Posts tagged with "journalism"

Jarry Lee Q×A

360 MAGAZINE was lucky enough to sit down with Jarry Lee, a model, actress, musician and influencer from the UK. Lee has over 700,000 followers on Instagram, 30,000 TikTok followers and more than 700,000 Spotify streams.

She has also been seen in VOGUE Italia, POPSUGAR, Mic, Elite Daily, NY Daily News, AM New York, Women Fitness Magazine, Cliché Magazine, The New York Times, Thrive Global and more. She will also be featured in two upcoming books, “Tell Her She Can’t” by Kelly Lewis and “The Little Things” by Oliver Charles.

Authority Magazine named her one of 2020’s “Inspirational Women in Hollywood” while StarCentral Magazine called Lee a “rising star to watch in 2020.” You can click right here to see everywhere she has been featured.

360: How did you find a creative outlet in journalism?

Jarry Lee: I’ve always loved writing (everything from poetry to screenplays), and it was my childhood dream to write professionally. I feel lucky that I was able to do so as a paid, full-time job and that I was able to pitch and take on stories I was personally interested in. Writing is a cathartic process for me.

360: What was the biggest hurdle transitioning from writing for BuzzFeed to being in front of the camera?

Jarry Lee: I didn’t have much prior experience beyond taking some acting classes in the past in school and performing in a playwriting festival in prep school that I wrote for, so I did dozens of test shoots with photographers to practice and learn my best angles and posing. Speaking on camera felt natural, but I had to learn how to pose more naturally.

360: How has your experience in telling stories as a journalist and analyzing stories as the Deputy Books Editor helped you to tell the stories of others as an actress and model?

Jarry Lee: It has definitely helped me with more easily imagining the inner lives and motivations of my characters. Every time I interviewed sources for an in-depth piece, I felt that I gained insight into how other people’s minds worked. When I was writing a feature about Instagram in 2017, for example, I interviewed over 30 individuals and a few businesses, and their stories were really fascinating and completely changed my understanding of how people interact with social media.

360: How has being an influencer and online personality changed through the pandemic?

Jarry Lee: There are almost no in-person events, so in that aspect it’s become less interactive, but there are also more people online since everyone’s bored indoors. I’ve adapted to become a lot more self-sufficient — I rarely work with outside photographers anymore and instead have learned to shoot myself. Earlier this year I bought professional lighting and photography equipment, and recently even purchased a green screen! I’ve really enjoyed honing my video production and editing skills this year. Maybe that’s one small silver lining to the pandemic.

360: What is your favorite platform for creating content and why?

Jarry Lee: I love Instagram for being so curated and aesthetic-focused, but Twitter is my favorite platform for sharing thoughts and seeing others’ (as well as for really silly memes). I originally joined Twitter in 2009, way before I joined Instagram (in 2013).

360: How does your time as a model help you as an actress?

Jarry Lee: I think acting helps more with modeling than vice versa, but becoming more comfortable on-camera as a model has definitely helped me act more naturally, as well. Both require drawing your inner emotions out, onto your facial expressions and how you hold yourself generally.

360: How do you use your platform and large reach to influence ideas and actions of your audience?

Jarry Lee: Three topics I try to bring more awareness to via my platform are: Asian representation in entertainment, bisexual/LGBTQ+ representation and anxiety/mental health. All three are still not spoken about enough, so I think it’s important to share my experiences with my audience. I still frequently receive messages about how I came out as bisexual on the Netflix show “Dating Around,” for example, and it has really resonated with some of my followers when I’ve shared my past experiences with panic attacks and anxiety. I try to show the behind-the-scenes of my entertainment career, in part because there were very few Asian public figures in the entertainment industry when I was growing up. I hope that my non-traditional career path inspires others to take a risk and pursue their passions.

You can learn more about Jarry Lee by clicking right here. You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Spotify.

Rolls-Royce illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 MAGAZINE

Tips for Getting a Job Related to Pop Culture

If you know a lot about pop culture, you might have considered working in the field before. When it comes to getting a job, having a lot of knowledge will give you an advantage over your competitors as long as you know the right way to use it. Believe it or not, there are many chances to start a new career, especially if you’re considering integrating graphic design or writing. 

