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How can local TV news fix its young person problem? Maybe it needs to look more like Vox
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How can local TV news fix its young person problem? Maybe it needs to look more like Vox
“While remixing the stories did not resonate every time, we did see positive results on the group of hard news stories where we altered the storytelling approach.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
If Facebook wants to stop the spread of anti-vaxxers, it could start by not taking their ad dollars
“You have nothing to be ashamed of for your parents not vaccinating you. It wasn’t something you researched and decided against, you were just doing the whole ‘being a kid’ thing.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Clicks are an “unreliable seismograph” for a news article’s value — here’s new research to back it up
“People frequently click on stories that are amusing, trivial, or weird, with no obvious civic focus. But they maintain a clear sense of what is trivial and what matters.”
By Christine Schmidt
Acing the algorithmic beat, journalism’s next frontier
In a world where key decisions are increasingly driven by algorithms, journalists need to take a closer look at how they work and how they impact individuals and society. Here’s how The Wall Street Journal is approaching it.
By Francesco Marconi, Till Daldrup, and Rajiv Pant
Inside Inside’s new local newsletters and its plans to keep scaling (with 750,000 active subscribers on board)
Inside.com recently raised $2.6 million from SeedInvest, Jason Calacanis, and “hundreds of our readers” to keep the growth going (but not relying on reader revenue).
By Christine Schmidt
How Capital Public Radio covered a community’s high suicide rate (and developed a tool for residents to keep)
“This is almost a plague in this county. Why wouldn’t we want to raise awareness and do it in a way that really had an impact?”
By Christine Schmidt
BuzzFeed News and the Toronto Star team up to report on misinformation around the Canadian election
“It appears in our paper, it’s going to appear in BuzzFeed, and vice versa.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
A major British government review proposes some light regulation of Google and Facebook (and perhaps new limits on the BBC)
“For a society to have ready access to high-quality news is essential not just for the moment, but for the long-term sustainability of democracy.”
By Joshua Benton
In Liverpool, a football podcast has grown into a real media company — based mostly on listener payment, not advertising
Plus: Slow Burn heads to TV, MeUndies prove podcast advertising works, and Morning Edition changes its tune.
By Nicholas Quah
With Supporting Cast, Slate wants to build the paid-membership layer of podcasting
As Spotify tries to ramp up a podcasting-as-closed-garden model, Slate wants to offer some of that approach’s benefits while remaining open.
By Nicholas Quah
Want to reduce political polarization? Save your local newspaper
In places that lose a newspaper, split-ticket voting decreases by almost 2 percent. Without trustworthy political information, we fall back on party labels and our partisan identities.
By Joshua P. Darr, Johanna Dunaway, and Matthew P. Hitt
Newsonomics: In the Consolidation Games, enter the bankers
Alden’s offer to buy Gannett looks less and less credible. But can Tribune and Gannett suss out the merger that might be necessary to stop it?
By Ken Doctor
Here’s where your new readers are going to come from in 2019
SmartNews and Flipboard: still soaring. Twitter and Linkedin? Dropping. And…is Facebook traffic making a comeback?
By Kelsey Arendt
How can local TV news fix its young person problem? Maybe it needs to look more like Vox
“While remixing the stories did not resonate every time, we did see positive results on the group of hard news stories where we altered the storytelling approach.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Clicks are an “unreliable seismograph” for a news article’s value — here’s new research to back it up
“People frequently click on stories that are amusing, trivial, or weird, with no obvious civic focus. But they maintain a clear sense of what is trivial and what matters.”
Acing the algorithmic beat, journalism’s next frontier
In a world where key decisions are increasingly driven by algorithms, journalists need to take a closer look at how they work and how they impact individuals and society. Here’s how The Wall Street Journal is approaching it.
What We’re Reading
9to5Google / Kyle Bradshaw
Google wants to make it harder for sites to detect that you’re using Incognito Mode
That detection is part of how some news sites, like The Boston Globe, make their paywalls more effective.
Nieman Lab / Joshua Benton
Monday is the deadline for an Abrams Nieman Fellowship for Local Investigative Reporting
“Funded by the Abrams Foundation, this fellowship will fund up to three Nieman Fellowships for U.S. journalists who cover news in areas of the United States where resources are scarce. The fellowship additionally will fund up to nine months of fieldwork at the fellow’s home news organization after two semesters at Harvard — or in the case of freelance journalists, a newsroom partner.”
The Guardian / Alex Hern
A new AI fake-news generator may be “too dangerous to release”
“Feed it the first few paragraphs of a Guardian story about Brexit, and its output is plausible newspaper prose, replete with ‘quotes’ from Jeremy Corbyn, mentions of the Irish border, and answers from the prime minister’s spokesman.”
CNN / Stephanie Busari
How fake news was weaponized in Nigeria’s elections
“As denials go, it was extraordinary and more than a little surreal. The sitting president of Africa’s largest democracy was forced to refute repeated claims that he had died and a clone was now running his office.”
The Journal of Politics / Yanna Krupnikov and Adam Seth Levine
Big scary statistics aren’t very good at changing people’s minds about an issue
“…evidence that simply conveys the overall size of the problem — such as the total number of people affected — may also undermine engagement by leading people to conceptualize it in terms of large masses of nameless and faceless individuals.”
The Verge / Nilay Patel
The Verge’s YouTube channel is being brigaded after it sought (but then retracted) copyright strikes against other videos
“This is all pretty disappointing, especially since I had retracted the strikes and none of the people involved thought it important to simply ask me about it. I hope everyone involved can take a moment and think about making sure they actually know what they think they know, and the value of communicating directly instead of simply reacting.”
The Atlantic / Taylor Lorenz
It’s impossible to follow a conversation on Twitter
“The theoretical benefit of being on Twitter, a broadcast-based open social network, is to talk with other people and follow their conversations, even ones that don’t include you. Somehow, in 2019, the product has degraded to the point where this has become impossible. It’s like running through a public square shouting at people, trying to start a dialogue while getting jostled by a crowd.”
Wall Street Journal / Benjamin Mullin
Private-equity firm Great Hill Partners in talks to buy Gizmodo Media Group
“Earlier this week, Univision said it took an impairment charge of more than $120 million for Gizmodo Media Group in its fourth-quarter earnings, but added that the sites still had value for the right buyer.”
Recode / Kurt Wagner
You still can’t edit your tweets, but you may soon be able to “clarify” them
“You would just show the clarification, you would be able to retweet the clarification, so it always carries around with it that context. That’s one approach. Not saying that we are going to launch that but those are the sorts of questions we are going to ask.”
Pacific Standard / Mark Oprea
The spread of fake news has had deadly consequences in Mexico. Meet the people trying to stop it.
“High-minded, fearless fact-checkers like her — often volunteering on their own time — had been introducing a much-needed, fresh media standard for reporting the facts in Mexico.”
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.