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Monday, September 12th
by The Fix Team

The gargantuan task of covering the Queen’s death

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Internews, European Commission, Are We Europe, DL News, Kent State University, and many others!

News media had prepared coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s death for many years – plans were in place, obituaries pre-written. The work was warranted; the grieving and the curious in the UK and across the world turned to the media for news and analysis.

As The Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson notes, “[following the news of the Queen’s death] all online news websites have seen extraordinarily high traffic, while print newspapers, some filled with articles that have been written for decades, have sold out across the UK as people pick up souvenir copies.”

The BBC has had a particularly difficult job, Waterson writes – balancing the need to cover the momentous event, while also ensuring viewers don’t tune out for TikTok or Netflix. The corporation did the job well.

Another important avenue for covering the Queen’s death has been Wikipedia. Even though the encyclopaedia is just that by design, not a news source, millions of people turned to Wikipedia for additional context in addition to the latest information.

To cope with the task on Thursday, English Wikipedia volunteers initiated the “London Bridge task force”, named after the operation designed by the UK government decades ago to prepare for the Queen’s future death. Similar efforts, though perhaps at a smaller scale, ensued in almost 200 other Wikipedia language editions featuring an article about Elizabeth II.

On Thursday September 8th, the day Elizabeth II died, the English-language Wikipedia entry devoted to the Queen gathered almost 8.5 million views. Across all languages, the number of views in a day reached almost 20 million – probably Wikipedia’s record.

While lacking the resources and decades of preparation traditional media have, by all accounts the community of volunteer editors also did their job as well as the global community of readers expected.
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What we are following 
Covering difficult topics like the COVID-19 pandemic or Russia’s war in Ukraine can be a double-edged sword in terms of audience engagement. On one hand, people are anxious and are more likely to check the news. On the other hand, with time, people are getting tired of following tragic events. IJNET writes about the source of this fatigue and argues that the path forward is for journalists to focus on solution-based stories and for consumers to moderate their news consumption practices.

What is going to happen with Politico after its purchase by Axel Springer? Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of the German publishing house, saw that its success lies in a nonpartisan approach. However, some of the rumoured Döpfner’s own political views raise eyebrows within the news media community, The Washington Post writes.

There were many ways to protect people from fake news. Harmony Square, one of the games by the University of Cambridge, tries to “mentally vaccinate” people against fake news. For OpenMind, Elizabeth Svoboda talks about the logic behind online games and strategies that can protect the wider population against disinformation.

Industry news
Russian journalist Ivan Safronov was convicted of treason and sentenced for 22 years in prison. Safronov worked as a reporter for leading Russian newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti; he also briefly served as an advisor to the head of Roscosmos, Russian space agency. He was arrested two years ago on the charge of sharing state secrets with Western intelligence agencies. The sentence handed down on Monday is widely viewed as unfounded and based on Safronov journalistic work rather than alleged treason.
The Ukrainian government will nationalise 4 Kanal (Channel 4), a nationwide TV channel that belonged to Oleksiy Kovalyov, Ukrainian lawmaker turned Russian collaborator. Kovalyov, who used to be a member of Ukraine’s parliament with President Zelensky’s ruling party Servant of the People, purchased the 200-people strong 4 Kanal last year. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, Kovalyov joined the Russian occupation government in Ukraine’s Kherson region; he was killed in August. 4 Kanal was seized by the court in July as Kovalyov was charged with treason. Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency said in an interview that the plan is for 4 Kanal to develop as a state channel.
Yahoo is purchasing The Factual, a service that uses AI to score news content and rate the credibility of news stories. Financial terms have not been disclosed. As Axios reports, “the deal could provide Yahoo News’ 200 million+ monthly visitors with ratings for the thousands of news sources Yahoo aggregates on its site”, marking the first Yahoo’s acquisition since it was purchased by Apollo Global Management in 2021.
Opportunities and deadlines
The Fix Foundation is launching monthly sessions on innovation and exciting case studies in the media development space. The first session will take place on Monday, September 19, at 14.00 CET and last 1 hour.

Topics covered will include an experiment to bypass Russian news censorship via pirated movie subtitles, how an independent media sales house is providing new, sustainable funding to Belarusian and Ukrainian media, and how a journalist-driven new outlet is challenging government dominance on the Polish regional media market.
Register Here

IJ4EU’s Freelancer Grants. IJ4EU Fund opens a call for teams of freelance journalists. The grant includes financial aid (up to €20,000), training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Applications must be submitted by teams composed entirely of freelance journalists who are based in at least two EU member states or at least one EU member state and at least one official EU candidate country.
More info:
Deadline: October 13

INMA Elevate Scholarships. International News Media Association designed a program to strengthen the future of the news business. Early to mid career journalists and other media professionals are eligible to apply. Successful candidates will gain free access to three INMA masterclasses, receive a free membership in INMA for one year, participate in mentoring, and more.
More info:
Deadline: September 23

Job Openings

FT Schools Project Lead. The Financial Times will hire a Project Lead to run operations at the FT Schools program. You will oversee strategy, plan and execute annual marketing campaigns, and work with partners and teachers, among other responsibilities. The position is based in the UK.
More info:
Deadline: Open until filled 

Digital Campaign Manager. Politico’s marketing team is looking for a Digital Campaign Manager. In this position, you will organise and implement marketing campaigns across all digital channels. The position is based in Brussels.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
Senior Manager, News Partnerships. Google is looking for a consultant who will build long-lasting relationships with partners. The EMEA News Publishing Partnerships team works on Google’s relationships with the news industry in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Working knowledge of Italian and English is a must. The position is based in Milan.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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