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NewsFeed - Media

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How anarchist Emma Goldman energized the US free-press debate

One hundred years ago this month, Emma Goldman was sitting in a prison in Missouri after being convicted of impeding the military draft. Goldman’s conviction largely silenced her incendiary publication, Mother Earth, as well as her fiery No-Conscription League speeches, in which she had mercilessly attacked the draft as anti-democratic as the US government sought […]
Posted: December 10, 2018, 11:55 am

'It means so much': Poynter's Bowtie Ball honors Lester Holt, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

As the news industry wraps up a tumultuous year — one characterized by misinformation campaigns, attacks on press freedom and increased v
Posted: December 9, 2018, 7:55 pm

Journalists pick sides in Bush funeral coverage

The solemn services for George Herbert Walker Bush at the National Cathedral on Wednesday were as sincere as the long faces in line earlier at the Capitol. The tributes to the 41st president came from the heart from just about every segment of society: politicians—past and present, domestic and foreign—historians, the clergy, educators and many, […]
Posted: December 7, 2018, 9:18 pm

Gannett leadership: As CEO Bob Dickey departs, the company is at a crossroads

Having followed Gannett for 15 years as it has been the lead horse of the newspaper industry, I have two quick thoughts on
Posted: December 7, 2018, 6:06 pm

For some reporters, Divide and Conquer brings back bad memories

When I ran into Alexis Bloom exiting the screening room after seeing her terrific new documentary, Divide and Conquer: The Roger Ailes Story, I joked that the film should come with a “trigger warning” for anyone who had covered the legendary Fox News supremo. Bloom responded with a knowing laugh. She and I had spoken about […]
Posted: December 7, 2018, 5:45 pm

Podcast: Mathew Ingram on the downfall of digital media

ON THIS WEEK’S EPISODE, CJR EDITOR AND PUBLISHER KYLE POPE talks to Mathew Ingram, CJR’s chief digital writer about Mic’s shutdown and layoffs, and the future of digital media websites. SHOW NOTES: Mic shuts down, a victim of management hubris and Facebook’s pivot to video The Outline and the curse of media venture capital
Posted: December 7, 2018, 5:04 pm

CNN forced onto the street—again—after bomb scare

Shortly before 10pm Eastern last night, a man phoned in a bomb threat to CNN headquarters at the Time Warner Center, in Manhattan. He said that the building was rigged with five explosive devices. At 10:07pm, a 911 call was placed with the New York Police Department. By coincidence, a minute later President Donald Trump tweeted, “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

The threat turned out to be a hoax, but it still caused disruption. Citing an abundance of caution, the NYPD evacuated the Time Warner Center. CNN abruptly cut away from Don Lemon to an ad break; when the channel came back on, it was airing a rerun of an Anderson Cooper segment. At 11:18pm, Lemon was back, phoning in from the sidewalk. “It is cold outside,” he said. “It’s terrible, because it’s disrupted the way we conduct business, and it’s also disrupted the entire neighborhood.” Lemon was soon joined on the street by Brian Stelter, whose iPhone was used to film. Shortly before midnight, police sounded the all-clear. Within an hour, Lemon and Stelter were back in the studio—bleary-eyed from the tiredness, the cold, or both—wrapping the bomb threat story, then pivoting to the breaking news that Kevin Hart had stepped back from hosting the Oscars after a controversy over past homophobic tweets.

ICYMI: ProPublica reporter calls out Washington Post for health story

In the grand scheme of things, the episode was relatively mundane and brief. Yet this was the second time in a month and a half that CNN had been forced to evacuate. In October, a pipe bomb was mailed to Time Warner, as part of a wave of attacks that also targeted George Soros and senior Democratic politicians. Journalists and commentators were quick to cite the context of Trump’s incendiary rhetoric—a link that appeared justified when police identified the suspected sender as Cesar Sayoc, a Florida resident who trafficked in pro-Trump online conspiracies and who stuck images of the president’s critics, with red targets overlaid on their faces, to his van, alongside a message that “CNN sucks.”

