With a year of guides to a better life, The New York Times hopes to convert more readers to subscribers

Do you want to make the world a better place? Would you like a how-to guide for that? The New York Times is seizing on its audience’s “constant thirst for self-improvement,” in the words of Sara Bremen Rabstenek, the Times’ reader experience product director. The Times is creating a series of guides for improving various aspects of one’s life in what it’s calling A Year of Living Better, unveiling a new guide each month of 2018. Topics range from thinking about money written by financial-planning columnist Carl Richards, to “How to Find Yourself Somewhere Else” by assistant managing editor and former travel editor Monica Drake, to, yes, making the world a better place by human rights and global affairs columnist Nicholas Kristof. “It’s ‘how to tap your inner reader’ as opposed to simply ‘how to read more books.’ It’s tapping into the need that Times
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Will moving to radio put a strain on what makes The Daily work so well as a podcast?

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 152, published February 20, 2018. Crossing over. In case you missed it: The Daily is heading to public radio, and there’s a lot to talk about. Last Tuesday, The New York Times announced that it’s working with American Public Media to repackage its wildly successful daily news podcast as a thirty-minute broadcast for distribution to public radio stations starting in April. Notably, it’s being positioned for evening time slots, with stations being free to air the weekday radio version of The Daily between 4 p.m. and midnight ET. The evening broadcast orientation contrasts with the original drop time for the podcast, which publishes at the crack of dawn ahead of the American East Coast morning commute. According to Recode, the Times will get a cut of the fees paid by underwriters for the program. Both parties declined Continue reading "Will moving to radio put a strain on what makes The Daily work so well as a podcast?"

Are news publishers directly liable for embedding tweets that contain images not created by that tweeter?

News publishers will now be thinking twice before embedding in articles a certain viral tweet that contains a “full color image” of Tom Brady and Danny Ainge, taken in 2016. In fact, any publisher embedding any tweets containing content that might not be original to the tweeter now has at least some reason to be concerned. On Thursday night, a New York federal judge ruled that simply embedding certain tweets can constitute a copyright violation by news publishers. The judge wrote (via The Hollywood Reporter):
Having carefully considered the embedding issue, this Court concludes, for the reasons discussed below, that when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party (Twitter) does not shield them from this result.
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What strategies work best for increasing trust in local newsrooms? Trusting News has some ideas

After six months of investigating thousands of disciplinary cases in dozens of police departments around Cincinnati, Scripps TV station WCPO was almost ready to share its findings on air and online. But the team decided to add one more thing to their to-do list: an on-air segment and online letter about why and how they did it. “Our motives are simple: We want to make sure the people who protect us and enforce our laws are worthy of the high level of trust the public gives them,” wrote Mike Canan, then WCPO.com’s editor. “Our goal is to show you if police departments are transparent about how they respond to findings of misconduct, if the punishment fits the behavior, and what can be done to provide a better system of checks and balances that benefit police — and our community,” explained Craig Cheatham, the station’s chief investigative reporter, Continue reading "What strategies work best for increasing trust in local newsrooms? Trusting News has some ideas"

Should we consider fake news another form of (not particularly effective) political persuasion — or something more dangerous?

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.

“Most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all.” Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan writes in The New York Times that it isn’t that easy to change people’s votes in an election, in an Upshot post titled “Fake news and bots may be worrisome, but their political power is overblown.” When we’re trying to evaluate “claims about vast persuasion effects from dubious online content,” Nyhan writes, we should actually be looking at three things: 1) How many people actually saw the material; 2) Whether the people exposed are persuadable/swing voters; and 3) the percentage of bogus news as a percentage of all news viewed.

The Guardian’s new podcast player for the web tries to make listening a little more interactive (but not interruptive)

Sometimes, the podcast isn’t enough. Or to put it differently, it’s so good you want to find out even more. While binging on the S-Town podcast last year, the first thing I did after one episode was search the Internet for more about the central character John McLemore, in hopes of finding a picture of the hedge maze via the GPS coordinates McLemore started giving out. (If you haven’t listened to S-Town and plan to, don’t do this.) So did the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab team — an impulse that they guessed many podcast listeners shared. The Lab’s latest mobile experiment is an attempt to address some of the small inconveniences and limitations of the podcast listening experience as it stands today. It’s a podcast player designed for the mobile web, which is being tested first with a new Guardian podcast called Strange Bird, hosted by data editor
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Newsonomics: 11 questions the news business is trying to answer in 2018

No, the saga of the Los Angeles Times isn’t the only story in the newspaper world. It’s just that in its breathtaking oddness, it consumed the beginning of our year. Let’s begin with one question about the future of the Times, but then move on to other early-in-the-year questions that may tell us lots more about the business-of-news year ahead.

What’s at the top of PSS’s to-do list?

It’s been a week of almost eerie quiet in L.A., as the reality of new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong sinks in. The Guild’s elected its local leadership and the L.A. Times newsroom sees that it barely dodged the bullet of major Tronc reorganization. Tronc announced Tuesday that it would concentrate all page makeup and design in Chicago, following the centralization models now becoming standard among chains, with GateHouse the
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