TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

It’s been a notably bad few weeks for the news media industry. Sports Illustrated laid off most of their staff, while the Los Angeles Times laid off 115 newsroom employees. Business Insider laid off 8% of its staff, Univision let go of 200 employees and Forbes has announced layoffs as well. (The New York Times; Los Angeles Times; Variety; Voz Media; X, @sarafischer) 

And unions across the country have been reacting to layoffs and other issues. Conde Nast’s union announced a walkout over layoffs announced months ago, while newly-unionized reporters at the San Antonio Report walked off after what they called an “illegal” layoff. Forbes staff has begun a three-day strike, while reporters at the New York Daily News walked off the job for a day. And reporters at The Texas Tribune moved to unionize. (Axios, Texas Public Radio, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Nieman Lab) 

MOST POPULAR STORIES THIS WEEK

These are the stories that captured the most interest from Need to Know subscribers this week. 

Ten young journalists open up about their struggles to break into the news industry. Young journalists from around the world are struggling with similar issues — the cost of a journalism education, the decline in internships and other entry-level opportunities, low pay and long hours. (Reuters Institute) 

Newsrooms working to transform their crime coverage are seeing the payoffs. Focusing less on breaking crime news and more on broader trends stories may lead to a drop in page views, but higher conversion rates on crime coverage — and less “busyness” for editorial staffers. (Poynter) 

Fewer than half of Black Americans say the news often covers the issues that are important to them. A significant portion of Black respondents would like to see more positive coverage of their communities and Black Americans. (Pew Research Center)

NEW FROM API

Trust Tip: Counter news fatigue by explaining the value behind your journalism (Trusting News)

News fatigue is on the rise. Journalists feel it, and research clearly shows it: The news is making people feel worse, and that’s causing more and more people to avoid it. As journalists, we have a unique opportunity to help people find a middle ground through all of this — to stay informed without being totally consumed and alarmed by updates. 

Adding context about the importance and relevance of news coverage can help your audience decide which news to consume and which to tune out. In 2022, the Christian Science Monitor started sharing the larger context behind their news coverage by adding value labels to stories, letting users pick stories that align with the values most important to them. Some of the labels include: freedom, balance, community, equity, joy, respect. 

SPECIAL EDITION: Journalism with Care 

This month, community-engaged journalism consultant jesikah maria ross explores how we enact care in our reporting processes in and with communities. Read what she has to say about building trust and relevance here.

How to create an emotionally safe space

2020 was the year folks around my newsroom started talking about psychological safety. What does it look and feel like? Why is it important? And how do we create more of it on our teams and across departments? 

That’s just what storytelling event guru Megan Finnerty takes on in her essay. She shares a bevy of practical tips for how to operationalize emotional safety in community and public settings.

Creating safer spaces is big work. Like all forms of care, it takes time, attention, curiosity and follow-up. But Megan showcases simple steps that can help you get started. And while her focus is on community storytelling, most takeaways apply to everyday journalism and even breaking-news reporting.

More resources on creating safe spaces for your audiences and sources:

FOR THE WEEKEND

+ Is Ukraine’s information war turning on its own journalists? (Columbia Journalism Review) 

+ Pitchfork’s absorption into GQ is a travesty for music media – and musicians (The Guardian) 

+ How a business reporter approached a story about sex-content influencers (Nieman Storyboard)