NEWS DIGEST 03.05.2021: World Press Freedom Day and the Foresight News diary

Good morning. Today is the Early May Bank Holiday, a Monday, and the news is brought to you via our Twitter list HEM Journalism Portal.

Free press advocacy group PEN International marks World Press Freedom Day today to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom as well as honouring four journalists who lost their lives in the cause of a free press. The organisation featured the cases of Idris Said ‘Abba Arre’ (Eritrea), Daphne Caruana Galizia (Malta), Kalúa Salazar (Nicaragua) and Maria Ressa (Philippines), and called on its members to mobilise so that governments respect and protect press freedom, as it also marks its 100th anniversary of its founding – World Press Freedom Day 2021 (Pen International)

In January 2021, a truly determined group of journalists from Kyrgyzstan, India, Hungary, Norway, Finland, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Brazil moved to Oxford to join the journalism fellowship programme. Against all the odds, our Journalist Fellows still managed to make meaningful relationships and expand their thinking about journalism. “Listening to Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono speak to us soon after his arrest and detention or to my Pakistani colleague Ramisha Ali about journalists facing arrest and detention in Pakistan… has made me realise we aren’t alone in this, and we should continue our mission to bring people the best possible information.” Discussions of new moves by tech companies in the US caught the attention of Bermet Talant, a journalist from Kyrgyzstan who has been working in Ukraine for several years. “Just as we fellows attend the same sessions and seminars and take vastly different lessons away, so too can journalists attend the same press conferences, protests or tragedies, and come away with vastly different understanding,” she said – 13 lessons from our Journalist Fellows on the future of journalism worldwide (Reuters Institute University of Oxford)

In our experience, a manager must be personally involved in drawing up a job description for a vacancy, the selection criteria, candidate assessment, and interviewing. If the selection process doesn’t run smoothly, you will hire not-so-good new people. The selection committee is highly specific in its criteria for accepting a candidate. The selection committee then scores candidates for each criterion during the interview – Media leaders should embrace spiral of recruitment where A-players hire A-players (INMA International News Media Association)

Tristan Kirk, court correspondent for The Evening Standard, appeared in a podcast this past week, where he reflected on the ups and downs of virtual attendance at court hearings. A new Police, Crime Sentencing, Courts Bill 2021 is likely to come into effect, making virtual attendance of courts and tribunals a mainstay, though to a judge’s discretion. Despite the drawbacks and potential pitfalls of remote court coverage, Kirk explains why the bill is reason to be optimistic about the future of court reporting. Virtual attendance at court to be made a permanent feature, under the British government’s new Justice Bill – Tristan Kirk, court correspondent, The Evening Standard, on virtual attendance at UK courts (

Foresight News rounds up the key events that need to be in your news diary this week. Northern Ireland marks its centenary, with socially distanced events taking place to commemorate the last 100 years that have shaped the country’s social and political landscape. The postponement of local elections in 2020 means it’s a bumper day on the political calendar, with voters going to the polls across Britain. In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stakes the future of Scottish independence on winning at least 65 of the country’s 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament elections. The result of the Tees Valley Mayoral election could be announced late in the day after a count begins at 2pm, while the makeup of the new Welsh Parliament could also be revealed before the weekend. Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham will hear if they’ve won second terms in the top jobs in London and Greater Manchester respectively, while former cabinet minister Liam Byrne will find out if his bid to take the West Midlands from Conservative Andy Street has been successful in the early evening. The news diary is provided in association with Foresight NewsNews diary 3-9 May: Polls open across England, Scotland and Wales while Northern Ireland marks centenary (Press Gazette)

If I’ve learned anything from my years in the automotive and mobility space, it’s that the onus is on us as communicators-whether agency or in-house-to go out and get the information we need. The “Spot” isn’t necessarily a physical place or thing, although if we’re talking about a product, a manufacturing facility or something similarly difficult to comprehend at a distance yes, “go to the spot” to see, touch and engage with the thing yourself. You’ve gained access to the experts, the people at the spot. Do your homework and come armed with questions aimed at gathering the unique perspective your sources possess and you need to build a proper strategy and tell a compelling story. Having gone to “the real spot,” craft your strategy with a proper accounting of the knowledge and perspectives you’ve gained. If we who communicate take responsibility for information gathering in this same spirit-with genuine curiosity, integrity of purpose and a proper accounting of realities and bottom-line needs-we will establish the foundations for fulfilling our highest purpose: telling the people our clients care about what they need to know in clear, concise ways that move them to act – Why communicators must be responsible for getting the information they need (Ragan’s PR Daily)

Summarised with SMMRY

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