Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Higher ed and public radio are enmeshed. So what happens when the culture wars come?
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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.
October 14, 2021
“A new research project led by Facebook’s AI team suggests the scope of the company’s ambitions. It imagines AI systems that are constantly analyzing peoples’ lives using first-person video; recording what they see, do, and hear in order to help them with everyday tasks.”
The Verge / James Vincent / Oct 14
“’I think journalists in Malta still operate in an extremely hostile environment,” Paul Caruana Galizia, one of Daphne’s sons said. ‘They’re targeted by disinformation campaigns, they are still intimidated physically in person, they’re harassed online… Malta’s still a very difficult, very dangerous place to work as a journalist.’”
Press Gazette / Freddy Mayhew / Oct 14
“Mr. Kristof, 62, has been on leave from The Times since June, when he told company executives that he was weighing a run for governor in the state where he grew up. On Tuesday, he filed to organize a candidate committee with Oregon’s secretary of state, signaling that his interest was serious.”
The New York Times / Marc Tracy / Oct 14
“They call Alden a vulture hedge fund, and I think that’s honestly a misnomer,” Charlie Johnson, a former Metro reporter at the Chicago Tribune said. “A vulture doesn’t hold a wounded animal’s head underwater. This is predatory.”
The Atlantic / McKay Coppins / Oct 14
October 13, 2021
“The social media company, which allows more critical commentary of public figures than of private individuals, is changing its approach on the harassment of journalists and ‘human rights defenders,’ who it says are in the public eye due to their work rather than their public personas.”
Reuters / Elizabeth Culliford / Oct 13
“Spotify has grown its podcast base by acquiring companies like Gimlet Media, Anchor, Parcast, Megaphone, and The Ringer while also striking exclusive deals with celebrities such as Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, former President Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama. Such originals and exclusives accounted for 21.7% of total time that people in the US spent listening to podcasts on Spotify.”
Insider Intelligence / Oct 13
“We hate the term news desert because it negates the work of so many outlets covering the area (Queens Chronicle, we see you!). Also this is New York City, the media capital of the world. But the question is whether news and information is optimized for intended audiences. In our experience, the folks who need the most help booking vaccines work two or three jobs and do not have the surplus time or energy to scroll through websites or social-media feeds.”
Epicenter NYC / S. Mitra Kalita / Oct 13
“With each ‘Uncovered’ story, we ran a ‘What it cost’ box, including staff time, FOIA fees and travel. The first story cost $38,000 to produce.” The team also invited donors into their newsroom to meet with investigative reporters. (We wrote about the watchdog project earlier this year.) SS
Better News / Autumn Phillips / Oct 13
Tips include “Pay attention to when a channel was created, whose posts it reshares, and where a channel is mentioned for the first time” and “Search ‘’ on Facebook or Twitter for links to channels or group chats.”
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism / Bermet Talant / Oct 13
The Investigative Journal “was never intended to be a reliable, accurate, well-researched, trustworthy, independent, balanced and nuanced investigative journal,” former editor-in-chief Jane Cahane claimed in court. Documents revealed funding may have come from, or on behalf of, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to promote criticism of their opponents. SS
Press Gazette / Charlotte Tobitt / Oct 13