What strategies work best for increasing trust in local newsrooms? Trusting News has some ideas

After six months of investigating thousands of disciplinary cases in dozens of police departments around Cincinnati, Scripps TV station WCPO was almost ready to share its findings on air and online. But the team decided to add one more thing to their to-do list: an on-air segment and online letter about why and how they did it. “Our motives are simple: We want to make sure the people who protect us and enforce our laws are worthy of the high level of trust the public gives them,” wrote Mike Canan, then WCPO.com’s editor. “Our goal is to show you if police departments are transparent about how they respond to findings of misconduct, if the punishment fits the behavior, and what can be done to provide a better system of checks and balances that benefit police — and our community,” explained Craig Cheatham, the station’s chief investigative reporter, Continue reading "What strategies work best for increasing trust in local newsrooms? Trusting News has some ideas"

GroundSource switched from an email newsletter to a SMS newsletter and actually got responses

Want to connect with and update audience. Spend time perfecting email newsletter. Ask subscribers for responses. Receive zero responses. Sound familiar? This is the trap into which GroundSource, a platform known for its messaging-based engagement tools (now also offered to newsrooms as part of the Community Listening and Engagement Fund), recently fell with its email newsletter (GroundSourced). So they launched an SMS newsletter instead. Their prompts within the email newsletter had been pleasant: “This newsletter is all about helping you better engage your community. Each week, we’ll share news, tips, and answers to questions you ask. Let us know your engagement questions by replying to this email. We’ll find a solution and share it with you and 1,500+ GroundSourced subscribers.” But nobody was taking them up on the offer. “It’s been a thing on the to-do list to restart the email newsletter, and we wanted to make
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Here are the digital media features to watch during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

Each edition of the Olympics offers a shining host city, compelling tales of athletic triumph, and an opportunity for news organizations to test out new storytelling technology with a meticulously scheduled global event. The 2018 Winter Olympics are no different, with Pyeongchang, South Korea partnering with its feisty neighbors to the north, the image of an Olympian redefined in the U.S. after gymnasts testified against their doctor convicted of sexual assault, and news organizations exploring all realms of media to cover the Games. Frankly, there’s a lot going on. Here are some of the Olympic digital news coverage experiments to keep an eye on during the Winter Games, running until February 25. See others? Speak up! For the latter, NBC is broadcasting much of the Games live in what it’s calling the “most live Winter Olympics ever,” including a portion on Snapchat. It will introduce the Snapchat Live
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DNAinfo Chicago will be reborn as Block Club Chicago, relying on blockchain and subscriptions instead of billionaires

Three months after local news specialist DNAinfo’s website was abruptly pulled offline, a team of Chicago journalists have rebirthed its spirit as Block Club Chicago — boosted by blockchain and supported by subscriptions. Block Club Chicago’s Kickstarter launched at 7 a.m. CT on Tuesday and within 24 hours had already blown past its $25,000 goal. As of Thursday morning, it had raised $116,047 from nearly 2,000 backers. That money will help jumpstart the organization, which officially launches in April, but the cash and cryptocurrency coming from the journalism-focused marketplace Civil is giving Block Club (the name is no relation to the blockchain, but rather to a Chicago community tradition) its legs — no billionaire benefactors required this time. “We wanted to focus on neighborhoods and we wanted to have a membership model,” said Jen Sabella, Block Club’s director of strategy and the former deputy editor and
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Local TV news gets a $2.6 million boost from the Knight Foundation

In the “future of news” conversations, television news — especially local — can sometimes be overlooked. But it’s still a vital source of journalism for communities across the United States. The Knight Foundation announced today that it is boosting local TV news with $2.6 million across five organizations that will help students of color gain experience in local TV markets, bring together broadcast journalists focused on digital innovation in conferences and workshops, and offer ethics, leadership, and data journalism training for newsrooms. (Disclosure: Nieman Lab also receives support from Knight.) Though digital sources are ever rising, local TV news still reaches a significant chunk of Americans. Last year, Pew Research Center found that 50 percent were often getting news from TV compared to 43 percent often getting it online, though local TV news use declined the most. Over the years, local TV news’ audience has steadily Continue reading "Local TV news gets a $2.6 million boost from the Knight Foundation"

Discourse Media is launching a membership platform and local news fellowships, as fundraising continues

Discourse Media had set an ambitious goal: $1 million to fund the three-year-old organization’s national expansion across Canada, with $500,000 of that raised via crowd-investing. “How do you write about audacious goals nearly achieved? How do you report on a campaign that was almost — but not — as successful as we ambitiously dreamed?” wrote Erin Millar, Discourse’s CEO and cofounder, in an update to supporters last month. “Still, our story is a remarkable success. Discourse was the first media outlet in Canada to ask its community to invest in its future by buying shares through a relatively new legal framework that enables small investments in private companies from people who aren’t accredited investors. Close to 300 investors said yes, contributing a whopping $350,000.” In total with the funds from traditional investors, Discourse has raised $600,000, and the appeal to traditional investors is ongoing. The investment round Continue reading "Discourse Media is launching a membership platform and local news fellowships, as fundraising continues"

Is Facebook celebrating time better spent, or time spent elsewhere?

Facebook may be ensnared in the classic chicken-and-egg conundrum: Which came first, the News Feed priority changes or the shifting user engagement? As Mark Zuckerberg celebrated a decrease in the time users spent on his platform, the first earnings report since Facebook announced its publisher-and-brand-demoting changes to the News Feed also noted that it lost daily users in North America for the first time in its history. Is this a sign of its News Feed changes successfully increasing more meaningful interactions, or were users already pivoting away? “In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. By focusing on meaningful connections, our community and business will be stronger over the
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