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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 6, 2021
“It’s a high-profile example of the complicated path to significant and lasting change, and what happens when a public pronouncement isn’t matched by meaningful action. That’s a risk that a lot of companies, not just media outlets, run in the months and years following last summer’s public reckoning around racism and anti-Blackness — will they make good on their Instagram posts and supportive statements with tangible work once public attention is elsewhere?”
Vox / Anna North / May 6
The Times added 301,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, the slowest gain since the third quarter of 2019. For the first time, the company announced its number of registered users: 100 million. SS
New York Times / Edmund Lee / May 6
YouTube will give 20-30 digital-first newsrooms grants worth up to $200,000 and provide experts to help them learn video journalism. Another program will offer training for independent journalists.
Axios / Sara Fischer / May 6
“But we ain’t dead yet. Our newspaper and its website still draw millions of readers each day. Our reporters get stories no one else can — acknowledged each year by numerous awards. Now it’s time for someone in this city of 8.6 million people to step up and save New York’s Hometown Paper. Anybody home?” HT
New York Daily News / Larry McShane / May 6
May 5, 2021
Everdeen Mason, the Times’ first editorial director of Games, joins a department of about 50 people. “Last year, more than 850,000 people subscribed to Times Games, about a 40 percent increase from 2019, and more than 28 million people played at least one game, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year.”
New York Times / Melissa Guerrero / May 5
May 4, 2021
The “Style” section will review evergreen clothing items — white t-shirts, cashmere sweaters, leggings, etc. — and follow the traditional Wirecutter cadence, publishing six guides a year. The new “Trends” section, meanwhile, will publish several times a week, “with the aim of reproducing the Wirecutter rigor on an expedited timeline.”
Adweek / Mark Stenberg / May 4
Details and context matter, the Post warned. For example? A D.C. flag shirt “is fine.” A pro-statehood one “would be an expression of public advocacy on a matter we cover.” SS
Washingtonian / Andrew Beaujon / May 4
“The change, which coincides with the start of the pandemic, could suggest that users prefer to engage more with article pages when they have the opportunity to read them on a bigger screen.”
Axios / Sara Fischer / May 4
“The Texas Tribune, which was known for its public gatherings before the pandemic, found that the simpler, less expensive logistics of going online allowed it to produce more events with an increased profit margin. The Dallas Morning News also boosted its number of events. The Star Tribune reacted to the cancellation of the popular Minnesota State Fair by creating a ‘virtual state fair’ that allowed it to save most of its expected advertising revenue linked to the fair.”
Poynter / Mark Jacob / May 4
“The Recount’s videos are meant to feel like analytical explainers — heavy with charts and graphics — as opposed to commentary from lots of talking heads. Its ‘Wire’ video product, a string of short clips featuring news of the day, is ‘the purest expression of the core things we do really well,’ says [cofounder John] Battelle.”
Axios / Sara Fischer / May 4