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Newsonomics: This is how the 5 biggest newspaper chains could become 2 — and it all comes down to one day, June 30, 2020
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Newsonomics: This is how the 5 biggest newspaper chains could become 2 — and it all comes down to one day, June 30, 2020
Worse, the two left standing could be run by hedge fund guys with little interest in more than the bottom line.
By Ken Doctor
In 2020, podcasts will be able to win Pulitzers (oh, and radio too)
No word yet on whether the ceremony will be sponsored by MeUndies, ZipRecruiter, or Squarespace.
By Laura Hazard Owen
News outlets are getting (somewhat) better at handling Trump’s false statements, a study shows
Plus: How Facebook’s changed (or not) since 2016, fact-checking outside newsrooms, and misinformation is polio’s best friend.
By Laura Hazard Owen
Drawing on ten years of expertise, the Texas Tribune wants to coach you on its money-making lessons
“People just want to learn a playbook. At the high level, it’s motivational, but at the grassroots level, it’s answering what do your proposals look like, what does your budget look like, how are you talking to donors and members.”
By Christine Schmidt
Why liberal satire and conservative outrage are both responses to mainstream media — but with very different powers
“Does satire have a liberal bias? Sure. Satire has a liberal psychological bias. But the only person who can successfully harness the power of satire is the satirist. Not political strategists. Not a political party. Not a presidential candidate.”
By Dannagal G. Young
$400 a year too steep for you? The Information will now sell mere mortals an app for $30 a year
The app is for “consumers who want to be plugged into the big tech stories without searching through Twitter or watered-down general news sites.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Seeking a new international audience, The Washington Post launches its first Spanish-language news podcast
“I think people in the Spanish-speaking world want to know about what’s happening everywhere, in France, in the U.S., with Brexit, and of course what’s happening with Ecuador, the protests happening in Colombia…It’s a kind of global podcast in Spanish.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
Can there be a third way to discover new podcasts, somewhere between word-of-mouth and soulless algorithms?
Plus: Condé Nast scales up for audio, Acast starts targeting the rest of the market, and what happens when one podcast becomes two.
By Nicholas Quah
Inspired by The Daily, dozens of daily news podcasts are punching above their weight worldwide
“The big change is commercial, which is that we had advertisers who started to come to us last year and say, ‘We are only going to buy two kinds of ad next year, print and podcast. What have you got?'”
By Nic Newman
An old FCC rule is being used to justify shrinking the Dayton “Daily” News to three days a week
Want to get around a regulation that limits who can own a daily newspaper? Just make it a less-than-daily newspaper.
By Joshua Benton
Baltimore Beat is rebuilding its community ties as an alt-weekly after corporate cut-downs
“Baltimore is a majority black city. When we first started out in 2017, I wanted it to have that point of view, to have a newspaper that serves a black population.”
By Christine Schmidt
In South Korea, independent newsroom Newstapa has seen what happens when it investigates its donors’ favorite politicians
Under a conservative government that restricted press freedom, Newstapa became a favorite of Korean liberals who backed its lonely fight. But when a more liberal president took charge, some of those donors weren’t too keen on its investigations.
By Lee Taehoon
Newsonomics: This is how the 5 biggest newspaper chains could become 2 — and it all comes down to one day, June 30, 2020
Worse, the two left standing could be run by hedge fund guys with little interest in more than the bottom line.
By Ken Doctor
In 2020, podcasts will be able to win Pulitzers (oh, and radio too)
No word yet on whether the ceremony will be sponsored by MeUndies, ZipRecruiter, or Squarespace.
News outlets are getting (somewhat) better at handling Trump’s false statements, a study shows
Plus: How Facebook’s changed (or not) since 2016, fact-checking outside newsrooms, and misinformation is polio’s best friend.
What We’re Reading
Wellcome / Mark Henderson
The longform science site Mosaic is shutting down this week after five years
A strategic review found that “we would need to change the commissioning approach radically, so that the subjects it covers match Wellcome’s priority areas…As Mosaic has always had a free rein to commission content that wasn’t tied to a specific Wellcome viewpoint, we felt that a tight focus on a few issues would change its ethos and character too much…It just wasn’t possible to square the circle in the end.”
Bloomberg / Joe Nocera
McClatchy goes digital to ward off “ghost papers”
“So far, McClatchy has 200,000 digital subscribers and nearly 500,000 ‘paid digital relationships,’ which include print subscribers who have activated their digital accounts. This year, for the first time, its revenue is split 50-50 between subscriptions and advertising. But given that the chain’s total circulation is close to 1 million (1.3 million on Sundays), it has a long way to go.”
Media Nation / Dan Kennedy
Gannett Media’s CEO: Sorry for the layoffs, and get ready for some more
“The natural question at this point is ‘are we done?’ The honest answer is No.”
Digiday / Max Willens
Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts worked well for big publishers this year
“On Cyber Monday, The Wall Street Journal and Wired both recorded the biggest single day of subscription sales in their histories. On Black Friday, Barron’s experienced the same. And New York magazine, which began offering promotions on Friday, logged its best four-day sales stretch ever.”
Coda Story / Isobel Cockerell
How anti-vaxxers get around Instagram’s new hashtag controls
“Anti-vaccine Instagram users have been getting around the controls by employing more than 40 cryptic hashtags such as #learntherisk and #justasking.”
Politico / Mark Scott
Social media networks fail to root out fake accounts, NATO-accredited group says
“Researchers at NATO’s Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, a military organization based in Riga, Latvia’s capital, whose mandate includes identifying potential foreign online interference, were able to purchase roughly 54,000 inauthentic social media interactions — either fake followers, likes, comments or views of online content — with little, if any, pushback from some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.”
Poynter / Pete Croatto
When the Newseum closes, “Today’s Front Pages” will remain available
“Today’s Front Pages will remain active on the Newseum’s website and via its app.”
Google Docs
There’s a Google Doc to track the Gannett layoffs
As of Friday morning it showed 31 newsroom jobs lost and 120 non-newsroom jobs lost.
The New York Times / Steven Kurutz
Condé Nast’s “The World of Interiors,” who knew
“In an age when editors of monthlies must compete, seemingly impossibly, with the daily dopamine hits of ’grams and memes and TikToks, The World of Interiors appears to occupy an earlier, more dignified era.”
The Drum / John McCarthy
Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ shows how its investments in podcasts paid off this year

“In preparation for this boom, Spotify went out on an acquisition spree. Early in 2019 Spotify acquired podcast owner Gimlet and production tool Anchor. Reports claimed it had put down $300m on the properties. Months later, Parcast, the crime, mystery and sci-fi producer joined the fold bringing spend to around $400m.”

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.