Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Media owners in the crosshairs as Trump craves retribution
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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.
December 7, 2023
“The two strikes killed Reuters visuals journalist Issam Abdallah, 37, and severely wounded Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Christina Assi, 28, just over a kilometre from the Israeli border near the Lebanese village of Alma al-Chaab. Reuters spoke to more than 30 government and security officials, military experts, forensic investigators, lawyers, medics and witnesses to piece together a detailed account of the incident. The news agency reviewed hours of video footage from eight media outlets in the area at the time and hundreds of photos from before and after the attack, including high-resolution satellite images. As part of its investigation, Reuters also gathered and obtained evidence from the scene including shrapnel on the ground and embedded in a Reuters car, three flak jackets, a camera, tripod and a large piece of metal.” SC
Reuters / Maya Gebeily, Anthony Deutsch, and David Clarke / Dec 7
“About 700 Washington Post employees walked off the job for 24 hours on Thursday, protesting stalled union contract negotiations and expected layoffs.” SC
The New York Times / Katie Robertson / Dec 7
“What I’m seeing on TikTok isn’t necessarily what you’re seeing — and according to this recap, the overlap is slim between my For You page and the net average of all TikTok users. How do we make wide-ranging conclusions about an app where a consensus doesn’t exist? And what counts as ‘viral’ on a platform where anyone can rack up half a million views and it would still be a drop in the bucket of attention and not at all representative of ‘what’s happening on TikTok’?”
The Verge / Mia Sato / Dec 7
“Swift just … doesn’t say much. She is clearly well-coached, and clearly thoughtful about the things she wants to talk about, but her power has reached a level now where she doesn’t have to say anything at all in exchange for whatever cultural cachet Time has left to give.”
Defector / Kelsey McKinney / Dec 7
“I think you have to earn readers one at a time. There are some people who just can’t be convinced—they’re certain that elk will break their legs in the forest and antelope bask in the shade of drilling rigs. But there is a way, I believe, to tell the story that the people who are genuinely interested in seeing their communities advance will take on the challenges they’re facing. There are people who are definitely willing to read news stories and reports that are even-handed, explaining relevant topics. Perhaps even just a small bite at a time.”
Columbia Journalism Review / Kevin Lind / Dec 7
“Hearst — which publishes the likes of Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and the San Francisco Chronicle — has announced that it has acquired Puzzmo, a puzzle gaming platform led by indie developers Zach Gage and Orta Therox. The move puts Hearst directly up against the gaming efforts of The New York Times.”
The Verge / Andrew Webster / Dec 7
“There was a time when Time’s cover stories, on a weekly basis, were talked about everywhere from boardrooms to living rooms. Today, the magazine is printed just twice a month and Time, like pretty much every other magazine, has become a digital-first news outlet. There is still good journalism at Time, but does it have the overwhelming impact that it used to? That’s debatable. But, there’s no question that once a year, Time is still a really big deal. That’s when it names its person of the year, which is generally one of the most talked about media stories of the year.”
Poynter / Tom Jones / Dec 7
December 6, 2023
“This deafening noise of the information ecosystem, I believe, is a huge reason why journalism — and by journalism I mean high quality insightful, inclusive reporting — lost its role as a curator of a public conversation. It’s the element of the disinformation crisis we, journalists, should have been combatting all along.”
Medium / Natalia Antelava / Dec 6
“By just about every metric, podcasts are still gaining popularity with listeners … But perhaps there was too much hype, too many unrealistic expectations—and, dare we say, too many podcasts? Or at least too many podcasts that couldn’t turn a profit based on high talent or production costs?”
Slate Magazine / Scott Nover / Dec 6
“Kelsey Weekman, an ‘In The Know’ internet culture writer who previously worked at the now-defunct BuzzFeed News: ‘If I had a nickel for every time in 2023 the website i was working for got shut down, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened twice right.'”
The Daily Beast / Corbin Bolies / Dec 6