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Is the news industry ready for another pivot to video?
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Is the news industry ready for another pivot to video?
Aggregate data from 47 countries shows all the growth in platform news use coming from video or video-led networks.
By Nic Newman
Many people don’t pay full price for their news subscription. Most don’t want to pay anything at all
Is increasing subscriber numbers by offering people rock-bottom trial prices sustainable?
By Craig Robertson
What’s in a successful succession? Nonprofit news leaders on handing the reins to the next guard
“Any organization that is dependent on having a founder around is inherently unsustainable.”
By Sophie Culpepper
Worldwide, news publishers face a “platform reset”
Some findings from RISJ’s 2024 Digital News Report.
By Nieman Lab Staff
The strange history of white journalists trying to “become” Black
“To believe that the richness of Black identity can be understood through a temporary costume trivializes the lifelong trauma of racism. It turns the complexity of Black life into a stunt.”
By Alisha Gaines
Business Insider’s owner signed a huge OpenAI deal. ChatGPT still won’t credit the site’s biggest scoops
“We are…deeply worried that despite this partnership, OpenAI may be downplaying rather than elevating our works,” Business Insider’s union wrote in a letter to management.
By Andrew Deck
How Newslaundry worked with its users to make its journalism more accessible
“If you’re doing it, do it properly. Don’t just add a few widgets, or overlay products and embeds, and call yourself accessible.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
How YouTube’s recommendations pull you away from news
Plus: News participation is declining, online and offline; making personal phone calls could help with digital-subscriber churn; and partly automated news videos seem to work with audiences.
By Mark Coddington and Seth Lewis
Apple brings free call recording and transcription to iPhones; journalists rejoice
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen.”
By Joshua Benton
What can The Wall Street Journal’s new ad campaign tell us about its future?
The new brand campaign is aimed at younger versions of existing Journal readers. The various “It’s Your Business” ads center some of the newsroom’s edgier and more evergreen journalism.
By Sarah Scire
“Neither feast nor famine”: In 2023, nonprofit news continued to grow — but the audience picture is more complicated
While the sector is still growing, that growth is slowing, by some metrics. And audience data for 2023 shows that across all outlets surveyed, average monthly web traffic fell.
By Sophie Culpepper
Scenes from the trial of Ozy’s Carlos Watson
Ozy’s Instagram account is calling for supporters to pack the courtroom as “Justice Watchers.”
By Joshua Benton
Is the news industry ready for another pivot to video?
Aggregate data from 47 countries shows all the growth in platform news use coming from video or video-led networks.
By Nic Newman
Many people don’t pay full price for their news subscription. Most don’t want to pay anything at all
Is increasing subscriber numbers by offering people rock-bottom trial prices sustainable?
What’s in a successful succession? Nonprofit news leaders on handing the reins to the next guard
“Any organization that is dependent on having a founder around is inherently unsustainable.”
What We’re Reading
WIRED / Dhruv Mehrotra and Tim Marchman
Perplexity is a bullshit machine
“A WIRED analysis and one carried out by developer Robb Knight suggest that Perplexity is able to achieve this partly through apparently ignoring a widely accepted web standard known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol to surreptitiously scrape areas of websites that operators do not want accessed by bots, despite claiming that it won’t. WIRED observed a machine tied to Perplexity—more specifically, one on an Amazon server and almost certainly operated by Perplexity—doing this on WIRED.com and across other Condé Nast publications.”
The Canadian Press / Mickey Djuric
AI chatbots use Canadian news, but Ottawa won’t say if they should be paying for it
“Last year, the Liberal government passed the Online News Act, which requires some tech companies to negotiate licensing agreements with news publishers to use their content. The government won’t say if the law should also apply to AI services, such as massively popular chatbots.”
TechCrunch / Lauren Forristal
Spotify quietly lets all podcasters upload videos, surpasses 250K shows
“There are more than 170 million global users watching video podcasts on Spotify, and the number of monthly active users watching video podcasts has grown by 40% year-over-year. Additionally, the platform recorded a bigger increase in video consumption hours compared to audio-only consumption hours in the same period.”
The Guardian / Anna Isaac and Stephanie Kirchgaessner
Washington Post publisher alleged to have advised Boris Johnson to ‘clean up’ phone during Partygate
“Will Lewis, the Washington Post publisher, advised Boris Johnson and senior officials at 10 Downing Street to “clean up” their phones in the midst of a Covid-era political scandal, according to claims by three people familiar with the operations inside No 10 at the time … The claims suggest Lewis’s advice contradicted an email sent to staff at No 10 in December 2021 which instructed them not to destroy any material that could be relevant to an investigation.”
Adweek / Mark Stenberg
Zuora acquires AI firm to end A/B testing for paywalls
“Unlike propensity models, however, which must be periodically adjusted, Sub(x) will constantly intake information about the efficacy of its past offers and recalibrate future offers accordingly. As a result, the technology claims it will eliminate A/B testing, automating away the manual process of trial and error that paywall providers have historically used to improve their conversion rates over time.”
Bloomberg / Eltaf Najafizada
India denies permit to French reporter in blow to press freedom
“‘This work ban comes as a big shock: it was communicated to me on the eve of the Indian general elections, the largest democratic elections in the world, which I was hence forbidden to cover,’ said Farcis in his post on X. ‘This appeared to me as an incomprehensible censorship.’ India’s national elections began on April 19. Votes were counted on June 4, with Modi reelected as prime minister for a third consecutive term.”
Vulture / Nicholas Quah
How chat podcasts have taken over the medium and dominated the cultural discourse (again)
“If the public face of podcasting was once thinky narrative shows vying for high-art legitimacy, these days it’s chat and interview programs that hustle their way into your life.”
Axios / Sara Fischer
Forbes threatens Perplexity AI with legal action over copyright infringement
“The letter, dated last Thursday, demands that Perplexity remove the misleading source articles, reimburse Forbes for all advertising revenues Perplexity earned via the infringement, and provide ‘satisfactory evidence and written assurances’ that it has removed the infringing articles.”
Los Angeles Times / Mary Rasenberger
Authors Guild CEO: Generative AI is built atop the theft of creative professionals’ work
“These companies claim they need our work to succeed but can’t afford to pay for it.”
Twitter / Brian Stelter
Jeff Bezos shows support for embattled Washington Post publisher Will Lewis
“Team — I know you’ve already heard this from Will, but I wanted to also weigh in directly: the journalistic standards and ethics at The Post will not change…You have my full commitment on maintaining the quality, ethics, and standards we all believe in.”
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.