Why hasn’t Biden’s White House leaked? | The problem with ad transparency | Media strikes

Why hasn’t Biden’s White House leaked?: Two months into his presidency, Biden’s administration and his relationship with the media differs from Trump’s in a crucial way — the absence of leaks. By this time in 2017, reporters had become accustomed to regular information coming from within Trump’s administration or Trump himself, while Biden’s administration (and his 2020 campaign) have been relatively airtight, says Jack Shafer in Politico. Shafer attributes this to a relatively cohesive administration behind the scenes, whereas Trump’s was full of inner-administration conflict and adversarial relationships. The Biden White House will leak eventually, as they all do, says Shafer, but this administration seems to be working more together and not being on “both the supply and the demand side” of political gossip. 

The problem with ad transparency: Social media platforms are claiming to be transparent when it comes to political advertising, say Madelyn Webb and Bethan John in Nieman Lab, but their definitions of transparency are very subjective, leading to more questions. Sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all taking different actions when it comes to how they regulate political ads. Twitter has banned them entirely, while Facebook and Google are making past advertisements more accessible. Transparency in advertising is meant to monitor the spread of information, but it is a “tool, not an end” when it comes to political ads, say Webb and John. Murky language in the companies’ definitions of “political advertising” is making transparency difficult to enforce, raising questions regarding the sources and reliability of the ad data being reported, efficacy of pro-transparency measures, and the end result of openness in advertising. 

Media strikes: The New Yorker, Pitchfork and Ars Technica unions are planning a strike against their parent company Condé Nast, reports Angela Fu in Poynter. The unions have been recently authorized to strike amid ongoing bargaining negotiations. Financial difficulties in Condé Nast have caused union members to worry about their own job security, and the three companies are pushing for increased wages and other workplace needs like professional development and commitments to diversity and inclusion. Though the three units are communicating regularly regarding the strike, a win at one negotiating table does not necessarily translate to the other two. If Condé Nast fails to negotiate in “good faith,” the unions will move forward with the strike, says Fu.

The Times’ approach to mass shootings | The Supreme Court and data journalism | Online engagement with vaccine misinformation

The Times’ approach to mass shootings: In a sad sign of the era, the Times has developed a protocol for addressing mass shootings. In the wake of the Atlanta and Boulder shootings, Sarah Bahr of the New York Times interviews assistant managing editor Marc Lacey about when to identify the suspect and the victims, what to publish and what to omit, and how to sensitively approach such tragedies. They argue that it’s important to get the information out without glorifying the act of violence in any way. For instance, the news should avoid publishing the manifestos written by the shooter or any image of him with weapons. Mass shootings shouldn’t be covered as a singular event, but as “part of an American phenomenon that occurs with regularity,” says Lacey. 

The Supreme Court and data journalism: A pending Supreme Court decision regarding the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act might have press freedom implications for data journalists, says CPJ research associate Katherine Jacobsen. She interviews Nabiha Syed, president and legal counsel of the Markup, about the potential outcome of the case. The case addresses “web scraping,” a practice used by data journalists that falls into a legally gray area when it comes to the CFAA. Web scraping is used to collect data about ongoing events like COVID-19, discriminatory pricing on Amazon or Facebook misinformation, says Syed, and the ambiguity of the law deters journalists without significant legal resources from this form of data collection.  The ideal outcome for data journalists is that the wording of the law is clarified so that it isn’t as broad as it is now, says Syed. 

Online engagement with vaccine misinformation: Vaccine misinformation is circulating rapidly online, gaining a lot of attention on social media platforms, says Miles Parks of NPR. The articles with bad info are hard to regulate since they are based on cherry-picked facts and exploitation of gray areas, rather than blatant falsities. There is no scientific correlation between the COVID-19 vaccine and death, but links drawn between the two without context are popular. For example, statistics like “23 people died in a nursing home after taking the Pfizer vaccine” are jarring because of the causal implications that they have, no matter how false they may be, says Parks. 

