What sort of news travels fastest online? Bad news, you won’t be shocked to hear


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




As the old newsroom saw puts it, a thousand planes landing safely isn’t a story. One plane that doesn’t is. That lens on newsworthiness has always given an edge to negative news — wars over peace, crimes over safety, fights over agreement. We know by now that the audience doesn’t always care for those choices; many view the news as little more than a source of aggravation, helplessness, anxiety, stress, and general negativity. (This year’s edition of the Digital News Report features no fewer than 49 mentions of “negative” or “negativity.”) But we also know that negative stories — especially those that come with an emotional response baked in — are also the ones that people click on and share. That’s the context for an interesting new study out from three researchers at the University of Muenster, Florian Buhl, Elisabeth Günther, and Thorsten Quandt.
Continue reading "What sort of news travels fastest online? Bad news, you won’t be shocked to hear"

In Youngstown, an American city loses its only daily newspaper — and it won’t be the last


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A declining newspaper is better than no newspaper. A rundown newspaper is better than no newspaper. A bad newspaper is better than no newspaper. Some people will disagree with me there. There are those in the local digital news world who argue that it’ll take the final shutdown of a city’s daily to trigger the changes that can make vibrant local online news workable — and, by extension, that any help given to those declining dailies is just postponing that glorious transition. Maybe. But my strong suspicion is that, whenever a local newspaper closes, whatever evolves next is unlikely to replace whatever journalistic firepower has been lost. Apparently, we’ll soon get a chance to find out. For the past decade, daily newspapers have been shrinking, not shutting down; since 2004, only about 60 U.S. daily newspapers have closed out of more than 1,300. Most of those were two-paper cities
Continue reading "In Youngstown, an American city loses its only daily newspaper — and it won’t be the last"

When a local team wins a national championship, your daily newspaper will tell you all about it! (Um, 36 hours later)


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When journalists wants to argue that print has a long life ahead of it, one common move is to point to the enormous demand that arises for printed paper the day after the local sports team has won a championship. “See?” they’ll say, attaching a picture of diehard fans lining up for a broadsheet souvenir to hang in the den back home. “You can’t do that with a website!” It’s pretty hard, it should be said, to build a sustainable business model off of hoping each of your hometown squads can win every title every year. But it’s absolutely correct that a daily’s print edition after a climactic win is a uniquely valuable artifact — a physical manifestation of the bond between newspaper and community, a memento for a thrilling spike of civic pride. On Wednesday night, Vanderbilt’s baseball team won the College World Series, beating Michigan
✍
➡
Continue reading "When a local team wins a national championship, your daily newspaper will tell you all about it! (Um, 36 hours later)"

R.I.P. Quartz Brief, the innovative mobile news app. Maybe “chatting with the news” isn’t something most people really want to do?


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Quartz Brief, the truly original mobile news app built around a chat interface and bots pre-fed with human prose, will die July 1, Digiday has reported. It was 3 years old. It is survived by a different app that last year took its predecessor’s name — just plain ol’ Quartz — and a lengthy list of laudatory tweets from media people like me. When the Quartz app debuted in 2016, it was immediately clear that it would be a big step away from the news app mainstream. No list of headlines here; a first-time user saw what looked like a chat interface, familiar from whatever app they use to trade barbs with friends, and a sort of textual uncanny valley: Am I talking with a bot? A person? A news organization? The answer was a combination of all three. In real time, the app’s prose was being
⚓
Continue reading "R.I.P. Quartz Brief, the innovative mobile news app. Maybe “chatting with the news” isn’t something most people really want to do?"

Congratulations to Slack, the now-public company that keeps thousands of newsrooms humming


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Who said there’s no money in journalism? Sure, maybe the old ad model is decaying, and maybe hundreds of newspapers are on death watch — but the work-chat app Slack has been able to build a multi-billion-dollar business at least in some tiny part based on its remarkable uptake in newsrooms around the world. Slack becomes a publicly traded company today — through a DPO (direct public offering) rather than an IPO (initial public offering), a screw-the-banks, help-our-current-employees-and-backers move that fits well with the early-web vibes the company has given off since launch. (CEO Stewart Butterfield previously co-founded Flickr; after Yahoo acquired it, he left that company with one of history’s most entertaining resignation letters. For me, he and other Slack folk like Cal Henderson and Matt Haughey have always evoked a kinder, gentler version of the Internet from the late 1990s and early 2000s, and I think
Continue reading "Congratulations to Slack, the now-public company that keeps thousands of newsrooms humming"

Twitter is turning off location data on tweets — a small win for privacy but a small loss for journalists and researchers


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When Twitter wants to announce a change in how it does things, how should they announce it? With a tweet, naturally: Twitter is removing the ability of its users to geotag their tweets. A tweet may seem like a simple data construct — just 280 characters! — but there’s a sea of metadata sloshing around each bon mot. And since 2009, one of those bits of metadata was the location from which the tweet was posted. The goal? To let you “better focus in on local conversations.” Location was opt-in, meaning it was disabled by default and users had to Continue reading "Twitter is turning off location data on tweets — a small win for privacy but a small loss for journalists and researchers"

Why do some people avoid news? Because they don’t trust us — or because they don’t think we add value to their lives?


