It's another blow for a region hit hard earlier this year by the shutdown of the General Motors plant in Lordstown, which once employed 14,000. The plant, which made the Chevrolet Cruze, is part of the auto and steel industry that President Trump vowed he would bring back.
Moderating the online world is hard. (Casey Newton’sinvestigations at The Verge, looking into the quality of life of contractors tasked with reviewing toxic content for Facebook and other platforms, highlight some of many tragic and downright bizarre content moderation workplace incidents.)
Moderating the online world of journalism is hard work, too. A new study from the Center for Media Engagement shows that people moderating uncivil comments on news sites decreases their trust in the news outlet and increases their emotional exhaustion. And that’s just 747 participants from Mechanical Turk who spent an average of 24 minutes doing it — not even a survey of the people who are actually paid to do this stuff all day.
“The toll of moderating uncivil comments may be much stronger for moderators putting in several hours or a full day,” researchers Martin J. Riedl, Gina Masullo Chen, and Kelsey
When the state of New Jersey was about to make more than $300 million off of the FCC’s spectrum sale auction — sort of like money falling from the sky for once in your life, really — it was a moment that Free Press had been waiting for.
Founded in 2003, Free Press is an advocacy group focused on getting the public more involved in the future of journalism and information-sharing, which often involves community organizing, research, and lobbying the government. Sometimes that means convincing officials to set aside millions of dollars in support of local news — and sometimes that also means shepherding the money all the way through the legislative process, watching it get approved but not actually funded by the governor, and finally getting the money allocated a year later, days before you head out on vacation.
This was Mike Rispoli’s process, as the News Voices director Continue reading "How Free Press convinced New Jersey to allocate $2 million for rehabilitating local news"
In the land of search engines and social media platforms providing more context to the things they show, Google is now tweaking its search results for news articles.
When searching on desktop, users will find — in the News tab — a more prominent display of publishers’ names and specific cards for articles in a carousel, rather than straightforward headlines and links.
Over the next couple weeks we’re rolling out a redesigned News tab in Search on desktop. The refreshed design makes publisher names more prominent and organizes articles more clearly to help you find the news you need. Check it out pic.twitter.com/xa2aZfO4Qd
Nonprofit status has been enormously helpful for local news outlets, both those kicking off as newbies or transitioning from the commercial (and profit-losing) life. Two hundred organizations are now registered with the Institute for Nonprofit News, collectively bringing in more than $350 million in revenue last year and, of course, doing the important work of the journalism itself.
But that doesn’t mean for-profit local journalism models are all lost. In a new Shorenstein Center paper, special projects director Heidi Legg reviews some the non- and for-profit leaders in local news (as well as the mobilizers infusing the local news market with more money and ideas, like the American Journalism Project and Report for America).
Sure, the billionaire model works sometimes — you know the drill, find a benefactor who has local ties and money to spend — but the odds of that happening in every local market aren’t great.
Over the past few years, New Jersey has been the outlier in getting — or even trying to get — a local government to pony up money for local journalism. Garden State-based civic info advocacy group Free Press convinced the state legislature to originally commit $5 million in its budget last summer:
The Civic Info bill, pushed by the advocacy group Free Press, devotes funds from the sale of two old public-television licenses to start a nonprofit news incubator called the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium; it’ll seek donations and grants to grow from there…
The consortium will use five of New Jersey’s universities — the College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, and Rutgers University — as collaborators and as infrastructure. The idea is that they can supply the sort of established, institutional resources and partnerships that startups or
Four years ago, CALmatters launched as a new statewide, policy-focused, nonprofit reporting machine for California. Two years ago, the organization was building relationships with other local and regional outlets to grow its presence.
Now, it’s time to tweak a few things — starting with its business plan and branding as it steps into the role of “convener of journalism across the state.”
That’s how Neil Chase describes it. He joined CALmatters as CEO from Digital First Media’s Bay Area News Group in January, taking the executive baton from Dave Lesher who stepped fully into the other half of his role as editor. (Marcia Parker is still publisher/COO.) The first order of business was, well, creating a business plan.
“For an organization that started with an editorial focus and very generous founding donors, it wasn’t necessary to build up the business side any earlier — but
Look at the local journalism scene of almost any metropolitan area in the U.S., and you’ll find a similar set of players facing a similar set of challenges. One remaining daily newspaper, facing still more cuts and cratering print advertising. A few TV stations, buttressed by advertising but facing mergers and uncertain investment in journalism. A public radio station, supported by residents but not immune to the industry’s crises. Maybe a startup or two trying to scope out a new vision. And it’s all darkened by a cloud of drip-dry revenue, broken trust in media, and important stories already going unreported.
It’s a lot of problems and not so many people trying to address them — mostly the journalists trying to keep their jobs in the first place.
