Local news projects rush to fill The Vindicator’s void, with the McClatchy-Google network putting down roots


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Youngstown, Ohio has become kind the beat-up poster child for industrial decline, the opioid crisis, the Trump phenomenon, and, most recently, the loss of local journalism. Instead of enjoying its 151st year of business, the locally owned daily newspaper is publishing its last pages on August 31. Beset by a local market that no corporate chain thought valuable enough to invest in and a worn-out family that had owned it for generations, The Vindicator’s closure is drawing a lot of painful ends — but also some new beginnings. Last week, ProPublica announced Continue reading "Local news projects rush to fill The Vindicator’s void, with the McClatchy-Google network putting down roots"

Hey comment mods, you doin’ okay? A new study shows moderating uncivil comments reduces the moderator’s trust in news


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Moderating the online world is hard. (Casey Newton’s investigations 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
Continue reading "Hey comment mods, you doin’ okay? A new study shows moderating uncivil comments reduces the moderator’s trust in news"

Attempting a meta-network for local news, Facebook announces community-building grantees


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In its latest quest to build community, Facebook is trying to develop a meta-community for local news publishers to then, you know, build that community. The cycle is being completed with funding, with recipients announced Wednesday, for local outlets to host events and create tools for their own local areas. Facebook’s year-and-a-half-old algorithmic pivot to groups was the start of the platform’s deliberate focus on bringing people together in a more heartwarming way (though groups still have their own set of issues). Today In, its recently introduced tab featuring local news articles (of questionable quality) and nearby events, is another example: Local news has been shown to bolster civic engagement and social cohesion, and coincidentally the Facebook Journalism Project, the company’s media sweetheart arm, has taken a greater interest in local news publishers and their sustainability. “Facebook’s core mission is community and building community. And Continue reading "Attempting a meta-network for local news, Facebook announces community-building grantees"

What’s stopping you from calling something racist in your reporting? Tell this survey (so they can build tools to make it easier for you)


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Journalistic language is a funny thing: a mix of official style rules, newsroom norms with fuzzy origins, individual instinct, and whatever the copy desk will let through at a given moment. That intersection is highlighted whenever there’s a controversy about whether a particular usage (or non-usage) is giving cover to bad behavior or reinforcing harmful structures. (When President Trump tells four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries, do you call that racist? Or just “racially charged,” “racially infused,” “denounced as racist,” or an “example of ‘racism'”?) There are now any number of guides aimed at encouraging more inclusive and representative language in your reporting that doesn’t let social divides become the background music for your reporting. You know, less “us vs. them” and more “we are all humans” and such. But what if you want to move your work in that direction, but you’re not Continue reading "What’s stopping you from calling something racist in your reporting? Tell this survey (so they can build tools to make it easier for you)"

How Free Press convinced New Jersey to allocate $2 million for rehabilitating local news


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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"

Google is redesigning the News tab, prioritizing context and publisher names


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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. Screenshots for your perusal:

Here’s how some for-profit local news outlets are building subscriptions


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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.
Continue reading "Here’s how some for-profit local news outlets are building subscriptions"

More bills for government funding of local news (or at least its exploration) inch forward


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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
🎉
😳
Continue reading "More bills for government funding of local news (or at least its exploration) inch forward"

How CALmatters is growing out of its startup stage


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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
Continue reading "How CALmatters is growing out of its startup stage"

Not just one foundation, not just one newsroom: How the Colorado Media Project is trying to rebuild a local news ecosystem


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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"

Can a squat wooden disk lead to better civic conversations and smarter journalism? Cortico has $10 million to try it out


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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
Continue reading "Can a squat wooden disk lead to better civic conversations and smarter journalism? Cortico has $10 million to try it out"

The Associated Press and Google are building a tool for sharing more local news — more quickly


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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"

Here’s The Correspondent’s budget for its English-language expansion


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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
Continue reading "Here’s The Correspondent’s budget for its English-language expansion"

