The Front Page: Twitter blues

Issue 55: How Elon Musk’s purchase could affect young journalists of color.

It’s Friday, November 4th.

On a phone call this week, someone I respect said the following about the recent purchase of Twitter:

“I’m glad Elon Musk took over Twitter. It’s a scourge and I want him to destroy it.”

At first I was quick to agree. A 2018 study from Amnesty International found that the site is a hotbed for abuse for women, especially women of color. More recently, a survey of hundreds of student journalists by Northeastern University found that women of color are more likely to face “violent, sexualized harassment.” And though Twitter is not mentioned outright, many journalists are expected to use the platform as part of their job.

But, despite the inherent risks and consequences of Logging On, Adriana Lacy (an Objective Advisory Board member) told Teen Vogue that the site can level the playing field by giving young journalists “a voice they may not have in their newsroom or in other spaces.”

In addition, organizations like Writers of Color and Black Women Photographers have shared ways in which the platform has helped underrepresented groups to address problems within the industry together.

It’s unclear how much worse things will get with Musk at the helm, but in the case of complete fallout it’s clear that underserved groups will face worse consequences than those of the predominantly white journalists worried about their check marks. 

— Holly Rosewood


GUIDANCE

A Bit More Media

Q&A: Johana Bhuiyan. Last week, Guardian reporter and editor Johana Bhuiyan spoke to Jireh Deng about her approach to accountability journalism and the pitfalls of “neutral” coverage: “If I’m just listing the facts from both sides as if they’re exactly equal, how are readers supposed to come away with what happened in that situation?” 

Scammers are impersonating Condé Nast editors. Freelancers told Objective contributor Nicole Froio that scammers are posing as Condé Nast editors to obtain journalists’ personal information and swindle them out of money. Learn more about avoiding targeted scams in the full piece.

Margaret Sullivan Book Review. For the Objective, Alex Sujong Laughlin reviews Margaret Sullivan’s new book, Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life. The journalism industry would benefit from the “outsider mentality” Sullivan describes and credits for her success in navigating “Big Journalism,” argues Alex.

Does climate misinformation restore trust? Despite a commitment to “building a new kind of trusted news source,” Semafor is sharing climate misinformation with readers. On Oct. 24, the startup released their first climate newsletter — featuring a sponsorship with Chevron. Read more in HEATED.

Publishing Prejudice. The Oregonian has issued an apology for “sins of commission” throughout the history of the 172-year-old publication and promised to improve coverage with an internal audit, community listening sessions, and more. The accompanying project, “Publishing Prejudice,” details the paper’s racist legacy and invites readers to respond.

Restorative justice tips for journalists. In collaboration with Free Press, Allen Arthur and Diamond Hardiman have launched a journalistic resource with advice from restorative justice practitioners. The guide includes “actionable, impactful steps journalists can take when having difficult conversations.”

White queerness at the Daily Northwestern. “A pervasive culture of whiteness,” writes Daily Northwestern columnist Lucia Barnum, ostracizes the paper’s queer journalists of color — and queer people of color in communities it covers. Read more about the newsroom’s 2021-22 diversity report and the culture it reveals in the full column.


WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Stay Up To Date

3 days until … Supporting Freelancer Safety in the Digital Realm. This free event organized by the Dart Center Asia Pacific hub takes place at 4 p.m. Australian EDT.

12 days until … Covering homelessness in the news, a hybrid town hall centered on the Homeless Crisis Reporting Project’s guide. Street Sense Media and Georgetown University’s Journalism School and Center for Social Justice host this event. 

14 days until … The First 90 Days: Understanding Disability in the Workplace. This webinar, the third of four in URL Media’s series, is designed for new BIPOC hires and managers.

What else should we feature? You tell us. Send an email to [email protected].


A Few More Resources

Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | JournalismJobs.com | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)   

How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook |  SPJ Race & Gender Hotline | AMEJA Media Resource Guide | The Press in Prison

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We’ll have more for you soon. 

This issue is by Holly Rosewood with editing by Curtis Yee.

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