Nieman Foundation at Harvard
ProPublica’s new “50 states” commitment builds on a decade-plus of local news partnerships
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Nov. 14, 2008, 6:35 a.m.

Morning Links: November 14, 2008

— A study claims 1.4 times as many people are reading pirated versions of publishers’ content than are reading the real thing on the original content site. That this “study” was performed by a company that claims to track down said pirates (for a fee) should make you reach for the grain-of-salt shaker.

Do conferences matter any more? It’s certainly a lot harder to schmooze and drink on the corporate tab at a “webinar” (ugh, what a word). But as travel costs rise, technology improves, and budgets shrink, it’s hard to justify the expense of most of the industry conferences journalists go to.

— Lonely Planet does something potentially smart: offering travel bloggers to publish their content on and giving the bloggers some/all of the advertising revenue from that page. It appears they’re focusing on AdWords ads, which work particularly well with travel content. A couple of months ago, a very smart news exec said that travel content is one of the sectors news operations should be expanding, since it’s targeted enough to be comparatively lucrative to sell against.

Help Me Investigate, a current Knight News Challenge contestant, is a spin on the crowdfunding model. Instead of asking the audience to invest money (a la, it asks the audience to invest time — in many ways, a more limited resource.

Joshua Benton is the senior writer and former director of Nieman Lab. You can reach him via email ( or Twitter DM (@jbenton).
POSTED     Nov. 14, 2008, 6:35 a.m.
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