Climate denial advertorials, diversity in newsrooms, and how journalists fight back against government intimidation

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Edited by Marco Nurra

For $25K, you can publish climate denial in The Washington Post. “You can’t publish climate science misinformation in the editorial section of the WaPo, but for $25,000, you can buy a full-page ad spouting whatever scientific falsehoods you’d like,” writes Emily Atkin. “Should newspapers profit from publishing factual inaccuracies about deadly threats?”

The moral argument for diversity in newsrooms is also a business argument — and you need both. This has to be the year that pushes newsrooms to make progress on diversity and inclusion. As the Covid-19 crisis exposed glaring racial health disparities in the U.S., and as the killing of George Floyd prompted global protests against racism, the journalism industry has been forced to confront its own record on race and its ability to cover an increasingly diverse nation. Journalists from marginalized communities have increasingly demanded change. And the recent presidential election coverage continued to expose shortcomings.

In Brazil, 10 news outlets are teaming up to try to make journalism cool for young people. Ten digital news startups are collaborating to bring the news to the urban youth in Brazil, and learning about their consumption patterns along the way.

How journalists beyond the U.S. fight back against government intimidation. A look at four countries — Belarus, Jordan, Thailand, and Nicaragua — where the mantle of “fake news” is used to intimidate and threaten, and how journalists are responding.

Amidst political turmoil in Belarus, a revival of trust in independent journalism. After a contested election, President Aleksandr Lukashenko cracked down on dissent; professional and citizen journalists responded with innovative coverage.

Philippine soldiers shoot and kill journalist Ronnie Villamor at checkpoint. In the afternoon of November 14, Philippine Army soldiers shot and killed Villamor, a contributor to the local independent Dos Kantos Balita weekly tabloid, outside a military checkpoint in Milagros, a town in Masbate province in the central Philippines, while he was on his way to cover a disputed land survey.

“His only crime is to believe that Egyptians deserve the most basic of human rights.” Two months ago, documentary filmmaker Jess Kelly was making plans for a happy future. She had just got married and she and her Egyptian husband Karim Ennarah were planning on a life together in London. Today, the future could hardly be more uncertain. Ennarah is in an Egyptian jail facing charges of belonging to a terrorist group and spreading false news, with the threat of a long jail sentence. Ennarah’s ‘crime’ was to meet in early November with a group of European diplomats, including from the UK and the Netherlands, to discuss human rights issues in the country. Ennarah works as criminal justice unit director for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. His work focuses on human rights abuses within Egypt’s policing and the criminal justice system. Now, he is facing fabricated charges of joining a terrorist group and spreading fake news.

Turkish police raid Mezopotamya News Agency, detain journalist Dindar Karataş. Police officers in the eastern city of Van arrested Karataş at his home, and then brought him to the local office of his employer, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency, where they searched the premises and confiscated equipment.

Jamal Khashoggi killing: Turkey’s trial of Saudi suspects resumes. The gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi sparked international outrage and tarnished the image of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. Now, a Turkish court will resume the trial in absentia of 20 Saudi officials on Tuesday for the gruesome killing of the journalist.

Searching for the misinformation ‘twilight zone’. First Draft’s head of policy and impact, Tommy Shane, explores how our technology affects what misinformation we do and don’t see.

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016. Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016. “The two news giants must chart a path forward in subscriptions without the news momentum from Donald Trump’s presidency.”