Preparing to Start a New Career

No matter what field you’re considering entering, having the right training can boost your resume. So, before you start applying to jobs, consider getting a degree in your chosen field. For example, if you’re thinking about going into writing, you might major in journalism or English. And if graphic design appeals to you more, get the training you need with a graphic design degree. Many times, students worry about paying for school, and other times, students are lucky enough to receive their parents’ help. For parents who take out Parent PLUS loans to help their children go to college, the good news is that these loans can be refinanced, leading to a reduced interest rate and the possibility of paying off their debts sooner. That’s why you might want to look into taking out a private student loan. Before signing the papers, it’s a good idea to do your research. For example, consider using a student loan repayment calculator to estimate what your monthly payments may be. That’ll help you create a realistic repayment plan, so your debt doesn’t overwhelm you.

Writing and Pop Culture

If you’re interested in writing, you might have a successful career path. For example, you could work as a freelance or staff writer and write about celebrities. Or you could be a content creator and create pieces for pop culture blogs. If you want to do more serious work, consider working in journalism. You may be able to create pieces on famous actors or other celebrities. If writing doesn’t appeal to you, consider going into editing, where you help the pieces created by others flow smoothly. You might feel that you’re interested in this job, but you may not want to leave your current job. Or you may still be in school and want to see what the career involves. You may consider working part-time as a freelancer, so you gain some experience. That’ll help you decide if this career is for you.

Graphic Design

You might decide that graphic design fits your skills better. If that’s the case, you could choose a career that involves making logos for pop culture events or making covers for magazines. You could also make posters for events or movies. And you could even get a job that includes making memes for social media accounts. If you study graphic design in college, you’ll get the skills you need to be successful. And if you decide not to go to college, you can still find online courses to get the experience you need. 

Tips for Success

It’s easy to tell yourself that a job doing freelance writing or creating logos isn’t an important job and doesn’t relate to your career goals. But this is not the case. For example, if you can create a social media post that goes viral, you’re already on the path to success. No matter what you ultimately want to achieve, it’s important to begin small. So, if your end goal is to work at an important magazine creating art, you’ll have to focus on getting the needed experience and skills first.

Maria Soloman illustration for 360 MAGAZINE journalism article.

The War on Journalism

by Justin Lyons

What a time it is to be a journalist.

During an era in which news is a divisive, politicized topic, one man seems to have been spearheading the charge against modern media. That’s what a brand new documentary from Juan Passarelli aims to cover, at least in part.

“The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” takes the case of the controversial WikiLeaks founder. Assange now faces 175 years after his site published leaked documents with information sensitive to the United States government. Now we face the never-ending battle of journalistic principles versus legality.

The thing that sticks out to me at first thought is the idea that leaks have existed as long as governments and corruption have existed, which dates back to the beginning of time. As a journalist myself, I think we consider our job as watchdogs one of the most important jobs in a functioning society. If journalists aren’t delivering news telling consumers what they need to know and why they need to know it, we’d be missing a huge opportunity to hold powerful figures accountable.

Theodore Roosevelt once called journalists “muckrakers” because they, well, rake through the muck. They dig through the dirt to find that key that might be even dirtier than the dirt itself. While it doesn’t sound like an endearing term, journalists seem to take it as a compliment.

This documentary looks at the realities of being a reporter in the middle of the action, and it seems to no longer be safe to gather information about government action. It opens with what looks like a reporter being pepper sprayed by police and proceeds to show government officials claim they will not agree to refrain from prosecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Assange was indicted under the Espionage Act with 17 counts. The Espionage Act is a United States law published in 1917 that aims to prevent interference in foreign relations.

While it might seem that the First Amendment could guarantee freedom for press to publish information with the public good in mind, John Kiriakou, described as a CIA torture whistleblower, brought up a really interesting point.

Kiriakou was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia and hired the lawyer who won cases for O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman. That lawyer decided that Kiriakou’s case was impossible to win in the Eastern District of Virginia. His jury would have comprised of members of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, intelligence community contractors and the Department of Homeland Security.

The same applies to Julian Assange. He was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Kiriakou said no national security defendant had ever won a case.