We don’t yet know who made the latest threat, nor his motive for doing so. Trump’s tweet—neither a trigger, nor a distasteful reaction—was still another depressing opportunity to remember the potential real-world consequences of his attacks on the press, which have continued unabated despite a gunman killing five staffers at a Maryland newspaper in June and last month’s pipe bombs. On air, Lemon called the evacuation “the new normal,” and drew an explicit link to the previous pipe bomb threat. “These are the times that we are living in,” he said.

Reaction to the hoax has been muted. As of this morning, it was nowhere to be seen on the homepage of CNN’s website, while Stelter noted, in his media newsletter, that he was reluctant to start today’s edition with the story “because these attempts at intimidation are infuriating and unacceptable” and because “most bomb threats don’t get much if any news coverage.” What made the threat newsworthy was its reflection of Trump’s dangerous influence.

ICYMI: GQ‘s outgoing editor-in-chief says there’s one cover he regrets publishing

Below, more on another bomb scare for CNN:

  • An abundance of caution: Shimon Prokupecz, a crime and justice reporter for CNN, noted last night that the police “don’t normally evacuate buildings” in cases like this, adding that anti-media rhetoric and the recent pipe bombs were clearly factors in the NYPD’s decision.
  • A different tone: After the October threat, Jeff Zucker, CNN’s president, lambasted Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, saying that “There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media.” This time, Zucker limited himself to a note praising employees’ “patience and professionalism” and thanking law enforcement.
  • The new normal? Also in October, CJR’s Alexandria Neason followed CNN anchors Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto as they reported live from the street. “For New Yorkers, daily life on the street is a carnival,” she wrote. “In typical fashion, few seemed to know what had happened, but all were annoyed by the sidewalk obstruction.”
  • In more important news: As Lemon and his colleagues evacuated, CNN replayed a clip of Cooper discussing Pamela Brown and Jeremy Herb’s report that Andrew McCabe, then the acting director of the FBI, opened an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump’s firing of James Comey even before the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel. Today is shaping up to be a big day for the Mueller probe, with courtroom filings expected to unveil new details around Michael Cohen’s cooperation, and the alleged lies that broke Paul Manafort’s plea deal.

Other notable stories:

  • Yesterday, Fox took the unusual step of endorsing a piece of legislation, issuing a company statement backing a criminal justice bill. The White House, which wants the bill to pass, lobbied Fox executives for their support—a bid to get wavering Republican senators onside before the year’s end. The statement was the first issued by Hope Hicks, a top former Trump aide since hired by Fox as its chief communications officer.
  • In an interview with Radio Iowa earlier this week, Michael Bloomberg weighed what he might do with his media company should he decide to run for president. His suggestion that Bloomberg could simply axe its politics coverage—and quip that “I don’t want all the reporters I’m paying to write a bad story about me”—did not go down well in the newsroom, BuzzFeed’s Steven Perlberg reports.
  • This week saw the US Department of Justice levy its first charges in connection with ICIJ’s Panama Papers investigation, which exposed the shady offshore financial maneuvers of the world’s super-rich in 2016. Among the four men charged with money laundering and fraud were two former employees of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of ICIJ’s probe. Late last month, German police raided Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt headquarters, also in connection with the story.
  • CJR’s Andrew McCormick writes that Wa Lone, one of two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar, has used his time behind bars to write Jay Jay the Journalist, a children’s book about the positive role of journalism in society. So far, nearly 5,000 copies of the book have been donated to schools, libraries, and monasteries around Myanmar.
  • Yemisi Adegoke and the BBC’s Africa Eye team have this detailed report on Facebook’s worrying footprint in Nigeria, where police say false information on the platform contributed to more than 12 recent killings.
  • Earlier this week I mentioned an impasse in the UK over which broadcaster should host a Brexit debate between Theresa May, the prime minister, and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition. The debate now won’t happen at all—proof that a country that loves to argue with itself can’t even organize a televised argument.
  • Standing in for regular host Peter Kafka on the Recode Media podcast, the Times’s Maggie Haberman discussed covering the Trump White House with Axios’s Jonathan Swan. “If I’m told something by a senior administration official, I assume it’s false until proven otherwise. I’ve just had to take that approach,” Swan told Haberman.
  • For CJR, Karen K. Ho checks in with KTVA, a local TV station in Anchorage whose studio was damaged by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake a week ago. “Staff spent a few days working in the newsroom with hard hats on while engineers and construction crews repaired the damaged areas,” Ho writes.
  • And in November, staff for Ted Wheeler, the Democratic mayor of Portland, Oregon, asked a select group of reporters to sign non-disclosure agreements in exchange for access to police operations during a right-wing protest, Willamette Week’s Katie Shepherd reports. In the end, no news outlet agreed to the terms.

