The AP has another plan to track its content across the Internet, and this time it involves blockchain, naturally

It is the year of our lord 2018, and the words “The Associated Press” and “journalism blockchain startup” have now appeared in the same sentence. Part of their new intersection, reported by Digiday, is pretty boring — the AP is licensing its stories to the 14 publications currently attached to the aforementioned startup Civil, just as it does with plenty of other outlets. The other part is a little more interesting: The two companies will coordinate on a blockchain-based effort to let Civil newsrooms track the flow of their content and enforce licensing rights. The AP is also getting some CVL tokens, the currency of the Civil ecosystem that also gives their holders a voice in governing the editorial activities within that ecosystem, though that public sale has now been pushed back to September 18. (Hope you’ve been studying for the quiz.) As Digiday describes it, the arrangement Continue reading "The AP has another plan to track its content across the Internet, and this time it involves blockchain, naturally"

Billy Penn, Denverite, and The Incline are all going after members. Can they become predominately reader-supported?

It’s a member, it’s a contributor, it’s a customer — no, it’s that saintly reader whose main interest is supporting these local news sites and keeping the journalism free to read for others who can’t afford it. Last fall, Spirited Media was laying off staff at each of its three publications. Earlier this year, it shifted its strategy to seeking significant reader support, namely, membership (contributions, donations, gifts, whatever you want to want to call it), a business decision that a whole slew of other sites both large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, legacy or startup, have converged on in the past several years. “We had just come off a lot of internal turmoil in the newsroom that left me with one reporter when I took over. People who care about journalism were aware that it might be a weird time to be asking people for support — um, wait,
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Is there really data that heavy Facebook use caused…erm, is correlated with…erm, is linked to real-life hate crimes?

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Study says heavy Facebook use is linked to more hate crimes against asylum seekers in Germany. Wait, is that what it says? The New York Times on Monday published a story, datelined from a “pro-refugee” German town, exploring the terrifying trajectory of actual German Facebook superusers who become radicalized through their intense activity in anti-refugee bubbles on social media, and commit real-life acts of violence. The piece, by Amanda Taub and Max Fisher of the Interpreter column, leaned on a previously covered working paper from researchers at the University of Warwick, and described the paper’s key finding as follows:

Towns where Facebook use was higher than average, like Altena, reliably experienced more attacks
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So your news organization has real, paying digital subscribers. Now how do you keep them?

Raking in first-time subscribers is one thing. Getting these paying news readers to stay paying is another. A new WAN-IFRA report walks through several case studies of news organizations (note: mostly European), that have found some success retaining their paying subscribers, through an elusive combination of consistently offering readers the news experience they want, and tracking relevant metrics to address problem points that might lead them to unsubscribe. Easier said than done; we hear you. The news organizations represented in the report range from national to local-level outlets, and their paywall and audience growth strategies run the gamut. Many of them have the backing of a significant editorial, tech, analytics, and sales teams. Still, here are several ideas to steal:

“What does a subscription to X really do for me?”

Access to good, walled-off content isn’t necessarily enough to keep subscribers: “It’s about understanding what it is that your
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We’re getting closer to the day when news apps and interactives can be easily preserved in perpetuity

What if all the interactives a news organization ever made could be stored somewhere, accessible in the same form forever, even as the technologies people might use to access them change? That’s the dream, and that’s what a small team led by Katherine Boss, the librarian for journalism, media, culture and communication at New York University, and Meredith Broussard, assistant professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at NYU, are trying to get the news industry closer to. It’s a question that many people in the libraries world and a smaller set of people in the news industry have been worrying about and working on for some time. Boss and Broussard’s team will be building software that can zip up the entirety of a news app, using ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs database (which tracks payments pharmaceutical and medical device companies made to doctors) as a test case. Continue reading "We’re getting closer to the day when news apps and interactives can be easily preserved in perpetuity"

Jack Dorsey says Twitter is experimenting with features to promote “alternative viewpoints” in people’s timelines

All unhappy social media networks are unhappy in their own ways. Twitter has capped off a weird week of equivocating over the presence of Alex Jones and InfoWars on its platform as other platforms like Facebook and YouTube finally decided to boot Infowars content. (Jones is currently facing a seven-day mini-ban, putting his account in “read-only mode.” He can still read tweets and send DMs, but he can’t tweet himself, like, or RT anything.) Now, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the platform will be experimenting with “features that would promote alternative viewpoints in Twitter’s timeline to address misinformation,” according to an interview Dorsey gave to the Washington Post. Twitter would also consider adding “context” around false tweets, a practice YouTube is also testing through partnerships with Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Brittanica. From the Post:
Dorsey said Twitter hasn’t changed its incentives, which were originally designed to nudge people to
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