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Monday, December 19th
by The Fix Team

Can audiences keep up with war coverage? 

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from European Commission, ESH Media, Aposto Europe, Wikimedia Ukraine, and many others!

Last Friday, Ukraine faced another bout of Russia’s rocket terrorism, with almost 100 missiles aimed at civilian infrastructure across the country, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Millions of Ukrainians – including some people on The Fix’s team – lost power, heating and running water for a few days.

Still, although the impact of destruction has been enormous, it’s been just one of the many devastating episodes of Russia’s invasion, far from the most interesting or consequential ones.

More broadly, however important the conflict remains, both Ukrainian and Russian news publishers have been hit by war fatigue. As Jakub Parusinski writes for The Fix analysing Similarweb data, major Ukrainian publishers and independent Russian ones saw drops in traffic of around 30% last month.

In Ukraine the drop can partly be attributed to blackouts – with limited internet connection Ukrainians either can’t access online news at all or opt for less data-heavy options like Telegram channels. However, a bigger story is one of audience exhaustion, Parusinski argues, as people gradually tune out, unable or unwilling to keep up with regular coverage.

“What is clear is that this will be a demanding winter for media managers to diversify their distribution risks, come up with creative, engaging storytelling formats, and find ways to provide important information to audiences”, Parusinski concludes – the tasks that are always relevant, but even more so as we head into the second year of Europe’s biggest war in generations. 
From The Fix
War fatigue hits Ukrainian, Russian media
Jakub Parusinski
Blackouts, social media changes and war fatigue take a significant toll on November traffic
What The Verge’s website redesign tells us about the future of media
Anna Sofia Lippolis
One of the biggest tech news publishers wants to get readers to visit its website homepage directly – competing with Twitter, not other news outlets 
Is it time for journalists to forsake Twitter?
Opinion: David Tvrdon
The dilemma on many journalists’ minds might have gotten easier to solve thanks to Elon Musk’s crackdown on the critical press
Open letter from Ukrainian members of the International Press Institute on IPI’s position about Dozhd’s license revocation
Opinion: Ukrainian members of IPI
IPI expressed support of Dozhd after its license revocation. Here is what Ukrainian media leaders think
What we are following 
In recent years, Hungarian media has been increasingly centralised, with Victor Orbán's government directly or indirectly controlling major publishers. Politico interviewed Zoltán Varga, one of Hungary’s last major independent media owners, who is now under criminal investigation – which he claims is “part of [the] long-running campaign to silence dwindling free voices” in the country.

Pink News, UK-based publisher focusing on LGBTQ+ news, is trying to counter news avoidance by introducing a filter for “uplifting stories” only. The feature is already available in their app, and it will be rolled out on the website next year. PressGazette looks into the feature and the broader redesign implemented by the 17-year-old newspaper.

Unlike in Eastern Europe, in the US Telegram remains a small platform, which the Pew Research Center categorises as one of the “alternative social media platforms” along with the likes of Parler and Truth Social. Only 2% of Americans use Telegram for news, compared to 31% for Facebook and 14% for Twitter. The think tank analyses Telegram’s usage in the United States. 

Industry news
The Wall Street Journal named Emma Tucker as its new top editor, the first woman ever to lead WSJ’s newsroom in the paper’s 133-year history. Tucker comes from the UK, having previously led The Sunday Times and served in various positions at The Times – both newspapers are also owned by Rupert Murcdoch. As The New York Times notes, “by selecting Ms. Tucker, Mr. Murdoch put in the top job an editor from outside the paper with close ties to his wider media empire”. Tucker will replace current editor Matt Murray who has led the paper for over four years.
67 journalists have been killed around the world in connection with their jobs so far this year, according to the data released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). This represents a notable increase compared to 47 killings last year, marking “a reversal of the decline recorded in recent years”. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been the biggest driver, with 12 reporters and media staff killed while covering the war. Besides, at least 375 journalists and media workers across the world are in jail, the IFJ estimates, also an increase compared to the previous years. Within the CEE region, the two most repressive regimes are unsurprisingly Belarus and Russia – 33 journalists are in prison under the Lukashenka regime, and Russia has jailed 29 journalists (including in occupied Crimea).
Twitter officially announced it would shut down its newsletter service Revue, which it acquired almost two years ago. Plans for its shutdown have been reported previously, but last week the company officially confirmed them and announced that the service would be discontinued in mid-January.
Opportunities and deadlines

The Global Shining Light Award. Submit your work of investigative journalism to The Global Shining Light Award, which is organised by the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The entry must be from journalists who reported in developing countries in English or with an English-language summary. The winners will receive $2,500 (€2,360).
More info:
Deadline: February 28

NewsPrice Investigative Grant. NewsPrice is accepting applications to support data investigations of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The organisers are ready to support authors with their investigations. The grant amount ranges from $2,000 (€1,880) to $5,000 (€4,720).
More info:
Deadline: December 31

2023 LEDE Fellowship.  Apply for the 2023 LEDE Fellowship. During the six-month fellowship, you will work on solutions journalism projects. Apart from professional development sessions, you will receive a grant of up to $5,000 (€4,720).
More info:
Deadline: January 4

Job Openings

Fundraiser for strategic donors. International Media Support (IMS) is looking for a fundraiser to help execute the IMS’ fundraising strategy. Experience of 3-5 years in fundraising activities is a must. You will be based in Copenhagen.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Short-Term Consultancy: Anti-Censorship Technologist. Internews is looking for a consultant who will support tracking and analysis of measures taken against Internet censorship. This is a remote opportunity. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Head of News Division. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is looking to hire the Head of News Division. You will be a part of the executive team and lead RFE/RL’s newsroom. You will be based in Prague.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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