ICYMI: Headlines editors probably wish they could take back

Posted: December 7, 2018, 12:41 pm

Digital influencers have changed advertising. They’re changing journalism, too.

The rise of social platforms has brought with it a new kind of celebrity: the digital influencer. It’s a newish term, used to describe social media users whose online clout enables them to engage with and advertise to their followers in more direct ways than traditional media figures. As influencers build relationships with their audiences […]
Posted: December 7, 2018, 12:00 pm

This journalist created a system to make sure more female experts got on air

Ros Atkins is a BBC anchor who was tired of "trying" to get more female experts on his programs. Trying was not enough, so he, without any directive from a boss, developed a way to increase the number of women on all BBC programs. In 2017 only 39 percent of the contributors to his program were women. Within five months, 51 percent of the experts and contributors his program included were women.  
Posted: December 7, 2018, 11:51 am

Few people are actually trapped in filter bubbles. Why do they like to say that they are?

We’re not trapped in filter bubbles, but we like to act as if we are. Few people are in complete filter bubbles in which they only consume, say, Fox News, Matt Grossmann writes in a new report for Knight (and there’s a summary version of it on Medium here). But the “popular story of how...
Posted: December 7, 2018, 11:49 am

Jay Rosen pitches the English-language Correspondent on The Daily Show

A sentence I did not expect to type this year: Jay Rosen was on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last night, promoting The Correspondent, the U.S. iteration of the Dutch De Correspondent, which is in the midst of a startup fundraising drive. It was kind of a weird segment! Not because of anything Jay...
Posted: December 7, 2018, 11:49 am

3 ways Facebook and other social media companies could clean up their acts — if they wanted to

Facebook is in crisis mode, but the company can take major steps to fix both itself and the global community it says it wants to promote. Facebook founder, CEO, and majority shareholder Mark Zuckerberg need not wait for governments to impose regulations. If he and other industry leaders wanted to, they could make meaningful changes...
Posted: December 7, 2018, 11:00 am

5 tips from Roland S. Martin on becoming an entrepreneur

“I’ve never seen more ignorant people about business than journalists,” Roland S.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 8:13 pm

Charles Koch Institute fellowship funds journalists

Charles and David Koch do not like the media. For years, the brothers running one of the largest corporate conglomerates in the world fought back against negative stories with press releases, private investigators, and dedicated “fact checking” sites, pushing their version of the truth against the headlines made by dogged investigative reporters like Jane Mayer […]
Posted: December 6, 2018, 7:58 pm

Misinformers are moving to smaller platforms. So how should fact-checkers monitor them?

Around the world, misinformers are migrating to private groups, chats and fringe sites.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 7:00 pm

Google is launching a voice-driven version of Google News for smart speakers and phones

People like smart speakers, but there are a lot of things they don’t like about news on smart speakers. As recent research by Nic Newman — published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and written up by us here — shows, consumers aren’t the biggest fans of the sort of news briefings...
Posted: December 6, 2018, 6:00 pm

‘It was super violent’: TV station covers quake as it pummels newsroom

“These things hit so fast,” Scott Jensen, the news content manager for KTVA in Anchorage, Alaska, says of the moment an earthquake struck his newsroom, last Friday morning. Jensen had been about to send out the morning note about the day’s slated stories at the five-year-old CBS-affiliated television station when the quake struck, just 7.45 […]
Posted: December 6, 2018, 5:22 pm

“Fake flus!” When it comes to health, battling misinformation requires strategic thinking

Many Americans hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. For example, a recent study found that more than two-fifths, or 43 percent, of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu. Scientific research strongly suggests that this is not true. Because modern...
Posted: December 6, 2018, 3:34 pm

