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Newsonomics: In Memphis’ unexpected news war, The Daily Memphian’s model demands attention
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Jan. 9, 2020, 11:27 a.m.
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Nieman Lab’s not the only one that does predictions for 2020 (oh hey, check out our predictions for 2020!): The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford has a report out today that’s the product of a survey of “233 digital leaders from 32 countries” on what they expect to see in 2020 and how they’re thinking about what’s ahead.

A few of its findings:

— 50 percent of those surveyed said reader revenue will be the most important revenue stream for their company going forward (just 14 percent said the same of advertising). This is a change, in particular, in southern Europe:

In Spain, El Mundo has already started to charge for premium content, with El País set to follow early in 2020. It is already asking readers to sign in (for free) to read opinion and weekend features in preparation for the change. This is a major shift of direction for publications that until recently have pursued a scale-based strategy (which has sometimes led to accusations of clickbait and low-quality journalism).

Other regional chains such as Vocento and Prensa Ibérica have established paywalls in most of their titles, while the independent sector is strengthening membership and or donation options.

— Respondents think that Twitter is the platform that has done the best job of fighting misinformation, and that Facebook has done the worst.

Meanwhile, publishers rate Google higher than any other platform in “supporting journalism.” Reuters notes that “Google’s higher score is reflective of the large number of publishers in our survey who are current or past recipients of Google’s innovation funds (DNI or GNI), and who collaborate with the company on various news-related products.”

— Publishers give themselves relatively high marks for improving gender diversity within their organizations (“with Scandinavian publishers much more confident about gender diversity than publishers in other parts of Europe”) and rate themselves less well on racial diversity (still probably too well given the actual statistics), non-metropolitan diversity, and political diversity.

— Expect even more daily news podcasts this year.

“The Times of London is one of many that will launch a daily news podcast in 2020,” the report notes. “Others are investing in chat/interview formats or documentaries, with Le Monde, for example, recently releasing three new podcast series adapted from investigative articles.”

The full report, plus additional essays, is here.

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