Journalists aren’t seeking more freedom than the average U.S. citizen, but they should be protected with clearly defined rights. When the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury, it can make you wonder how Kiriakou’s story is possible in the first place. It seems that seeking protection for the government has overwhelmed the protection of journalistic freedoms.

Overall, the documentary is definitely an interesting looking glass into what it’s like to be a journalist right now. I also think it’s an interesting look at journalistic protections. When thinking about people like Assange or Edward Snowen, who also appears in the documentary, I wonder where their protections start and end and how those protections are recognized if we consider them journalists.

In 2020, anyone can be a journalist, and using that freedom of press for information of public interest is something that is quite clearly protected by the Constitution.

Now that Assange is appearing in court for his extradition case, I look forward to the outcome, as it could become another landmark case for journalism in the United States.

If you’re interested in seeing “The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” for yourself, you can check it out right here.

Rita Azar illustrates a photojournalism article for 360 MAGAZINE

Thomson Reuters Foundation x Omidyar Network

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has joined forces with Omidyar Network to document the devastating effects of COVID-19 on millions of people around the globe.

Using photography and journalism, COVID-19: The Bigger Picture aims to tell the stories of those most affected and most vulnerable to the pandemic that has changed the lifestyles of each person on the planet.

Antonio Zappulla, the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said, “This pandemic is a global crisis like no other, affecting every person on the planet. The world is grappling daily to understand its scale and severity against an onslaught of information and misinformation. It has never been more critical to lean on the power of journalism excellence to cut through the noise with accurate and impartial storytelling.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation works to advance media freedom and promote human rights while Omidyar Network is committed to building inclusive and equitable societies. Though the impact has been widespread, the goal of the project is to show how social inequality that existed before the inception of the virus has only been magnified by the spread of the pandemic.

“This virus has devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe. By combining the storytelling capabilities of the Thomson Reuters Foundation with photos from people whose lives have been upended by the pandemic, we will not only see the impacts on everyday life but also the systemic inequalities that brought us to this dire moment,” said Mike Kubzansky, the CEO of Omidyar Network.

COVID-19: The Bigger Picture, consists of two parts. First, a photojournalism competition allows anyone to submit a photo capturing the devastation of the coronavirus. Entrants may submit one photo with the prize being a photojournalism class taught by Thomson Reuters Foundation’s trainers. Photos may be entered beginning August 12th.

The documentation also includes a series of photo essays focusing on the United States. Experienced and decorated journalists will uncover the stories of workers assisting the elderly in Florida, caretakers of children in North Carolina and more. The photoessays will be released over the next three months, and readers can sign up to be notified when each essay is published.

“By capturing individual experiences, The Bigger Picture will document a wider story. It is only then, that we can truly change the narrative,” Zappulla said.

Laura Basset is the co-founder of the Save Journalism Project

Laura Bassett QxA

Laura Bassett is co-founder of the Save Journalism Project. She was formerly a senior culture and politics reporter at HuffPost before being laid off in 2019. She currently writes for GQ Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and other publications. Along with John Stanton, she began the Save Journalism project after losing her job, when she became interested in why so many great news publishers were beginning to go under and having to lay off staff.

  1. How did you first get interested in journalism and politics and have these always been passions of yours?

I’ve always had a passion for writing, but wasn’t sure what direction it would take. I was in a graduate program for English Literature in 2008, thinking I wanted to go on and do a Ph.D. when Obama first ran for president. I became kind of obsessed with the election and started blogging on the side, and then I realized I enjoyed doing my politics blog a lot more than I enjoyed sitting in a library writing research papers that only one or two people would read. So I applied for a reporting internship at HuffPost, and the rest is history!

  1. Which are some of the biggest issues with modern journalism and how have they coincided with your career so far?

I think there are three big ones: Lack of diversity in newsrooms, the question of what objectivity in political journalism means in the age of Trump, and the financial/existential crisis facing the industry as a result of the digital age and big tech’s monopoly on ad revenue. The last one affected me the most directly, as I was laid off in 2019 after ten years at HuffPost. The site just wasn’t generating enough profits, having to compete with tech giants like Google and Facebook for ad money, and I lost my job along with scores of other journalists. I never expected to be freelancing for the first time, involuntarily, in the middle of my career, but it has proven to be a great exercise for my writing.

