Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Leaked code, blocked journalists, and billions gone: It’s just another few days in late Twitter
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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.
March 8, 2023
“The app in some ways is very much like others that exist today, which have been founded in other countries, including ByteDance’s Toutiao in China, Japan’s SmartNews and News Break, another personalized news reader with Chinese roots. Like its rivals, Artifact learns from user behavior, engagement and other factors in order to personalize which headlines are presented and in which order. Despite this competitive landscape, [the founders] believe U.S. news consumers want an option that’s actually based in their home market.”
TechCrunch / Sarah Perez / Mar 8
The news startup has so far hired eight full-time employees and plans to bring on more contributors. Robinson Meyer, a climate journalist and former staff writer at The Atlantic, is joining as the founding executive editor of the company.
Axios / Sara Fischer / Mar 8
“How it works: RadioGPT uses Futuri’s TopicPulse technology to scan online news sources and social media to identify topics and trends in local markets. The platform then creates scripts for radio broadcasts — which are delivered on air by AI-generated personalities — using the same GPT-3 technology implemented by ChatGPT.”
Axios / Troy Smith / Mar 8
March 7, 2023
“The ‘almost complete absence’ of Dalit journalists, writers and television personalities in the Indian media, said Harish Wankhede, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi who studies caste in media, creates ‘a black hole of gatekeeping”’ in which articles highlighting crimes against Dalits are routinely buried.”
The New York Times / Karan Deep Singh / Mar 7
“Medium is the first major tech company to offer users a ‘premium’ Mastodon experience — meaning access to the instance isn’t free as it is elsewhere when signing up directly. Instead, interested users would have to purchase a Medium membership, which currently runs $5 USD per month or $50 per year with its annual plan.”
TechCrunch / Sarah Perez / Mar 7
“New subscribers will have access to The Washington Post’s world-class reporting and put their wellness goals into practice with Headspace’s science-backed mindfulness and meditation content that offers a range of tools for managing stress, increasing positivity and compassion, improving sleep, finding focus and so much more.”
The Washington Post PR / Mar 7
“DW, a German state-funded news agency, is currently blocked in Russia, Turkey and Iran. An internet user in those countries should now be able to access DW if they download Proton’s VPN application. Proton VPN’s chief technology officer Samuele Kaplun wrote on the company’s website that DW approached Proton in autumn last year ‘to see if we could help them make their independent reporting available all around the world.'”
Press Gazette / Bron Maher / Mar 7
“Both millennials and Gen Z were more than twice as likely to pay for news from independent creators (i.e. email newsletters, video or audio content) than traditional print and digital outlets.”
Poynter / Poynter Staff / Mar 7
“Something we do too is clue the audience into what’s about to come. On [videos that use TikTok’s quote-tweet-style stitching feature] we’ll often put the phrase ‘stitch incoming’ so that the audience knows that [they] might have seen this video already floating around the internet but we have something to add to it.”
Digiday / Tim Peterson / Mar 7
“If you take the top 10,000 YouTube videos by performance and dub them in 20-plus languages, you could easily unlock an additional half a trillion to a trillion views.”
Rest of World / Nilesh Christopher / Mar 7