How data is changing local newsrooms

At The Connecticut Mirror, José Luis Martínez developed Behind the Numbers, a project to enhance transparency and trust in data journalism. For Poynter, he shares that the initiative focuses on improving reporters’ data skills, exploring ethical data use, and making the process transparent to readers. One key has been a data ethics policy that guides reporters and makes clear their processes to readers. 

And last week, The Associated Press released an update to its Stylebook with an entire chapter on criminal justice. The new guide calls on newsrooms to be wary of police reports, to be mindful of the language used to refer to people in the criminal justice system, and to avoid using mugshots. On Poynter, Kelly McBride writes that with these new guidelines, newsrooms in a decade will have replaced “cheap stories about shootings and stabbings with data-rich narratives that educate communities and hold cops accountable.” 

News In Focus
Headlines, resources and events aligned with API’s four areas of focus.

Civic Discourse & Democracy

>> Join us: Coaching reporters on election coverage

Join The Associated Press news leaders for a conversation on how to coach new reporters on navigating the political landscape, pressing for facts and context and being able to spot misinformation. You’ll come away prepared to help your newsroom cover this year’s elections. The webinar will be held on Thursday, June 27 from 1 – 2pm EDT; click here to register.

>> New Jersey adopts public records overhaul but critics say it tightens access to documents (AP News)

A new bill in New Jersey will make it harder for members of the public and the media to access some public records. The governor has argued that clerks are overwhelmed by requests, many by commercial interests. 

>> U.S. election safety summer: online abuse self-defense (PEN America)

Are you a journalist covering the U.S. election? To learn how to protect yourself and others, tune into “Online Abuse Self Defense,” part of a free webinar series from PEN America, Committee to Protect Journalists and International Women’s Media Foundation. The webinar will be June 11 at 12pm ET. 

Culture & Inclusion

>> Participate as a speaker in the Mental Health in Journalism Summit (The Self Investigation)

Send your session or well-being activity proposal by June 19. The Summit is specially interested in sessions that inspire change and share relevant learnings that promote collective thinking and action. To learn more about what makes a great summit proposal, join the Q&A on June 12 at 3pm.

>> Robert Allbritton’s new mission is creating more journalists. Why? (The Washington Post)

Former Politico owner Robert Allbritton’s new “educational incubator” for political journalists seeks to fill gaps in journalism coverage that have emerged as local newspapers have disappeared. 

>> Clash over phone hacking article preceded exit of Washington Post editor (The New York Times) 

Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee reportedly quit her role after chief executive Will Lewis discouraged the paper from running a story about a British hacking scandal that was tied to him. Ultimately, the Post did run the story. 

Community Engagement & Trust

>> What’s the best way to fight viral disinformation? Look to South Florida. (The Washington Post)

South Florida community organization We Are Más is fighting disinformation in Spanish-language communities by offering templates for community leaders to share on messaging apps. The focus is on dispelling conspiracy theories and rumors while empathizing with the people who believe these falsehoods. 

>> Publisher rewrites journalism rulebook for most contentious stories (Press Gazette)

New Zealand news outlet Stuff has used a sentiment tracker to discover the traditional “inverted pyramid” approach to contentious stories conjures up negative emotions. They have started approaching these topics with softer ledes.  

Revenue & Resilience

>> Bloomberg Media rolls out website upgrades as it hits 540,000 subscribers (Press Gazette)

Bloomberg is updating its website and transitioning the Business Week brand into “the home for narrative journalism.” Business Week drives five times the traffic of the rest of Bloomberg’s site.  

What else you need to know

📰 Pamplin Communications, which includes the Portland Tribune and 23 other Oregon newspapers, is sold to Mississippi publisher Carpenter Media Group (Willamette Week) 

🫱🏽‍🫲🏿 Managing Editor Sam Davis to retire from Baltimore Sun; Tricia Bishop to take over newsroom management (The Baltimore Sun)

📱 Most downloaded US news app has Chinese roots and ‘writes fiction’ using AI (Reuters) 

Weekend reads

+ When a lifetime subscription isn’t for life: Readers thought they were set until death. Rolling Stone changed its mind. (Slate)

+ What do horse race journalists think of ‘horse race journalism’? (Poynter) 

+ The life, death and rebirth of an A.I.-generated news outlet (The New York Times) 

+ Does curiosity make you read more hard news? How about anxiety? (Nieman Lab)

+ News site editor’s ties to Iran, Russia show misinformation’s complexity (The Washington Post)