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Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?
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Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?
Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real.
By Laura Hazard Owen
Civil’s token sale has failed. Now what? Refunds, for one thing — and then another sale
“For those who purchased tokens, first of all, thank you. We’ll offer full refunds.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Where are the weeklies? Still kicking, Penelope Abernathy’s news desert report says
Of the 1,800 newspapers lost since 2004, 1,700 of them were weekly papers. But it’s not because their audience disappeared — it’s because the papers did.
By Christine Schmidt
“Yelling at her family in public, in your headphones”: Reality TV comes to podcasts
Plus: The state of Slate, Podtrac wariness, and national/local podcast collaborations.
By Nicholas Quah
Will Vox’s new section on effective altruism…well, do any good?
“It came out of a sense that there were some really important topics with impacts on human beings that didn’t get as much coverage in traditional journalism sections and pieces.”
By Christine Schmidt
Chasing leads and herding cats: How journalism’s latest job title — partner manager — works in ProPublica’s newsroom
“In short, we came to think that the collaboration itself was something that needed editing.”
By Rachel Glickhouse
What have tech companies done wrong with fake news? Google (yep) lists the ways
Plus: A woman-oriented fact-checking initiative, and possible problems with California’s media literacy bill.
By Laura Hazard Owen
Trump’s USA Today op-ed demonstrates why it’s time to unbundle news and opinion content
“At a time when both the public and algorithms are trying to understand what journalism means and how to distinguish between news and opinion, publishers should make it more clear what makes journalism special.”
By Eli Pariser
The Outline built itself on being “weird.” But is it weird enough to survive?
“We’re not the enemy. This is a really shitty industry for writers.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
A Chorus of publishers: Vox Media onboards the Chicago Sun-Times as its first licensee since launch
“The joke in the industry is everybody doesn’t like the CMS or they write in some other tool.” Vox Media aims to change that punchline for other publishers.
By Christine Schmidt
Venture philanthropy for local news might not be as scary as it sounds
The American Journalism Project, led by two top nonprofit news veterans, aims to propel $1 billion in annual investments to mission-driven local news outlets.
By Christine Schmidt
Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?
Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real.
By Laura Hazard Owen
Civil’s token sale has failed. Now what? Refunds, for one thing — and then another sale
“For those who purchased tokens, first of all, thank you. We’ll offer full refunds.”
Where are the weeklies? Still kicking, Penelope Abernathy’s news desert report says
Of the 1,800 newspapers lost since 2004, 1,700 of them were weekly papers. But it’s not because their audience disappeared — it’s because the papers did.
What We’re Reading
Variety / Janko Roettgers
The New York Times and e-book service Scribd are launching a dual subscription for $12.99 per month
“Scribd and the New York Times first teamed up in 2017 for a student bundle. The two companies aren’t the only ones looking to boost subscriber numbers with discounted bundles: Spotify teamed up with Hulu for a joint $12.99 subscription plan earlier this year, and subsequently boosted its $5 student subscription plan to include both Showtime and Hulu.”
Wall Street Journal / Suzanne Vranica
Facebook knew of its video ad measurement problems for more than a year before revealing them in 2016, advertisers allege
“Facebook told some advertisers that it likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by 60% to 80%. The plaintiffs alleged in Tuesday’s complaint that the error was much larger and that the average viewership metrics had been inflated by some 150% to 900%.”
Axios / Sara Fischer
Facebook traffic to publishers is down so much that “a user is now more likely to find your content through your mobile website or app than from Facebook”
A Chartbeat report finds that Google Search on mobile has grown more than two times, direct mobile traffic to publishers’ websites and apps has grown by 30 percent, and Apple News has grown, although it’s unclear how much.
Cheddar / Alex Heath
Facebook is developing hardware for the TV — a camera-equipped device that allows video calling
The device and others in progress “represent Facebook’s widening ambition to build a consumer hardware business outside of its virtual reality brand Oculus.”
Politico / Jason Schwartz
Advertisers aren’t flocking to Ingraham’s Fox News show months after David Hogg’s boycott
“Before the boycotts, Ingraham had significantly more ad time — nearly 15 minutes per show — but [Fox head of ad sales Marianne] Gambelli said that was due to preexisting advertising obligations. Once the controversies began, she said, the network decided to keep a lighter load to help buoy the show, then just five months old.”
Stanford News / Stanford University
Stanford launches an initiative to helping journalists find data for investigative reporting at a lower cost
“Stanford students in Phillips’ fall course will work with local newsrooms to collect data needed for in-depth stories — such as gathering government records, in some cases by making Freedom of Information Act requests. The students will then transform that information into datasets that journalists can analyze. Students will also help journalists navigate the data.”
Twitter / Rob Wijnberg
The main difference between subscription and membership
“Subscribers pay money to get a product (i.e. access to a site). Members join your (journalistic) cause. In our case: to be their antidote to the daily news grind.”
Digiday / Lucinda Southern
What Norwegian publisher Aller Media has learned from its personalized paywall
“The algorithm is based on four factors: how recently the content was posted (as a news site, this is important); collaborative filtering, or, what similar audience profiles are reading; impressions; how many times an article was served but not clicked on; and how many times an article converted readers to subscribers.”
Washington Post / Margaret Sullivan
Nate Silver will make one firm prediction about the midterms. Most journalists won’t want to hear it.
“Media understanding about probability, margin of error, and uncertainty is very poor.”
The New York Times / Paul Mozur
Myanmar’s military said to be behind Facebook campaign that fueled genocide
“The campaign, described by five people who asked for anonymity because they feared for their safety, included hundreds of military personnel who created troll accounts and news and celebrity pages on Facebook and then flooded them with incendiary comments and posts timed for peak viewership.”
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.