What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out

News flash: A lot of people still watch — and trust — the local TV news. TV is still the No. 1 source of news for Americans, ahead of the entire Internet. And of those TV watchers, nearly 3 in 4 are regular local TV news watchers. But the trendlines are moving in the wrong direction. In 2016, TV had a 19 percentage point lead over online as a frequent source of news for Americans (57 percent to 38 percent). A year later, that lead had been cut to 7 percentage points (50 percent to 43 percent). Cord-cutters and cord-nevers have moved from edge cases to mainstream; young people ages 18 to 24 have cut their TV viewing by abotu eight hours a week just in the past six years. It’s time for an update. Resources for innovation have, generally speaking, flowed more to local newspapers and digital-native publishers Continue reading "What is innovation in local TV news? Andrew Heyward’s new mission is to find out"

Who’s who in local news: A guide to the biggest brains and bank accounts in the fight for local journalism

There really isn’t another word than “local” for what local news does (no, hyperlocal doesn’t count). Local news’ strength and mere presence has been threatened in the roiling journalism industry — but a number of initiatives are stepping up to help fill the void. In the past few years, local journalism — especially the traditional models of TV news and newspapers — has struggled to adapt to the challenges of digital advertising and platforms, as national-level organizations have greater scale to soak up subscription dollars and chase heavy-hitting stories. It’s not a new tale, but as the media landscape (and the Facebook landscape, the political landscape, the news group ownership landscape, etc.) continues to shift and everyone remembers the importance of quality local news to democracy, there are a number of rising initiatives focused on (and with funding for) local news. There’s also a solid group Continue reading "Who’s who in local news: A guide to the biggest brains and bank accounts in the fight for local journalism"

Facebook and Twitter are opening up a bit to academic researchers, so platforms “can make better decisions”

At least a few platforms are lifting the curtain a little bit. Facebook announced on Monday, ahead of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before Congress on Wednesday, that it plans to give a limited group of soon-to-be determined academics some access to Facebook data as needed, with a research emphasis on how Facebook influences elections in different countries around the word. “If you’ve followed me for a while, you know one of my top priorities for 2018 [is] making sure Facebook prevents interference and misinformation in elections,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post to promote the new research push (side note: “a while” means mostly this past year). “Today we’re taking another step — establishing an independent election research commission that will solicit research on the effects of social media on elections and democracy.” The research, which Facebook says will be released publicly and will not be subject Continue reading "Facebook and Twitter are opening up a bit to academic researchers, so platforms “can make better decisions”"

MediaShift Launches New Peer Group Trainings for Publishers

We know that our MediaShift community likes learning new things. That’s why we have always offered guides and how-to’s on our site, weekly DigitalEd trainings and panels and in-person workshops. But we thought it would be a good idea to also try peer training groups as well. After our series of Platforms + Publishers private roundtables between small and medium-sized publishers and platforms such as Facebook and Google, we decided to continue supporting publishers within peer groups. With support from the Knight Foundation and Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, MediaShift recently soft-launched our new DigitalEd Peer-to-Peer Network with three peer groups. These include people from organizations such as: WGBH
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting
PublicSource
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
The Hechinger Report
Louisville Public Media
NJ Spotlight
Berkeleyside
… and many others. We want to support publishers whether they are non-profit, for-profit, hyper-local,
people connected training seminar
Continue reading "MediaShift Launches New Peer Group Trainings for Publishers"

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"

Connecting reporters with experts, Sciline wants to improve the quality of today’s science reporting

If you believe the experts, regularly eating dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure, make you smarter, and help you lose weight. Also, say the experts: Chocolate can contribute to obesity and diabetes and cause acid reflux. Confusion over the health benefits of foods like chocolate, conditions like autism, and scientific phenomena like global warming is sometimes a product of bad scientific research, but it can also be a product of bad science reporting. Journalists, particularly those who don’t specialize in the subject, just may not understand either the science they’re writing about, and that confusion can creep into their reporting and affect readers’ understanding. Those readers can then spread that misunderstanding to others. Turning that around is the mission behind Sciline, a new nonprofit that’s trying to improve the quality of science reporting by making it easier for reporters to connect with experts who can Continue reading "Connecting reporters with experts, Sciline wants to improve the quality of today’s science reporting"

Local TV news gets a $2.6 million boost from the Knight Foundation

In the “future of news” conversations, television news — especially local — can sometimes be overlooked. But it’s still a vital source of journalism for communities across the United States. The Knight Foundation announced today that it is boosting local TV news with $2.6 million across five organizations that will help students of color gain experience in local TV markets, bring together broadcast journalists focused on digital innovation in conferences and workshops, and offer ethics, leadership, and data journalism training for newsrooms. (Disclosure: Nieman Lab also receives support from Knight.) Though digital sources are ever rising, local TV news still reaches a significant chunk of Americans. Last year, Pew Research Center found that 50 percent were often getting news from TV compared to 43 percent often getting it online, though local TV news use declined the most. Over the years, local TV news’ audience has steadily Continue reading "Local TV news gets a $2.6 million boost from the Knight Foundation"