Newsonomics: Softbank, Fortress, Trump – and the real story of Gatehouse’s boundless ambition

Sometimes when you connect the dots, you just get more dots. It looked like head-turning news: A Japanese company had taken control of one of America’s largest newspaper chains, New Media Investment Group, a.k.a. GateHouse Media. Tuesday’s headline: “Robotics and tech firm SoftBank Japan purchases newspaper company GateHouse Media”. As Softbank’s acquisition of New York City-based Fortress Investment Group was announced last week, it appeared, on the surface, as if the direction of more than 100 U.S. dailies would be in the hands of non-Americans. Plus, as feels universally true in these bewildering times, there appeared to even be a link to Donald Trump. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son had been one of the first chief executives to make the trek to Trump Tower in December, to pay fealty to the incoming president. His supposed promise, accompanied by the firm Trump hand on Son’s shoulder: $50 billion Continue reading "Newsonomics: Softbank, Fortress, Trump – and the real story of Gatehouse’s boundless ambition"

Newsonomics: Rebuilding the news media will require doubling-down on its core values

“Alt-what?” I asked the audience of the leaders of America’s alternative press, in a talk last Friday, the day of the inauguration and the day before an estimated 100,000 people marched through downtown Portland, Oregon in protest. “Alt-what in America’s growing news deserts” was the title of my talk, and it followed up on my most recent Nieman Lab column. In that piece, I asked who — struggling dailies, emerging public radio initiatives, spirited startups, local TV stations — might seize the opportunity of the day and ramp up the kind of local news coverage that readers might support with subscription or membership. Could alt-weeklies be part of the solution? More than 100 of them still populate the landscape, from the hometown Portland’s Pulitzer-winning Willamette Week to Cincinnati’s CityBeat to Vermont’s Seven Days to the L.A. Weekly (itself just now put for sale). The alternative press was Continue reading "Newsonomics: Rebuilding the news media will require doubling-down on its core values"

Journalists as Strategists: How to Think About Business Now that the Wall Has Come Down

The “wall” that once existed between the business and editorial sides of the news industry has come down – opening up new opportunities for journalists to become strategists. That was the subject of the latest event in the “Conversations” series, hosted by the New York Daily News’ Innovation Lab. NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen moderated the discussion, titled The Evolving Newsroom: Journalists as Strategists, at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City, and was joined by Kate Ward, editor-in-chief of Bustle; Jim Rich, editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News; and Priya Ganapati, product director for Quartz.
“Once upon a time the media business was so simple and the best companies so profitable that the editorial people, the journalists, didn’t have to worry about or even know much about the business side of the company,” Rosen said.
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Jay Rosen’s NYU Students Dig Deeper into Disruption of News Business

You can’t start trailblazing the future of digital journalism without knowing what factors are at work disrupting the field every day. That was Jay Rosen’s starting point with the News Literacy 2016 project, which launched March 1. The project is the work of Studio 20, a journalism master’s program at New York University, which graduated its first digital-first class of students in 2010. The project’s impetus dates to a post on Rosen’s PressThink blog in November 2014, which was a list of topics students should master if they want to understand the way digital journalism continues to move and change, and how to help news organizations adapt to the particular requirements of the digital age. Those influencing factors – which ranged from new business models to funding the news to personalization – were the underpinnings of News Literacy, a user-friendly resource that offers students, educators and the public a distilled, authoritative
Studio 20 students.
Jay Rosen. Photo by  Joi Ito and used here with Creative Commons license.
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Hot Pod: How big are Audible’s ambitions in changing short-form audio? Really, really big

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue sixty-eight, published April 12, 2016.

We got a real chunky one for ya.

Audible launches Channels. If you’re reading this column at Nieman Lab, you probably already know the basics: Over the course of last week, Audible initiated the staggered rollout of a new feature called Channels, a portal through which the company now delivers what it’s calling “short-form listening experiences.” Right now, such short-form content on offer appears fairly limited, and a little strange: narrated reads of articles from newspapers like The Washington Post (natch) and The New York Times, some standup comedy recordings, and even a couple of meditation guides for the Headspace-inclined. (Nieman Lab, as usual, has a good breakdown on the details.)

There’s no mistaking what we’re seeing here: Audible has effectively changed its definition, almost overnight — it is no longer an

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‘Do Your Job’: Scarborough Goes on Twitter Tirade After Media Critic Calls Him Trump Supporter

Joe-Scarborough-e1438345122486MSNBC host Joe Scarborough went off on media critic and New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen on Twitter Tuesday after Rosen claimed that Scarborough was biased in favor of Donald Trump. It all began after Rosen posted a tweet about an open letter from Huffington Post journalists asking voters not to vote for Trump. In response to a question, he said he has no problem with outlets taking different approaches to Trump so long as they were upfront, and cited Scarborough as someone who denied his bias. Unsurprisingly, Scarborough did Continue reading "‘Do Your Job’: Scarborough Goes on Twitter Tirade After Media Critic Calls Him Trump Supporter"

Newsonomics: The thinking (and dollars) behind The New York Times’ new digital strategy

It was a quiet manifesto — an 11-page document that unofficially serves as The New York Times’ follow-up to the much dissected Innovation Report of May 2014. (Nieman Lab’s story about the Innovation Report is the most popular story in its history.) Look at the signatures at the bottom of this new Times document and you can see the impact of a year’s changes. CEO Mark Thompson, now moving into his fourth year at the company, has built his own team, and the 10 signatories inked their futures in what we’ll call the 2020 memo. Editor Dean Baquet, chief revenue officer Meredith Levien, and executive vice president for digital products Kinsey Wilson were among those laying out “Our Path Forward,” first in writing, and now in a series of sessions in the Times building with hundreds of staffers. “We’ve talked to a dozen groups already,” Thompson told me Wednesday.
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