Who owns podcast content?: The debate over ownership of intellectual property has reached the podcasting world after two prominent podcasters spoke about their experiences on Twitter. Because the podcast industry as a whole is so young, there aren’t any clear-cut guidelines about whether podcast creators own their content, or whether the companies they work for do, Kameel Stanley writes for NiemanLab. Additionally, black creators and creators of color are more likely to face hurdles when fighting for ownership over their ideas. Veteran podcasters’ advice? Bring a lawyer to help negotiate intellectual property agreements.
Boston Globe tackles racial inequities: The Boston Globe has renewed its focus on issues of race and inequality in Boston, according to a leaked memo published by Dan Kennedy for WGBH. In the memo, Globe editor Brian McGrory announced several plans to foster change, including hiring and promoting editors of color, improving coverage of neighborhoods of color and performing audits of Globe reporting to assess how well the paper represents and depicts people of color in its coverage. McGrory also mentioned implementing a “right to be forgotten” policy for nonviolent crimes.
The decline of hometown papers: Writing for The Washington Post Magazine, Margaret Sullivan reflects on her years at The Buffalo News, where she started as a summer intern. At the time, the paper was a powerful force in the community, and as the paper’s first top female editor, Sullivan was able to implement important changes. However, as sources of revenue dried up, the paper was forced to cut down its staff, and its extensive coverage of Buffalo along with it. Sullivan illustrates what happens to local communities as a result of declining local news coverage.
By Maya Homan & Matt Carroll
Facebook: Spies, lies and stonewalling: The tech giant Facebook has made headlines quite a bit over the last several months. However, for tech reporters covering the company, those headlines are just the tip of the iceberg. Writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, Jacob Silverman details the complex system that journalists covering Facebook must navigate while chasing their stories, including off-the-record dinners and interviews that severely limit the information that can be included in published articles. Silverman describes a culture that prevents employees from engaging with the press, leaving little room for transparency with reporters and creating a precarious relationship with media organizations.
Covering the South Asian diaspora: Boasting both a wide range of coverage and a series of in-person and online events, The Juggernaut has established itself as an informative, accessible publication centered around the South Asian diaspora, Hanaa’ Tameez writes for NiemanLab. Snigdha Sur founded The Juggernaut in late 2018 to combat what she calls a “disproportionately low” level of media coverage of Asian communities. Contrary to other South Asian community papers in the U.S., their coverage is written in English rather than Hindi or Urdu, making it more accessible to first- and second-generation South Asian Americans. Additionally, The Juggernaut has been testing out more nontraditional business models, such as partnering with sponsors for their newsletters rather than turning to advertisers to fund the publication.
L.A. Times dumps food editor over behavior: Following a series of tweets by freelance food writer Tammie Teclemariam alleging harassment and abusive behavior directed at his staff, Peter Meehan has stepped down as food editor for the Los Angeles Times. In a thread on Twitter, Teclemariam accused Meehan of verbal abuse and sexual harassment dating back to his work at Lucky Peach, the magazine he founded in 2011. Writing for the New York Times, Amelia Nierenberg examines Meehan’s resignation, the latest in a widespread reckoning over the uneven distribution of representation and power among food writers.
By Maya Homan & Matt Carroll
Reexamining objectivity: For many journalists, objectivity is seen as a fundamental part of our work. However, in a New York Times op-ed published last week, CBS journalist Wesley Lowery challenged those notions of objectivity, arguing that the standards for neutrality and objectivity in journalism are based on the perspective of white reporters, editors and readers, and that they don’t necessarily reflect the realities of people of color. His piece details his experiences working as a black journalist and examines whether the media’s pursuit of neutrality is preventing journalists from holding powerful figures to account.
Local news desertification: A new report from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a grave forecast for local publications: almost a quarter of newspapers in the U.S. have failed over the past 15 years. News deserts, or areas without any local news coverage, have also been growing, and now encompass more than 200 counties. However, there has also been a bigger emphasis on saving local news with the launch of programs like the Journalism Crisis Project. Writing for Poynter, Tom Stites takes a look at what the future may hold for local news.
Blackface & Backlash: A week after then-NBC morning talk show host Megyn Kelly defended the use of blackface on air, a woman named Sue Schafer showed up to a halloween party at a friend’s house, wearing blackface and a Megyn Kelly nametag. Two weeks ago, a 3,000-word story about the incident appeared in The Washington Post’s Style section. However, the piece has received pushback from journalists questioning the piece’s newsworthiness, given that the subject was not a public figure and the incident occurred two years prior. Writing for New York Magazine, Josh Barro and Olivia Nuzzi dissect the piece and the series of events that led to its publication.
By Maya Homan & Matt Carroll