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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The mourning of AJR is less about a decline in press criticism than the loss of an institution

The ecosystem of press criticism is probably as strong now as it has ever been: columnists like Jack Shafer of Politico, public-minded academics like Jay Rosen of NYU, in-house critics like New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan. There are press watchdog organizations and regular press reporting and criticism in places like Gawker and major newspapers and the Poynter Institute and, of course, Nieman Lab and Nieman Reports. But after this month, there is one fewer journalism review in the United States. When Lucy Dalglish, the dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, announced that the American Journalism Review would be ceasing publication, the world of journalism mourned. But the AJR that most of them probably missed hadn’t existed for about two years, not since editor Rem Rieder — its last paid employee — had left to become an editor and columnist Continue reading "The mourning of AJR is less about a decline in press criticism than the loss of an institution"

Circa, the buzzed-about mobile news app, is running out of money

Back in December, News Corp’s Raju Narisetti sent in his contribution for our annual Predictions for Journalism package. One of his predictions was really more of a wish: that “the good people of Circa’s newsroom have a soft, good landing somewhere.” That wish will now be tested. Fortune’s Dan Primack reported yesterday evening that Circa — the mobile-first, idea-laden, atomized-content news startup that’s gotten a ton of attention in recent years — had failed to get a new round of venture funding and was now looking for a buyer:
“This isn’t a ‘sell the assets’ only situation,” explains [CEO Matt] Galligan, adding that Circa is working with an undisclosed third party to find a buyer. “This is an acquisition process, and we’re talking with a number of interested parties. One possibility is that we keep the brand. Another
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The 14 Most Important Media Reporters

Several years ago, we posted a list of the most important media reporters. A lot has changed since then, and so we’ve decided to update that list for where we stand in 2015. As we know all too well here at Mediaite, a media entity reporting on the media can be a tricky business. Reporters and media executives despise being judged by others (though they will readily judge others), and a lot of the business has become polarized in various echo chambers of sorts. And so finding a handful of media reporters and analysts whose stories are interesting, unique, and have the potential to wield influence and strike fear in the heart of media members is not an easy thing to do. Many of these writers are the competition to our own excellent media reporting, but we want to commend these 14 people for doing the job in a truly
Brian Stelter, CNN
Eric Deggans, NPR
JK Trotter, Gawker
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Jim Romenesko
Jay Rosen
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Scott Jones, FTVLive
Betsy Rothstein, The Daily Caller
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John Oliver, HBO
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Is there a “European public sphere” waiting for Politico Europe — or can it help create one?

The Guardian’s Wolfgang Blau has an interesting piece up at the European Journalism Observatory asking a question about the new Politico Europe, the D.C.-based site’s expansion into Brussels and the broader continent:
Politico Europe — the new Brussels-based site covering European politics — is doing important pioneer work in establishing the notion of there even being such a thing as a ‘European public sphere’. For European publishers, this is not necessarily a space where you have to or want to be the first mover. It seems advantageous to first let Politico — backed by the politically very conservative, but entrepreneurially very aggressive German publishing giant Axel Springer — do some of the hard work of not only having to introduce its own brand, but with it — and more importantly — to establish the very idea of there being a European mid-layer between domestic and international journalism. Continue reading "Is there a “European public sphere” waiting for Politico Europe — or can it help create one?"