“There is no Wirecutter for the poor,” but if there were, what would it look like?


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




There’s no dearth of informative content for affluent readers — see the surge of coverage of Amazon’s Prime Day earlier this week, when countless news organizations and websites trotted out their guides to the best deals and simultaneously raked in affiliate revenue. The New York Times’ successful Smarter Living section and newsletter appeal to people who have enough free time and money to not just get through the day but to hack it. But for all of the people who have the kinds of jobs that allow them the space and flexibility to shop for the best deals on smart doorbells and stick vacuums from their desks, there are way more people for whom that’s unfathomable — and news organizations need to be doing a better job of serving them. Initiatives like the Detroit-based Outlier Media, which mass-texts local information on topics to like housing, inspections, and utilities, is, well, Continue reading "“There is no Wirecutter for the poor,” but if there were, what would it look like?"

“It was hard to take Nazi memes all that seriously when they were sandwiched between sassy cats”


This post is by Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Syracuse’s Whitney Phillips — scholar of the darker corners of Internet culture, author of “The Oxygen of Amplification,” last seen here offering this dire observation/prediction last winter — has a new paper out in Social Media + Society that might make be a bracing experience for some Nieman Lab readers. When we think of the nightmarish edge of online culture — the trolling, the disinformation, the rage, the profound information pollution — it’s easy to think of the worst offenders. 4chan denizens, for-the-lulz trolls, actual Nazis — you know the type. But, she writes, maybe the origins of those phenomena aren’t only in those dark corners of Internet culture — maybe they’re also in the kind of good Internet culture, the kind that people sometimes get nostalgic about.
I used to believe that the internet used to be fun. Obviously the internet isn’t fun now. Now, keywords in Continue reading "“It was hard to take Nazi memes all that seriously when they were sandwiched between sassy cats”"

Email newsletter platform Substack nabs $15.3 million in funding (and vows it won’t go the way of other VC-funded media companies)


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The email newsletter platform Substack, which has become home to an increasing number of personal and professional newsletters as creators phase out their use of TinyLetter, announced Tuesday that it’s raised $15.3 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Y Combinator. Since its launch in 2017, Substack has grown: It says it now has 50,000 paying subscribers across all of the newsletters in its network, up from 11,000 a couple of years ago. Creators can choose to make their newsletters free or paid, with Substack taking 10 percent of revenue from paid subs. As of February, Substack also began allowing users to monetize podcasts. As of Tuesday, Bill Bishop’s newsletter Sinocism, which is about China and is $15 a month, was the top paid publication on Substack; others among the paid top 10 include Robert Cottrell’s The Browser
💌
🌙
Continue reading "Email newsletter platform Substack nabs $15.3 million in funding (and vows it won’t go the way of other VC-funded media companies)"

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)"

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:

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"

Young adults read the news — but often don’t see themselves reflected in it


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A Knight Foundation survey of 1,660 18- to 34-year-olds, conducted by the University of Chicago’s NORC, finds that young adults are relatively active consumers of news — 88 percent of them access it at least once a week and 53 percent do so once a day — but they often don’t think that it reflects them. African Americans and Hispanics “say they see inaccuracies and irregularities in the coverage of their racial or ethnic communities,” and they — along with young adults who are white — think they’re often not covered accurately, even by their favorite media sources. Young African Americans and Hispanics are also turning to ethnic media — with those “who say they regularly experience racial discrimination” more likely to seek out such sources than those who don’t say they regularly experience racial discrimination. And young adults rely on their favorite media sources to help make decisions like which political candidates
Continue reading "Young adults read the news — but often don’t see themselves reflected in it"