Digital-native publishers settle in to face legacy constraints, with a side of reader revenue

“It was around this time last year that things were starting to look a little dicey for the media industry’s once breathlessly-hyped digital unicorns,” Joe Pompeo wrote for Vanity Fair this week. BuzzFeed, Vice, Mashable, and Vox, “which once heralded the dawn of a new media age — replete with massive valuations, large fund-raising hauls,...
Posted: December 6, 2018, 2:44 pm

British parliament releases contentious Facebook emails

When a British parliamentary committee looking into Facebook’s role in misinformation and data privacy seized documents last week from an American businessman involved in a lawsuit with Facebook, the committee threatened to make the files public, even though they were sealed by a California court order. And that’s exactly what it did on Wednesday: Damian Collins, the head of the committee—and the man who used a little-known British law to send a Serjeant-at-Arms to the American businessman’s hotel room to escort him to the House of Commons—published more than 200 pages of emails and other documents. The files came from a court case with Six4Three, makers of an app that allowed users to search their friends’ photos for bathing suit pictures. The details in the documents won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following Facebook and its various privacy blunders, but it is illuminating to see some of the company’s practices exposed in black and white.

One of the most contentious revelations revolves around a proposal to update the Facebook app for Android phones so that the social network could read and store the call logs of users. It would then use the data from a user’s call history, as well as their text messages, to tweak the News Feed algorithm and other features (including the “people you might know” feature, which recommends other users to friend on the network). An email from a senior Facebook staffer admits this is “a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective, but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it.” A subsequent email says the team has figured out that if the app only wants access to the call logs, it could offer a simple “click to upgrade” option without having to get users to give their permission through a special dialog box. Ashkan Soltani, former chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, pointed out that this kind of behavior may be a breach of the “consent decree” that Facebook signed with the FTC in 2011, in which it agreed not to engage in certain kinds of behavior.

From the British committee’s viewpoint, one of the more interesting email chains has to do with Facebook’s data policies; the committee is investigating the company’s behavior in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the company wrongfully acquired personal data on more than 50 million users that they provided by signing up for a personality quiz app. Facebook has said repeatedly that access to this kind of data was closed off in 2015, but the emails and other documents make it clear that for certain “whitelisted” companies, access to that data continued (as The Wall Street Journal has reported). The committee’s preamble to the documents continues: “It is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted.”

In another document, Facebook outlines the restrictions it places on certain companies when it comes to accessing Facebook data. “We maintain a small list of strategic competitors that Mark personally reviewed,” the document states. “Any usage beyond that specified is not permitted without Mark level sign-off.” In the case of certain competitors, especially ones that competed with Facebook’s pet features (like video), Facebook would terminate virtually all access to user data. It did this in the case of Twitter’s short-lived Vine video app, for example: in an email to Zuckerberg in 2013, a Facebook product manager says Vine (which had just launched that same day) allowed users to find friends by using the Facebook API. He suggested shutting down Twitter’s access to this data immediately, and Zuckerberg responded: “Yup, go for it.”

In a response to the documents’ publication, Zuckerberg pointed out that in the time leading up to the changes to its platform in 2015, the company was driven primarily by a desire to connect people in as many different ways as possible, until it discovered that developers were building “shady apps that abused people’s data.” Without naming the bikini app company, the Facebook CEO says some of the developers whose apps were kicked off the platform sued in an attempt to reverse the change, “but we’re confident this was the right thing to do and that we’ll win these lawsuits.” Whether the published emails will also provide more ammunition for those looking to regulate the social network remains to be seen.

Here’s more on Facebook and its recent challenges:

  • Self-inflicted wound: Mother Jones looks at the tangled relationship between Facebook and the news and argues that “the transformation of Facebook into a tool for demagogues and foreign attackers was facilitated at every step by Facebook itself.”
  • Algorithmic gasoline: Ryan Broderick of BuzzFeed News writes about how a change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, which was re-oriented to focus mostly on local news, arguably helped fuel the recent riots in France.
  • WhatsApp misinfo: Italian law professor Luca Belli says misinformation spread via Facebook-owned WhatsApp played a critical role in helping controversial far-right businessman Jair Bolsonaro win the recent presidential elections in Brazil.
  • It’s complicated: The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia has published an updated timeline of major developments in the relationship between the major platforms, such as Google and Facebook, and publishers.
  • Boiling tension: Week after week of pressure on Facebook from all sides has created an atmosphere of fear and dissent in which some employees are openly talking about the need for changes at the top, Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed says.


