Read Nieman Lab stories in other languages — and help us translate them into more!

Did you know you can read many Nieman Lab stories in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, German, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish? Over the past couple of years, through the help of many partners, from the likes of IJNet to Yomiuri Shimbun to Outriders to Tencent, we’ve been trying to expand the number of people who can more easily access our reporting on the future of news. You can browse what’s available now over at our brand new translations page here (and let us know if you spot typos, have suggestions, want to help us translate Nieman Lab stories or know someone who can help, or otherwise want to know more). We want to hear from you, whether you’re an individual with translation experience, an established news outlet, a growing media startup, a tech platform with a media portal, or something in between.
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In Germany, a news site is pairing up liberals and conservatives and actually getting them to (gasp) have a civil conversation

If only online dating could go as smoothly. As an attempted antidote to sociopolitical polarization in its country — particularly all the hateful logjams that play out online — the German national news site Zeit Online has developed a seemingly simple mechanism of matching up people who live near each other but have different views on policy, and encouraging them to meet offline to hash out their disagreements. The site, the digital home of national weekly paper Die Zeit, likened its My Country Talks initiative to “political Tinder.” The idea of trying to temper animosity through in-person interaction isn’t entirely original, but My Country Talks successfully seized a moment. In its inaugural edition, about 12,000 people completed Zeit Online’s short survey of yes-or-no questions around politically divisive issues (such as the number of refugees the country was accepting, or whether the West was treating Russia fairly). Of those, 1,200 Continue reading "In Germany, a news site is pairing up liberals and conservatives and actually getting them to (gasp) have a civil conversation"

WhatsApp is a black box of viral misinformation — but in Brazil, 24 newsrooms are teaming up to fact-check it

Another big national election means another big collaborative fact-checking initiative. But this one will get a small but important assist from the Facebook-owned messaging behemoth WhatsApp — where a healthy share of the world’s misinformation gets distributed. Comprova, a fact-checking collective made up of 24 newsrooms around Brazil, launched Monday. It will monitor mis- and disinformation in the lead-up to the country’s elections on October 7 (and the second round of runoffs October 28). Like the 90-organization strong Verificado in Mexico, and First Draft-run fact-checking collaborations like CrossCheck before it, the partner newsrooms will collect tips, respond to rumors and information that it finds spreading, publish stories, and sometimes report collectively. But the newsrooms in Comprova will benefit from access to the just-launched WhatsApp Business API, which will allow newsrooms on the Comprova side to respond to reader submissions (and refute misinformation) at significantly greater scale. (Comprova
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What is a Scandinavian media company’s first-ever director of public policy up against?

GDPR and forthcoming ePrivacy regulations around consumer data protections. Antitrust fights and fines, new taxation proposals, a continued unpleasant relationship between technology platforms and news organizations. And no respite in sight. Karin Pettersson, Schibsted’s new director of public policy and the first to hold such a role within the Scandinavian media giant, is diving into the middle of these monumental policy changes rumbling across Europe. She’s acting as Schibsted’s unifying voice when it comes to the regulatory issues the company should be concerned with, and how it should be an active player in the space. Schibsted is best known for its newspapers, its online classifieds business, its internal tech prowess, and, increasingly, its public position as a foil to the scale and automation-focused forward march of far larger tech companies like Google and Facebook. Pettersson, a 2016 Nieman Fellow, was previously the political editor of Swedish daily Aftonbladet.
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From a beloved blog to one sold-out show after another at a national theater, history gets an anti-colonialist retelling

To hear the creators behind this series of sold-out plays tell it, the shows were always meant for the stage. “It sounded like a joke at first,” the Kenyan writer Morris Kiruga told me over a series of WhatsApp messages over the past few months. “But using several unofficial polls (such as a Twitter poll on how much people were willing to pay), we realized there was an actual audience for performance-based history now more than ever.” Kiruga also writes under the name Owaahh, the title of his niche Kenyan history and current affairs site that covers stories of people, cultural flashpoints, and political events through a lens of challenging traditional, often colonialist narratives. The site, now eight years old, had always been rigorously researched — archives, interviews, reporting — and vividly written. (See: What happened to the two moon rocks Kenya received from the Apollo 11 and 17 Continue reading "From a beloved blog to one sold-out show after another at a national theater, history gets an anti-colonialist retelling"

Blockchain journalism startup Civil launches a $1 million pot to support media startups in Asia

Here’s some news about tangible money. Civil, the earnestly hopeful, sometimes scorned, promise-filled blockchain-crypto journalism startup that’s managed to attract about a dozen new publications and hoping to kick off a public sale of its own CVL tokens, is partnering with Splice Newsroom to distribute a $1 million pool of money to “help create 100 media startups in Asia over the next three years.” Like the money for grants that are going to Civil’s “first fleet” of newsrooms on its platform, the $1 million comes out of the $5 million Civil raised from Consensys last year. From the Splice announcement on Tuesday (Singapore time):
Splice and Civil will create a $1 million fund to catalyze the growth of media startups in Asia. Splice will manage this fund and make pre-seed, micro-investments to help entrepreneurs take their ideas to prototype stage, and with the support of this network and community, Continue reading "Blockchain journalism startup Civil launches a $1 million pot to support media startups in Asia"

Want to support journalism with cryptocurrency on Civil? First you must pass this really hard quiz

What is gas (not that kind)? What is a “hot” wallet versus a “cold” wallet? When purchasing a token, what do you care most about? Are you leveraging a home equity line to purchase Civil tokens? What percent of your total assets (crypto and non-crypto) are in tokens (not including ether or bitcoin)? If you were at all considering investing in cryptocurrency to support the many newsrooms that have partnered with the blockchain journalism startup Civil, and if you want to participate in Civil’s democratic and convoluted governing structure, you’ll need to be able to answer these, and other vetting questions, to token-buying platform Token Foundry’s satisfaction. I failed the quiz and got directed to the mega-explainer “30 Things To Know Before Your First Token Sale,” which includes links to whitepapers and will remain open in a tab in my browser until the end of time. Twenty-four hours
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