Live Q&A with Marty Baron, former executive editor of The Washington Post on April 1. Fundraiser for student scholarships: Register now

From exposing the priest sexual abuse scandal in Boston to confronting Donald Trump’s attacks on the media to addressing the country’s racial reckoning, Marty Baron has stood at the center of the journalistic storm. Now he talks candidly about his time as editor of the Washington Post and Boston Globe, what it was like to be attacked as an “enemy of the people” and cover Trump, and what he sees for the future of journalism—and the country. 

Under his leadership, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald won a total of 17 Pulitzer Prizes. Baron was also featured in the Oscar-winning movie SPOTLIGHT. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of America’s greatest journalists and defenders of democracy and a free press. Baron will be interviewed by Jonathan Kaufman, Director of the Northeastern University School of Journalism.

Celebrate and support the School of Journalism with this groundbreaking, Northeastern-exclusive event! Tickets are $25 ($20 of which represents a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund). Event proceeds will go towards scholarship and stipends that directly benefit Journalism students. All gifts will be included in Giving Day totals. Register today.

Details

Event Registration$25 per ticket

Students free

$20 of your event fee is a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund

Agenda

6 – 6:10 p.m.: Welcoming Remarks

6:10–6:45 p.m.: Interview between Chair Kaufman & Marty Baron

6:45 – 7p.m.: Audience Q&A

Don’t cover lies | Site to address racial justice | Virtual = more subs

Don’t cover lies: Ohio’s biggest newspaper, the Plain Dealer is done covering blatant lies, says Marisa Iati in the Washington Post. United States Senate candidate Josh Mandel has been using statements of misinformation as a political strategy, questioning the mask mandate, denying the results of the 2020 election and slandering other politicians. In a break from journalistic tradition, the Plain Dealer is deciding that just because he is a politician making a statement does not mean that he is deserving of coverage. “We’re not going to do it the way we’ve always done it,” says Chris Quinn, the editor. 

Site to address racial justice: The Boston Globe and Boston University Center for Antiracist Research are launching the Emancipator, a news site meant to address current racial justice issues, says Rachel Treisman in NPR. A resurrection of an early 19th century anti-slavery paper, the Emancipator is a project co-founded by Ibram X. Kendi of Boston University and Bina Venkatarmaman of the Boston Globe. It will feature opinion and ideas journalism and has already secured an advisory board of over a dozen prominent journalists and academics. The paper will be a “call for freedom,” that will address racial justice from all angles, says Kendi. 

Virtual = more subs: Virtual events are no longer a temporary fix to a global pause on live events. Publications like the New Yorker are hosting exclusive virtual events accessible to only their subscribers to boost subscriptions and retention rates, says Mark Stenberg in Adweek. Next week, the New Yorker will host poet, activist, and author Amanda Gorman, playwright and producer Jeremy O. Harris, Representative Joaquin Castro, and other big names in art, culture, and politics in an event that will be free to subscribers but inaccessible to those on the outside.

Live Q&A with Marty Baron, former executive editor of The Washington Post on April 1. Fundraiser for student scholarships: Register now

From exposing the priest sexual abuse scandal in Boston to confronting Donald Trump’s attacks on the media to addressing the country’s racial reckoning, Marty Baron has stood at the center of the journalistic storm. Now he talks candidly about his time as editor of the Washington Post and Boston Globe, what it was like to be attacked as an “enemy of the people” and cover Trump, and what he sees for the future of journalism—and the country. 

Under his leadership, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald won a total of 17 Pulitzer Prizes. Baron was also featured in the Oscar-winning movie SPOTLIGHT. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of America’s greatest journalists and defenders of democracy and a free press. Baron will be interviewed by Jonathan Kaufman, Director of the Northeastern University School of Journalism.

Celebrate and support the School of Journalism with this groundbreaking, Northeastern-exclusive event! Tickets are $25 ($20 of which represents a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund). Event proceeds will go towards scholarship and stipends that directly benefit Journalism students. All gifts will be included in Giving Day totals. Register today.