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The modern digitally connected human (Homo smartphonicus, identifiable by its trademark slumped shoulders and bleary eyes) has access to more news and information than any other human in history, whenever they want it, most of it free, all of it in their pocket. But it’s not only news that they have more access to — it’s everything, from Clash of Clans to Keanu memes to old friends’ photos to Ariana Grande songs to TikTok. Those things, if administered correctly, serve as entertainment and tend to make their consumers happy. News, you may have noticed, isn’t that great at generating happiness these days. So lots of people are happy to stick to Keanu and avoid Trump/Iran/Putin/climate change/mass shootings/Brexit/racism entirely.

The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




“Should journalists learn to code?” is an old question that has always had only unsatisfying answers. (That was true even back before it became a useful heuristic for identifying Twitter jackasses.) Some should! Some shouldn’t! Helpful, right? One way the question gets derailed involves what, exactly, the question-asker means by “code.” It’s unlikely a city hall reporter will ever have occasion to build an iPhone app in Swift, or construct a machine learning model on deadline. But there is definitely a more basic and straightforward set of technical skills — around data analysis — that can be of use to nearly anyone in a newsroom. It ain’t coding, but it’s also not a skillset every reporter has. The New York Times wants more of its journalists to have those basic data skills, and now it’s releasing the curriculum they’ve built in-house out into the world, where it Continue reading "The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it"

The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a wee bit scarier


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s an annual moment of print realism here at Nieman Lab: the posting of the attention/advertising slide from Mary Meeker’s state-of-the-Internet slide deck. It’s enough of a tradition that I can now copy-and-paste from multiple versions of this post. Here’s a sentence from the 2013 version:
For those who don’t know it, Meeker — formerly of Morgan Stanley, at VC firm Kleiner Perkins since late 2010 — each year produces a curated set of data reflecting what she sees as the major trends in Internet usage and growth. It may be the only slide deck that qualifies as an event unto itself.
And a chunk from the 2014 version:
What’s useful about Meeker’s deck is that its core data serves as a punctuation mark on some big, ongoing trends. The kind of trends we all know are happening, but whose annual rate of progress can be hard to
Continue reading "The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a wee bit scarier"

That “$4.7 billion” number for how much money Google makes off the news industry? It’s imaginary


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Journalists are typically happy to bemoan the role that Google has played in reducing their profession to revenue smithereens. (Get a couple beers in one and try it out!) But if there’s one thing they’re even more happy to do, it’s to complain about sloppy work. That’s what much of Media Twitter has been doing today after a not-particularly-searching New York Times story last night headlined: Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018, Study Says. The Study doing the Saying is from the News Media Alliance, the newspaper industry trade group formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America. Here’s a bit from NMA’s press release:
The News Media Alliance today published findings from a new study that analyzes how Google uses and benefits from news. Among the major findings of the study is that news is a key source on which Google Continue reading "That “$4.7 billion” number for how much money Google makes off the news industry? It’s imaginary"

YouTube says it’ll have no more videos from Nazis, Sandy Hook truthers, Holocaust deniers, and white supremacists


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




YouTube has a post up on its official blog today entitled “Our ongoing work to tackle hate,” and “ongoing” is pretty earned there; as the post notes, YouTube “made more than 30 policy updates” in 2018. The world’s most popular video site has gotten (mostly deserved) blowback from all angles as more have come to realize the site’s power for algorithmic radicalization and its role as a community builder for all the wrong people. Creating coherent systemwide rules around hate speech and related subjects is legitimately hard, but today’s update would seem to cut through the complexity of at least one share of it: No more Nazis. No more white supremacists. No more Sandy Hook truthers. No more Holocaust deniers.
Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on Continue reading "YouTube says it’ll have no more videos from Nazis, Sandy Hook truthers, Holocaust deniers, and white supremacists"

R.I.P. iTunes and more power to the iPad: Here’s all the important news for publishers from Apple’s WWDC keynote


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Apple just finished the annual keynote event at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the two hours each year when Apple tells us the most about what’s coming up on the platforms that power iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. (Its hardware announcements get sprinkled across several dedicated events throughout the year; today is always the big day for software.) And this was a big day — so big, in fact, that it ballooned out almost 20 minutes past its usual timeslot. There weren’t any game-changing announcements specifically targeted at news publishers the way there have been in some years past. (Most notably, announcements around in-app subscriptions, the old Newsstand, and the various iterations of Apple News.) But there was still a lot of interest for those of us in the content-production business. Here’s my news-focused rundown of the highlights; check out your favorite neighborhood liveblog for
Continue reading "R.I.P. iTunes and more power to the iPad: Here’s all the important news for publishers from Apple’s WWDC keynote"