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The “backfire effect” is mostly a myth, a broad look at the research suggests
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Oct. 11, 2018, 12:24 p.m.
LINK: www.youtube.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Christine Schmidt   |   October 11, 2018

The Coastal Courier is a weekly community newspaper in Georgia with an office on Main Street — and a VR channel.

“Are they adequately meeting the information needs with their technology?” Jesse Holcomb wondered. “Are they carving out a space on social platforms or avoiding them altogether?”

Holcomb, a Calvin College professor and former Pew researcher, highlighted the Coastal Courier’s digital adaptation — not necessarily innovation — at an event at Columbia Journalism’s Tow Center Wednesday evening. He conducted research to answer those very questions more broadly in the journalism industry, finding that one in ten local news outlets don’t even have their own website, among other tidbits we summarized here.

New in this talk: Holcomb shared the starting-a-local-news-outlet to-do list of Brian Boyer, head of product at digital local news chain Spirited Media: A website, a subscriber box, and an email newsletter. Then, “start publishing some shit on the internet.”

After presenting his research, Holcomb, CUNY/Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism’s Jenny Choi, WNYC’s vice president for news Jim Schachter, and Hearst’s senior vice president for revenue Esfand Pourmand paneled it up. Here are some of the top hits from the evening, as well as the full video:

You can rewatch the event’s livestream (just an hour long) here.

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