December 20, 2018
/ by Christine Cube
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
Calling 2018 a tumultuous year in media would be putting it lightly.
Some of the phrases that came out this year: "Enemy of the state" and "war on media." Then bits of this began to play out and, tragically, journalists lost their lives.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian journalist and columnist with The Washington Post. He lost his life at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
Also in October, a pipebomb was discovered at the New York offices of CNN.
In June, five staffers with the Annapolis Capital Gazette were gunned down at the newspaper.
This week, TIME named its 2018 Person of the Year: The Guardians -- honoring journalists who have been murdered, indicted, or persecuted because of their work to serve their audience and produce news. (Miss the release? Here you go.)
TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal discussed the reasoning behind the magazine's 2018 selection: "From Russia to Riyadh to Silicon Valley, manipulation and abuse of truth is the common thread in so many of this year's major headlines, an insidious and growing threat to freedom…. In its highest forms, influence — the measure that has for nine decades been the focus of TIME's Person of the Year — derives from courage…. This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment…. They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world — as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018—who risk all to tell the story of our time."
The #metoo movement reached nearly every facet of society. Even newsrooms.
This year, the Newseum helped lead the charge to turn things around, inviting more than 130 newsroom leaders, editors, reporters, and advocates to its Power Shift Summit in January.
The summit was aimed at identifying problems and generating solutions to the issue of sexual misconduct in the newsroom.
Early this year, the summit released a 21-page report: Ending Silence and Changing Systems in the Media Industry. The report identifies seven key principles and calls for the repair of systemic failures, including the ability to report misconduct without fear of retribution, harassment training for employees at all levels of an organization, and a human resources process free from apparent and inherent bias.
By this summer, the Newseum graduated its first class of workplace integrity trainers for newsrooms.
“It was an extraordinary experience to see these journalist leaders prepare to take this curriculum into their own workplaces,” said Jill Geisler, Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership.
The beta class came from a variety of news organizations, including CBS, The Washington Post, and Politico.
The training curriculum was designed to advance the Power Shift Project goal of workplace integrity, defined as environments free of harassment, discrimination and incivility — and filled with opportunity, especially for those who have traditionally been denied it, says a release.
While 2017 saw some of the deepest cuts in newsroom staffs -- with about one-third of large U.S. newspapers suffering layoffs -- 2018 was another banner year for newsrooms releasing staff members.
Some of the newsrooms affected include:
Whereas in 2017, the story was fake news. 2018 talked about fact checking.
In fact, the rapidly expanding fact-checking movement faced growing pains, according to The Washington Post.
We even talked about the new rules for fact-checking: building trust credibility with your audience. And, we covered some of the ABCs of digital journalism tools with a list of helpful apps and sites.
Among the organizations that continues to help lead the charge on fact-checking and accountability: American Press Institute. In November, API announced that Craig Newmark Philanthropies donated $200,000 to support research and convening on journalism ethics.
"With these funds, API seeks to help put into practice the growing body of ideas on how journalists can better provide accurate and truthful reporting amid today’s backdrop of distrust and media manipulation," API said. This is Newmark’s fourth grant to API.
Finally, there was a Google News Initiative that was announced this spring to fight fake news and support journalism. Among the changes, Google search would highlight useful data journalism from news stories.
"It’s one of the steps Google News Initiative is taking to make data journalism more visible, with the field quickly growing across media," The Verge reported. "Over half of all newsrooms now have dedicated data journalists, and this feature aims to pinpoint the most useful results from pages containing data tables."
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