May 14, 2018

When ProPublica began planning to find ways to measure the scope of hate crimes across America, its reporters suspected hate would be on the rise.

They did not realize how much it was on the rise — or the scope of the documentation needed.

In 16 months, ProPublica’s Documenting Hate project has confirmed nearly 800 reports of such crimes from 5,100-plus tips, and that’s with a still-growing set of collaborators and checkers, says Rachel Glickhouse, speaking to the Collaborative Journalism Summit at Montclair State University. The project has led to more than 120 stories since January 2017.

So far, the project has a reporting network with 161 newsrooms. Most of them are local but the network also includes national, ethnic media and college outlets.

Glickhouse says the project’s database has been invaluable to reporters such as Will Carless of Reveal, who specializes in reporting on hate groups and Islamophobic public officials. He also used Documenting Hate data to find who commits hate in President Trump’s name.

Also recommended is one of ProPublica’s latest efforts on this topic: The active-duty military members of some of America’s most notorious hate groups.

Welcome to Poynter’s Morning Mediawire. Here are some of the stories you may need to know today:

Quick hits

NETWORK MALFUNCTION: "Blunder for the ages," sexual misconduct and embarrassing walk-backs: What's wrong at the top of NBC News? asks Margaret Sullivan. (h/t: Staci D. Kramer)

‘AMERICAN’ SITES, PRODUCED FROM ABROAD: Facebook briefly went live with a feature that lets you see just who is administering and managing certain pages. What BuzzFeed’s Jane Lytvynenko and Craig Silverman found: a plethora of conservative sites, including Infowars, at least partly directed from overseas. Facebook quickly disabled the feature but said it would be launched in a few weeks. BuzzFeed, CNN and a few other outlets took screenshots before Facebook disabled it.

RELATED: Facebook suspended 10 groups that were caught gaming Instagram's algorithms to get posts to show up before more people. The groups, including one with more than 200,000 members, were deleted after BuzzFeed News contacted Facebook.

LONGTIME ALABAMA EDITOR LEAVES FOR PUBLIC RADIO: Bob Davis, editor of the Anniston Star since 2006 and publisher since 2016, will become executive director of High Plains Radio, a network of stations serving communities in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Josephine Ayers has been named The Star’s publisher, while Anthony Cook becomes executive editor of The Star and the other newspapers of its parent company, Consolidated Publishing. Here’s Davis’s last column for The Star. (h/t: Sree Sreenivasan)

LAMESTREAM: A Fox & Friends host flipped through The New York Times to chastise the “failing paper” for not carrying the “scoop” on the capture of five ISIS leaders. The reason: The Times had been the first to report it in its edition the day before, Mediaite reported.

HANGING WITH HABERMAN: Slate’s Isaac Chotiner had New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman on his podcast offering insight on the Trump presidency. An excerpt (regarding Trump’s tweet about press credentials): “First of all, if cameras weren’t allowed into the White House, the person who would be saddest is Donald Trump, No. 1, because there is nothing he loves more than media attention. No. 2, we don’t need credentials to cover him. This is the thing he doesn’t get.”

SCANDAL? WHAT SCANDAL?: Facebook stock has recovered all $134 billion that it lost in trading in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

REVIVED: Indian Country Today, which shuttered back in September, is being relaunched under a public media model, with hopes of raising $100,000 through a funding campaign.

THE BIG IDEA: The developing field of tech humanism is garnering lots of praise. But can it work if the people who own all of those tech platforms only give them superficial renovations? This long read by Ben Tarnoff and Moira Weigel in The Guardian is worth spending some time with to better understand the challenges of modulating our collective online obsessions.

PIECE OUT?: Is it time to retire the ubiquitous synonym for “story” that seems to trivialize journalism? Ben Yagoda asks in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

AMEN: To this sentiment from one of our favorite faculty members (and let us know your opinion):


What we’re reading

BREAKING THE CODE: A new report is out that examines women’s experiences in political tech on presidential campaigns from 2004 through 2016. The name of the website housing the study nicely sums up what the researchers found: The study found 45 participants who shared their experiences. A highlighted quote: “It is so male-dominated and that’s just the culture, and so they get away with a lot. They’re buddies with so and so, and there is that … boys’ club mentality.”

SPOTIFY’S CENSORSHIP: The move to take R. Kelly and Florida artist XXXTentacion off curated playlists is troubling some music executives and some of Spotify’s top people. Hannah Karp reports for Billboard.

LAW AND DISORDER: A lot of people are saying “Sure, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is slimy, but what among all of those things was really illegal?” Slate breaks it down.

HOW TO LAUNDER RUSSIAN MONEY: For Wired magazine, Garrett M. Graff details the levels of obfuscation launderers use. Namely, they: 1) Place the dough in a financial institution, 2) Move it around to make its origin harder to trace, often through layers of LLCs, 3) “Integrate” it out of the banks and into a “legitimate” investment like real estate, or, in the case of Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” a cash-rich business like a car wash.

FACEBOOK POSTING WHILE BLACK: A black activist who was jailed as a suspected “black identity extremist” for posting about police brutality is speaking out about the experience. Rakem Balogun is believed to be the first person prosecuted under a program initiated by the FBI to monitor and prosecute people they deemed capable of violence. It’s a chilling read from Sam Levin for The Guardian. How are all of these “______ while black stories” affecting people? CNN’s Holly Yan looks at the human toll these incidents exact.

WHAT A TEACHER CAN DO: Winnie Yeung wanted to help her struggling student who wanted to tell his story. Now the world can read about a 17 year old who fled war twice — first in Iraq, then in Syria — to find peace in Canada. Via the Guardian’s excellent Upside section, which we’ve written about.


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