Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Postcards and laundromat visits: The Texas Tribune audience team experiments with IRL distribution
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What We’re Reading
We keep an eye out for the most interesting stories about Labby subjects: digital media, startups, the web, journalism, strategy, and more. Here’s some of what we’ve seen lately.
May 23, 2024
“One staffer says three-quarters of his web pieces never meet the piercing gaze of a copy editor. An unspoken rule, says the staffer, is that only pieces trending on Chartbeat get a (retroactive) look from the copy desk … Despite this mismatch between reportorial output and copy-editing bandwidth, [editor-in-chief Edith] Chapin’s memo makes no mention of the problem, and instead preoccupies itself with high-level oversight, standards and the like. Could it be that the big-dollar funder lacks a passion for copy editing?”
Washington Post / Erik Wemple / May 23
“The conceit that any new technology renders all preexisting laws and regulations inapplicable is a profitable one. Hundreds of billions of dollars can be made with the ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ philosophy. That is what OpenAI is doing now.”
Substack / Hamilton Nolan / May 23
“For core audiences, the Post will introduce three additional subscription tiers: ‘Plus,’ a B2C offering with additional editorial content for superfans; ‘Pro,’ a B2B offering with in-depth policy data and analysis (the Post’s answer to Politico Pro and Axios Pro, essentially) for the K Street and Capitol Hill crowd; and ‘Membership,’ which adds access to exclusive events and forums (think: WSJ C.E.O. Council). For non-core audiences, such as younger news consumers who engage with Post content on social media, the Post will also introduce a pay-as-you-go option to access single articles or work from a specific author. “ LO
Puck / Dylan Byers / May 23
“GBH announced layoffs of 31 staff members on Wednesday, representing 4% of its overall workforce…The most dramatic cuts are to programming within the news division, the organization’s largest department with approximately 100 employees.”
GBH / Liz Neisloss / May 23
“The company in 2022 started labeling state-affiliated media accounts — like those from RT, the global Russian television network, and People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. It said it would no longer allow videos from such accounts into users’ main feeds if they ‘attempt to reach communities outside their home country on current global events and affairs.’ TikTok also said the accounts would not be permitted to advertise on TikTok outside their home countries, to further reduce their reach.”
The New York Times / Sapna Maheshwari / May 23
“Terms of content-licensing agreements between publishers and OpenAI aren’t public, but the News Corp deal is among the biggest, if not the biggest, reached to date.”
Wall Street Journal / Alexandra Bruell, Sam Schechner, and Deepa Seetharaman / May 23
“There are few greater authorities on the planet on the rise of authoritarianism than Masha Gessen.” SS
The New York Times Company / Kathleen Kingsbury / May 23
May 22, 2024
“Meta’s new chatbot, Meta AI, is happy to scan news outlets and summarize their latest stories and headlines for anyone who asks. It’s even doing it in Canada, where the company banned links to news sources on Facebook and Instagram in August to get around a law that could require it to pay publishers.” LO
Washington Post / Heather Kelly / May 22
“While its news and politics-related email volume has decreased by 65% since this change, [Jessanne Collins, The New Yorker’s director of newsletters] said that the publishers’ page views coming from the News & Politics newsletter have gone up by 35%.”
Digiday / Sara Guaglione / May 22
“In a sharp reversal, Israel said Tuesday it would return camera and broadcast equipment it had seized from the Associated Press in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Tuesday after the action prompted swift backlash from U.S. officials and press groups.”
CNN / Jon Passantino, Hadas Gold, and Oliver Darcy / May 22