These national journalists are building a local site to bring a different kind of news to East Texas

Two transplants — a magazine writer and a data journalist, both from national news outlets — walk into a bar in east Texas. They start a small-scale, hyperlocal digital publication devoted entirely to the east Texas city of Tyler. Tasneem Raja, who most recently had been leading coverage at NPR’s Code Switch vertical, and Christopher Groskopf, Quartz’s data editor, had settled in Tyler together and wondered during some post-election soul-searching how they might do their part to move forward with a divided electorate operating in information filter bubbles. (Raja and Groskopf are married. By way of explanation, Groskopf first moved to Tyler to be near his son from a previous marriage.) With a local
Continue reading "These national journalists are building a local site to bring a different kind of news to East Texas"

With its Amazon-inspired pilot project, Panoply used listener feedback help decide its new shows

What makes a popular podcast? Panoply, despite producing dozens of successful shows, doesn’t have the perfect formula, so it roped in some outside input — from listeners themselves. In late March, the company announced the Panoply Pilot Project, a three-week experiment that put listeners in the producer’s chair by letting them vote on which of four podcast pilots they wanted to see become full shows. Panoply ultimately went with two of them: By the Book, hosted by Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg, attempts to figure out which self-help books actually work, while Sam Dingman’s Family Ghosts investigates the mysteries of families’ pasts. Listeners were able to vote on Panoply’s website and by subscribing to their preferred shows. Panoply is
Continue reading "With its Amazon-inspired pilot project, Panoply used listener feedback help decide its new shows"

This is how The New York Times is using bots to create more one-to-one experiences with readers

So here’s one of them: This is Sam Manchester. He’s a deputy sports editor. I don’t know if anyone had the chance to see this — it was a relatively small experiment — but Sam was one of a lot of journalists who went to the Rio Olympics, and we actually asked Sam to text with people, anyone who would sign up, his personal observations from the games. You know, not breaking news, not headlines that you can get anywhere else, but to talk to people the way he might send texts to a friend, right? It’s a pretty familiar interface. And I think what’s really powerful about this is, now all of a sudden, The New York Times (or at least NYT Sam) is saying “Hey.” When is the last time The New York Times said hey to you? For a big old news organization like The
Continue reading "This is how The New York Times is using bots to create more one-to-one experiences with readers"

These are the bots powering Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post efforts to build a modern digital newspaper

Editor’s note: Last weekend was the latest edition of my favorite journalism conference, the International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin. You can catch up on what you missed through these two epic YouTube videos of the two days’ livestreams. But there were two talks in particular that I thought Nieman Lab readers might be interested in seeing, from America’s two top newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Both Andrew Phelps, an editor on the Times’ Story[X] newsroom R&D team, and Joey Marburger, the Post’s director of product, spoke about how they were using bots in their news operations. Today, we’re publishing transcripts (lightly edited for clarity) of their two talks. Below is Joey’s talk; Andrew’s is over here.

I’m a huge sci-fi nerd — love Isaac Asimov. And if you’ve ever seen this actually not super great interpretation — I, Robot, with Will Smith

Continue reading "These are the bots powering Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post efforts to build a modern digital newspaper"

The Information’s new Briefing is a continuous update of opinionated takes on other people’s articles

When The Information launched in 2013, the whole point was that it would provide in-depth, exclusive articles — just one or two a day — over aggregated content and news summaries. “It’s for the audience who aren’t just scanning the headlines, but those who come read a publication on a deeper level,” founder and CEO Jessica Lessin told All Things D. But times change (All Things D became Re/code became Recode) and, while The Information isn’t dropping its focus on exclusive reporting, it is recognizing that even for audiences that care about more than scanning headlines, some summarization can be useful. It doesn’t hurt that briefings are kinda hot these days, especially as publishers embrace email newsletters as the thing that just miiiiight be able to break through (The New York Times’ Morning Briefing emails are now up to 1.5 million subscribers, the company announced this week, and Continue reading "The Information’s new Briefing is a continuous update of opinionated takes on other people’s articles"

Gabfest, explainer, local, The Daily: A taxonomy of news podcasts

Notes on the podcast consumer. Last week, Edison Research released its Podcast Consumer 2017 survey findings, which is a supplementary breakout study from its annual Infinite Dial report. Turns out that nothing has fundamentally changed about how we think about the podcast listener as a media consumer demographic. This is both a positive and a negative thing, depending on how you look at it and what your priorities are. Major takeaways:
  • Podcast consumers remain distinctly young, affluent, and educated.
  • Within surveyed monthly podcast consumers, 56 percent report as male and 44 percent report as female.
  • Podcast listeners tend to really love podcasts, and they tend to favor them over other forms of media.
Other details that stood out to me:

This is a news publication all about the working life — but it’s housed within a job search company

As news publishers search for sustainability, some companies with established business models are in search of publications to call their own. Anheuser-Busch has one around beer. Two popular shaving product companies each run one. Airbnb had Pineapple magazine, but published one issue in 2014. Now, 14-year-old online job search platform and service Ladders has hired a slate of journalists to bolster and burnish its editorial operations. The Ladders publication will be helmed by Heidi Moore, who was among the journalists laid off from Mashable last year when it pivoted away from certain types of news (mainly, lots of hard news). Moore, a longtime business reporter who’s worked at The Guardian U.S. and the Wall Street Journal, said that while many news organizations — and even adjacent companies like LinkedIn — publish career advice columns or workplace or labor-related journalism, she felt the work and workplace beat has so Continue reading "This is a news publication all about the working life — but it’s housed within a job search company"