Is “news on the internet” the same as “news on your phone”? Here’s how Pew asks


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When you read stories in The New York Times’ app, does you count that as reading a story online? What about news from Twitter? Is it only “online” news if you’re reading it from a computer? And, come to think of it, are the New York Times stories you read digitally really “online news” at all, or are they newspaper stories? These are the kinds of questions that Pew grapples with when it formulates its surveys about Americans’ online news reading habits. In a Medium post, Pew research associate Elisa Shearer laid out some of the ways that the organization has changed the wording of its questions over the past 20 years (it started asking about online news in the mid-1990s). “The internet is a relatively new source of news for Americans, compared to, say, TV or radio,” she writes. “As a result, it can be hard to design surveys Continue reading "Is “news on the internet” the same as “news on your phone”? Here’s how Pew asks"

As of December, publishers will no longer be allowed to send out newsletters on WhatsApp


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In an effort to crack down on “automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use” on the platform, WhatsApp will no longer allow publishers to send out newsletters through the app as of December 7, 2019. WhatsApp banned bulk message forwarding earlier this year in an effort to cut down on the spread of misinformation on the platform. Newsletters had been a gray area on WhatsApp, and news publishers that were sending them out had known that the platform could put an end to them at some point. While the change applies globally, it seems to be attracting particular attention in Germany. IJNet Continue reading "As of December, publishers will no longer be allowed to send out newsletters on WhatsApp"

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)"

What will Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, mean for news?


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Facebook is pitching its new cryptocurrency, Libra — which will be officially launched in 2020 — as a way for the world’s unbanked to save, send, and spend money. To some, it’s also a massive power grab by an already immensely powerful company (and a bunch of other powerful companies — Libra’s 27 initial partners include Visa, Mastercard, Uber, Lyft, and Paypal, among others) and a potential privacy nightmare. But what might it mean for payments for news? Of Libra’s 27 initial partners, only one — Spotify — is a media company, although the list also includes VCs like Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures which have invested in media companies. “Facebook hopes its Continue reading "What will Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, mean for news?"

The Atlantic introduces a “daily idea” for smart speakers


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The Atlantic is launching a new skill for Amazon Echo and Google Home: A “single, illuminating idea” every weekday. From the release:
Every weekday, when people ask their smart speakers to play The Atlantic’s Daily Idea, they’ll hear a condensed, one-to two-minute read of an Atlantic story, be it “An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language” or “The Case for Locking Up Your Smartphone.” The skill will include reporting from across The Atlantic’s science, tech, health, family, and education sections, as well as the magazine’s archives, representing the work of dozens of writers.
The Atlantic’s briefing joins a number of other offerings from publishers. But while ownership of the devices is increasing — an estimated 65 million U.S. adults, around 23 percent of the population over 12, own one; 12 percent of U.S. adults said they used one in the past
Continue reading "The Atlantic introduces a “daily idea” for smart speakers"

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"

Facebook is offering new subscription tools for publishers via Instant Articles


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Facebook is introducing more tools for users to kick in subscriptions for publishers, but it’s unclear how many subscriptions it will meaningfully drive. The platform has hosted subscription and membership boot camps for publishers before, helping dozens of local news outlets refine their reader revenue strategies. But Facebook has still taken a hands-off approach to, you know, sharing revenue with content creators or members of the industry decimated by Facebook’s and other companies’ digital advertising. Now Facebook is giving the reins of subscriptions via its Instant Articles to publishers, and it won’t be taking the 30 percent cut it usually takes from a similar product for creators. This new product, News Funding, has been in testing for the past 18 months with 40 publishers worldwide, including Tribune Publishing and India’s Business Standard, Mexico’s Animal Político, and paywall tech company Piano, according to Facebook’s announcement:
News Funding Continue reading "Facebook is offering new subscription tools for publishers via Instant Articles"

What keeps ethnic media strong in New Jersey (and beyond)


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




What news outlets don’t really have a trust problem with audiences? Ethnic media — media outlets that serve specific cultural, racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, or language communities — are pillars in their communities, often rooted for decades and telling the stories of immigration and American life on their own terms. A new report from the Center for Cooperative Media examines the state of ethnic media in and around New Jersey (that definition of ethnic media is theirs), highlighting the work the state’s 119 outlets have already done in building strong ties with their audiences, and the work the outlets need to do to survive in the future. Authors Sarah Stonbely and Anthony Advincula write:
In a sense, the story of ethnic media is the story of immigration. Historically, the sector was established by and for immigrants, and the sustainability of the sector has largely depended on the immigrants that it
Continue reading "What keeps ethnic media strong in New Jersey (and beyond)"

Newspaper headlines don’t reflect the most common causes of death — but should they?


