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Newsonomics: In Memphis’ unexpected news war, The Daily Memphian’s model demands attention
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Newsonomics: In Memphis’ unexpected news war, The Daily Memphian’s model demands attention
It’s generated controversy over its fundraising, its paywall, and its staffing. But it’s also about as close as a major American city has gotten to a digital news site that can go toe-to-toe with the local daily newspaper.
By Ken Doctor
The New Yorker’s new weekly newsletter on climate change will try to break through the daily noise
“Climate is one of those big, overarching topics that feels essential to understand and also very overwhelming. The newsletter form seems like the right way to approach it because it narrows the focus.”
By Sarah Scire
Spotify is gaining a podcast audience quickly. But is it an audience that isn’t as interested in news?
Data from Germany finds that Apple Podcasts users devote about 23 percent of their podcast listening to news shows — versus just 8 percent for Spotify users.
By Joshua Benton
Feeling panicked about coronavirus? Media coverage of new epidemics often stokes unnecessary fear
For journalists, it’s worth remaining alert to the dangers of spreading fear — a highly contagious emotion — in the face of uncertainty.
By Karin Wahl-Jorgensen
Need cash fast? Patreon is now lending money to its creators to launch projects with high startup costs
“Patreon has access to all the data about a creator’s earnings history, what they offer as benefits, how much they engage with their patrons…everything needed to forecast their earnings and retention, without a creator even needing to submit an application.”
By Nicholas Quah
I’d like to thank my family, my agent, my manager, and of course the Podcast Academy
What does “legitimacy” mean in an open industry? Plus: Is there really still a difference between podcasting and radio? A London station is trying to find out.
By Nicholas Quah
Share and share alike: A new tool from AP is helping New York’s local news outlets spread their stories more widely
“On most days of the week, I’m competing with them.” But when the situation’s right, local news outlets are using one another to augment their own resources.
By Hanaa' Tameez
News organizations just want to get readers hooked, whether their habit’s news, podcasts, or puzzles
“Habit is something that has always been in our DNA, but we haven’t called it that.”
By Sarah Scire
Newsonomics: Six takeaways from McClatchy’s bankruptcy
Will Chatham Asset Management, the hedge fund set to gain control of the company, want to operate it after bankruptcy? Or will it look to cash out via merger as quickly as possible?
By Ken Doctor
McClatchy files for bankruptcy, likely ending 163 years of family control and setting up more consolidation in local news
The hedge fund that will likely soon control America’s second-largest newspaper chain, Chatham Asset Management, is also majority owner of the National Enquirer and Canada’s largest newspaper chain. It is advancing its “fundamental thesis on late-stage media consolidation in North America.”
By Joshua Benton
Americans of all political stripes expect 2020’s fake news to be biased against their side
It’s not just the real news media partisans think is rooting for the other team — it’s the fake news media too.
By Hanaa' Tameez
In one move, the Dayton Daily News gets to avoid (a) private equity ownership, (b) the daycutting knife, and (c) a misused federal regulation
That makes Cox buying back the “daily” newspaper it sold to Apollo Global Capital a year ago a rare newspaper win-win-win.
By Joshua Benton
If people will pay for MP3s of people whispering them to sleep, why won’t they pay for podcasts?
Plus: A fair-use fracas, audio rom-coms without a business strategy, and the overwhelming whitemaleness of podcast acquisitions.
By Nicholas Quah
Newsonomics: In Memphis’ unexpected news war, The Daily Memphian’s model demands attention
It’s generated controversy over its fundraising, its paywall, and its staffing. But it’s also about as close as a major American city has gotten to a digital news site that can go toe-to-toe with the local daily newspaper.
By Ken Doctor
The New Yorker’s new weekly newsletter on climate change will try to break through the daily noise
“Climate is one of those big, overarching topics that feels essential to understand and also very overwhelming. The newsletter form seems like the right way to approach it because it narrows the focus.”
Spotify is gaining a podcast audience quickly. But is it an audience that isn’t as interested in news?
Data from Germany finds that Apple Podcasts users devote about 23 percent of their podcast listening to news shows — versus just 8 percent for Spotify users.
What We’re Reading
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism / Eduardo Suárez
Lessons on building reader revenue models from the British and Spanish press
From Eduardo Suárez: “As this [digital] transformation unfolds, it’s worth looking at strategies news organisations are using on five aspects of the subscription process: things to do before launch, value proposition, pricing, acquisition and churn.
Google Docs / Delia Cai
Your newsletter audience starter pack
Delia Cai, who writes the daily one-story newsletter Deez Links, shared her presentation from a Substack event on how to build an audience for your newsletter
Mother Jones / Ali Breland
Why Mark Zuckerberg’s latest plea for regulation is an enormous cop-out

“The argument neatly fits a longstanding pattern of tech companies wading into new, potentially destructive areas seeking revenue, only to follow up by saying they’ll punt on making difficult ethical decisions that could hurt their bottom line until governments step in and force them to.”

The New York Times
The New York Times is adding a breaking news team in London

The effort is part of The Times’ goal to reach two million international subscriptions and 10 million total subscriptions by 2025.

What / Damian Radcliffe
Here are 5 charts about digital subscription trends in 2019
“Niche and specialist publications, as well as those with a marquee brand and a large base of potential subscribers to tap into, may well be best placed to ride the subscription storm. But smaller publications, those without these resources and advantages (such as local news outlets) may find these waters much harder to navigate.”
MediaPost / Sara Guaglione
The New York Post is working two true crime podcasts that will debut next month
One podcast will look into some of New York City’s “darkest and most inconceivable crimes of all time” while the other will explore more recent crimes and why they dominated the Post’s coverage.
Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas / Paola Nalvarte
A Mexican newspaper published photos of a woman’s mutilated body, and sparked a debate on how the press covers femicide
“Freedom of expression organization Article 19 Mexico indicated that the publication of these images goes against all journalistic ethics and demonstrates the urgency of a space for reflection of the journalistic union on the coverage of femicides. It also said that the dissemination of these images is a form of revictimization, which in this case has come from the same State by filtering these images to the media.”
Pew Research Center / Mark Jurkowitz and Amy Mitchell
Who isn’t worried that made-up news could influence 2020 election? Those not paying attention
“The least concerned are those who don’t follow political news closely at all, people with the least knowledge about political affairs and the youngest adults.”
Northwestern Local News Initiative / Mark Jacob
A new news startup in Kansas City is looking to fill the McClatchy-owned Kansas City Star’s coverage gaps

The Beacon will not be focused on breaking news. Ryan said her discussions with news consumers show many of them “disenfranchised with the 24-hour news cycle locally, and them wanting more context to stories. The ‘solutions journalism’ aspect in particular is very appealing to people in our area.”

CNN / Kerry Flynn
The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune are offering buyouts to staffers
“The buyout offer is intended to give us a little more flexibility to create and hire new roles, and to give some staffers who are looking to make a change an opportunity to leave on their own terms.”
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.