November’s Baker’s Dozen

A monthly roundup of media winners and losers.

Image via Justin R. Pacheco

Twitter ⬇
Its potential to be the world’s “town square” and source of breaking news has for years been squandered in favor of media personality preening and bickering. Elon Musk’s takeover does not bode well for sensible content moderation, which Musk’s own amplification of a bogus conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi made alarmingly clear. 

Nice News ⬆
A daily helping of hope that goes beyond fluff and puppy memes. Nice News highlights only good news through the prism of acts of charity, heroism and plain human kindness while also examining solutions for the public education system and the environment. 

DeutschWelle ⬆
The broadcaster is a prime example of the robust public media ecosystem in Germany. Of special note is the recent work by staffer Alex Matthews to expose international threats to media freedom, including his reporting on China intimidating journalists in 16 countries across Asia, Europe and South America. 

I’ve written that much of the turbulence at the network is a predictable product of the Discovery-Warner Media merger. But a transparent plan for its future must be communicated soon if ownership wants to restore an image of stability following an onslaught of high-profile programming shakeups. 

Enlace Latino NC, Montana Free Press, and Santa Cruz Local ⬆
The LION Local Journalism Lab recognized the excellence of these three non-profit outlets, all founded in the past six years, with three awards each at its journalism awards ceremony. Over 2,200 local newspapers have shuttered since 2005. These outlets, providing underserved communities with news on everything from immigrant issues to the post-COVID workplace,
demonstrate the importance and resilience of local news. 

The View ⬇
The Times magazine famously dubbed the ABC daytime program the most important political TV show in America. It would be heartening to see the panel offer cogent commentary rather than a series of headline-grabbing gaffes

The Times newsroom has been relatively drama-free post-Trump, midterm election coverage has stuck mostly to the facts and the opinion pages have continued to provide  thoughtful cultural commentary with goals having little to do with making a splash on social media. 

Tim Alberta, The Atlantic ⬆
Amid midterm coverage abounding in reheated MAGA think pieces, Alberta offered a rigorous and frank assessment of why so many Latino voters, until quite recently seen as a critical Democratic party bulwark, have lost faith in a party they see as culturally out of touch and ineffective on immigration. 

ProPublica ⬆
Currently the most reliable platform for flawlessly researched deep dives into
public corruption and tragic incompetence. Breaks the unbiased and unsettling news that much bigger outlets are too timid or distracted to cover and reminds us that journalism still can, and should, perform a public service.