Think of the reporting done by David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post around Donald Trump’s charitable giving (or lack thereof) — done in public, in direct engagement with readers and sources, in a way that made thousands of people feel involved in the fact-finding process. What if we could translate that kind of journalism to make it work in many more places — across different news outlets, across different beats? What if “membership” — a popular buzzword among news executives these days — was less about the publication and more about the individual reporter? The Join the Beat project wants to do just that, teasing out for beat reporters and their newsrooms new and better ways of working with an audience directly, closely, and regularly on stories. This Join the Beat research is part of the broader Membership Puzzle initiative, which New York University professor Jay Rosen directs, to conduct Continue reading "The Join the Beat project wants to tease out better ways of working with an audience directly and regularly on stories"
If they build it, will the young viewers come? 2018 is likely to finally be the year that more Americans get news online than from TV (we were almost there last year). Right now, it’s primarily an older crowd that watches TV news: 58 percent of those over 65 often get news from cable, for instance, versus just 10 percent of those 18 to 29, according to Pew. But — young people have to get their hard news video somewhere, right? (Uh…right?) Enter Facebook and Netflix. Twin reports yesterday: Facebook is launching a hard news section on its Watch portal (as Campbell Brown had previously suggested at Recode’s Code Media conference). Axios’s Sara Fischer reported that “Facebook is in touch with both legacy and digital-first news publishers to test a daily video feature that would run for at least a year,” and content would need to be at least Continue reading "It’s mostly older people who watch TV news. Can Netflix and Facebook change that?"
“Is anyone watching the money in our government coffers?” “I am still hoping we can get some in-depth analysis of Brazil’s Lula conviction and electoral campaign.” “I’d like to see a story about the bill passed in Iowa that forces stores to offer eggs that are caged rather than cage free.” Each morning at 10 a.m. GMT, WikiTribune posts its agenda for the day and invites readers to weigh in with comments and more ideas. Sometimes editors or other readers follow up on the ideas or invite the contributors to start projects around them. Some ideas (government coffers) sit there without further comment. The conversation is all preserved to see later. It’s just one way in which WikiTribune hopes to get audiences involved in its reporting — without totally relying on the audiences to do all the work in the first place. The site was founded
Continue reading "The WikiTribune Way: What it’s like to run a news site with a “neutral point of view”"
The down-ballot got you down? Keeping up with local news is important. Participating in local politics is important. Bay Area engineer and designer Jimmy Chion felt these pressures of civic duty, but wrestled with what he felt was a shallowness to his understanding of the city he lived in, and the policies that would define it. “I remember certain past experiences when I voted. And when voting for president, when I got to the down-ballot stuff, I’d feel frustrated and stupid. I wanted to alleviate that for myself and for my friends,” he said. In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, where the national campaign was hostile but major policy changes for California were up for public vote, Chion could feel some of his friends retreating on both levels. So he created Ballot.fyi, consisting of visually entertaining, detailed explainers of the state propositions up for a vote
Continue reading "This site explains local issues to people who feel guilty they don’t know them well"
Over the weekend, I was chatting on Twitter about last week’s media flare-up, l’affaire Manjoo. That’s the debate prompted by New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo writing this piece, headlined: “For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.” It was only the latest in the overstuffed genre of people recording their retreats from technology and news. They usually end with a gleeful report of the results, tossing aside their Klonopins like a congregant’s crutches at a scam preacher’s Sunday show. (The Sunday Times even featured another candidate for this particular canon, Sam Dolnick’s story of a former top Nike executive who, wealthy enough to rely on a distant financial advisor to handle his riches, has moved to Ohio and decided to ignore all news of the outside world. This guy, basically, but forever.) From Manjoo’s piece:
For the news industry, the promise — or perhaps threat — of automation is that technology will be able to handle more of the monotonous reporting, freeing up human reporters to do the enterprising, high-value work. Reuters, however, sees another path: cybernetic reporters. At NICAR on Friday, Padraic Cassidy, Reuters’ editor of news production systems, took the wraps off Lynx Insights, a new in-house automation tool designed to augment reporting by surfacing trends, facts, and anomalies in data, which reporters can then use to accelerate the production of their existing stories or spot new ones. While Reuters has experimented with automated reporting since at least 2015, Cassidy said that the process was not only expensive and time-consuming, but often resulted in articles that were transparently written by a machine. “After looking at those stories, we decided to be sensible about it and made it so that machines can do Continue reading "Reuters’ new automation tool wants to help reporters spot the hidden stories in their data (but won’t take their jobs)"