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Monday, November 7th
by The Fix Team

Let’s forget about Twitter for a moment

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Nine, Hesse Broadcasting, El Watan, Cogora and many others!

There’s no shortage of media coverage of the Elon Musk Twitter saga, including the potential changes to Twitter’s content moderation (admittedly, the coverage even The Fix contributes to – check the Industry News section for our share). One could argue that Twitter is covered too extensively compared to other important online spaces, such as Quora, Reddit and, most notably, Wikipedia. 

“Wikipedia fits into the information ecosystem in a completely different way to any of the social media platforms… it’s trusted on being an impartial source of truth”, researcher Carl Miller told The Fix in an interview last week. Yet, “Wikipedia is massively overlooked as a topic for mainstream journalism”.

Miller is co-founder and research director of UK-based Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM), which recently published a report that looks at information warfare on Wikipedia, including a case study of an English Wikipedia entry on the Russo-Ukrainian war.

The research provides a useful framework for thinking about protecting one of the most valuable treasures of the online age from disinformation campaigns and other kinds of coordinated manipulation efforts. 

Apart from going through the report’s key findings, Miller makes an important point – Wikipedia might be the most significant target of information warfare, but it gets surprisingly little media coverage compared to Facebook or Twitter.

“We really need more coverage on information spaces as precious as this one”, Miller says. “We can’t just think that Facebook and Twitter are the places where information manipulation is happening”.
From The Fix
Wikipedia is a coveted target of information warfare – what risks does it face? Interview with researcher Carl Miller
Anton Protsiuk
“We really need more coverage on information spaces as precious as this one”
I thought journalists had to be cynics. I was wrong
Emma Löfgren
Why journalism has given me faith that things will turn out OK
Advanced search: how to dig using search engines – Part II
Alberto Puliafito
Using tools to organise your searches, mastering advanced search operators to find anything with an URL and understanding “dorking” and its ethical boundaries
How publishers can maximize ad revenues in Q4, despite global economic uncertainty: New report
Economic uncertainty and inflation have affected digital advertising demand. A new report shares how EPC and CPM rates stand in comparison to previous years, and suggests strategies for publishers to maximize Q4 yield
What we are following 
The New York Times Company posted its quarterly results last week, and they further confirmed what’s been obvious – the publisher’s success with subscriptions increasingly comes from non-news products, such as recipes and games. Poynter covers NYT’s results for Q3.  

Semafor, a US-based news publisher with global ambitions launched in October, relies solely on advertising for now. That’s not a typical approach in the era when reader revenue dominates as a business model, but Chief Revenue Officer Rachel Oppenheim is confident in the company’s financial success. She explains in an interview with Digiday.

The vast majority of journalists’ killers across the world remain unpunished. “No one has been held to account in nearly 80% of journalist murders during the last 10 years”, the Committee to Protect Journalists finds in a new report. Most journalist murders occur in conflict-ridden countries like Syria or Afghanistan; Mexico is also one of the worst offenders.

Industry news
Twitter has been in the news a lot recently. As Elon Musk finalised the purchase of the company, he immediately started stirring controversies – from posting an ugly conspiracy theory, to laying off half of the company’s workforce, to announcing verification would soon become a paid service. News media have been impacted by the changes as well.

For one, paid (and perhaps quite expensive) verification might be a security concern for journalists. As Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo writes, “the coveted blue profile signifier… is about more than status—it confirms your identity and prevents trolls from hijacking it, which is a not-at-all-trivial security measure for any public-facing person”, particularly reporters.

In the meanwhile, Twitter is ending ad-free article offering for subscribers of its paid Twitter Blue service, as part of broader revamp of the platform’s paid services. As The Wall Street Journal notes, the year-old program, which has compensated news outlets according to the number of readers their materials get, “never accrued enough subscribers to have a meaningful impact on publishers’ revenue”. At the same time, the company’s new owner announced “paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us” as part of the future reformed paid service.
The BBC announced major cuts to local radio stations in England, reducing the amount of content created for specific stations. While all 39 regional networks across the country will keep their own programming 6am to 2pm on weekdays, programs will be shared across multiple local stations for other time slots. Almost 50 jobs will be eliminated as a result. “The changes are understood to be due to cost pressures arising from the combination of the licence fee freeze and inflation, as well as a shift in focus from older audiences to younger listeners, who prefer online content”, The Guardian writes.
Facebook’s parent company Meta will replace editors of its News section with AI. As Press Gazette reports, the company recently “informed publishers of its decision to end a curation contract with Upday”, an aggregation startup owned by Axel Springer. The aggregation tool is maintained by some 15 journalists today. The shift is part of Meta’s broader pivot from news in recent months as the company focuses on promoting short-form entertainment video in competition with TikTok, as well as invests in building a metaverse. 
Opportunities and deadlines

Women Leadership Accelerator. The Online News Association invites female leaders of digital media to apply to the Women’s Leadership Accelerator. The program will include mentoring, coaching and networking opportunities throughout the year.
More info:
Deadline: November 10

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship. John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships will select up to 20 fellows to spend an academic year at Stanford University. Fellows receive a stipend of $95,000 (€95,000). The candidates need to have at least five years of experience.
More info:
Deadline: December 1 (for international applicants), January 25 for US applicants

TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting: Uncovering Commercial Bribery. The TRACE Foundation is accepting entries for the 2023 Prize for Investigative reporting. The entries should uncover business-related bribery and financial crime. The winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 (€10,000).
More info:
Deadline: January 31

Job Openings

Senior Programme Coordinator East Africa. Free Press Unlimited is looking for a Senior Programme Coordinator East Africa who will be responsible for the management and implementation of donor-funded programmes in the region. The position is based in Amsterdam.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Department Manager. International Media Support is looking for a Department Manager for the Global Response and Eastern Europe Department. Responsibilities include supporting the operational, HR and financial aspects of the organisation’s media support activities. Relevant educational background and at least 5 years of experience are desired. The duty station is based in Copenhagen. 
More info:
Deadline: November 20

Communications Manager. Luminate Strategic Initiatives is seeking a strategic Communications Manager to lead external communications. You will oversee external affairs, reputation management, media strategy and relations, risk and crisis management. This position can be based in Brussels or London.
More info:
Deadline: November 13
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