Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The Marshall Project is experimenting with snail mail to reach incarcerated people
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
The Marshall Project is experimenting with snail mail to reach incarcerated people
For the first time, the nonprofit newsroom is offering readers the opportunity to “mail this story to your loved one in prison.”
By Sarah Scire
News organizations that want journalists to engage with their audience may be setting them up for abuse
“They’re not reaching out to these people with story ideas. They’re just telling them, ‘You suck and you’re ugly and you’re biased and your hair sucks.'”
By Jacob L. Nelson
With The Recast, Politico looks to redefine who counts as a ‘politico’
The new race and identity newsletter will land in inboxes on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.
By Sarah Scire
Michigan Radio’s new tool makes news buried in city council meetings easier to find
“It is unbelievably complicated to find out what happens in these meetings, even though all the information is online.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
Buzzy social audio apps like Clubhouse tap into the age-old appeal of the human voice
The social media service is tapping into the creativity, intimacy, and authenticity that audio can deliver, a trend that lies at the heart of the current golden age of podcasting.
By Damian Radcliffe
Mixing public media and digital news startups can amplify the strengths of both — but not without risk
One side has institutional heft, established revenue streams, and a broadcast pace; the other brings hustle, an entrepreneurial spirit, and digital savvy. Here are the hurdles to watch for when cultures combine.
By Joshua Benton
Journalists don’t always cover anti-racism protests as fairly as they think they do
Anti-racism protest stories about police brutality or the removal of Confederate statues were more often portrayed negatively, framed with an emphasis on the violence and destructiveness of protests, and relied more on officials than protesters as sources.
By Summer Harlow
“‘That’s not Timesean’ can be used to exclude”: The New York Times gives the big report treatment to enacting “sweeping” cultural change
“We will make our newsroom more diverse, our editorial practices more inclusive, and our news report one that provides a truer, richer and more textured portrayal of the world. By doing so, we will ultimately attract a reader and subscriber base that more fully reflects the breadth of the society we serve.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Facebook will restore news sharing in Australia, at least for now
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s VP of global news partnerships, stressed that Facebook retained the ability to take down news in Australia again.
By Laura Hazard Owen
The Charleston Post and Courier launches a watchdog project to combat corruption and “news deserts”
“Sunlight can disinfect, but South Carolina has lost some light.”
By Sarah Scire
The WeChat model: How Facebook’s Australian ban could change the business of news
If the current situation continues, it may leave Facebook operating much more like the Chinese platform WeChat, where news is ruled by platform-specific content houses cranking out huge volumes of low-quality articles.
By Fan Yang and Robbie Fordyce
The Marshall Project is experimenting with snail mail to reach incarcerated people
For the first time, the nonprofit newsroom is offering readers the opportunity to “mail this story to your loved one in prison.”
By Sarah Scire
With The Recast, Politico looks to redefine who counts as a ‘politico’
The new race and identity newsletter will land in inboxes on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.
Michigan Radio’s new tool makes news buried in city council meetings easier to find
“It is unbelievably complicated to find out what happens in these meetings, even though all the information is online.”
What We’re Reading
Adweek / Mark Stenberg
MEL Magazine launches three paid newsletters
“The announcement of a paid newsletter program marks an important new milestone for Mel, which does not run advertisements, sell subscriptions, or generate revenue outside of merchandise sales. The publication largely relies on the men’s grooming brand Dollar Shave Club for its financial support. It launched Mel in 2015 as a diffuse marketing arm for its line of products.”
Poynter / Chrissy Beck
Duke and UNC student media raised $76,000 by tapping into their schools’ basketball rivalry
“Every year, the Rivalry Challenge raises more money than the year before. It has been successful when the basketball teams are evenly matched, when one of them is significantly better than the other, and when they’re both terrible. It has been successful in and out of the pandemic.”
OneZero / Will Oremus
Who really writes Twitter’s ‘trending’ summaries?
“…Other times [the trending summaries are] a vector for misinformation, spreading false or misleading memes to a much wider audience than would have otherwise encountered them. Paradoxically, attempts by Twitter users to debunk a false meme can result in it trending more widely because the algorithm takes the debunkings as a further signal of the meme’s popularity as a discussion topic.”
Vox / Peter Kafka
Americans subscribe to an average of 1.5 streaming services
“Netflix customers were less likely than other streaming subscribers to pay for anything else — which presumably has something to do with the fact that (almost) everyone has Netflix. It’s the streaming starter package: You get it first and then maybe think about adding something else.”
The Intersection / Adriana Lacy
The Yappie looks to inform and empower Asian American and Pacific Islander communities
“We’re definitely not the first to highlight the work being done by AAPI activists and elected officials. Groundbreaking publications like AsianWeek have been around for decades, but they’ve struggled to survive, and we just haven’t found a similar project that exists today. The reality is that there isn’t a well-funded AAPI media ecosystem, and many AAPIs lack access to the critical information and resources necessary to participate in our democracy.”
Digiday / Kate Kaye
Google will end behavioral targeting and profile-building in its ad products
“Google helped create and grow the digital ad ecosystem that relied on tracking and targeting ads to people across the web. Now, up against pressure from regulators around data privacy and antitrust, Google will stop enabling cross-site tracking and targeting of individuals in all its web-based ad products, such as its Google AdX exchange or ads in YouTube.”
The Guardian / Ben Quinn
Could the Meghan Markle v. Mail on Sunday ruling prevent the media using leaked documents?
“You are putting manacles on the media and that is going to be one of the issues from this going forward. What you have is a situation where any letter that is leaked to a journalist cannot be published under the terms of this judgment. And it is unclear when public interest comes in to allow you to publish.”
BuzzFeed News / Ryan Mac and Craig Silverman
Facebook (and Jeff Bezos’s dad) helped fund columnist David Brooks’s second job. Nobody told the readers of The New York Times.
“Brooks, who is listed as Weave’s chair on its site, didn’t hesitate to drop mentions of the organization in his columns. But he was less forthcoming about the financial status of his second job and its connection to Facebook. In 2019, as Weave pursued a project with Facebook funding, Brooks peppered columns with mentions of Zuckerberg, Instagram, and Facebook, but didn’t disclose that the company was actively funding Weave — and, by extension, his own salary.”
CNN / Oliver Darcy
Sinclair will lay off hundreds of employees, citing ‘profound impact’ the pandemic has had on its business
The announced 5% reduction in staff means that about 460 people will lose their jobs. Sinclair operates 186 television stations across 87 markets in the U.S. and reported a 7% drop in total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, last month.
Columbia Journalism Review / Feven Merid
Marc Lacey on running The New York Times’s new Live desk
“Live accumulated the longest thread of continual pandemic coverage found anywhere online.” The new role has left Lacey feeling like an air traffic controller. “There’s all this incoming chatter,” he said.
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.