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)"

Yes, it’s worth arguing with science deniers — and here are some techniques you can use


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Countering science denialism. Arguing with the anti-vaxxers/flat earthers/climate change deniers may feel futile, but research just published in Nature Human Behaviour suggests that it’s actually worth it and can be effective. Philipp Schmid and Cornelia Betsch of the University of Erfurt in Germany conducted six experiments, online with 1,773 subjects, to see how to “counter arguments of denial at the very moment that they reach an audience, that is, rebutting deniers in public discussions.” These discussions may take place on social media or TV. “Science advocates” have often been reluctant to enter into these discussions at all, worrying they’ll do more harm than good. Here’s what Schmid and Betsch tested, per a write-up of

Continue reading "Yes, it’s worth arguing with science deniers — and here are some techniques you can use"

During the Indian election, news audiences consumed a wide and diverse range of sources


This post is by Subhayan Mukerjee and Sílvia Majó-Vázquez from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




How do Indian news audiences navigate the online news domain? Can one find patterns of audience fragmentation in the Indian media ecosystem? At the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, we recently analyzed the behavior of online news audiences in India during the 2019 general elections to understand news consumption in a unique market in the Global South that is characterized by rapid growth in internet penetration, and that has witnessed a surge in the number of digital-born outlets that compete with legacy media for attention and engagement. Given the dearth of empirical studies about news audience behavior in the world’s largest democracy, our study provides a benchmark for future comparative research on news consumption across platforms and across countries to build on. In this study, our team of researchers (Silvia Majó-Vázquez, Subhayan Mukerjee, Taberez Ahmed Neyazi, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen) found that online
Continue reading "During the Indian election, news audiences consumed a wide and diverse range of sources"

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"

Habit formation: How The Wall Street Journal turned user-level data into a strategy to keep subscribers coming back


This post is by Anne Powell, John Wiley, and Peter Gray from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




With more than 2.5 million paid members, The Wall Street Journal is the biggest it has ever been. While we will continue to sharpen and evolve our member acquisition strategy, we believe that the next chapter of growth will be fueled by retention. Data clearly shows that the best way to reduce churn is to increase engagement — but the path to driving product use and building loyalty amongst members has not always been as obvious. Over the past year, a cross-functional group here at the Journal has worked together to identify retention-driving actions and reinvent the way we promote those habits to our member base. We call it Project Habit. We’ve known for some time that if a member downloads our mobile app or signs up for an email newsletter, they’re more likely to stay with the Journal. Project Habit began when someone said: “There must be more.
Continue reading "Habit formation: How The Wall Street Journal turned user-level data into a strategy to keep subscribers coming back"

TV is still the most common way for Americans to get local news, but fewer people are watching


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Local TV is trusted and is still the preferred method of getting news (thanks mostly to people 50 and up). But viewership for local TV news continues to decline, according to research released by Pew this week. Pew also took a look at cable and network news, and here are some of their findings about 2018 in TV.

Local TV: Audience declines, but a tiny bit more time is spent on news

— Local TV audiences were down for the morning, evening, and late-night time slots. — The amount of local TV news programming actually increased very slightly, from an average of 5.6 hours per day in 2017 to an average of 5.9 hours in 2018, as reported previously by a RTDNA/Hofstra Continue reading "TV is still the most common way for Americans to get local news, but fewer people are watching"

SmartNews has shown it can drive traffic. Can it drive subscriptions too?


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In recent months, publishers may have been noticing an influx of traffic from a not-usual suspect: SmartNews, the news app that was founded in Japan in 2012 and has been operating in the U.S. since 2014. The company is Parse.ly’s most reliably growing external traffic referrer this year, growing at an average of 8.8 percent per month across the 3,000 sites that Parse.ly tracks. Publishers are happy about this traffic. But whether SmartNews, which now counts 15 million monthly active users globally, can be more than a traffic driver — whether it can actually convert readers into subscribers — is still a question. Unlike semi-competitors like Flipboard, SmartNews doesn’t require or even allow users to login. Everybody who opens the app sees pretty much the same thing: Lists of news stories under the categories “Top,” “Entertain,” “Lifestyle,” “U.S.,” “Politics,” “Sports,” “Biz,” “Tech,” “Science,” Continue reading "SmartNews has shown it can drive traffic. Can it drive subscriptions too?"

