Nieman Foundation at Harvard
With Old Town Media, three former Politico execs want to help publishers figure out the future
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What We’re Reading
We keep an eye out for the most interesting stories about Labby subjects: digital media, startups, the web, journalism, strategy, and more. Here’s some of what we’ve seen lately.
September 25, 2017
“The email exchange with a conservative Washington operative reveals the importance that the giant tech platform — now reeling from its role in the 2016 election — held for one of the campaign’s central figures….The idea to infiltrate Facebook came to Bannon from Chris Gacek, a former congressional staffer who is now an official at the Family Research Council, which lobbies against abortion and many LGBT rights.”
BuzzFeed / Joseph Bernstein / Sep 25
The LA Times can claim more than 105,000 digital subscriptions. (The Boston Globe passed its own milestone on Monday, Sept. 18, reaching 90,000 paying digital only-subs, while the smaller-circulation Star Tribune of Minnesota’s Twin Cities “closes in” on an impressive 50,000.)
The Street / Ken Doctor / Sep 25
“Quietly, optimists in the business say that it may be healthy for a younger generation of editors to take the reins. Older editors are less accustomed to the rhythms and forms of web journalism; Jann Wenner, for instance, famously resisted posting Rolling Stone stories online. Many of the industry’s rising stars are finding ways to raise revenue and gain readers on the digital side.”
The New York Times / Sydney Ember and Michael M. Grynbaum / Sep 25
“The model predicts the likelihood of an individual user purchasing a subscription, based on their behavior on our websites and apps. To do this, we train a machine learning algorithm on a dataset of all logged-in users from a given observation period during which they do not have an active subscription, but some of them do go on to subscribe in the following target period. The algorithm learns the difference in behavior patterns between those that do not purchase and those that do purchase during the target period.”
Schibsted / Ciaran Cody-Kenny and Eivind Fiskerud / Sep 25
“Initially spurred by the desire for professors to reach out and engage with the world outside the ‘ivory tower,’ the impact of academic articles came to be measured by blogs, page views, download stats, and tweets. Academic articles are now evaluated according to essentially the same metrics as BuzzFeed posts or Instagram selfies. In fact, the impact factor is an especially blunt example of online metrics: Reddit, Youtube, and Imgur at least allow users to up-vote or down-vote posts.”
London School of Economics / Portia Roelofs and Max Gallien / Sep 25
Time Inc said on Friday it was looking to sell several assets including its British division Time Inc UK after warning that revenue from both sales and advertising had fallen more than expected during the current quarter.
The Guardian / Sep 25
September 22, 2017
“The app incorporates best-in-class features, including a reader experience that’s been battle-tested in The Post’s newsroom, and can support a publisher’s specific requirements for advertising, subscriptions and analytics.”
Washington Post / Sep 22
“The debate in the United States about foreign interference concentrates on who did what to influence last year’s election and the need for democracies to strengthen their cybersecurity for emails, critical infrastructure and voting platforms. But we need to pay far more attention to another vulnerability: our adversaries’ attempts to subvert our democratic processes by aiming falsehoods at ripe subsets of our population — and not only during elections.”
The New York Times / Samantha Power / Sep 22
Responses were highly partisan: 15% of Republicans said it’s likely that Russia-backed content affected the election results, compared with to 82% of Democrats.
CNN / Jennifer Agiesta / Sep 22
“There was definitely a lot of misinformation, which had an impact [in the US]. So we said, maybe we should be prepared in Germany,” said Jutta Kramm, head of fact checking at Correctiv.
CNET / Shara Tibken / Sep 22