Publishers will soon no longer be able to detect when you’re in Chrome’s incognito mode, weakening paywalls everywhere


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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
💐
Continue reading "Publishers will soon no longer be able to detect when you’re in Chrome’s incognito mode, weakening paywalls everywhere"

Political news sites are reaching across the aisle (to try and pull some cash out of Google and Facebook’s pockets)


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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:
The alliance will offer marketers custom ad packages aimed at politically engaged readers, they said. “This is a way to try to bring some of the ad dollars now being directed at the tech behemoths back to midsize political publishers,” said Andrew Eisbrouch, the chief operating officer and general counsel at Law & Crime [and Mediaite]. “We want to offer a package that is different from what a marketer can get on Facebook or Google.” […] Political ad spending for the 2020 election cycle is expected to hit a record high of $9.9 billion, Continue reading "Political news sites are reaching across the aisle (to try and pull some cash out of Google and Facebook’s pockets)"

Pico wants to inject CRM smarts into news sites hungry for reader relationships


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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:
Any startup you work with is going to have its own problems. The Austin Continue reading "Pico wants to inject CRM smarts into news sites hungry for reader relationships"

Meet TikTok: How The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Dallas Morning News are using the of-the-moment platform


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Tired of the trolls and infinite screaming on Twitter? Try the infinite video memes on TikTok — perhaps the most successful new social platform among American young people since Snapchat more than a half-decade ago. And as with Snapchat before it, news organizations are trying to figure out a way in — wading into the duet-laden waters of the newest Next Big Thing, where Generation Z is applying makeup Michael Jackson-style to the tune of Marina and the Diamonds’ “I Am Not a Robot,” recreating their most extreme morning routine to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” dressing up their pets of all sizes with Lizzo’s “Boys,” and more. TikTok is old enough to have guides and explainers in The New York Times, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate, among others — read those if you want the full how-to. But for context, TikTok is
Continue reading "Meet TikTok: How The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Dallas Morning News are using the of-the-moment platform"

Investigative Network aims to bring more documentary video to local TV (but it’ll need funding first)


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The video was explosive. It showed Sandra Bland — the black woman who died by suicide in a Texas jail cell after being pulled over by a state trooper who was later fired — interacting with the trooper. But unlike previous video, this one was shot from her own perspective, recorded on the cell phone in her hand. (The trooper had said he feared for his life, but the video showed nothing significantly life-threatening.) When investigative reporter Brian Collister showed it to Bland’s family and their attorney, it was the first time they’d seen it. The attorney was in shock after the clip ended. “Where’d you get that? I’ve never seen that,” said Cannon Lambert, who represented the Blands in their federal civil rights lawsuit. “It wasn’t on anything we had. How is that possible? Where did you get that? That’s her cell phone.” Everything was caught Continue reading "Investigative Network aims to bring more documentary video to local TV (but it’ll need funding first)"

Mandy Jenkins will build McClatchy’s Google-funded new local sites. What’s her plan?


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




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?"

Micropayments-for-news pioneer Blendle is pivoting from micropayments


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




People keep wishing for micropayments. (“Just the one article, please! I’ll pay for it!”) But micropayments keep not panning out. And just as the world says a not-particularly-teary goodbye to iTunes, the most talked-about candidate for an “iTunes for news” is undergoing a major life change of its own. One of the more promising micropayment startups has been Blendle, the Dutch startup with millions of dollars in investments from The New York Times, Nikkei, and Axel Springer. Even last year, two more investors put $4 million into the company. But Blendle has yet to turn a profit and is now pivoting away from micropayments to premium subscriptions, cofounder Alexander Klöpping told a Dutch newspaper last week. (H/T to Dutchnews.nl, which had the news in English.) “I can lead a team of 50 people and we have 60,000 subscribers in the Netherlands and hundreds of thousands of Continue reading "Micropayments-for-news pioneer Blendle is pivoting from micropayments"