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VizPol Outreach Coordinator

The VizPol project is looking for someone to help with visibility and outreach on a part-time basis through the November, 2020 general election. This person would help build a community of reporters, photographers and editors to use and contribute to the app, as well as run various social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Medium) to build further awareness about the project and support its community of users. 

VizPol is an app designed to provide journalists with contextual information about unfamiliar graphic symbols they may encounter during field reporting, especially during live events, protests, and rallies.

Learn more and view the full job description here.

COVID-19 newsroom cutbacks tracker

The Tow Center is conducting a project to track newsroom lay-offs and cutbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have been affected or know of a newsroom that has, please add to our form. We are extremely grateful for any contributions.

COVID-19 has ravaged American newsrooms – here’s why that matters

In The Conversation, Tow Fellow Damian Radcliffe writes about the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on journalism

Many newsrooms across the U.S. will be quieter places when journalists return to their workplace after the coronavirus lockdowns end.

COVID-19 has ripped through the industry. In the United States alone, over 36,000 journalists have lost their jobs, been furloughed or had their pay cut.

Analysis by Kristen Hare, a reporter at the journalism institute Poynter, shows that more than 200 newsrooms and media groups have been affected by lay-offs and other cost-saving measures, including mergers and reduced print runs. Local journalism has been hit particularly hard.

Even outlets seen as having a “good pandemic” have been adversely affected. Atlantic Media, for example, laid off 68 employees in May, equivalent to 17% of its staff, despite the publication adding 90,000 subscribers since March.

If the pandemic is, as some experts fear, an “extinction-level event,” and the mainstream media goes the way of the dinosaur, the consequences for democracy could be dire. It would dramatically reduce journalism’s ability to deliver on its core purposes: holding authority to account, informing and empowering audiences, and reflecting a community back to itself. 

Keep reading in The Conversation.

  • A New York Times report shows the alarmingly simple story behind a recent Twitter hack that targeted politicians and celebrities. Early on, a user on the messaging platform Discord who claimed to work at Twitter “got access to the Twitter credentials when he found a way into Twitter’s internal Slack messaging channel and saw them posted there, along with a service that gave him access to the company’s servers.”

  • A ProPublica report on voting misinformation shows that “nearly half of all top-performing posts that mentioned voting by mail were false or misleading.”

  • In a story about the intersection of journalism and digital influencer culture, BuzzFeed’s Megha Rajagopalan traces the manipulative ways skincare companies pressure journalists and fashion influencers into promoting skin lightening products. When the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Sri Lanka edition spoke out against Pond’s skin lighteners on social media, Unilever launched a “pressure campaign on her employer for positive coverage of White Beauty products” that eventually led her to leave journalism altogether. 

  • At The Markup, former Tow Fellow Jon Keegan offers some tips for spotting fake or misleading Amazon reviews. 

  • "Misinformation and fake news are the culmination of decades of legal, technological, and economic changes, helped along by canny entrepreneurs who capitalized on them,” writes Data & Society researcher and founding editor of Logic magazine Moira Weigel in her review of the new book Political Junkies by the New School’s Claire Potter.
Copyright © 2020 Tow Center for Digital Journalism, All rights reserved.

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