  1. What have been the most valuable skills/pieces of knowledge that you have learned from working at HuffPost?

I never went to journalism school, so most of what I know about reporting I learned at HuffPost. I learned how to write a compelling lede and nut graf, how to draw interesting things out people in interviews, how to show both sides of an issue without necessarily drawing a moral equivalence between them. I learned how to build source relationships and hustle for scoops. And I developed a deeper knowledge of politics and my particular beat, which for a long time was women’s rights issues. I learned how to own up to mistakes immediately and correct them in a transparent way, how to accept constructive criticism, and how to tune out the internet trolls and harassment. All the basics!

  1. What motivated you to co-found the Save Journalism Project and what made it special as an initial idea?

John Stanton, formerly of BuzzFeed, and I were laid off the same week in January of 2019. It was very unexpected for both of us: He was the Washington Bureau chief at the time, and I was a senior politics reporter. There seemed to be very little rhyme or reason to who was laid off that year; news outlets were forced to cut hundreds of staffers and had to make some really tough decisions. At the same time, local newspapers like the New Orleans Times-Picayune were going under entirely. We could see that our whole industry was facing a potentially fatal financial crisis, and we felt like if we didn’t fight for it ourselves, we didn’t know who would. So this project was born.

  1. How can you and your teamwork with or against big tech companies to improve the integrity of news?

Big tech companies are the financial competitors to news publishers, and it isn’t a fair fight right now. They gobble up about two-thirds of the digital ad market, leaving very little money for the actual content creators and publishers from which they also profit. Right now, we are looking to Congress and federal and state antitrust regulators to conduct antitrust investigations into the big four– Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon–and hoping that when they see the devastating impact those companies are having on newspapers, they will break them up and/or regulate them and create a more even playing field.

  1. In the era of fake news and heavy media bias, how can technology be used for the greater good in terms of addressing populations?

“Fake news” is a term the president has thrown at real news outlets because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. By and large, the news stories he calls “fake” are true and factual. But the internet does have an actual fake news problem, which is the disinformation that fringe activists and bad actors spread online, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. I think social media platforms have a massive responsibility to closely monitor and regulate the false propaganda raging through their sites, especially close to election time.

  1. In your opinion, how do you see the future of journalism and how can the Save Journalism Project be a part of this future?

I don’t know what I see for the future of journalism because, especially since COVID, we are on an extremely troubling trajectory. What I hope to see in the future of journalism is a sustainable business model– one in which people are happy to pay for news, and one in which news publishers and magazines don’t have to compete with Google in a David and Goliath-type situation for ad money to survive. And ideally, newsrooms can stop firing and start re-hiring again, because so much talent has been lost in the past few years.

  1. Why is it so important that our country defends the freedom of the press and how can this freedom lead to a more functional democracy?

We’re at the nexus of several historic national crises at the moment, including a deadly pandemic, so journalism–especially local journalism–has never been more important to get life-saving information across to the people and to hold powerful people and institutions to account. At the same time, we have a president attacking the press and encouraging violence against us, along with these devastating financial issues. Without a robust and thriving free press, no one is there to uncover corruption and expose the lies of politicians and inform the electorate and just, basically, keep people aware of what’s happening in their communities and the world at large. That in itself is a massive threat to democracy.

  1. What kinds of opportunities do you have for people who may want to get more involved with the Save Journalism Project?

Please contact us! We’re looking for help raising money, we’re funding freelance stories on local news deserts, and we can always use the voices of other journalists who would like to fight with us to save this industry.

  1. Do you have any clear goals or visions for expanding this Project’s influence, and if so, what are they?

Our primary focus and objective are on policymakers. We aim to get U.S. lawmakers and regulators to address the exploitation of the online marketplace by Google and Facebook which gives them an unfair advantage in the competition for digital advertising revenue. Antitrust regulators in Australia and the U.K. have begun to take these kinds of steps that are necessary and we are encouraged that their American counterparts appear to be on the verge of similar actions.

