“Consciously uncoupling”: Where does the relationship between publishers and platforms stand now?

At the GEN Summit in Portugal, Emily Bell teased research from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism conducted over the past two years on the relationship between technology platforms and journalism. (The full results will be announced in two weeks.) The research draws on surveys from over a thousand American and Canadian respondents, 94 percent of which were local newsrooms. The American Press Institute helped develop the surveys, and NORC at the University of Chicago conducted them. “Newsrooms feel distrustful of social media,” Bell said. “But if you look at data of how they’re using platforms we’ll see a different picture.”

The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a teeny bit scarier

It’s an annual moment of print realism here at Nieman Lab: the posting of the attention/advertising slide from Mary Meeker’s state-of-the-Internet slide deck. It’s enough of a tradition that I can now copy-and-paste from multiple versions of this post. Here’s a sentence from the 2013 version:
For those who don’t know it, Meeker — formerly of Morgan Stanley, at VC firm Kleiner Perkins since late 2010 — each year produces a curated set of data reflecting what she sees as the major trends in Internet usage and growth. It may be the only slide deck that qualifies as an event unto itself.
And a chunk from the 2014 version:
What’s useful about Meeker’s deck is that its core data serves as a punctuation mark on some big, ongoing trends. The kind of trends we all know are happening, but whose annual rate of progress can be hard to
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Papua New Guinea’s government said it would shut down Facebook for a month to conduct “research.” It’s now walking that back somewhat

Papua New Guinea, the southwest Pacific nation of more than 8 million people, may soon be getting what a thousand Medium pieces have called for: life without Facebook. The country’s government is planning a nationwide Facebook blackout for what it is calling research purposes, the country’s Post-Courier reported on Tuesday. “The time will allow information to be collected to identify users that hide behind fake accounts, users that upload pornographic images, users that post false and misleading information on Facebook to be filtered and removed,” the country’s minister for for communications, information technology, and energy Sam Basil told the Post-Courier in an initial announcement that kicked off an outpouring of confusion and condemnation. “We can also look at the possibility of creating a new social network site for PNG citizens to use with genuine profiles as well,” he added. “If there need be then we can gather our local applications Continue reading "Papua New Guinea’s government said it would shut down Facebook for a month to conduct “research.” It’s now walking that back somewhat"

Mobile visits are still rising for news sites, even without Facebook’s juicy traffic, according to Chartbeat data

Traditionally — as much of a tradition as there can be in the online analytics world — people accessing sites via mobile has mostly meant people arriving from social media. But now, post-Facebook algorithm changes, the number of mobile readers visiting news sites directly has surpassed the number visiting from Facebook. (Reminder: Starting in mid-October, Facebook began tweaking the News Feed algorithm away from Page content — a.k.a. many publishers — and toward “meaningful interactions.” Some publishers have experienced such a significant drop in traffic that it contributed to the shuttering of the site or layoffs. But many of those in those affected buckets relied on Facebook’s algorithm as the core of their business model. Not the sturdiest choice.) New data from Chartbeat shows that, while Facebook traffic has been (unsurprisingly) declining since the October 2017 change, both Google Search and direct traffic have been steadily
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What is it that journalism studies is studying these days? A lot about newsrooms, less about everybody else in the news ecosystem

I am at the International Communication Association 2018 annual meeting in Prague. It is arguably the single most important international academic conference for communications research, media studies, and, by extension, work on journalism. This year, 130 individual papers have been accepted for presentation by the Journalism Studies Division after peer review. (The acceptance rate is normally less than 50 percent; this year it was 45 percent for full papers.) The ICA papers — most of them work-in-progress, fresh, recent, up-to-date work by a wide range of academics studying journalism from many countries, perspectives, and backgrounds — can provide the basis for at least a partial answer to an important question: What is the field of journalism studies actually studying today? So I did a quick and subjective categorization of all the paper titles by topic, following a similar post I did at the 2017 Future of Journalism conference
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Is your fake news about immigrants or politicians? It all depends on where you live

Facebook is ready for proposals from fake news researchers. Facebook rolled out a few announcements on its “strategy for stopping false news” on Wednesday. First, there’s a request for proposals from researchers who study fake news and want access to Facebook data (the company had announced this initiative last month; it’s funded by outside organizations, decisions won’t be subject to Facebook approval, and research will be released publicly). Second, there’s a “news literacy campaign that provides people with tips to spot false news and more information on the actions that we’re taking. This will appear at the top of News Feed and in print ads, starting in the U.S. and reaching other countries throughout the year.” It appears similar to the fake news election stuff that Facebook has run in some newspapers. Third, a 12-minute film called “Facing Facts” that is part of
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Who’s creating the top Facebook videos? “Not people you’ve necessarily heard of”

Motivational speaking, puppies, and babies: These are hot topics for the most popular Facebook videos so far in 2018, according to a NewsWhip analysis. Despite recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm that would supposedly decrease the visibility of clickbait-y and viral video, the second most popular native Facebook video this year is called “Babies and puppies,” from publisher Daily Picks and Flicks. The tenth most popular, from NTD Funniest, is “Dogs and cats always make us laugh! 🤣😂😽 I admit to watching these videos after linking to them here. Perhaps surprisingly, “seven of the ten most engaged Facebook video posts in 2018 so far [came] in at three minutes or longer, and the average across the ten [was] three minutes eleven seconds.” Motivational speaker Jay Shetty pops up multiple times in the most popular/most commented/most engaged list, and “the most frequently appearing names were the viral publishers such as NTD
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