Cheddar is here, there, and everywhere — and now reporting on local NYC news for CUNY TV

WeWork locations, gas stations, local broadcast stations, and now local airwaves — Cheddar, the “CNBC for millennials” by Jon Steinberg, is blaring business news at local viewers in multiple ways. On Thursday Cheddar announced that its programming will air for half an hour every weeknight on CUNY TV, the independent station by the City University of New York, starting with Cheddar’s regular national news and eventually zeroing in on local New York news like the looming L train shutdown, according to Steinberg. That comes on top of its Cheddar Local initiative launched last summer, featuring one- to two-minute market updates from Cheddar on stations like New York’s News 12 Networks and Tegna’s ABC station in Sacramento. Last November, Cheddar also began a partnership with the coworking space network WeWork to bring in on-air guests via remote studios. “We supply business news to local stations via Cheddar Local. Now Continue reading "Cheddar is here, there, and everywhere — and now reporting on local NYC news for CUNY TV"

Where are the weeklies? Still kicking, Penelope Abernathy’s news desert report says

Penelope Abernathy‘s latest report on news deserts is damning. About 1,300 U.S. communities have completely lost news coverage. More than one in five newspapers have closed over the past 15 years. And many of the 7,100 surviving newspapers have faded into “ghost papers” that are essentially advertising supplements. Half of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. now only have one remaining newspaper — and it’s usually a small weekly. Lost weeklies tend to be in low-income areas that tend to be poorer, less educated, older. If we don’t want half of our country separated from the other half, we need to come up with some kind of funding model that gets the news to the people in the communities that need it most. Less than five percent of philanthropic funding over the last few years has gone to state and local news sites. It’s going to take Continue reading "Where are the weeklies? Still kicking, Penelope Abernathy’s news desert report says"

Two-thirds of Americans have heard of bots, but many fewer think they can recognize them on social media

Bots don’t actually write Olive Garden commercials, folks — at least not yet. But they can get trapped in an infinite loop of screaming and self-care. These two Twitter-famous bot moments, just a week apart earlier this year, show how gullible humans can be about what bots are and how they’re used. (But they did show some pretty strong feelings about Olive Garden.) Two-thirds of Americans have heard of social media bots. (Good!) Eighty percent of
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Will Vox’s new section on effective altruism…well, do any good?

Earlier this year, Vox Media closed the closet on Racked, folding the standalone site into Vox.com itself and introducing a condensed version called The Goods as its own section. Now, a new kind of good is coming to Vox.com. And it’s getting a philanthropic boost. Future Perfect, a section led by longtime Vox-er/senior correspondent Dylan Matthews and Vox senior policy editor Elbert Ventura, starts explaining effective altruism today. The concept is about as straightforward as the words themselves: doing good in a way that makes the most good (and doesn’t just feel good). Got it? Good. “It came out of a sense that there were some really important topics with impacts on human beings that didn’t get as much coverage in traditional journalism sections and pieces,” Matthews said. “Animal welfare is something that felt like it got treated a bit like what animal rights Continue reading "Will Vox’s new section on effective altruism…well, do any good?"

“The smart phone screen is the only screen in some communities”: Local news’ digital adaptation

The Coastal Courier is a weekly community newspaper in Georgia with an office on Main Street — and a VR channel. “Are they adequately meeting the information needs with their technology?” Jesse Holcomb wondered. “Are they carving out a space on social platforms or avoiding them altogether?” Holcomb, a Calvin College professor and former Pew researcher, highlighted the Coastal Courier’s digital adaptation — not necessarily innovation — at an event at Columbia Journalism’s Tow Center Wednesday evening. He conducted research to answer those very questions more broadly in the journalism industry, finding that one in ten local news outlets don’t even have their own website, among other tidbits we summarized here. New in this talk: Holcomb shared the starting-a-local-news-outlet to-do list of Brian Boyer, head of product at digital local news chain Spirited Media: A website, a subscriber box, and an email newsletter. Then, “start publishing
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A Chorus of publishers: Vox Media onboards the Chicago Sun-Times as its first licensee since launch

There are few things that can drive as much nerdy-media debate as the Microsoft Word versus Google Docs battle, circa October 2018. Slate’s “Journalists Just Can’t Quit Microsoft Word. But Some Are Trying” (with the A+ “We’re not quite ready to Accept This Change” subhead) Continue reading "A Chorus of publishers: Vox Media onboards the Chicago Sun-Times as its first licensee since launch"

Here are the local news organizations boosted in Facebook’s membership accelerator

After leading a cohort of metropolitan newspapers through a subscriptions accelerator this year, Facebook is now kicking off its next round, focused this time on membership in nonprofit and digital-only local news organizations. The membership accelerator, now one of three different threads in Facebook’s olive-branch programming for local news, started with an in-person gathering in Austin late last month and continues for three months. Facebook extended the subscriptions accelerator, piloted with 14 newsrooms beginning in February, throughout the rest of 2018 and is transitioning it to a retention focus in 2019. The programming is led by former Texas Tribune publisher/New York Times digital strategy exectuive/now independent media consultant Tim Griggs (he spoke with us about the training earlier this year) and a group of industry coaches and experts including the Christian Science Monitor’s David Grant and Mother Jones’ Brian Hiatt. Participants receive grant funding, attend regular webinars, and Continue reading "Here are the local news organizations boosted in Facebook’s membership accelerator"