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In the United States, deaths caused by homicide and terrorism are extremely rare; the leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer. But you wouldn’t guess that by looking at mainstream news coverage, which devotes far more coverage to violent death than it does to death from disease. (And Americans believe crime rates are much higher than they actually are.) This finding — which probably won’t surprise you — was explored this week in a post on Our World in Data. (Our World in Data is a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the nonprofit Global Change Data Lab.) Hannah Ritchie looked at 2018 research published to Github by Owen Shen, a student at the University of California, San Diego. For his project, Shen pulled data from four sources: The CDC’s WONDER database for public health data, Google Trends search volume, The Guardian’s
Continue reading "Newspaper headlines don’t reflect the most common causes of death — but should they?"

Vox Media has shifted its hiring toward part-timers and contract workers since its staff unionized


This post is by from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Many editorial and video employees at Vox Media are, at this hour, finishing up a walkout to protest their employer’s stance on a number of wage and other issues — including guaranteed annual raises, better severance, and revenue sharing on derivative works. (They’re represented by the Vox Media Union, which is an affiliate of Writers Guild of America, East.)

The New York Times brings its summer pop-up newsletter back for a second season, with lessons learned


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Summer is fleeting, as is The New York Times’ summer newsletter, which is returning for its second year this week. It will run through Labor Day. In the intervening winter months, the Times surveyed readers and applied what they learned to the newsletter’s second summer — here are some of the changes they’re making:
  1. Readers loved the 2018 newsletter — it had more than 80,000 subscribers by the end of the summer — but also found it to be too long. “People thought it was hard to scan,” said Jessica Anderson, a senior staff editor for newsletters, who’s taking over Summer in the City this year from Elisabeth Goodridge, the Times’ deputy travel editor (and the former editorial director for newsletters). So it’s being cut this year, from around 2,200 words to 1,200 (and hopefully won’t get cut off on mobile so much). “Last year we provided two Continue reading "The New York Times brings its summer pop-up newsletter back for a second season, with lessons learned"

Election-related “junk news” still does well on Facebook, this European study finds


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




As the U.S. media scrambles to do something different besides Youngstown, Ohio profiles of working class voters, the misinformation machines are alive and well in our neighbors across the pond. A study of tweets and Facebook posts related to the European parliamentary elections found that misinformation and “junk news” still flourished on Facebook but seemed to be tamped down on Twitter, researchers at the University of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Project found. Anti-immigration and Islamophobic writing especially took off. Nahema Marchal, Bence Kollanyi, Lisa-Maria Neudert, and Philip N. Howard collected half a million tweets from April 5 to April 20 that used European election-related hashtags. They examined 137,000 of them which contained a URL that went to one of 5,774 unique news sources and determined that less than four percent of the sources were what they call “junk news.” (Their definition: “Junk
Continue reading "Election-related “junk news” still does well on Facebook, this European study finds"

The power of journalism collaboration is also the power of inclusion — here’s how to harness it


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




As resources (especially locally) in journalism recede, collaboration has emerged as a way to do more with more by sharing skills, networks, and other reporting tools for maximum impact. The third annual Collaborative Journalism Summit, organized by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and hosted this year by WHYY in Philadelphia, is, well, a collaborative collaboration geek-out. (There may have been “Collaborate or die” stickers.) A big theme this year was how collaboration can be wielded beyond newsrooms and communities where the overwhelming number of (white) journalists are comfortable engaging. When you are collaborating, who’s included and who’s left out?