A Farewell to Free Journalism

By Megan McArdle

1 May 2018

Bloomberg, my former employer, is reportedly moving to a paywall. If that turns out to be true, I can’t say I’ll be surprised.

When I announced that I was leaving Bloomberg View for The Washington Post’s opinion section in February, many longtime readers gently reproached me for moving my writing behind a subscriber paywall. Some of them were not so gentle. How could I cut myself off from readers like that? Was I really so arrogant as to think they ought to pay for the privilege of reading me?

Press Freedom ‘Worsening’: Survey

By Mark Phillips

7 May 2018

The state of press freedom in Australia has deteriorated over the past decade, with the impact of national security laws on journalism the biggest concern, according to a survey of more than 1200 people conducted by MEAA.

But few journalists say their employer is keeping them informed about changes to national security laws which may impact on their work, and more than half have no confidence that they could protect sources from being identified through their metadata.

Almost 90% of the 1292 people who completed the online survey believe that press freedom has worsened over the past decade, with just 1.5% saying it had got better.

Islands of Integrity in Asian Media Show Why World Press Freedom Day Still Matters

By Cherian George

2 May 2018

Every year on May 3, World Press Freedom Day serves to remind people of the perils faced by journalists around the world. That message, though, probably falls flat among those who have lost faith in journalism as a force for good. In recent years, authoritarian populist politicians have cultivated this cynicism, attacking the credibility of the press to make their own tenuous relationship with truth appear no worse. 

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Understand Journalism

By Adrienne Lawrence

3 May 2018

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know that he cares, really cares, about journalism.

“I view our responsibility in news as two things,” he said in a wide-ranging conversation with a small group of news editors and executives assembled in Palo Alto for a journalism gathering known as Off the Record on Tuesday afternoon. “One is making sure people can get trustworthy news.”

Optimizing Journalism for Trust

By Jay Rosen

18 April 2018

In a book called Politics and Vision, the philosopher Sheldon Wolin said that when there is vision, “things appear in their corrected fullness.” This helps explain what I mean by optimizing for trust. It is a vision or direction in which we can move.

For trust can no longer be assumed. Its continuous production has to be designed in. Nor does trust any longer follow from good practice, which is what American journalists used to mean by the term credibility. Once upon a time, you “had” credibility if you followed the rules of good practice. That doesn’t work anymore.

We have to design the modern news organization so that it is easier for people to trust it. (Which of course doesn’t guarantee that they will.) We might even say that trust has to become more agile.

Maybe We Have Been Trying to Solve the Problems of Journalism the Wrong Way

By Xin Feng

15 April 2018

It strikes me that whenever I talk to some friends outside of the journalism community, both in China and the United States, about the many threats journalism is facing nowadays, their first reaction is often: “Oh wow, really? I didn’t know that!”

But to many journalists like me, the situation has become dire: People read what they believe is true instead of what is true. Technology companies have utterly disrupted the news media’s ecosystem and yet claim no responsibility to inform their users. News organizations are finding themselves less and less incentivized to fund costly investigative reporting.

How to Write Stories on Development That People Actually Want to Read

By Cristina Romero

6 April 2018

One of the greatest challenges in development reporting is creating connections. How can journalists build strong links between people from both sides of the world and make them relate to topics that seem so far away from their immediate reality?

We Know the News Is in Crisis

By Ethan Zuckerman

2 April 2018

The news is in crisis.

I’ve been studying news and digital media since 2002 and the news has been in crisis for those past 16 years, possibly longer. And not just the handwringing “oh no, citizens are producing their own news, what will happen to journalism as a profession?” crisis. No, we’re more than a decade into the “We can’t afford to pay for the news, what happens now?” crisis, and no closer to a solution.

Newsrooms Should Stop Falling for All That Glitters

By Daniela Kraus

20 February 2018

In times of digital transition, media enterprises are constantly looking for people with specific technical or managerial skills. But these enterprises cannot neglect the core expertise that all newsrooms require: journalism.

Have you recently browsed through articles on future jobs in newsrooms? If so, you’ve probably learned that newsrooms are increasingly seeking growth editors, platform wranglers, newsroom conductors, or automation editors. These jobs are necessary to keep pace with the ongoing digital transition process. However, in this race, we sometimes seem to forget that all newsrooms — big or small, global or local — need real journalists in order to be successful.

The Algo-pocalypse: Journalism in the Digital Dystopia

By Cory Haik

10 February 2018

Facebook ostensibly announced a major change to its News Feed algorithm via a push notification from the New York Times. A notification heard ‘round the media world, with news that was intended less for it than for the 2 billion-plus humans that spend time on the social media platform. Facebook was getting back to its roots, to its original mission of connecting friends and family. It wanted to create more “meaningful social interaction,” as opposed to, we can only assume, non-meaningful social interaction. Read: no more viral publisher (or brand) “space junk” — seemingly random, purposeless, churned-out content — floating in the Feed. If implemented as such, this should be celebrated, full stop.