Gender equality in the newsroom, news fatigue, ‘deepfake’ videos, and the threats to press freedom

Our personal weekly selection about journalism and innovation.

Our personal weekly selection about journalism and innovation. Stay up to date by following our Telegram channel or by subscribing to our Newsletter, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

edited by Marco Nurra

For the first time a woman will be the editor-in-chief of El País, the largest daily newspaper in Spain. Soledad Gallego-Díaz will be the only woman to have led the newspaper in its 42-year history. She started to work for the newspaper immediately after it was founded in 1976. From there she covered Spain’s parliament, chronicling some of the most intense moments of the country’s transition to democracy. In fact, together with Federico Abascal and José Luis Martínez, she managed to obtain and publish the first draft of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.

“If you don’t have gender equality in your newsroom, it’s like running on one leg”. The lack of women in leadership in the journalism industry is not an unfamiliar topic. But what are news organizations actually doingabout it? And how can other news organizations take on the gender diversity gap too? Here how the New York Times and Gizmodo tackle gender diversity in the newsroom: “Diversity is always a business imperative.”

You’re probably not quoting enough women. The Columbia Journalism Review is building a public database of women, people of color and/or nonbinary media experts, because none of us are quoting enough of these people in our stories.

Five years after the historic NSA leaks, Edward Snowden tells The Guardian he has no regrets: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’. In June 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden met with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen Macaskill and film-maker Laura Poitras in Hong Kong. The whistleblower gave them documents which proved the existence of a massive-scale surveillance system that allows the American NSA and other intelligence and security agencies to gather information on citizens without judicial supervision.

What is ‘quality’ journalism? Here it is and here’s how we do it. “We misunderstand why people consume news. It might be to be ‘informed’. The ‘labour’ of consuming news can be a reward in itself. That is good news for journalists who produce evidence-based reporting. But it is also about ritual, fun, spectacle, solving problems, and enjoyment. Stop treating those reasons as less ‘quality’. We want to go to the gym but we also enjoy sunbathing. People don’t always know what they want. Surprise them. Refresh. Get off Twitter. Hire differently. The strongest ‘echo chamber’ is often the newsroom itself,” writes Charlie Beckett.

Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans. 73% of white Americans express fatigue with the amount of news, much higher than among both Hispanic (55%) and black Americans (55%).

Solving misinformation for the public, not for experts. “The public don’t trust experts any more, and they have no interest in any ‘solution’ to misinformation which tells them what is and is not true or who can and can’t be trusted. This is why every attempt to address misinformation which takes this approach, is not solving it at all,” writes Shane Greenup.

MediaWise teaches 500 teens to fact-check the internet. The MediaWise initiative will feature curriculum to be taught in classrooms, a first-of-its-kind teen fact-checking endeavor and an awareness and educational campaign voiced. MediaWise is a partnership between Google, Poynter, Stanford University and the Local Media Association.

A potential new marketing strategy for political campaigns: ‘deepfake’ videos. The video shows Donald Trump speaking from a podium. He’s urging Belgium to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, which the United States did last summer. But the video isn’t real. A Belgian social-democratic party created to promote a petition for the government to do more about climate change.

Macron pushes bill aimed at ‘fake news’ as critics warn of dangers. Under a proposed ‘fake news’ law, French judges would have (only) 48 hours to decide if “any allegation or imputation” is “devoid of verifiable elements that would make it credible.” Only “bad faith” items are covered.

Fact-checking the Mexican election on WhatsAppVerificado 2018, a collaborative election reporting and fact-checking initiative led by Animal PolíticoAJ+ Español, and Pop-Up Newsroom, is trying to intervene in the spread of fake news on WhatsApp — and having some success. Verificado’s mission is broad; it launched in March and has partners in 28 of Mexico’s 32 states. It’s fact-checking and producing content across multiple social platforms, not just WhatsApp.

Maria Ressa, executive editor of Rappler, receives Golden Pen of Freedom. “You don’t really know who you are until you’re forced to fight to defend it. Then every battle you win — or lose… every compromise you choose to make… or to walk away from… all these struggles define the values you live by and, ultimately, who you are. We at Rappler decided that when we look back at this moment a decade from now, we will have done everything we could: we did not duck, we did not hide,” she said.

Newspaper publisher gunned down in the Philippines. The Philippines ranked fifth on CPJ’s most recent Impunity Index, which lists countries where journalists are killed and their murderers go free.

Bahrain’s High Criminal Court of Appeal has upheld a five-year conviction for human rights activist Nabeel Rajab for critical tweets made from his account condemning Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen and condemning the use of torture at Bahrain’s Notorious Jau Prison.

Russia jails Ukrainian journalist for 12 years for spying. A Russian court sentenced a Ukrainian journalist, Roman Sushchenko, to 12 years in a maximum security prison on Monday after convicting him of spying in a case his lawyer and Ukraine said was fabricated for political reasons.

Media crackdown heightens fears for Pakistan’s democracy. Attacks on journalists have increased ahead of the general election.