Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

The Briefing

☀️ Happy Thursday! The Briefing is your guide to the world of news and information. Sign up here!

In todays email:

  • Top story: Washington Post staffers are on strike today
  • In other news: Disinformation scholar alleges that ties between Harvard and Meta led to her dismissal
  • Looking ahead: Former Trump adviser threatens journalist prosecutions in a second Trump administration
  • Chart of the week: How Americans’ international travel habits are linked to their interest in international affairs and news

🔥 Top story

Staffers at The Washington Post are in the midst of a 24-hour strike, citing frustrations with ongoing contract negotiations with management. The Post Guild, the union that represents most of the outlet’s employees, stated in a letter that “management has refused to bargain in good faith and repeatedly – and illegally – shut down negotiations” around pay equity, remote work policies, mental health support and an effort to reduce the workforce by 10 percent via buyout packages.

In a 2022 Pew Research Center survey of nearly 12,000 U.S. journalists, 72% used a negative word to describe the news industry, with common examples including “struggling” and “chaos.” And newsroom employment at U.S. newspapers dropped by 57% between 2008 and 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

📌 In other news

📅 Looking ahead

In a recent episode of Steve Bannon’s podcast Bannon’s War Room, Kash Patel, former counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council under President Donald Trump, threatened to prosecute journalists if Trump is reelected as president. Patel told Bannon that the administration would “come after the people in the media” who “helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections.”

The majority of U.S. journalists (57%) are extremely or very concerned about potential restrictions on press freedoms, according to our 2022 survey of nearly 12,000 working U.S.-based journalists. Journalists have roughly similar levels of concern regardless of whether they say their news organization’s audience leans right or left (or is mixed politically).

📊 Chart of the week

This week’s chart explores how Americans’ international travel habits relate to their views and knowledge of international affairs. Americans who have traveled to at least five other countries are more likely to say they closely follow international news than those with less international travel experience.

👋 That’s all for this week. 

The Briefing is compiled by Pew Research Center staff, including Naomi Forman-Katz, Jacob Liedke, Sarah Naseer, Christopher St. Aubin, Luxuan Wang and Emily Tomasik. It is edited by Katerina Eva Matsa, Michael Lipka and Mark Jurkowitz, and copy edited by David Kent.

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