Facebook, amidst a battle to survive an onslaught of scandals in the past two years, hired a Republican opposition research firm to discredit protestors of the platform in part by tying them to George Soros, according to a New York Times report. The massive Times report — a 6,000 word beast, boasting five bylines — catalogues how CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg sought to contain the fallout from a series of disinformation and privacy scandals. “In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, a global nation unto itself that reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world,” the Times reported. “But as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled.” Those stumbles include their Continue reading "Facebook Reportedly Hired Republican Oppo Research Firm to Discredit Protestors By Linking Them to Soros"
The path forward for premium media is seemingly clear: Put up a paywall. Digital advertising is a duopoly-dominated mess; any print or broadcast cross-subsidy you might have is declining at one speed or another. Your loyal core digital readers may be only a tiny fraction of that big “monthly uniques” number you put into press releases — but some of them are willing to pay for what you do. Reader revenue is relatively reliable, month to month or year to year, and it’s at the center of media company plans for 2019 and beyond. But how many paywalls will people really pay to click past? It’s worked for The New York Times; it’s worked for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. But does it work for local newspapers? Metro dailies? Weekly or monthly magazines? Digital native sites? The data thus far isn’t super encouraging, and that’s the world
Continue reading "So some people will pay for a subscription to a news site. How about two? Three?"
The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos from its archives — some dating back to the 1800s — with help from a variety of Google technologies. The photos will be used in a series called Past Tense. (First up: a package focusing on how the paper covered California in the 20th century.) “Ultimately, this digitalization will equip Times journalists with useful tools to make it easier to tell even more visual stories,” Monica Drake, Times assistant managing editor, said in a statement. From CNET:
The newspaper’s “morgue” has 5 million to 7 million photos dating back to the 1870s, including prints and contact sheets showing all the shots on photographers’ rolls of film. The Times is using Google’s technology to convert it into something more useful than its current analog state occupying banks of filing cabinets. Specifically, it’s using Google AI tools toContinue reading "The New York Times is digitizing more than 5 million photos dating back to the 1800s"
Neil Chase knows the painful realities of managing and motivating a daily newsroom in 2018. “You can’t ask dedicated, veteran career journalists to completely change the way they work without explaining why,” the Mercury News executive editor said at a panel discussion I moderated at Stanford two weeks ago. (The panel’s fitting title? “The Last Stand for Local News.”) “So I shared some very simple charts with the newsroom, showing the decline in our circulation and staffing over the past decade, and how that trajectory would put us out of business in the mid-2020s if we don’t make some drastic changes. We then started talking about reorienting the newsroom to serve a digital subscription audience, and we’ve made major progress since.” Chase knows that his staff can still churn out great work, as do many of the 23,000 or so remaining journalists in U.S. daily newsrooms. But Continue reading "Newsonomics: Newspapers are shells of their former selves. So who’s going to build what comes next in local?"
This election might have less misinformation than 2016’s race, but “Christine Blasey Ford — proudly posing with Soros” and “We’re making a Woman’s Vote Worth more by staying home” are still out there. The New York Times’ Kevin Roose (and other reporters and editors) sifted through more than 4,000 examples of misinformation on social media, messaging apps, and emails submitted by readers over the past two months. “Times journalists are hoping to use your tips to advance our reporting. If you see a suspicious post or text, please take a screenshot and upload it with the form below,” Roose wrote in mid-September. The submissions helped fuel the Times’ reporting (engagement work pioneered by ProPublica and others) and chronicle the types of misinformation spread around the internet. Heck, maybe it even helped readers think twice about that sketchy text message “BREAKING: Andrew Gillum may be under an ‘active criminal investigation. Continue reading "The New York Times asked for examples of election disinformation — and got 4,000 responses"
On Thursday, The New York Times published emails — typos and all — that show a Breitbart editor fishing for Wikileaks dirt from Roger Stone. In 2016, with the election heating up and Clinton’s Election Night victory fireworks barge in the works, political operative Roger J. Stone was busy, it seems, convincing the Trump campaign that he had the inside scoop on Julian Assange‘s Clinton damaging email dump. Publicly, Stone had predicted the Clinton damaging Wikileaks move on Twitter. Here is the tweet (his account has since been suspended) as published by the New York Times:
Oct. 3, 2016 @rogerjstonejr: “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. #LockHerUp”And in private, Stone was talking up his Assange connections with the Trump campaign and the closely entwined Breitbart News, which was run Steve Bannon until he joined the Trump campaign in Continue reading "Unearthed Emails Show Breitbart Editor Fishing For Wikileaks Dirt From Roger Stone: What’s Assange Got? ‘Hope It’s Good’"