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
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
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
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
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.
Most people don't tag their precise location in Tweets, so we're removing this ability to simplify your Tweeting experience. You'll still be able to tag your precise location in Tweets through our updated camera. It's helpful when sharing on-the-ground moments.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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