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The Outline, an attempt to build a bolder kind of news site, appears to have met its end
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Articles by Joshua Benton

Joshua Benton is director of the Nieman Journalism Lab. Before spending a year at Harvard as a 2008 Nieman Fellow, he spent a decade in newspapers, most recently at The Dallas Morning News. His reports on cheating on standardized tests in the Texas public schools led to the permanent shutdown of a school district and won the Philip Meyer Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has reported from 10 foreign countries, been a Pew Fellow in International Journalism, and three times been a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting. Before Dallas, he was a reporter and occasional rock critic for The Toledo Blade. He wrote his first HTML in January 1994.
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Declines in ad revenue and all those canceled events might prove manageable. But the real risk would come with a virus-inspired recession — and how the industry’s hedge-fund owners might respond to it.
Twitter’s version of the ubiquitous format is an important advance for people wanting to separate the public and long-lasting from the private and ephemeral. But publishers aren’t likely to benefit from a less broadcast-oriented Twitter.
Losing the chance to gather together to swap stories and ideas is very low on the list of the virus’ negative effects, of course. But it’s a harbinger of the sort of disruption that could be coming on a larger scale.
“I just don’t believe where the stock is trading” is not a thing you want to hear from one of your biggest investors. And in Chicago, some of the most prestigious positions in journalism are now either eliminated or part-time gigs.
In Norway and Sweden, a survey finds some people won’t pay for online news because the news from their free public broadcaster is good enough. That’s a feature, not a bug.
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.
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.”
That makes Cox buying back the “daily” newspaper it sold to Apollo Global Capital a year ago a rare newspaper win-win-win.