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Monday, June 27th
by The Fix Team

“Executed in cold blood”

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from The Guardian Foundation, Médianes, Thomson Media, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and many more.

Since Russia openly invaded Ukraine in February, 33 international and Ukrainian journalists died. Eight of them were killed while covering the war, according to a count by the Institute of Mass Information. At least 15 reporters went missing, and 13 more were wounded. 

Reporting indicates that Russian forces have been targeting journalists. The investigation released last week by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows that prominent Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin, who died in March while covering Russia’s war, was executed by Russian soldiers.

Levin was killed on March 13th near Kyiv, and his body was found on April 1st when the Kyiv region was liberated. His friend Oleksiy Chernyshov was executed alongside Levin.

“Levin and Chernyshov were executed in cold blood… [t]he evidence against the Russian forces is overwhelming,” two investigators sent by RSF concluded. “Those responsible for murdering Levin and Chernyshov may have been members of the Russian Guard’s 106th airborne division or a special forces unit,” the report highlights.

Attacks against individuals are only a part of Russia’s strategy subverting Ukrainian media. Shelling TV towers has been another part. Notably, the strike on TV tower in Kyiv on March 1st took several lives; two weeks later, the missile attack on Rivne TV Tower in western Ukraine caused 21 deaths.

While stopping Russia is the best strategy to fight back the attacks on Ukrainian media, you can also help keep Ukraine’s media going by joining the fundraising campaign run by The Fix and a consortium of other outlets. 

The campaign has helped dozens of media outlets and journalists in Ukraine, but Russia’s war in the country is still raging, and Ukraine’s free press needs our continuous support.
From The Fix
How Ukraine’s public broadcaster operates during the war – interview with Suspilne’s CEO Mykola Chernotytskyi
Anton Protsiuk
What it’s like to lead a 4,000-people media organisation in the time of war
How a Hungarian podcast network found early success with dynamic ads in a developing market
David Tvrdon
In 2021, 12% of Hungarians listened to podcasts weekly. That’s enough to build a sustainable podcast business, the case of BeTone shows
25 years ago, I discovered the Internet
James Breiner   
Before Google and Facebook, high-speed fiber-optic service opened up the world
Burning questions the 2022 Digital News Report answered. And a few it created
David Tvrdon
What are we going to do about news avoidance and young audiences that find news off-putting?
What we are following 
The New European raised £510,000 in two days – by selling shares to its readers. PressGazette covers why The New European decided to let the readers invest. 

Do you know where your media is going to be in 50 years? It seems that The Washington Post is not only sure of its presence but also of its subscription price. Recently they started testing a surprising discount promotion – you can subscribe today for $50 a year and get this rate locked in for the next 50 years. Joshua Benton from NiemanLab looks into how this campaign might benefit the publisher. 

As Russia invaded Ukraine, it cracked down on independent journalism, foreign and domestic, at home. The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford was banned from Russia even before the full-scale war began, in August 2021. As a veteran reporter who covered the country for years, she now moved to cover Russian war crimes in Ukraine. In her interview for newspaper I, she describes Russian authoritarianism, coverage of the war and fears over her safety. 

Industry news
Telegram – the messaging service that now has over 700 million monthly users – rolled out a paid subscription plan last week. Telegram’s existing functionality will remain free. A Premium plan will offer new features, like voice message transcripts, and increased capabilities for existing ones, such as faster file download rates. The subscription costs $4 monthly, with some variation for local prices.

For years since its founding, Telegram has reportedly been funded by Pavel Durov, the service’s founder and former CEO of Russian social network VK. (Durov sold his stake in VK and left Russia under pressure from the country’s authorities eight years ago).

Last year, Telegram introduced ads in public, one-to-many channels. However, the company seems not to bet on advertising as a key funding model. The platform’s advertising functionality has remained limited, with high entry barriers for advertisers. The beauty of Telegram Premium is that if just 2,5-3% of our users sign up for [paid] subscription, Telegram will cover its costs, supported purely by its users,” Durov wrote, which “will herald a new, user-centric era in the history of social media services.”
Twitter is working on a Notes feature, allowing users to post built-in longer texts on the platform. The functionality is now being tested, available to select users in four countries, including the UK. “Adding long-form writing to Twitter could drastically change the character of the platform, which has long been defined by short-form writing,” The Verge notes. At the same time, Twitter is already used for texts exceeding 280 characters, such as in the forms of threads and pictures containing text.

“From the rise of the screenshot announcement Tweet to the newsletter boom, a new reality became clear: people were writing long elsewhere, and then coming to Twitter to share their work and for the conversation surrounding all those words,” Twitter’s editorial director Rembert Browne wrote. The company is now seeking to provide a more convenient way for writers to use the platform. 
Opportunities and deadlines
Star4Media News Call. Stars4Media is looking for medium-sized and large media organisations to apply for financing in two areas: Newsroom Transformation and Business Transformation. Selected projects will receive financial and coaching support. Participating newsrooms will cooperate across the border with other media for a period of 4 to 10 months. 
More info:
Deadline: June 30

INMA’s 30 Under 30 Awards. The International Media Association launched an award to celebrate outstanding achievements among young professionals in the media industry. Candidates must be under the age of 30 as of September 1, 2022. You can apply yourself or be nominated by a colleague.
More info:
Deadline: July 29

Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms. The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York is offering Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms. The two-month program consists of weekly online classes in product design and development from newsrooms around the world and will cover every phase of product development and management in a news setting. The program is online and free.
More info:
Deadline: July 15

Job Openings

Development Director. Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) is looking for a Development Director. In this position, you will manage GIJN fundraising and look for new sources of money. This position is remote. 
More Info:
Deadline: July 21

Project Officer Media Development Ukraine. DW Akademie is looking for a Project Officer. In this position, you will support projects related to the development of professional media in Ukraine. A university degree in management or similar field, good command of spoken and written English and German are required. Knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian would be an advantage. The position is based in Bonn, Germany. 
More info:
Deadline: July 3

Product Manager. Reuters is looking for a product manager to build digital products for the brand. You will be responsible for the development, launch, and all aspects of the product life-cycle for the products you manage. The position is based in London.
More info:
Deadline: Open until filled 

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