content was human-generated. 

+ Related: The legal framework for AI is being built in real time, and a ruling in the Sarah Silverman case should give publishers pause (Nieman Lab); These look like prizewinning photos. They’re AI fakes. (The Washington Post); Over 100 photographers united against AI at World Press Photo (Blind Magazine)