With its Special Projects Desk, Univision is keeping Gawker’s spirit alive at Gizmodo Media Group

Reporters at ProPublica and Gizmodo Media Group didn’t hack the Mar-a-Lago wifi network, but they probably could have if they’d tried. Instead, last month, with antennas aimed at Trump properties in New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the reporters just checked for vulnerabilities — which they found in great supply. As one researcher said in the story, the security situation was “bad, very bad.” The project wasn’t a one-off for Gizmodo Media Group. Earlier this month, the team targeted 15 people both inside and outside the Trump administration with an email and landing page designed to see how easily they would submit their Google credentials to real phishers. None were entirely fooled, but some, including Newt Gingrich and former FBI director James Comey, were convinced enough that they replied to the emails. Both projects are a product of the Gizmodo Media Group Special Projects Desk, an Continue reading "With its Special Projects Desk, Univision is keeping Gawker’s spirit alive at Gizmodo Media Group"

“Complementary, not competitive”: Philly’s NBC 10 is using web exclusives to find new viewers

When the University of Michigan announced the finalists for the 2017 Livingston Awards this month, Yoni Greenbaum noticed something that he thought was telling. Out of the 18 finalists for the local news reporting prize, NBC 10 reporters Vince Lattanzio and Morgan Zalot were the only two from local television stations. And 2017 is no anomaly: For the 2015 and 2016 finalists, no reporters from TV stations were nominated at all. For Greenbaum, who heads up NBC 10’s multiplatform efforts, the Livingston nomination vindicates the station’s investment in web-exclusive reporting, which has been core to its strategy since late 2015. Lattanzio and Zalot were nominated for their work on Generation Addicted, a big five-month digital video project that investigated how heroin and opioid addiction have impacted communities in the Philadelphia area and across the United States. The project was the second created as a part of the “NBC10 Digital Continue reading "“Complementary, not competitive”: Philly’s NBC 10 is using web exclusives to find new viewers"

A small survey suggests chasing pageviews isn’t putting as much pressure on watchdog reporting as you might think (or fear)

When it comes to metrics and measurement, digital publishing has brought both the good and the bad. While news organizations are now able to see, with increasingly accuracy and depth, exactly which stories resonate with readers, metrics have also taken an outsize role in determining which stories reporters are encouraged to chase. That’s often bad news for important investigative stories that are unlikely to draw big audiences. The effect, however, might be less significant than many assume, according to a small study. Paul D’Ambrosio, director of news and investigations at New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press, recently polled almost 100 reporters (many of them active in IRE and NICAR) to study the relationship between metrics pressures and watchdog journalism across newsrooms. The results? Metrics matter, but less than you might think. Nearly 54 percent of reporters agree or strongly agreed with the notion that watchdog stories do well, metrics-wise. Only Continue reading "A small survey suggests chasing pageviews isn’t putting as much pressure on watchdog reporting as you might think (or fear)"

With a big Amazon streaming deal, Berkeley’s journalism program is building a new revenue stream

When it comes to video, it’s a seller’s market for content creators. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu are locked in a race for content, opening up new revenue opportunities and distribution channels not just for big companies but for smaller production outfits as well. It’s a opportunity that the University of California, Berkeley, hopes to take advantage of. In 2015, the Investigative Reporting Program at the University’s Graduate School of Journalism formed Investigative Reporting Productions (IRP), a nonprofit production company to develop original, one-off journalistic documentaries and docuseries. In its latest move, the organization, which was formally recognized by the university earlier this month, inked its first big distribution deal with Amazon, which said it wanted “first look” rights (meaning that it gets to see new ideas before any other company) to the projects coming out of the organization. It was a big first for Amazon, Continue reading "With a big Amazon streaming deal, Berkeley’s journalism program is building a new revenue stream"

Facebook, still fighting the fake news problem, is making another attempt at reducing News Feed clickbait

Facebook engineers may be spending a lot of time trying to solve the platform’s fake news problem, but it hasn’t forgotten about the site’s other, equally persistent foe: clickbait. Facebook said Wednesday that it’s further tweaked its algorithm to display fewer clickbait headlines in users’ News Feeds. The tweak targets headlines that either “withhold information intentionally leave out crucial details or mislead people” or those that “exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language tend to make the story seem like a bigger deal than it really is.” Facebook is evaluating those criteria as individual signals, which it says will let it better detect different kinds of clickbait headlines. It’s also now targeting clickbait on a post-by-post basis, which it says will help it target clickbait on a more granular level. While clickbait has gotten less attention than fake news lately, both are a natural result of people using Continue reading "Facebook, still fighting the fake news problem, is making another attempt at reducing News Feed clickbait"

Facebook, still fighting the fake news problem, is making another attempt at reducing News Feed clickbait

Facebook engineers may be spending a lot of time trying to solve the platform’s fake news problem, but it hasn’t forgotten about the site’s other, equally persistent foe: clickbait.

Facebook said Wednesday that it’s further tweaked its algorithm to display fewer clickbait headlines in users’ News Feeds. The tweak targets headlines that either “withhold information intentionally leave out crucial details or mislead people” or those that “exaggerate the details of a story with sensational language tend to make the story seem like a bigger deal than it really is.” Facebook is evaluating those criteria as individual signals, which it says will let it better detect different kinds of clickbait headlines. It’s also now targeting clickbait on a post-by-post basis, which it says will help it target clickbait on a more granular level.

While clickbait has gotten less attention than fake news lately, both are a natural result of people using Continue reading “Facebook, still fighting the fake news problem, is making another attempt at reducing News Feed clickbait”

Australia’s kid-focused newspaper Crinkling News wants to teach media literacy to young readers

Saffron Howden knew she was on the right track with Crinkling News, her Australian kid-focused weekly newspaper, within a few days of Donald Trump being elected. Even among Australian schoolchildren, there was a lot of trepidation about the implications of a Donald Trump presidency. One school introduced art therapy to help kids process their emotions. The uncertainty that kids felt in November — much of which persists among both the young and not-so-young — underscored Howden’s initial motivation a year ago to create a newspaper written for the country’s young news consumers, ages 7 to 15. The world can be a scary place, she argues, and the country’s largest media companies were doing a poor job of explaining things in a way that kids could understand. “I was hearing a lot of stories from parents about how their kids really wanted to read the newspaper, but the parents felt like
Continue reading "Australia’s kid-focused newspaper Crinkling News wants to teach media literacy to young readers"