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Welcome to Masthead!

About Masthead | Masthead Rules | More on Mastodon

Masthead is now in beta!

You can apply for an invite here:


Almost every complete application will receive an invite within 24 hours!


The Kicker

All the news that's fit to toot.

The Lede

Masthead is a social network for journalists, muckrakers and media makers (including bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters), scribes and stringers, hacks, newsies, and the news junkies who love them.

The Nutgraf

Journalists love Twitter for two reasons: there's an audience to read their posts, and that audience includes other journalists. The good news is that Twitter is a great place for both breaking news and media commentary, a bustling town square where stories and behind-the-scenes stories unfold every minute. The bad news is that Twitter is Twitter, a cesspool of trolls, haters, spammers, bots, misinformation and foreign-influence campaigns.

Masthead is "media Twitter" without the Twitter part. It's like #journchat every day.

The Pitch

Masthead is a virtual, open-plan newsroom that encourages shop talk, both thoughtful analyses and hot takes, both commentary and conversation. Trade story leads, contacts, witticisms, one-liners, and zingers. Vet sources, check facts, debunk and vent. Here, news peers will get that inside joke, celebrate practical cynicism, revel in the meta, and actually click that link to your latest piece. Here the ribbing is almost always good natured, and the humor appropriately wry and dark.


Masthead is powered by Mastodon, a free, open-source, decentralized social media platform. You can read, watch, or listen to further explanations at the bottom of this page. (Check them out, they're quite good!) The interface is modeled after Twitter (and Tweetdeck), except posts are called Toots, reposts are called Boosts, and likes are called Favorites. But there are no ads, no Nazis and the timeline is chronological.

In addition to the web interface, there are several mobile apps that you can use.

On the Record

We have a boilerplate Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, but nobody really reads those, right? Let's get to the Masthead Rules, which are liberally borrowed from Toot.cafe and Mastodon.technology.


Masthead Rules

The Short Version

  1. Don't harass, threaten, vandalize, hack, or steal.
  2. Report harassment, threats, vandalism, hacking, or theft.
  3. Be awesome to each other.

To report problems, click the "..." button and then click "Report," send a Direct Message to the @editor, or send an email to [email protected].

The Slightly Longer Version

Code of Conduct

Masthead is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of Masthead members in any form. Masthead members violating these rules may be expelled from the service at the discretion of Masthead editor(s).

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual or abusive images in posts, deliberate intimidation, hostile commentary, and other unwanted contact.

Members asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a member engages in harassing behavior, the Masthead editor(s) may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the service without notice.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an editor immediately.

Prohibited Behavior

  1. No advertising or excessive promotion. Links to your own works and recommended works by others are welcome in moderation.
  2. No fake accounts, impersonation accounts, nor celebrity joke accounts. There are no "verified" members of Masthead, but everyone is expected to be and represent themselves.
  3. No bots, unless they're cute, funny, or useful. Bots should avoid posting to the public timeline.
  4. No pornography, nudity, or something that would be considered "NSFW" in a U.S. workplace, even behind a Content Warning (CW) or NSFW warning.
  5. Content that is borderline NSFW or could be construed as NSFW at a glance should be put behind a Content Warning (CW).
  6. No gore or graphic violence.
  7. No racism, sexism, or discrimination based on gender, sexual minority, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or national origin (see Code of Conduct above).
  8. No stalking or harassment (see Code of Conduct above).
  9. No xenophobia or violent nationalism.
  10. No holocaust denialism, Nazi symbolism, promotion of National Socialism, or anything that is illegal in the European Union.
  11. No sexual depictions of children.

Fediverse Policy

Masthead and its editor(s) reserve the right to refuse to federate or exchange content with any other Mastodon instance. We may elect to ban instances listed on the Toot.cat List of Banned Instances.


More on Mastodon

Still not sure what to make of the Mastodon platform? We get it. You're a journalist. You want all the background you can get. Here are articles, podcasts, and videos that can help explain what's going on here.