But in Colorado, hundreds of people — journalists, professors, students, business folk, local foundations, and more — have stepped up Continue reading "Not just one foundation, not just one newsroom: How the Colorado Media Project is trying to rebuild a local news ecosystem"
Journalists aren’t always the greatest listeners. Yes, it’s kind of in the job description, but sometimes selective listening, not to mention selection bias, can warp what messages actually reach their ears — and their stories.
What if a journalist could be a fly on the wall in residents’ conversations about community issues? Or maybe just a smart speaker-ish device sitting at the center of the discussion table, about the “size of a hug”?
Cortico, a three-year-old nonprofit working out of the MIT Media Lab, has been developing a high-tech listening network for communities and local newsrooms seeking to tune in. The Local Voices Network is made up of people who gather around Cortico’s devices, which it calls “digital hearths,” for conversations. (They look a bit like tiny lazy Susans, a bit like flying saucers someone made in shop class.) The nonprofit has raised more than $10 million
In Google’s second recent commitment to local news, the Associated Press and the Google News Initiative will build a tool for member newsrooms to directly share content and coverage plans. (And no, it won’t be a glorified Google Doc or spreadsheet.)
“The AP has long been a content provider but we also want to be a provider of capability,” Noreen Gillespie, the AP’s deputy managing editor for U.S. news, told me.
The setup, known as the Local News Sharing Network, involves almost two dozen local publishers in New York state, including the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the Albany-based Times Union, Fordham University’s WFUV radio station, and the WRNN TV station in New Rochelle. Several New York members had approached the AP and complained that there wasn’t enough state news available, especially at the capital. So they had started sharing their reporting amongst themselves.
“We’ve heard about these private Continue reading "The Associated Press and Google are building a tool for sharing more local news — more quickly"
With just over 90 days until its official launch, the English-language — remember, not just U.S. — expansion of De Correspondent has released its budget to its crowdfunding supporters. (Disclosure: Yes, that means I gave them some money. But it’s also on Medium.)
The Correspondent raised more than $2.5 million from 40,000 people in its initial crowdfunding campaign before publishing any content originally in English, with help from an appearance on The Daily Show and celebrity ambassadors like Jay Rosen, Nate Silver, and Roseanne Cash. (Specifics on that can be found behind a paywall by Thomas Baekdal here and openly at the Lenfest Institute here. The campaign used $1.8 million to launch.) Things got a little bumpy when news emerged that The Correspondent wouldn’t have a U.S. newsroom or consider this next step a U.S. expansion, contrary to what several of those ambassadors
Ever fall into this trap? (1) You hit a news site’s paywall; (2) being a sneak, you open up the web page in an incognito browser window to get around it; but (3) the news site can tell you’re in incognito mode, figures you’re up to no good, and blocks the story you’re trying to read.
Well, (3) is about to go away in the web’s most popular browser; the countdown to your sweet release is on. (Or, you know, you could subscribe.)
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Dallas Morning News — among others — all employ some version of such an incognito catcher. The next version of Google Chrome, due out on July 30, will stop them, rendering their metered paywalls significantly leakier.
(In other news: Publishers, apply now for some Google News Initiative dollars! Google’s looking for “creative
Who says bipartisanship is dead?
Today’s lions-laying-down-with-lambs moment is a cross-ideological alliance that has the Tucker Carlson-founded Daily Caller working with Mediaite, Raw Story, and others to attempt to wrestle advertising dollars away from the usual suspects.
The Wall Street Journal’s Lukas I. Alpert had the story of a political news partnership:
When some people start reporting a story, they start by googling the topic. I start by searching it in the Nieman Lab archives. Sometimes you find a plot twist.
Pico came on my radar with some emails from the cofounder, Jason Bade, and the news that the Lenfest Institute was providing the startup with $50,000 to test marketing experiments for publishers. As a CRM for media companies, Pico is trying to fill the tech needs that publishers have in building relationships with reader revenue (and the readers behind it, of course). It also recently raised $4.5 million from Stripe, Axel Springer, and others.
The only — until I hit publish on this [ahem, you mean “my editor” —Ed.] — piece mentioning Pico on our website includes this bit, a not particularly auspicious debut:
The seesaw between platforms and news outlets is culminating in a local news experiment between Google and McClatchy, in which Google has pledged to fund the development of three local news sites over the next three years.
It’s the first time the Google News Initiative is actually putting money into building newsrooms that produce journalism, rather than just granting money for one-off projects. This partnership was announced as part of Google’s Local News Experiment back in March (more projects have not yet emerged) and is now gaining steam with its new general manager, Mandy Jenkins.
An alumna of Storyful, Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, several established and startup local newsrooms, and now the JSK Fellowship at Stanford, Jenkins is now in charge of building these three local news sites — maybe in existing McClatchy markets, maybe not — and devising sustainable business models for them. (To be Continue reading "Mandy Jenkins will build McClatchy’s Google-funded new local sites. What’s her plan?"