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Monday, January 9th
by The Fix Team

Making your journalism more constructive in 2023 

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from BBC, Hanza Media, El Correo from and many others!

For New Year’s resolutions to work, they have to be realistic enough – for example, one task for each month.

Instead of a sweeping improvement that might be exciting but hard to implement, digital media leader Emma Löfgren offers a guide to gradual improvement in “12 baby steps” over the course of a year.

For example, your task for January is to make an effort to include data for context in the next story you will write. In April, interview someone you’ve never interviewed before so you can diversify your reporting, and in May devote an article to answering one reader’s question. By November and December, reflect on the improvements you’ve made over the year & share the results with others.

Of course, you don’t have to follow all of the steps and in that particular order, but the underlying idea is quite powerful – to implement positive change, it often takes small steps and persistence.

(Read the whole guide on The Fix’s website, and you can also check and share an infographics version on Twitter).
From The Fix
Business as usual? The media outlook for 2023
Amélie Reichmuth
A summary of NiemanLab’s predictions on the future of journalism
Visegrád 24: propaganda or aspiring news outlet with a concrete ideological line?
Sofiia Padalko
The project has amassed a large following covering the CEE region and reporting on Russia’s invasion from a pro-Ukrainian position, but it has faced criticism around posting fake news and ties to the Polish government
What’s your media job: Head of Audio and Newsletters
Hleb Liapeika
Interview with Hana Němečková, Head of Audio and Newsletters at Seznam Zprávy
What we are following 
2023 is shaping up to be a difficult year for many of the news media organisations, but there are reasons to be optimistic, Semafor’s Ben Smith writes. He recounts six “non-comprehensive, slightly eccentric reasons for optimism” – from the comeback of the local press in the US to sceptical crypto coverage. (In the meanwhile, Vanity Fair looks into why The New York Times hasn’t yet found a replacement for Smith now that it’s a year since he resigned as the newspaper’s media columnist).

In 2012, The New York Times’ “Snow Fall” multimedia feature broke new ground in journalism, showing the technical capabilities of online storytelling. Ten years in, NYT reflects on the project’s legacy for the newspaper itself and for journalism more broadly.

The UK’s local news media market is getting increasingly centralised. According to the analysis by Press Gazette, four companies control almost 90% of regional daily circulation. The biggest publisher is Reach, which accounts for a third of all circulation and owns almost all of the top twenty biggest digital regional news brands.

Industry news
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky signed into law a bill on the media. The law aims to harmonise regulations of the media industry and introduces regulation of online media and web platforms. It’s part of the reforms roadmap Ukraine needs to implement to start negotiating the country’s accession to the European Union, and the law also aims to help fight Russian propaganda more effectively.

Critics, including international journalistic organisations, have previously criticised the bill for extending the powers of the state in regulating the media industry. The final version relaxed some of the provisions criticised previously, particularly making official registration for online media voluntary rather than mandatory and limiting the regulator’s power to shut down news sites.
The Guardian suffered a serious cyber attack in late December that forced the newspaper to shut down its office for a month. On Monday, January 2nd, the work-from-home policy was extended for most employees by further three weeks. According to a note by chief executive Anna Bateson cited by Press Gazette, the attack caused “[a] serious disruption” to the organisation’s network and IT systems. Semafor reports that “the print paper nearly did not come out on the first couple of days following the hack, and remains a heavy lift”. The motive of the hack seems to be financial extortion rather than an attack motivated by The Guardian’s reporting; however, the publisher hasn’t disclosed results of its investigation yet.
Vox Media, the US digital media company that owns outlets like Vox, The Verge and New York magazine, codified its ban on advertising from fossil-fuel companies, as well as any companies that mine nonrenewable resources. As Morning Brew reports, Vox Media didn’t take fossil-fuel money since early 2021, but now is “kind of formalizing” the ban, in the words of its executive. The question of selling ads to fossil-fuel companies remains heated among the news media; while The Guardian introduced a ban three years ago, US news organisations like Politico, Axios and Semafor have come under scrutiny for running fossil-fuel ads alongside their climate coverage.
Opportunities and deadlines

European Endowment for Democracy Grant. The European Endowment for Democracy (EDD) provides financial support ranging from €40,000 to €60,000 to help outlets and journalists, who operate in repressive environments. Eligible countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
More info:
Deadline: Ongoing

Journalist Fellowship Programme. The fellowship from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is designed for “practising, mid-career journalists to take some time out from their day jobs to explore journalism in depth”. You will have an opportunity to research a subject of your choice at the University of Oxford for three or six months.
More info:
Deadline: February 6

The Sigma Awards. The Sigma Awards are accepting entries by data journalists. Works must be published in 2022 and can cover any topic. The cash prize of $5,000 (€4,700) will be distributed among the award winners.
More info:
Deadline: January 19

Job Openings

Managing Editor. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) are looking for a Managing Editor to oversee the Current Times television news production. 10+ years of management experience in the TV industry is a must. The position is based in Prague.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Project Manager and Team Lead. JournalismAI, a global initiative that empowers newsrooms to use AI responsibly, is looking for professionals who will coordinate their programmes and activities. Experience in media organisations and relevant project management experience is needed. You will be based in London. 
More info:
Deadline: January 15

Director. UNESCO is looking for the Director for Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Information Literacy. You will be responsible for the global programmes on the safety of journalists, press freedom and freedom of expression among other responsibilities. The position is based in Paris.
More info:
Deadline: February 15
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