Details

Event Registration$25 per ticket

Students free

$20 of your event fee is a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund

Agenda

6 – 6:10 p.m.: Welcoming Remarks

6:10–6:45 p.m.: Interview between Chair Kaufman & Marty Baron

6:45 – 7p.m.: Audience Q&A

Masks & Fox News | The truth is paywalled but the lies are free | The alt-right is ‘squatting’ on keywords

Masks & Fox News: Does it surprise anyone that there’s a split over masks between the Fox news side and opinion side? At the beginning of the pandemic, many Fox News anchors were advocating for public health measures to stop the virus from spreading further, says Jeremy Barr in the Washington Post. However, preventative measures like masks weren’t popular among their conservative audience, and Fox began spreading some conflicting messages about what their viewers should do. No surprise here, but Fox contributors came out questioning the science behind masks and denying their effectiveness. According to Barr, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro have advocated for masks and publicly worn them (but are not necessarily staunch mask supporters), and have been met with criticism from their audience. Tomi Lahren and Laura Ingraham have been vocal anti-maskers. Shocking that a year into the pandemic the most basic measures like masks are still under fire from Fox and its followers. 

The truth is paywalled but the lies are free: Many credible news sources don’t give away their content for free; readers are faced with a paywall soon after they begin reading the New York Times, the New Yorker, or the Washington Post. Breitbart, Fox News, and other outlets spreading misinformation do not present readers with the same blocks. The same is true of scholarly articles, textbooks, and other sources of information — they are costly and hard to come by. Nathan Robinson advocates for the free spread of knowledge in Current Affairs, and questions the potential that humans could unlock should the spread of information be made easy. Writers and content creators need to be compensated somehow if they are to make their living off of what they do, says Robinson, but this would require the complete restructuring of entire economic systems.  

The alt-right is ‘squatting’ on keywords: The alt-right is using “keyword squatting” to promote a racist message by taking over certain words and phrases searched online, say Brandi Collins-Dexter and Joan Donovan in CJR. Right-wing media platforms dominate search terms like “1619” to blunt the New York Times’ project addressing the history of Black Americans, “critical race theory,” and “1776” to promote racist misinformation that advocates for the continuation of the whitewashing of history. This process of spreading misinformation by burying academic research and credible stories by using the phrases in the headlines is undermining the necessary work that many historians and academics are doing to expose American history as it actually was rather than presenting an overly positive, patriotic narrative, according to the authors.

Live Q&A with Marty Baron, former executive editor of The Washington Post on April 1. Fundraiser for student scholarships: Register now

From exposing the priest sexual abuse scandal in Boston to confronting Donald Trump’s attacks on the media to addressing the country’s racial reckoning, Marty Baron has stood at the center of the journalistic storm. Now he talks candidly about his time as editor of the Washington Post and Boston Globe, what it was like to be attacked as an “enemy of the people” and cover Trump, and what he sees for the future of journalism—and the country. 

Under his leadership, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald won a total of 17 Pulitzer Prizes. Baron was also featured in the Oscar-winning movie SPOTLIGHT. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of America’s greatest journalists and defenders of democracy and a free press. Baron will be interviewed by Jonathan Kaufman, Director of the Northeastern University School of Journalism.

Celebrate and support the School of Journalism with this groundbreaking, Northeastern-exclusive event! Tickets are $25 ($20 of which represents a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund). Event proceeds will go towards scholarship and stipends that directly benefit Journalism students. All gifts will be included in Giving Day totals. Register today.

Details

Event Registration$25 per ticket

Students free

$20 of your event fee is a tax-deductible donation to the School of Journalism Fund

Agenda

6 – 6:10 p.m.: Welcoming Remarks

6:10–6:45 p.m.: Interview between Chair Kaufman & Marty Baron

6:45 – 7p.m.: Audience Q&A