Nieman Foundation at Harvard
The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not
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The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not
“It is losing its cultural relevance after almost two centuries — and thereby its commodity value.”
By Hossein Derakhshan
Spanish-language audio blows up
“In some ways, digital audio was made for the Spanish-language audience.”
By Carolina Guerrero
We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater
“What we’re building is a journalism for journalists and we will ultimately feed ourselves to the gullet, becoming the harbingers of our own end.”
By Rebecca Lee Sanchez
From news fatigue to news avoidance
“Our biggest concern is that this will play out unevenly, perpetuating, or even increasing, existing inequalities.”
By Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff
After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession
“The journalism ecosystem has been devastated by capitalism, but not destroyed. And the next ecosystem has already begun to emerge.”
By Simon Galperin
Listen up: New stories, new storytellers
“We will see equally resourced, meticulously researched and well-produced podcasts from minority storytellers who will offer deep reportage about their own communities.”
By LaToya Drake
A year to embrace journalism as public service
“In 2019 we will continue to bring together newsrooms, facilitators, and funders to forge a framework for revitalizing local news with public service at the center.”
By Kevin Douglas Grant
The year of loyalty
“Gone are the days of aggregation by small and medium-sized brands. Gone are the days of chasing traffic. Gone are the days of one-size-fits all splashy marketing campaigns.”
By Rick Berke
Power to the user
“The results of the 2018 midterms showed people that their votes count and that they can insulate themselves from disinformation campaigns by going to trusted sites instead of Facebook feeds.”
By Greg Emerson
Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work
“In reality, many forms of both radicalization and infiltration would be more difficult with a media literate audience — particularly if those with the most influence had better skills and habits around assessing reputation and intent.”
By Mike Caulfield
Media wants to take care of you
“To inform readers means to also support readers’ care for themselves.”
By Kawandeep Virdee
The year of the culturally relevant curator
“May the playing field truly flatten.”
By Michael Rain
Going where the Acela can’t take you
“More voices from the middle need to be amplified, because we already know what the extremes are.”
By Elizabeth Jensen
We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism
“For all the urgency around saving local journalism, it’s unclear to me that a persuasive, resounding case has yet been made to key stakeholders, much less the general public, about why it’s worth saving.”
By Jesse Holcomb
Our future could lie within our own organizations
“As more and more publishers shift toward subscription and membership, the word “revenue” is making its way — and will increasingly be welcomed — into morning news conferences and planning meetings.”
By Renée Kaplan
Bubble fears, old-guard acquisitions, and Audible: This was 2018 in podcasts
Plus: What we’ll cover in 2019, and the most interesting companies to watch.
By Nicholas Quah
What does membership mean for BuzzFeed News — at a company that’s already raised nearly $500 million in venture capital?
Even the most digital-native publishers cannot resist the siren call of a tote bag. But a membership pitch sounds different coming from a public radio station than from a private company with a billion-dollar valuation.
“So many times we forget to listen”: How Spaceship Media moderated a Facebook group of 400 political women without it going off the rails
It was hard to recruit Republican woman (“SO many Democrat white women”), and following the news of the day felt PTSD-inducing to many. But aggressive moderation and the help of a few librarians made a potentially uncivil discussion a little more respectful.
What We’re Reading
NPR / David Folkenflik
Tribune Publishing is paying more than $2.5 million to avert a lawsuit over Michael Ferro’s slur
“The company agreed to secretly pay [former LA Times editor-in-chief and publisher Davan] Maharaj more than $2.5 million, in installments, according to three people with knowledge of the pact. That financial obligation was not disclosed in corporate filings to shareholders and analysts. The payments started in the first quarter of this year, for which Tribune Publishing reported a net loss of $14.8 million. The loss was attributed to the company’s decision in December 2017 to pay Ferro $15 million in consulting fees even as he served as chairman and was the company’s controlling owner.”
The Hollywood Reporter / Eriq Gardner
Personal images posted on social media aren’t free grist for use by media companies, judge rules
“The creator of a work should not be precluded from future profits should they lack the marketing prowess to capitalize on their work at the time of creation. Otto’s status as an amateur photographer with an iPhone does not limit his right to engage in sales of his work.”
Knight Foundation / Sam Gill
What 2018 has taught us about building a stronger future for American democracy
“In a live experiment, those who share news stories have higher trust in the content they are sharing, but those who research news stories to learn have lower trust in the content.”
Bloomberg / Gerry Smith
Apple News is indeed evolving Texture into an Apple News subscription feature
“But some executives fear Texture could end up doing more harm than good. Their concern is Apple could steal their current subscribers, who would save money by reading articles on Texture instead. At $9.99 a month, Texture would be cheaper than an unlimited digital subscription to the New York Times — after introductory prices expire.” Apple bought Texture in March.
Twitter / Sam Dolnick
The updated mission statement and values of The New York Times
“This mission is rooted in our belief that great journalism has the power to make each reader’s life richer and more fulfilling, and all of society stronger and more just.”
Vox / Eliza Brooke
BuzzFeed Reviews, Wirecutter, the Strategist: The rise of the recommendation site
“‘Best’ is always going to be subjective. The big thing for us, and for the other sites out there, is that you always show your work.”
BuzzFeed News / Steven Perlberg
New York Magazine’s staff is unionizing
“New York magazine joins a growing list of organizing efforts in the digital media industry in recent years, at outlets such as Gizmodo Media Group, Vice, the Guardian, HuffPost, the New Yorker, Vox Media, and others. This week, writers and editors at Slate voted to authorize a potential strike amid negotiations between editorial employees and management.”
Mediaite / Josh Feldman
Kentucky’s governor blasts the Louisville Courier-Journal for partnering with ProPublica
“This is also an organization, ProPublica, supported by George ‘I Hate America’ Soros. I mean, this is the sad reality of who the Courier-Journal, which pretends that it’s an actual news organization or a publication, is so remarkably biased they are now full in bed with this particular organization ProPublica.”
The Guardian / Sam Levin
Facebook’s fact-checking journalism partners: “Working with Facebook makes us look bad”
“‘They’ve essentially used us for crisis PR,’ said Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a fact-checking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years.”
TechCrunch / Josh Constine
Facebook tests search ads in its search results, directly competing with Google’s AdWords
“The reintroduction of search ads could open an important new revenue stream at a time when Facebook’s revenue growth is quickly decelerating as it runs out of News Feed ad space, the Stories format that advertisers are still adapting is poised to overtake feed sharing on social apps and users shift their time elsewhere.”
Nieman Lab is a project to try to help figure out where the news is headed in the Internet age. Sign up for The Digest, our daily email with all the freshest future-of-journalism news.