Nieman Foundation at Harvard
The moral argument for diversity in newsrooms is also a business argument — and you need both
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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.
November 30, 2020
“The popularity of YouTubecore albums first released decades ago has caused their long-out-of-print physical counterparts to skyrocket in price. Predictably, record labels have come to the rescue with reissues on vinyl, CD, and even cassette.” (Previously: How Spotify’s algorithm turned an obscure B-side into Pavement’s biggest hit, and how Spotify’s algorithm made a 28-year-old album track Galaxie 500’s biggest hit.)
Ars Technica / Catherine Sinow / Nov 30
“The outlet, which has published three issues since it first appeared in September, draws heavily on the gloop of long-running online conspiracies about a new world order, which have attached themselves to the current pandemic…[its founder says] his publication has a print run of 100,000 copies, which are distributed by volunteers who sign up to the outlet’s core message that the coronavirus is a hoax.” JB
The Guardian / Jim Waterson / Nov 30
“I can distinctly remember my first office party as a very young journalist, and being challenged to twerk by an older white and very respected journalist. It had taken a lot of convincing for me to even arrive at that Christmas party and that element of the experience made me very uncomfortable. How do we deal with these characters that exist in media environments?”
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism / Izin Akhabau / Nov 30
“It’s an only-in-2020 beat, covering the health emergencies of White House officials, many of whom have bucked their own administration’s public safety recommendations, such as mask-wearing, as the virus has spread within one of the world’s most secure office spaces.”
The Washington Post / Elahe Izadi / Nov 30
In 1992, at The Detroit News, she launched the first nationally syndicated column about gay issues to run in mainstream newspapers — five years before Ellen DeGeneres came out.
Twitter / Joshua Benton / Nov 30
“I have gotten substantially worse at email during the pandemic. Not having a commute means I don’t have a built-in time to work through my inbox. I stare at 1,303 unreads. They stare back at me.”
The New York Times / Leigh-Ann Jackson / Nov 30
“If it’s correct to worry about a merged company that publishes perhaps 33 percent of new books, then surely it’s correct to worry more about the fact that Amazon now sells 49 percent of them…Yes, publishers are oligopolistic and hardly sympathetic, but their continued health is essential to the survival of the book business, and thus the intellectual life of this country.”
The Atlantic / Franklin Foer / Nov 30
A low-risk opportunity to hook future subscribers when they’re young. (In Minneapolis, the Star Tribune launched a similar program for Minnesota students earlier this month.)
The New York Times / Nov 30
“The arrests and violence have pushed journalists to work in new ways. Journalists no longer wear clothing identifying them as press for fear of being targeted. The violence also has prompted a change in news distribution: Media outlets have migrated onto the messaging platform Telegram.”
Nieman Reports / Madeleine Schwartz / Nov 30
So says Lord Gilbert of Panteg (formerly of Pontypool and Cwmbran). “That means reform of the online advertising market and a new mandatory bargaining code, modelled on the Australian system, to compel platforms to pay publishers for the use of their content.” JB / Marcela Kunova / Nov 30