Digital-only news outlets pursue more FOIA requests, representation in podcasts and more in this week's Digital Media Mash Up, produced by the Center for International Media Assistance.
As legacy media cuts back on FOIA, digital-only news outlets step in
Ask any journalist and they’ll tell you the Freedom of Information Act process is broken. Denials are at record highs, navigating the bureaucracy can be a nightmare, and the federal agencies recently killed a modest reform bill. But a series of FOIA lawsuits also have just shown how the 50-year-old transparency law can still be indispensable. And absent any change in the law, the best way for news organizations to make sure it stays relevant is to use it innovatively and aggressively. (CJR, 8/25)
Wanting to be heard: on podcasts and representation
I set out to write about podcasts and representation in terms of media criticism; to ask podcasters, Who do you record with? Who gets to hold the mic? Are you sharing the (Internet) airwaves with people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and other marginalized groups? I wanted to hear more about content and diversity. But when I talked to five podcasters, each smart and successful in her own way, I also learned a lot more about the nuts and bolts of podcasting — the cost of hardware, the victories and glitches of software, and the embracing of or aversion to corporate sponsorship. (Laura Eppinger, The Toast, 8/25)
Investigating nonprofits and charities: Where to find internal data, public records
Nonprofit organizations perform some of the most vital work in the United States, often serving the needy and filling gaps where society does not, or cannot, deliver services or provide safety nets.
The word “charity,” often applied to such institutions, can have the ring of altruism and irreproachable motives. But nonprofits are some of the nation’s largest, most powerful organizations such as hospitals, foundations, universities and churches. Like any other set of institutions, they are susceptible to corruption, waste and abuse. Journalists should know that nonprofit groups are subject to government rules that regulate the activities, finances and operations that justify their ongoing receipt of tax-exempt, “501(c)(3)” status— effectively, a government-endorsed subsidy. (Journalist's Resource, 8/20)
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Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via TheeErin.