Other notable stories:

  • The European Union announced new measures to fight disinformation, including an increase in the organization’s budget for the detection of disinformation and a promise to pressure technology companies to do more about the problem.
  • Vanity Fair media writer Joe Pompeo writes about how “a generation of digital media darlings is preparing for a frigid winter,” as former stars such as Vice Media, BuzzFeed, and Vox Media are trying to grapple with old-media problems.
  • Alexandria Neason explains in CJR why journalists were slow to pick up on what was happening with the US women’s gymnastics program, where team doctor Larry Nassar molested more than 200 girls and women over more than three decades.
  • Journalism professor Richard Pendry argues in an essay for Unherd that social media and citizen journalism of the kind practiced by Bellingcat have made it harder for governments and the military to keep things secret.
  • British writer Laurie Penny writes about going on a cruise aimed at cryptocurrency enthusiasts. “This is not the Burning Man–style celebration I was promised. This is a hard-sell pitch session to a captive audience of high-roller crypto investors. The whole place smells of aftershave and insecurity.”
  • Most journalists are overwhelmed by information overload, says a new report from the European Journalism Center’s News Impact Network, and the result is an increasing rate of burnout and an ongoing scramble for ways of coping.
  • Female war correspondent Janine di Giovanni writes for Harper’s about the difficulty of being a foreign correspondent while also wanting to be a mother, as part of a review of the Marie Colvin bio-pic “A Private War.”
  • A research group in Australia looking at what happens to journalists when they lose their jobs has published a report that says while some have struggled, others saw leaving their jobs as the best thing that could have happened.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:55 pm

How to keep your personal information safe from creeps on the internet

Horrific events such as the shooting at the Capital Gazette and the pipe bomb sent to CNN’s New York offices show that it’s important for
Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:30 pm

From a Myanmar jail, a children’s book about the power of journalism

In Myanmar, it used to be said that the best education could be found in prison, where intellectuals, artists, and journalists abounded. In 2011, when five decades of military rule came to an end, some in the country hoped those days were gone. But now, in a massive prison complex in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, […]
Posted: December 6, 2018, 12:13 pm

Your Thursday news roundup: Go Google yourself, Serial for the win, no news for millennials

Posted: December 6, 2018, 10:31 am

Learning the ins and outs of the data world in Chicago

For some journalists, numbers can be daunting. Learning to better assess data can help reveal patterns that might spark a story idea.
Posted: December 6, 2018, 9:00 am

We're launching a podcast about fact-checking and misinformation

Starting today, we’re tackling some of the biggest questions facing fact-checking in audio form.
Posted: December 5, 2018, 5:30 pm

There isn’t one best way to map local news ecosystems. But can we do it better?

It’s a series of questions we get often at the Center for Cooperative Media: How many news organizations operate in New Jersey? How many are print versus radio versus television? How many people do they employ? So what parts of the state have no local news source? How can we help those places? The problem...
Posted: December 5, 2018, 4:58 pm

Get rid of the content no one reads. Offer surprises and “candy.” And other tricks for retaining subscribers.

If news organizations want to attract and retain subscribers, they need to look to psychology…and nudge, nudge, and nudge again: That’s one big takeaway from a recent summit on engagement. And here’s another idea: What if you simply got rid of content that readers don’t read? INMA’s November Consumer Engagement Summit (led by 2016 Nieman...
Posted: December 5, 2018, 3:13 pm

Teens support the First Amendment but largely don’t trust traditional media (do they have reason to?)