It is only after the distortions of the marketplace have been addressed that we can rebuild a sustainable business model for journalism in the digital age, particularly local news. Given our focus on policymakers, we are more supporters rather than drivers of changes in the industry. We do not favor any specific model for what kind of journalism industry emerges from these multiple ongoing crises, only that we believe it must include a viable method for news outlets to monetize their content through advertising.

360 Magazine, Protests, VFILES

Journalists × Curfew Orders

Are curfew orders without press exemptions constitutional?

In the wake of widespread protests against police violence and racial injustice, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press published an interactive map tracking curfew orders imposed by cities, counties and states — and whether they included exemptions for the news media.

Since then, the Reporters Committee has been tracking incidents in which journalists have been assaulted or arrested for supposedly violating curfew. A Reporters Committee review of the incidents reveals a troubling trend of law enforcement arresting, detaining, pepper-spraying or tear-gassing journalists who clearly identified themselves as members of the press.

In a special analysis, Linda Moon, the Reporters Committee’s Stanton Foundation National Security Fellow, and Legal Intern Sasha Peters explore the constitutionality of curfew orders that don’t include carve-outs for the press.

“While there are no previous cases in which emergency curfew orders have been challenged for lacking media exemptions,” Moon and Peters write, “related cases suggest that curfew orders that do not contain press exemptions may be unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” Read their special analysis here.

Online Harassment and Digital Threats to Journalists

Newsroom executives need to better protect journalists from online abuse and harassment if they are to retain women and people of color in media, according to a Women’s Media Center report released March 5.

The report, “What Online Harassment Tells Us About Our Newsrooms: From Individuals to Institutions,” looks at online harassment and systemic bias in U.S. newsrooms. The report analyzes the most recent studies and findings regarding online hostility to journalists and concludes with recommendations for newsroom leaders, including committing to understanding the relationship of inclusivity, online harassment, and free speech in their newsrooms; acknowledging bias and engineering around it; and making journalists’ safety a company-wide priority.

“Taking online harassment seriously is at the core of an inclusive newsroom and a critical step toward ensuring free speech for all,” said Julie Burton, WMC president and CEO. “News leaders and managers must be in the vanguard in combating both harassment and the internal biases that exacerbate that harassment.”

The report examines the ever-expanding digital threats to journalists and includes insights gleaned from industry research and from three news leaders whom the nonprofit organization convened for a special symposium in New Orleans in October: Nicole Carroll, editor-in-chief, USA Today; Mitra Kalita, senior vice president, news, opinion, and programming, CNN Digital; and Raju Narisetti, who has overseen news operations at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Gizmodo Media Group and is founder of India’s Mint newspaper.

Kalita said women are telling their stories and voicing their opinions despite the harassment they face. Opinion writers that she works with won’t be silenced. “They write again,” said Kalita, adding that it’s really important to her that women “feel that they’re supported along the way.”

Studies consistently show that for women; ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; as well as gender-nonconforming people, online harassment is more frequent and intense and likelier to result in self-censoring, according to the report. Journalists are usually responsible, as individuals, for “staying safe” online, and a long-standing journalistic tradition urging journalists to “grow a thicker skin” frequently inhibits genuine understanding of the dynamics of abuse. The report’s authors contend that this approach creates an imbalance that results in organizations persistently ill-prepared for the virulence of online hate and harassment.

“We want newsrooms to take online harassment seriously, not as a matter of women’s personal safety, but as central to their commitment to inclusivity and journalistic ethics,” said Soraya Chemaly, an award-winning writer and media critic and the co-founder and director of WMC’s Speech Project, which raises public and media awareness of online harassment. “Understanding the dynamics of online harassment and hate gives newsrooms a genuine opportunity to commit to inclusivity, in virtually any way you look at it.”

Kalita and Carroll said that the safety and security of their journalists is a top concern at their organizations, which they said have instituted safety and security measures to protect journalists. For example, Kalita said she works closely with CNN’s security team. Carroll said Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, has an internal harassment policy with clear steps to be taken, such as documenting it with screenshots and referring it to human resources.

“Newsroom leadership must commit to providing better protection for all journalists, but especially for women; ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; and gender-nonconforming people,” said Pat Mitchell, WMC
co-chair.

