April 27, 2018
Local Fix: Empathy, Local TV, Student Newsrooms, Online Harassment
Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. If you found us from articles in NiemanLab or raceAhead this week, welcome and thanks for joining the Local Fix community. Reply to this email to say hi and ask us questions anytime.
But first, we always begin with one good idea…
One good idea: Empathy
The American Press Institute released a fascinating study this week on a skill that journalists can use to better cover neglected communities: empathy. Kim Bui explains why empathy is an essential skill, how to actually use it in the field, and how newsrooms can support these approaches. We’ve seen empathy mentioned in other newsroom’s successes and this new study provides concrete tips and ideas on how to actually practice it in day to day work.
Save Student Newsrooms
Both of us are products of student media and believe in the power of young journalists and the role of campus media as a critical space for innovation and impact. We’ve written about the importance of youth media in the Fix before, and the #SaveStudentNewsrooms campaign this week inspired us to highlight it again. People across the country banded together to share why student newsrooms matter – and to ring a warning bell about what we’d lose if they shut down. They are a vital part of the local news ecosystem, and we need them to survive. Are you at a college or student newsroom? Say hi, and don’t miss the opportunity to apply for some funding to help students innovate in journalism – the Online News Association challenge fund for innovation in journalism education’s deadline is May 3.
- College newspapers across US campaign to secure their future – Associated Press
- Save Student Newsrooms
- Meet the journalism student who found out she won a Pulitzer in class – Columbia Journalism Review
- As college publications fight to stay independent of their administrations, newsrooms are banding together to #SaveStudentNewsrooms – Student Press Law Center
- One week left to apply for the ONA Challenge Fund for innovation in journalism education – Online News Association
You’ve Got Spunk Local TV
Much of the attention being paid to local TV news in the past few weeks has been focused on the Sinclair Group’s must-run scripts which the national owner requires local anchors in more than 100 stations to read. At the same time, a series of reports and articles have been published that deeply probe the state of local TV news and profile some of the people who are trying to reinvent it. According to the Pew Research Center, 37 percent of people still get their news from local TV. While that number has been dropping, it’s still significant, and local television doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Here are some of those articles and reports that have come out recently on the state of the field, some of the innovations and new ideas, and questions that local TV is facing.
- Local TV news and the new media landscape – Knight Foundation
- The Digital Transition of Local News – Reuters
- Univision is trying out WhatsApp to distribute news and information during hurricane emergencies – NiemanLab
- CPB convenes public TV leaders to help system innovate – Current
- Reinventing Local TV News – Nieman Reports
- How much of what local TV stations post to Facebook is actually local? For many, right around half – NiemanLab
- New Pew study says local TV news viewing dropping fast – Poynter
Digital Self-Defense and Online Harassment
A series of recent tools, reports and resources provide new insight into online harassment and digital security, especially for women journalists. The Center for Media Engagement conducted 75 interviews with women in newsrooms from around the globe and their report paints a nuanced and troubling picture of the harassment they face and the steps they have taken in response. The same week, Pen American launched a new manual for journalists facing abuse and harassment online, as well as employers and those who want to be allies. This comes just a few weeks after media makers and community organizers launched the Defend Our Movements campaign and the unveiling of a security match making service called the Digital Security Exchange. Other resources to check out include: Delete Me, Equality Lab, and Troll Busters.
- A new manual for writers and journalists experiencing harassment online – Columbia Journalism Review
- Women Journalists and Online Harassment: After interviewing 75 female professional journalists, researchers found that online harassment is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. – Center for Media Engagement
- Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment [PDF] – Data and Society
- Online Harassment Information for Universities [PDF] – Data and Society
- How Digital Harassment of Female Journalists Threatens Freedom of Expression – International Women’s Media Foundation
Have a good weekend,
Josh, Teresa and Melinda
@jcstearns, @gteresa, @SzekeresMelinda
The Local Fix is a project of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which invests in innovations and institutions that are reinventing local media and expanding the public square. Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund, you can find a full list of the organizations we support on our website.