Have we lost the teachers but kept the high schoolers (for now)? It’s a tie. 49 percent of high school students and 51 percent of their teachers say they don’t trust the media to accurately and fairly report news, a Knight survey out today found, though the sample sizes are a bit warped (nearly 10,000...
Posted: December 5, 2018, 1:06 pm

A year in, Apple’s podcast analytics have been an evolution, not a revolution

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 188, published December 4, 2018. Apple’s analytics: One year later. Seventeen months ago, at its annual developer conference WWDC, Apple announced that it would finally be launching something many in the podcast industry had desired for a long time: better podcast analytics. Or, more...
Posted: December 4, 2018, 5:00 pm

Americans still prefer watching over reading news (but that’s only because of people 50 and up)

Two years in our industry can be the blink of an eye or half an eternity. While news organizations, business models, and viability can explode in a Facebook Watch flash, consumption habits haven’t changed that drastically — yet. Americans still largely prefer to get their news via video in 2018, in very similar numbers from...
Posted: December 4, 2018, 3:52 pm

Alert! Alert! The information demands on the modern digital journalist are overwhelming and leading to burnout

Journalists are overwhelmed by the information they process in their working day and want to explore solutions with third-party providers and management to make it more manageable. That’s the finding of a nine-month project involving discussions across the industry and a revealing in-depth survey. The research is part of the European Journalism Center’s News Impact Network, which held...
Posted: December 4, 2018, 3:46 pm

How getting WhatsApp API access helped this Brazilian team project process 70,000 fact-checking questions

WhatsApp blasts past other platforms in terms of immediate information sharing. But until recently, no news organization had access into the “black box” of misinformation’s backend. My colleague Laura Hazard Owen has chronicled WhatsApp’s impact in misinformation and news distribution abroad, especially as elections in Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere translate to closer scrutiny of information...
Posted: November 30, 2018, 5:16 pm

Mic lays off almost everyone and goes for a last-ditch sale to Bustle has laid off the bulk of its staff, Recode’s Peter Kafka first reported Thursday. Publisher Cory Haik has left the company. In a departure email published by Recode, she wrote, in part, “What you hear less about the truth is that it is expensive.” Mic raised $60 million in venture funding and as of...
Posted: November 29, 2018, 10:33 pm

Facebook will try not requiring media outlets to register as political advertisers (at least in the UK)

Unsurprisingly, policing ads on Facebook is easier said than done. News organizations have been trapped between Facebook’s rules for political advertisers and advertising for their own reporting — but now, Facebook will try pausing its requirement that media outlets as well as, well, actual political advertisers register with a representative’s home address and photo ID....
Posted: November 29, 2018, 4:04 pm

Journalism has a focus problem: How to combat Shiny Things Syndrome

Journalism has become too obsessed with technology-led innovation and must refocus on strategic approaches to storytelling, audience engagement and business development, according to my new report for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The report, “Time to step away from the ‘bright, shiny things’? Towards a sustainable model of journalism innovation in an...
Posted: November 29, 2018, 12:31 am

Canada’s new subsidies for news will warp the market and hurt innovation — unless they’re done right

I anguished over whether to weigh in on the Canadian government’s new $595 million government-aid package for journalism, because it’s deeply personal for me. I’ve spent almost 20 years in traditional media, studied disruption theory in academia, and now I’m an entrepreneur trying to play a part in journalism’s future. I’ve gone through staff rosters...
Posted: November 28, 2018, 4:53 pm

CrossCheck launches in Nigeria, with 16 newsrooms working together to fight misinformation

Facebook is used by 24 million Nigerians every month, but the platform has only four people, from third-party fact-checking organizations, working to combat misinformation there, BBC Africa Eye reported earlier this year in an investigation into how fake news in the country has led to violence and murder. “Fake news is doing a lot of...
Posted: November 28, 2018, 4:14 pm

35 prototypes, one year, and lots learned: The BBC puts its mobile storytelling plan in action

Hyperlocal, summaries, perspectives, scrollable video transcript: For the past year, the BBC’s research and development team has been pursuing workable options for mobile storytelling beyond the standard 800-word article. After 35 prototypes (and lots of tapping, swiping, and creating reusable contextual information), the four-person team — including a full-time journalist — has activated at least...
Posted: November 28, 2018, 1:44 pm