According to the report, in addition to clearly influencing how journalists work, online harassment also affects organizations’ ability to recruit, retain, and reward diverse staff and cultivate inclusive media environments and leadership. In an environment that rewards visibility and audience engagement, women and minorities, who as a result of being targeted reduce their social media presence, may lower their chances of career advancement, according to the report.

“Inclusion is really not only an important moral issue, but has to be seen as a business problem, as a quality of our journalism problem, as a trust issue, as both an organizational and a legal issue,” said Narisetti.

The WMC report also includes separate interviews with Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture critic at The Undefeated; Jill Filipovic, contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and freelance writer; and Katelyn Burns, freelance writer for Rewire and Vox, who discuss their challenges in navigating an increasingly vitriolic online arena.

The report can be downloaded HERE

About the Women’s Media Center

The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive and feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard. We do this by researching and monitoring media; creating and modeling original online, print, and podcast content; training women and girls to be effective in media, and promoting women experts in all fields.

illustration, 360 MAGAZINE, Alejandra Villagra

The Decline of Black Media

Spokesperson for the Save Journalism Project, Nick Charles, has a new op-ed in the NY Daily News discussing the impact of Google and Facebook’s decimation of the news industry’s business model and specifically the decline of black media. What were traditionally spaces for communities of color to spread news and ideas are being forced to shutter their newsrooms because of big tech’s stranglehold on the industry, resulting in a lack of representation and a rapid decline of coverage for these communities.

As Charles explains, “revenue from digital advertising, which used to go to news publishers, is more often than not in big tech’s pockets, leading to an unchecked balance of power and gaping holes in local news coverage nationwide… Informing African-American communities should be put before Facebook and Google’s profits. People of color have worked and died so American democracy includes everyone. But there is no democracy, no freedom, without the fourth estate.”

Charles’ op-ed is below and available online.

Some remember well the world where events, issues, policies and histories impacting black people were rarely acknowledged or reported by the mainstream press. In New York City, if it happened above 96th St., it wasn’t news. That began to change after the urban riots of the late 1960s and the Kerner Commission, which prompted mainstream media to begin hiring African-American reporters. African-American media, which had always filled the breach, did hemorrhage talent, but continued invaluable community coverage.

With the emergence of the internet, as legacy media, newspapers, magazines, radio and television news were joined by newer platforms and social media, there was always space to cover disasters like Hurricane Katrina as well as enduring environmental, racial and social injustices. But now that space is shrinking rapidly. McClatchy filing for bankruptcy is just the latest and most ominous example.

An unfettered and thriving press is paramount, especially to otherwise forgotten communities. But what happens when outlets are forced to shutter because big tech chokes off advertising oxygen that is essential to the media’s survival?

Newspapers that adapted and survived the last digital revolution did so through advertising. But today’s digital ad market is dominated by Google and Facebook. Revenue from digital advertising, which used to go to news publishers, is more often than not in big tech’s pockets, leading to an unchecked balance of power and gaping holes in local news coverage nationwide.

Google recently announced it was doing away with third-party cookies by 2022, further jeopardizing the fate of the voices and publishers of communities of color. The move will hit smaller news outlets hard by substantially reducing the value of advertising on their websites. Most don’t have the kind of first-party information nor the kind of scale that will now be required to be valuable to digital advertisers.

Newsrooms across the country are experiencing layoffs at an alarming rate. In 2019, the media shed over 7,800 jobs. The number of black journalists and reporters in newsrooms has also been impacted, with the number of black journalists working at daily newspapers dropping by 40% since 1997. Countless colleagues have left the profession, taking with them their passion, expertise and the trust they amassed over years with community leaders, politicians and activists.

Unable to keep up with a business model steamrolled by the likes of Facebook and Google, the industry is reaching the point of no return. Big tech’s dominance over the digital ad market and unrivaled capacity to scale and monetize its platforms is having drastic effects on journalism as a whole — with especially profound impact on communities of color.

Black legacy outlets, home to some of the most committed journalists and activists in our country’s history, have been the bulwark of accountability for many when racial tensions kept even the government from its role in protecting its citizens. The Chicago Defender itself was one of the sparks in The Great Migration.

