“Media is broken,” so Medium’s launching a $5/month member program that offers small upgrades

In its attempt to find a new business model for publishing after its previous one failed to make money, Medium is rolling out a membership program that will cost $5 a month to start and sounds like a little bit Spotify, a little bit Patreon, and a little bit Pocket. Founder and CEO Ev Williams wrote in a blog post Wednesday:
For $5 per month (introductory price), you’ll get two upgraded aspects: A better reading experience: We’ve been working on a whole new reading experience, which I’m excited for you to see. It’s based on the premise that, instead of yet another never-ending feed, people would be much happier with a limited set of carefully curated stories, chosen by experts among topics we care about. Something that is completable, satisfying, and puts you in control. If you read Medium regularly, I think you’ll find this new feature set
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From coal to broadband to Trump’s budget, The Daily Yonder reports on rural life for the people actually living it

Donald Trump’s unveiling of his budget blueprint last week — and the ensuing analysis and criticism — was probably the first many urban readers had heard of the Appalachian Regional Commission, one of the initiatives he proposes cutting completely. But The Daily Yonder has been reporting on these issues for a long time. The urban-rural divide has been one of the biggest points of discussion following the election, in which rural voters overwhelmingly chose Donald Trump. And while large news organizations have pledged to pay more attention to that division — at the beginning of the year, The Washington Post assigned a reporter to the divide specifically — the Yonder focuses on the people who have a connection to rural communities because they live in them, used to live in them, or work in them, by reporting on specific issues in depth. A sampling of recent stories: “Trump’s Continue reading "From coal to broadband to Trump’s budget, The Daily Yonder reports on rural life for the people actually living it"

Want a calmer place to discover and discuss The Washington Post’s reporting? Try this Facebook group

Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold started reporting on President Trump’s charitable donation promises last summer, crowdsourcing names of charities from his Twitter followers and painstakingly recording in public the list of charities he’s called in an attempt to find some that Trump actually donates to. Interest in his work has decidedly risen: Fahrenthold now has 345,000 followers on Twitter and regular gig on CNN. “When he first started, Dave’s work wasn’t getting the audience it’s now getting. It took a while for people to recognize what he was doing,” Terri Rupar, digital editor for the Washington Post’s national desk, said. To reach an even broader audience, “what if we could use a network that already exists, using some of that network he’s built up?”

Word up! This is the story behind The New York Times’ most famous tweet (which is 10 years old today)

In March 2007, New York Times developer Jacob Harris had some spare time and decided to create a Times account on a fledgling service that is today the preferred communication platform for the president of the United States. Harris set up @nytimes and wrote the code that powered it in an afternoon. “Using twitter’s APIs, I was able to get headlines from the New York Times feeds to my cell phone with only an idle afternoon and a few lines of Ruby,” he wrote later. The account ran off an RSS feed of the Times’ top stories, tweeting out just the headlines. By the middle of March, it had accrued all of 72 followers, most of whom were either Harris’s friends or other developers.

Get ready to binge-listen to Serial’s new spinoff S-Town: All 7 episodes will drop at once next week

To decode that: The term “scripted programming” is kind of a carry-over from established linear media industries. We’re basically looking at Panoply acting on its ambition to punch harder in the audio fiction genre. It’s a move that’s potentially very lucrative, given the podcast ecosystem’s growing value to other more developed adjacent creative industries, be it film, television, or books. (I’ve written about this a bunch before, start here and here.) In hiring Dryden, Panoply gains an award-winning producer with a substantial body of work. Based on his talent agency’s website, Dryden’s rap sheet includes: The Seventh Test, a 10-part audio thriller broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 that’s based on a book by Vikas Swarup, whose debut novel, Q&A, was adapted into the film Slumdog Millionaire; A Kidnapping, a three-part radio drama, also first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, that’s being adapted into a film; and Tumanbay,
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Avoiding articles from “the creep”: People trust news based on who shared it, not on who published it

From new mottos to television advertising campaigns, news organizations are refocusing efforts on why their readers should trust them. But new research suggests they should also focus on who their “ambassadors” are: The main factor in determining a reader’s trust in an article appears to be who shared it, not the news organization that published it, according to a study out Monday from The Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. People say that the news organization matters to them a lot, and a 2016 study by the Media Insight Project found that Americans said the original news source was the biggest “cue” they used to help determine whether they trusted the content in an article they found on Facebook. “We wanted to test whether that was really true, or whether people just believed that was Continue reading "Avoiding articles from “the creep”: People trust news based on who shared it, not on who published it"

To slow the spread of false stories on WhatsApp, this Colombian news site is enlisting its own readers

In 2016, Colombian journalists faced the challenge of telling one of the most important stories in the country’s history: after more than 50 years, the Colombian government and the FARC reached a peace agreement to end the decades-long conflict that had left more than eight million victims. It was a critical moment for news organizations, which had to find ways to explain clearly a process tangled with political interests that would determine the future of millions of people who were calling for truth, justice, and reparations. News media, however, had another challenge: to keep up with various conversations circulating on social media, especially via WhatsApp, where all kinds of viral stories about the negotiations had spread. Users shared chain messages (“cadenas”) without an understanding of whether the news they shared was accurate — a critical issue, since those messages could’ve swayed votes in the country’s referendum on a peace deal
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