“I had to borrow money to pay my rent”: Civil’s tokenomics has left some of its journalists wondering where their salary is

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Civil, the something-something-blockchain journalism startup that got a ton of media attention before its unsuccessful token sale last month. Civil’s leadership said that it would regroup and figure out a new path forward. Among the messaging: They would still sell tokens, but in a new...
Posted: November 27, 2018, 7:49 pm

Wild Thing, I think I love you (but the ultimate sustainability of your particular advertising model remains unclear)

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 187, published November 27, 2018. To the American readers: welcome back from Turkey Week. And to everyone else: welcome to just another workday. Also, fun fact: Last week marked four years of Hot Pod! That’s a full presidential term! This is officially the longest...
Posted: November 27, 2018, 3:27 pm

The red couch experiments: Early lessons in pop-up fact-checking

One by one, people plopped onto the red couch and told us what they thought of live fact-checking. They watched video clips from two State of the Union addresses that we had specially modified. When the presidents made factual claims, fact checks popped up on the screen. Our October experiment in Seattle was groundbreaking and...
Posted: November 27, 2018, 2:37 pm

Canada introduces a $595 million package in support of journalism

While Americans spent last week pardoning (and eating) turkeys, our neighbors to the north were focused on bringing home the bacon for Canadian journalism. Canada’s federal government introduced a CAN$595 million-over-5-years tax package to bolster the country’s journalism market, including: A temporary, non-refundable tax credit that will allow subscribers to claim 15 per cent of...
Posted: November 26, 2018, 5:18 pm

To improve local TV news, ABC’s stations are betting on a Localish brand and community-level hires

Again and again, most Americans say they overwhelmingly trust their local TV news. Their strong local audience connections often translate into big followings on the web and on Facebook. And while TV is facing its own shifts in business model, local TV stations still achieve profitability with an ease most local newspapers can only dream...
Posted: November 26, 2018, 2:28 pm

New data suggests African audiences see significantly more misinformation than Americans do

Concerns about “fake news” have dominated discussions about the relationship between the media and politics in the developed world in recent years. The extraordinary amount of attention paid in scholarship and in public debates to questions around truth, veracity, and deception can be connected to the role of “fake news” in the 2016 U.S. presidential...
Posted: November 26, 2018, 11:00 am

Is it finally time for media companies to adopt a common publishing platform?

One of the most important lessons I learned as Vice’s chief technology officer was that while the operational needs of the company might feel unique, fundamentally those needs were no different from any other media company. Put another way, while our content was different from other media companies, our business processes and systems didn’t need...
Posted: November 20, 2018, 5:48 pm

New limited-run podcasts are fun to listen to, but hard to sell. Can that change?

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 186, published November 20, 2018. Tracking ICYMI: Jacob Weisberg and Malcolm Gladwell’s new audio venture, Pushkin Industries, stepped into the open last week, and the company also announced a new chief marketing officer: Heather Fain, a book publishing veteran. Here’s an interesting personnel move:...
Posted: November 20, 2018, 3:53 pm

Artisanal vs. industrial: A look at approaches to content moderation

In a week when you might be discussing turkey preferences (free-range heirloom vs. supermarket Butterball), this new Data & Society paper feels appropriate: Robyn Caplan takes a look at approaches to content moderation, examining how 10 different platforms — from Facebook to Vimeo — handle a flow of user content. Caplan breaks the policies into...
Posted: November 20, 2018, 2:01 pm

Polarizing the network: The most interesting new digital and social media research

Scholars in the digital media and journalism space have focused a lot of attention on Twitter in recent months, examining how the busy platform influences people’s behavior — including reporters’ news judgment. Below, we’ve gathered five peer-reviewed papers we thought you’d want to know about, three of which look at journalists’ relationships with social media....
Posted: November 20, 2018, 1:00 pm

Here are some resources (and tweets for inspiration) to people-power your publishing

In recent years, engaged journalism — including and asking audiences and communities to be involved in a news organization’s reporting process — has become a bit of a sub-culture of the industry. One hallmark of the journey is the People-Powered Publishing Conference hosted by Illinois Humanities each fall for the past few years, aiming to...
Posted: November 19, 2018, 3:05 pm