A new report says Democrats and Republicans actually get news in pretty similar ways

Though Republicans and Democrats have differing — and well documented — views of the media, members of both parties still follow the news and access media in similar ways, according to a study out Thursday from The Associated Press, the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and the American Press Institute. Similar percentages of Democrats and Republicans said they get news multiple times a day, actively seek out news, get news on social media, pay for news, and get news from local sources regularly, the study found. 72 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of Republicans said they get news more than one time a day. 75 percent of people in both parties get news on social media. 58 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans say they pay for news. One-quarter of Democrats and 21 percent of those in the GOP said they routinely access local news sources.
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WSJ’s What’s News app (R.I.P.) is getting a second life in the latest refresh the paper’s main iOS app

Last month, The Wall Street Journal pulled the plug on What’s News, its standalone news digest app that offered a different, more swipe-heavy reading experience from its main app. Now, the Journal is keeping to its promise of using some of the lessons from What’s News to inform the design of its main news app, which got a refresh yesterday. The new version of the app, which the newspaper says is designed to be a “more deeply-engaging, interactive destination for users,” features a curated What’s News feed with more variegated story presentation than the previous app’s rote list. Users can also customize their experience in various ways, such as saving articles, and opting into notifications for specific categories and from specific authors.

Oceans, walls, and racial bias: Meet the Journalism 360 Challenge winners and the VR frontiers they want to conquer

The Journalism 360 Challenge announced Tuesday that it was awarding $285,000 to 11 projects to delve further into the journalistic possibilities for virtual reality and augmented reality, going beyond the quarter-of-a-million dollars it originally proposed for the project. Google News Lab, the The Knight Foundation, and the Online News Association launched the challenge back in March as a way to build a network of VR innovators while also supporting the forefront of immersive storytelling. (Disclosure: The Knight Foundation also provides some funding to Nieman Lab.) The call for submissions made it clear that they were not looking to fund content: “We are primarily looking for projects that will yield lessons and ‘how-tos’ for the field of journalism and encourage reporters and editors to think differently.” “We received over 800 applications which we felt demonstrated the range that journalists are experimenting with VR, AR and 360 Continue reading "Oceans, walls, and racial bias: Meet the Journalism 360 Challenge winners and the VR frontiers they want to conquer"

Surprise! Democrats and Republicans are divided on the impact of the news media

Just checking in again: There’s still a big partisan divide in the U.S. over what kind of impact the media has on the country. 85 percent of those who identify as Republicans (as well as the Republican-leaning) think the news media has a “negative effect on the way things are going in the country,” according to a Pew Research study released Monday that looked at perceptions of several national institutions, including the news media, colleges and universities, churches, labor unions, and financial institutions. That’s about the same percentage of Republicans last year who thought the news media had a negative impact on the country’s direction, though that’s up from 68 percent in 2010. Democrats themselves are divided on their view of the news media’s impact on the country. But 44 percent see it as having a positive impact on the country, up from just 33 percent a year ago
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Here are the results of the first two rounds of Google’s European Digital News Innovation Fund

On the heels of announcing another $24 million in funding to support 107 journalism projects across Europe in the third round of its Digital News Initiative, Google also released a report detailing the results from the first two rounds of the program. Google launched the DNI in 2015 and through the first two rounds of the fund it handed out more than $58 million in funding to 252 projects. There were more than 3,000 applications and Google offered interviews to 748 applicants. (Former Nieman Fellow Ludovic Blecher leads the innovation fund.) The grantees were broken down into seven different classifications covering topics such as data management and workflow, social and community, and business models. “We soon realised that there was no existing taxonomy in the news industry and in the end we decided upon a set of categories that we feel accurately distills the spirit and the activity of
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Google is putting another $24 million into 107 more European journalism projects, including WikiTribune

Google isn’t letting its little $2.7 billion slap on the hand from European antitrust regulators dissuade it from funding more journalism projects in the region. At a conference in Amsterdam today, Google’s Digital News Initiative announced the 107 recipients of its latest $24 million (€21 million) round of funding. Notable projects in this latest round include Jimmy Wales’ WikiTribune (which is getting $439,000), a transcription, translation, and voiceover platform from German broadcaster Deutsche Welle ($498,000), and the Open State Foundation, a Dutch effort to create a realtime database of politicians’ stances. Germany and the U.K. topped the rankings, with projects in the countries getting $4 million and $3 million, respectively. Having dished out $83 million so far, Google is almost halfway through its $171 million commitment to Europe’s news industry.

“We reached the boundaries of automation faster than expected”

A new report out Wednesday from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism looks at how automated journalism worked during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report is written by Andreas Graefe, who also spearheaded the Tow Center’s Guide to Automated Journalism in 2016.
The project aimed to study the creation of automated news for forecasts of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, based on data from the forecasting platform pollyvote.com. In addition, the resulting texts provided the stimulus material for studying the consumption of automated news for a high-involvement topic that involves uncertainty.
Since 2004, PollyVote has combined forecasts within and across different forecasting methods to come up with popular vote projections for the U.S. presidential elections. (It doesn’t make projections on a state level.) For this project, the Tow Center’s team worked with German software company AX Semantics to develop automated news based on
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