OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: Mainstream media bloodbath: News outlets slash jobs as business suffers (Axios) 

But did you know: Latino journalist layoffs threaten coverage of disinformation targeting Hispanics (NBC News) 

Many of the staffers laid off from the Los Angeles Times last week were Hispanic, and the timing of their departure is particularly unfortunate. Disinformation has spread quickly in Spanish-speaking communities, and it was journalists in these communities that often first spotted these claims and debunked them. Now, in an election year, there will be fewer Latino journalists in the national media fighting against disinformation and anti-immigrant propaganda, says former LA Times columnist Jean Guerrero. 

+ Related: Wall Street Journal plans layoffs, restructuring in D.C. (Axios)   

+ Noted: Ex-IRS contractor sentenced to 5 years for leaking Trump tax records (Reuters); Eugene Weekly plans to start printing again in February (OPB); TechCrunch ends its subscription product amid staff layoffs (AdWeek); Judge orders The Oregonian/OregonLive to return or destroy documents ‘inadvertently disclosed’ in Nike sex discrimination lawsuit (The Oregonian) 

API UPDATE

Trust tip: Explain your election coverage goals with a mission statement and FAQ page (Trusting News) 

As your newsroom continues covering the upcoming elections — and political/government coverage more broadly — get on the record about your goals. Don’t leave people guessing when it comes to how you are prioritizing coverage, where they can get the latest information, how you fact-check, etc. Tell them. 

There are two ways to do this. 1) Create a mission statement that focuses on your election or political coverage. It should address how you cover races, politicians, voting and even democracy. 2) Create a  user-friendly FAQ page offers readers a casual, accessible way to learn more about how you are going to cover the election/politics. 

TRY THIS AT HOME

Vermont Public will cover the 2024 election by taking our cues from you (Vermont Public) 

Ahead of the 2024 election, Vermont Public has announced that it will approach its politics coverage with a “citizens agenda” model. Its website features a form for readers to fill out with one question: “What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for your votes?” The announcement of this plan also includes a roadmap of election coverage and the publication’s specific focus areas. There’s also the opportunity for readers to help with coverage of the election 

OFFSHORE

These women-led newsrooms are helping change journalism in the Global South (Reuters Institute) 

Female journalists around the world are advocating for more coverage of women’s issues and a gender-focused approach to subjects like climate, politics and business. Brazil’s AzMina bills itself as the first feminist media in the country, while in Uganda, the founder of HerStory said that she had struggled to get stories about women covered in mainstream outlets. Along with Nigeria’s BONews Service and Nepal’s Boju Bajai, these outlets are covering global topics like abortion access as well as regional issues like the effects of emigration on women’s role in society. 

OFFBEAT

A fiery board meeting inspired Penguin Random House to actively challenge the removal of books from school libraries (The Wall Street Journal)

After originally steering clear of the issue, Penguin Random House has taken a firm position against book bans in school libraries. The publisher has argued that librarians and teachers should be the people making decisions about what students can see, rather than politicians. There is a financial motive for their position as well; sales of banned books tend to drop dramatically. 

SHAREABLE

City Cast, a local news podcast network, is still expanding three years in (Nieman Lab) 

Despites 2023 being dubbed “the podcast world’s year from hell,” City Cast — a network of local podcasts and newsletters — is still thriving. Eleven cities now have four-person teams producing local news, with daily podcasts covering everything from hard news to regional “life hacks.” CEO David Plotz describes City Cast’s output as a “toolkit” for each city. So far, though, the newsletters have remained more popular than the podcasts.