“It’s just become daily news”: Six Florida newsrooms are teaming up to cover climate change


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




In Florida, climate change is a local news story. The state’s 21 million residents are already feeling the effects of a heating planet, including not just higher temperatures but more and stronger hurricanes, toxic algae, sunny-day flooding, and sea level rise. And climate change will cost Florida more than any other state — an estimated $76 billion by 2040. “The environment is ever-present here,” said Tom Hudson, vice president of news at WLRN Public Media, the main public radio station for South Florida and the Keys. “It’s not a science story for us here in South Florida. It’s not some kind of theoretical exploration. It’s real. It’s what many in our community experience in their neighborhoods. It’s just become daily news.” Now six Florida news organizations — The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, Palm Beach Post, Orlando Sentinel, and WLRN Continue reading "“It’s just become daily news”: Six Florida newsrooms are teaming up to cover climate change"

Could technology built for advertising make public radio less top-down and more bottom-up?


This post is by Nicholas Quah from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 215, published June 25, 2019. This piece’s roots can be traced back to summer 2016, when the Indiana public radio station WBAA announced that, as a response to the show’s exclusive then-new streaming partnership with Pandora, it would no longer carry This American Life on its airwaves. The station argued that TAL’s distribution partnership threatened to undermine public radio’s broadcast model. That threat was driven by Pandora’s profit-seeking disposition, its scale, and most importantly, its disruptive structure as a digital distributor that goes around terrestrial stations like WBAA and directly to audiences. WBAA would later reverse its decision, citing “considerable listener feedback,” and TAL continues to stream exclusively over Pandora to this day. (Which also means, by the way, that you can’t listen to the show on podcast-expansionary Spotify. Though, interestingly, you can find a genre in
Continue reading "Could technology built for advertising make public radio less top-down and more bottom-up?"

Can you spot a fake photo online? Your level of experience online matters a lot more than contextual clues


This post is by Mona Kasra from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It can be hard to tell whether a picture is real. Consider, as the participants in our recent research did, these two images and see whether you think neither, either, or both of them has been doctored. You might have based your assessment of the images on the visual information alone. Or perhaps you factored in your evaluation of how reputable the source is, or the number of people who liked and shared the images. My collaborators and I recently studied how people evaluate the credibility of images that accompany online stories and what elements figure into that evaluation. We found that you’re far less likely to fall for fake images if you’re more experienced with the internet, digital photography, and online media platforms — if you have what scholars call “digital media literacy.”

Who is duped by fakes?

Were you duped? Both of the images are fake. We
The Conversation
Continue reading "Can you spot a fake photo online? Your level of experience online matters a lot more than contextual clues"

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"

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?"

“First-generation fact-checking” is no longer good enough. Here’s what comes next


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

“Fact checkers need to move from ‘publish and pray’ to ‘publish and act.'” “The idea that fact checking can work by correcting the public’s inaccurate beliefs on a mass scale alone doesn’t stack up,” write representatives from Full Fact (U.K.), Africa Check (Africa), and Chequeado (Argentina), in a manifesto of sorts published Thursday to all three sites. “First-generation fact-checking” — the approach of simply publishing fact-checks, which sites like FactCheck.org do — is a worthy effort, the authors write, but it isn’t enough if you actually want to change people’s minds. “Nobody should be surprised when, despite fact checkers publishing lots of fact checks, people still believe inaccurate things and politicians Continue reading "“First-generation fact-checking” is no longer good enough. Here’s what comes next"

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"

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"

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"

“News unfolds like a saga”: The French news site Les Jours wants to marry narrative, depth, and investigative reporting


This post is by Olivier Holmey from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Synopsis, soundtrack, episode, mood: This is the language used daily within the Parisian offices of the French news site Les Jours. But don’t let its vocabulary fool you: While the three-year-old media company borrows many of the codes of screenplays and visual fiction, it actually runs a hard-hitting investigative news site. The shared lingo is no coincidence. When the co-founders of Les Jours were secretly planning their departure from Libération — the French daily where eight of the nine of them used to work — with the intention of creating a news site devoted to deep reporting, they approached not only fellow journalists for advice, but screenwriters too. The reason was simple: Their big idea was to serialize the news, breaking stories down into nail-biting episode after nail-biting episode that would make long-form investigative journalism more accessible, and more exciting, to readers. “The founding principle is
Continue reading "“News unfolds like a saga”: The French news site Les Jours wants to marry narrative, depth, and investigative reporting"

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"