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The Russian language news startup Helpdesk offers service journalism for times of war
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The Russian language news startup Helpdesk offers service journalism for times of war
Founder Ilya Krasilshchik doesn’t know the average age or gender or location of the people seeking help through Helpdesk’s chat — he just knows many are terrified.
By Sarah Scire
A bakery, a brewery, and a local news site: There’s a new type of collective growing in Spokane, Washington
“Are we moving fast enough for the length of runway we have to lift off? Or do we need to, you know, keep paving and quickly build more runway? That’s the real question.”
By Sarah Scire
Way back in 1989, USA Today launched an online sports service. I found it at Goodwill
USA Today Sports Center is a time capsule from a period in which a newspaper could convince people to pay five bucks an hour to log onto their service during the big game.
By Ernie Smith
Pageviews, assemble! Why there’s no escaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe online
In 2022, few pop-culture brands move the needle, so newspaper blue-bloods and recipe sites alike rally around Marvel Cinematic Universe content as their last stand.
By Luke Winkie
Researchers ask: Does enforcing civility stifle online debate?
Some social scientists argue that civility is a poor metric by which to judge the quality of an online debate.
By Teresa Carr
What I learned in my second year on Substack
“I truly wish every reporter could have the experience of getting a raise on the same day they produced something of value to their readers.”
By Casey Newton
U.S. politicians tweet much more misinformation than those in the U.K. and Germany
“We also found systematic differences between the parties in the U.S., where Republican politicians were found to share untrustworthy websites more than nine times as often as Democratic politicians.”
By Stephan Lewandowsky and Jana Lasser
“You don’t know which side is playing you”: The authors of Meme Wars have some advice for journalists
“The media treating Twitter like an assignment editor is one of the fundamental errors that enabled meme warriors to play everyone.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
Adnan Syed is released — and so is a new episode of the first season of Serial
“To call something the most popular podcast might seem a little like identifying the tallest leprechaun,” David Carr wrote in 2014.
By Laura Hazard Owen
The relief of missing out: Anticipated anxiety is a big reason why more people are avoiding the news
“Obviously, I could be a little bit more into what’s going on and look myself…Knowing more about it doesn’t do anything about it, does it?”
By Joshua Benton
KQED started tracking sources. Here’s (exactly) how they did it
“We can try to address inequities by being conscientious about who we feature in our coverage over a period of time.”
By Ki Sung, Lisa Pickoff-White and Vinnee Tong
How can local news help inform voters? Here are a few good examples
News organizations can help prepare voters as they head to the polls.
By Richard Tofel
The Verge goes back to bloggy basics with a new redesign
“We just want to be able to tweet onto our own website.”
By Sarah Scire
By making obituaries free to publish, these Ohio news outlets hope to play the long game
“When somebody writes a thoughtful obituary, it’s a reminder that our publication is a platform for people to grieve in a healthy way.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
The Russian language news startup Helpdesk offers service journalism for times of war
Founder Ilya Krasilshchik doesn’t know the average age or gender or location of the people seeking help through Helpdesk’s chat — he just knows many are terrified.
By Sarah Scire
A bakery, a brewery, and a local news site: There’s a new type of collective growing in Spokane, Washington
“Are we moving fast enough for the length of runway we have to lift off? Or do we need to, you know, keep paving and quickly build more runway? That’s the real question.”
Way back in 1989, USA Today launched an online sports service. I found it at Goodwill
USA Today Sports Center is a time capsule from a period in which a newspaper could convince people to pay five bucks an hour to log onto their service during the big game.
What We’re Reading
Press Gazette / Bron Maher
Staff of left-wing U.K. news site The Canary say they’ve “overthrown” management and will now run it as a co-op
“Canary staff given access to [previously] ‘restricted systems’ found evidence of ‘gross inequalities and gross mismanagement that was rampant in the company’…there had been failings in the management of the site’s membership database and that overall there was a ‘culture of hierarchy and narcissism.'”
Drezner’s World / Daniel W. Drezner
On the matter of Maggie Haberman-hating: Point…
“While all White House press reporters attracted their trolls, with Haberman there was an order-of-magnitude difference. A sizable faction of very online folks clearly believe that Haberman was not covering Trump, but rather covering for Trump…First, in her Twitter feed, Haberman gave more weight to stories that offered a more favorable view of Trump’s political machinations, which annoys folks who despise Trump. Second, never underestimate plain-old sexism: as a woman, Haberman gets far more vitriol than her male counterparts.”
emptywheel / Marcy Wheeler
…counterpoint…
“In retrospect there were probably better ways to try to convey the danger posed by Trump than to serially mock him on Twitter, reinforcing the editorial decisions that treated his tantrums but not his actions as the news, even while exacerbating the polarization between those who identified with Trump’s tantrums and those who with their fancy PhDs knew better….[Haberman’s] stories, individually and as a corpus, revealed Trump to be a skilled bully. But those stories of Trump’s bullying commanded our attention, just like his reality TV show did, and reassured him that continued bullying would continue to dominate press coverage.”
Drezner’s World / Daniel W. Drezner
…counter-counterpoint
“I don’t think [Americans focused more on scandalous White House anecdotes than Trump’s actions] because reporters like Haberman were engaging in a pattern of distraction. I think it happened because Americans prefer to read about easily digestible, scandalous stories like that than longform deep dives into policy. If Wheeler and others want to argue that Haberman et al’s reporting does not have a lot of nutritional value, that is an utterly defensible position. But I don’t think that this coverage crowded out better coverage. It was all available to read. It’s just that most Americans, when they read about politics at all, will go for the quick sugar high.”
The Verge / Jasmine Hicks
Twitch begins testing a paid “Elevated Chat” feature
“…the ‘experiment’ is meant to let users elevate their chat messages for a specific time using a one-time fee. The fees are presented in five different tiers ranging from 30 seconds to two and a half minutes, with fees ranging from $5 to $100.”
Wired / Morgan Meaker
How bots corrupted advertising
“Botmasters have created a Kafkaesque system where companies are paying huge sums to show their ads to bots. And everyone is fine with this….'[A problem] that no one talks about, no one writes about, everyone thinks it’s someone else’s problem.'”
The New York Times / Tina Isaac-Goizé
Glitz Paris is a new $500/year tell-all newsletter about the luxury industry
“As a title, Glitz may ring more gossip rag than hard-hitting media, but the teaser stories it already has posted online are detailed financial and business articles and, according to Indigo, its target audience ranges from luxury consultants to media outlets. On its website, Glitz calls itself ‘the first investigative publication dedicated to the global luxury sector,’ a market that, according to a recent report by Bain & Company, could surpass $300 billion this year.”
The Washington Post / Paul Farhi
TV reporters standing in hurricanes: An American tradition
“Such participatory journalism has no equal in the news business. War reporters usually do not place themselves in the midst of combat, and police reporters typically do not do ‘standups’ in the middle of a shootout. A reporter covering a fire keeps a safe distance.”
Waxy / Andy Baio
AI data laundering: How academic and nonprofit researchers shield tech companies from accountability
“Outsourcing the heavy lifting of data collection and model training to non-commercial entities allows corporations to avoid accountability and potential legal liability. It’s currently unclear if training deep learning models on copyrighted material is a form of infringement, but it’s a harder case to make if the data was collected and trained in a non-commercial setting.”
Slate Magazine / Samuel Breslow
Wikipedia editors have, after intense debate, downgraded Fox News to a “marginally reliable source”
“This means that its use as a reference in Wikipedia articles will not be permitted for ‘exceptional claims’ that require heightened scrutiny, but that its reliability will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for other claims.”
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.