Alongside downsizing and retracting their print editions, examples like the Amsterdam News showed a 21% drop in circulation from 2014-2015; The Chicago Defender’s circulation fell by 18% in 2015. Not only are black communities losing their news outlets, black perspectives across the news industry are losing the spaces to voice their opinions.

Founded in 1943 and for decades a space for black communities to share the most pressing news and ideas of the time, Alabama’s longest-running black newspaper, the Mobile Beacon, reported it was planning to close its doors after 2019. It is one of many black legacy media icons in jeopardy.

Frederick Douglass once said: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Informing African-American communities should be put before Facebook and Google’s profits. People of color have worked and died so American democracy includes everyone. But there is no democracy, no freedom, without the fourth estate.

Charles, a freelance writer, works with Save Journalism Project.

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

http://savejournalism.org/

Journalism: Why It Matters

Despite the criticisms that have been leveled at news organizations in recent years and the many difficulties they face, journalism matters. It matters, argues Schudson, because it orients people daily in the complex and changing worlds in which they live. It matters because it offers a fact-centered, documented approach to pertinent public issues. It matters because it keeps watch on the powerful, especially those in government, and can press upon them unpleasant truths to which they must respond. Corruption is stemmed, unwise initiatives stopped, public danger averted because of what journalists do.

Professional journalism dedicated to fact-centered stories about the events, people, moments and moods of life today matters. When this journalism is competent, compelling, and assertive, it makes a world of difference.

This book challenges journalists to think hard about what they really do. It challenges skeptical or distrustful news audiences who take pride in detecting media bias but fail to see that their own bias may distort their perception. And it holds out hope that journalism will be for years to come a path for ambitious, curious, young people who love words or pictures or numbers and want to use them to improve the public conversation in familiar ways or in ways yet to be imagined.


The Author: 

Michael Schudson is Professor of Journalism at Columbia University.

Tech’s Impact on Journalism

In the epicenter of big tech, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) joined Audrey Cooper, the Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group Neil Chase, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, a laid-off HuffPost reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, to shine a light on the plight of local news and a key culprit: big tech.   

n the first quarter of 2019, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs – including East Bay Express staffers – and, over the past 10 years, newsrooms have declined in size by 45%. The plight of the journalism industry has generated bipartisan congressional action, a rather unique occurrence in this polarized political climate. And while the journalism industry faces many challenges, the focus of Congress’ current action is to halt big tech’s negative impact on the economic sustainability of the free press. Wednesday’s speakers will address this unusual bipartisan action and the widespread consequences of the loss of local news.

According to Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), “Not that long ago, the Bay Area was home to over 1,500 journalists, but now there are less than 300 serving roughly 7 million people. This problem is not unique to our community—it is happening in every corner of the country, and we need to act. During a time when fact and accountability are under constant attack, today’s conversation about ways to preserve and protect local news and high-quality journalism is critical to the health of our democracy.”

According to Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group, “I’m glad we had such a deep, meaningful conversation about the challenges facing journalism today, right here in downtown San Francisco. If we can’t solve it here, we can’t hope to help the places across America that don’t have the technology and financial resources that are available in a place like this.”

According to Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost senior politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “As our country grapples with natural disasters, political turmoil, violence, and everyday life, Americans rely on journalists and the news industry to explain and break through the chaos. But, for that process to survive, we need well-staffed newsrooms and a blossoming industry. Instead, big tech is decimating journalism. Facebook, Google, and big tech have consumed the digital landscape and continue to threaten local and national journalism. We need our elected officials to weigh in, to reign in big tech, and to save the journalism industry, before this goes any further.”

And, according to John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “The irony of all ironies, we live streamed today’s event on Facebook to ensure it reached the largest audience. The mere fact that we had to rely on the conglomerate proves our point: Facebook and Google have too much power. Together, they control the landscape, the audience, and the content. I saw this first hand at BuzzFeed, when Facebook, without notice, changed its algorithm, resulting in huge viewership and financial losses for the company. As more and more local and national news outlets feel the death grip of big tech, we need Congress to step in and save journalism.”

 

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.