Maria Ressa’s guilty verdict, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, and the WikiLeaks video that exposed US ‘war crimes’ in Iraq

Our personal weekly selection about journalism and innovation.

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Edited by Marco Nurra

This is how democracy dies. A court ruling against the Philippine journalist Maria Ressa illustrates the erosion of democratic norms, the corruption of institutions, and the compromises of decision makers. A judge convicted the Philippine journalist Maria Ressa for an article she did not write, edit, or supervise, of a crime that hadn’t even existed when the story was published. He sentenced Ressa and the story’s author, Reynaldo Santos Jr., to a jail term of six months to six years. UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye and UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions called the guilty verdict handed down on Monday morning, June 15, a “tragedy for Philippine democracy.” The Guardian view on this case: “an attack on democracy.”

Daphne Caruana Galizia murder: Malta opens inquiry into former police chief. Lawrence Cutajar allegedly interfered with investigation into death of journalist in 2017. The order to “formally” investigate him was made on Monday by a magistrate who is presiding over court proceedings in connection with the case.

Julian Assange indictment fails to mention WikiLeaks video that exposed US ‘war crimes’ in Iraq. US prosecutors have failed to include one of WikiLeaks’ most shocking video revelations – footage that shows an Apache helicopter mowing down 11 civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in Baghdad – in the indictment against Julian Assange, a move that has brought accusations the US doesn’t want its “war crimes” exposed in public. Here, how the US military covered up gunning down two journalists in Iraq.

New Reuters Institute Digital News Report. This year’s report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a YouGov survey of over 80,000 online news consumers in 40 markets including Kenya and the Philippines for the first time. The report looks at the impact of coronavirus on news consumption and on the economic prospects for publishers. It looks at progress on new paid online business models, trust and misinformation, partisanship and populism, and the popularity of curated editorial products like podcasts and email newsletters.

What journalists can learn from their mistakes during the pandemic. Getting COVID-19 coverage right required a diverse newsroom and journalists with data skills and expertise, argues Dorothy Byrne. “It was not just our profession’s lack of scientific knowledge which hampered us. We often didn’t understand data. Experts complain our profession regularly ‘mixed up the denominator’. If you don’t understand what they mean, maybe you are part of that problem.”

Posts about COVID-19 vaccines bring an overdose of misinformation. The world waits anxiously for a vaccine that will halt the deaths and devastation from the coronavirus. But until that happens, fear and uncertainty are generating a gigantic list of falsehoods about this topic. Extra caution is essential when reading about COVID-19 vaccines.

UK readers find the government’s COVID-19 messages more misleading than actual fake news. It’s not the 5G-type stuff that’s confusing people.

Refugee journalists bring access to stories that would otherwise be missed. Refugee journalists can help media outlets develop new ideas, access hard-to-reach sources, speak to new audiences, and enrich coverage. “Diversity is not about political correctness, it’s about the quality of media.”

A more diverse student newsroom will make your publication stronger. Here’s how to get started. Student newsrooms are a pipeline into the industry, but there are unique factors that limit the accessibility of student journalism. Unpaid internships are only realistic for students from privileged backgrounds, and working at a student paper for little to no pay is a considerable hardship for students supporting themselves through college.

How The New York Times is producing quarantine videos without being live and in-person. “The intimacy that you can build with your character when you’re doing a FaceTime interview instead of having a big camera crew in their living room is great.”

ABC reimburses $12m to nearly 2,000 staff underpaid over seven years. Broadcaster will also make a contrition payment of $600,000 to settle the damaging scandal.

Australia is trying to make Facebook and Google pay for news. Facebook says it doesn’t need news, actually. Facebook and Google argue that the value they derive from news content is marginal and they don’t believe they should be responsible for funding it.