News & Publishing

Using Venture Philanthropy, American Journalism Project Seeks to Sustain Vital News Coverage

By Gretchen A. Peck

It was 2015 when an idea first began to germinate for Elizabeth Green, the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization devoted to American education.

“I’d been thinking that the way philanthropy organizes in the education sector had lessons that could be applied to journalism philanthropy sector that was emerging slowly at the time—too slowly, I thought,” she said.

In the education sector, Green and her colleagues at Chalkbeat had begun to talk about how enriching it could be to create a network by which educational-publishing leaders might share and learn from one another. Green began speaking with philanthropists known to invest in journalism and suggested that they “steal from that playbook.”

Read more at Editor & Publisher magazine: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/a-section/using-venture-philanthropy-american-journalism-project-seeks-to-sustain-vital-news-coverage/

Photo: AJP’s Elizabeth Green

 

News & Publishing, Politics & Public Policy

U.S. Immigration: Hell is for Children

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Here I sit, finally still, settled — fat and happy over Thanksgiving and family and friends and reconnections and relative good health … and then my wire alerts blow up, and this photo scrolls to my screen.

Photo by Reuters.

This is a child who came to the border from who knows where. She is barely clothed. She may lack shoes; it’s a little difficult to say for sure. She clings to a toy ball, perhaps a thing of comfort, perhaps a small reminder of normalcy during the arduous journey. What must she have seen and endured during that trek?

She is shrieking.

She is held by an adult, presumably. A mother? A guardian? An auntie? A stranger? The woman wears a too-small shirt, her stomach spilling out, the arm holes taught. It depicts a Disney tale she likely hasn’t seen. Where is her own shirt, the one that would fit her? Who is she?

What has she seen during her travels? What has she endured? What has been done to her? Who has she become?

What daily hell did they flea?

They likely embarked on the journey because they were told to. Not by any Soros-esque bogeyman, but perhaps by other local activists or news anchors or through the exportation of our national pride. We tell the world: This is the place to be. We are the shit, man. You want to be here, because we do all things the best. Look at our liberties. Look at our freedom. Look at our diversity. Look at our might. Look at our opportunities. Look at our Kardashians.

Perhaps someone told them along the way that it is within their Right to plead for asylum once they reach the border — that our laws entitle them to that appeal, though it may be a long-shot and especially given the current Administration. Perhaps they carried some of that hope with them along the way, as they bartered away materials things or worse.

And so they walked the miles and endured the exploitation just to get to that border. And our government orders armed troops to pelt and poison them with teargas.

She is shrieking.

News & Publishing

Ongoing legislative battles put Public Notices in peril

By Gretchen A. Peck

Author’s Note: The relationship between newspapers and Public Notice authors is being challenged across the U.S. What does this mean for newspapers and the public? I took a look at the issue in the October 2018 issue of Editor & Publisher magazine.

If you look closely at the fine print just below the banner logo for PublicNoticeAds.com, a single-source searchable database for legal ads published by “participating newspapers” across the country, it reads: “The public notice database on this site is not a substitute for the official publication that is required by law. You will still find those notices in your local newspaper.”

On the site’s homepage are links to each to state with “participating newspapers,” though most simply redirect the browser to other websites of a similar design. For example, clicking on the link to Connecticut redirects the user to Connecticut public notices, which is “powered by MyPublicNotices.com.” From there, users can click on individual links to public notices on individual websites for each newspaper title, or search notices published in any of the state’s local and regional titles.

In fact, legally mandated public notices are already prevalently available online and digitally redundant to what’s published in printed newspapers. In addition to these sites, they are also found on government-maintained sites, legal sites and on many newspaper-branded websites.

Yet, in several states just this year, legislators have proposed bills that would allow for public notices to bypass print altogether, possibly narrowing access to information and starving newspapers of the revenue derived from publishing information of this kind.

Given the legislative effort that feels coordinated and party-centric, E&P went in search of who and what was behind the lobby for this legislation and answers to what it would mean to newspapers if printed public notices become obsolete.

Read more at:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/ongoing-legislative-battles-put-public-notices-in-peril/ 

 

News & Publishing

The Side Hustle: What Do Newspapers Gain by Having Their Journalists Appear on TV and Radio?

By Gretchen A. Peck

For the penultimate segment on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” each weeknight, Matthews queries his panel of journalists and pundits—often with at least one reporter representing a major-market newspaper—challenging them, “Tell me something I don’t know.”

His branded phrase not only introduces the segment, it exemplifies one of the benefits of having journalists appear as guests on broadcast news programs. Reporters remain excellent sources themselves of researched, vetted and well-sourced information. Their appearances and expertise on the topics of discussion lend both content and credibility to broadcast news programs.

And there are obvious professional gains for the journalist—who has a brand and a byline to protect—and to the newspaper’s brand, which benefits from audience reach and an opportunity to evangelize its reporting.

Still, as some newspaper journalists have learned, appearing on broadcast news programs can occasionally come with some unwanted attention too.

Read more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/the-side-hustle-what-do-newspapers-gain-by-having-their-journalists-appear-on-tv-and-radio/

Editor & Publisher magazine, October 2018 issue

 

 

News & Publishing, Printing and Imaging

Data, Technology and Digital Readers are Shaping How the Printed Newspaper Looks Today

By Gretchen A. Peck

If newspaper design had a motto, it might be: “Stick to the format. The design and layout is the brand.”

And that remains true today with iconic titles of newspapers rendered in familiar fonts and layouts that are distinctive in their own right. Think of how familiar and distinctive a title like USA Today is when you flip through the pages. The color, the layout, the way the headlines grab your attention—all part of the brand.

Newspaper publishers, by and large, have always understood this. But the notion that printed newspapers’ design should never deviate from the template is being challenged, and it’s because of digital and mobile publishing and the rising cost to paper. Still, that hasn’t stopped publishers from experimenting with their print product.

Read more at Editor & Publisher magazine: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/data-technology-and-digital-readers-are-shaping-how-the-printed-newspaper-looks-today/

 

 

News & Publishing

The Journalist and the President: I’ve Called with Bad News

I just listened to the phone call between Bob Woodward and President Donald J. Trump.
A few takeaways:
Woodward cites meeting with WH personnel outside of their offices, on the low down. He has tapes of those conversations (though protects source identities). This is the most whistle-blowy staff I’ve ever seen.
How quickly the President throws his team (including K. Conway, and Raj Shah) under the bus — in real time — and then how effortlessly she passes blame to official WH comms team. Also: Conway had lunch with Woodward to discuss book! Who would sign off on that?
Final thought. Woodward’s not perfect. He can sometimes err on the side of doubt-benefit when intention is otherwise obvious. But he’s pretty close to textbook on sourcing and supporting documentation. My guess is that the book’s narrative will feel like a tabloid read, because it’s a tabloid Presidency.
Here’s the audio, thanks to the Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/04/transcript-phone-call-between-president-trump-journalist-bob-woodward/?utm_term=.865bfb1b0cef