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 24, 2020
“Reducing the supply of misinformation doesn’t eliminate the demand. Powerful online influencers and the right-wing demi-media—intensely partisan outlets, such as One America News and Newsmax, that amplify ideas that bubble up from internet message boards—have steadfastly reassured Trump’s supporters that he will be reelected, and that the conspiracies against him will be exposed.”
The Atlantic / Renée DiResta / Nov 24
Editor Aman Sethi shared the news. “Pound for pound, story for story, reporter for reporter, this is the greatest newsroom I have worked for; (and I still can’t quite believe I had the privilege to lead).”
Twitter / Aman Sethi / Nov 24
November 23, 2020
“U.S. Judge Beryl Howell on Friday evening ordered U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack to stop interfering in the news service’s news coverage and editorial personnel matters. She struck a deep blow at Pack’s authority to continue to force the news agency to cover the president more sympathetically.”
NPR / David Folkenflik / Nov 23
The Atlantic’s Ed Yong: “I’m profoundly grateful to be of service during this time but it is brutal — relentlessly so. It’s like being constantly gaslit by everyone from some rando on Twitter to the President of the United States. It’s like slaloming between absurdity and tragedy, when the entire slope is covered in fog, and the finish line keeps moving away.”
Deez Links / Delia Cai / Nov 23
“According to an analysis of transcripts of multiple investor calls available on FactSet, Facebook has increased the number of ads served on its platforms by a quarterly average of nearly 30% year on year since the third quarter of 2015. Interestingly, while ad pricing has risen over that period on the same basis, prices began to decline in the second half of 2018, with the greatest declines this year.”
The Wall Street Journal / Laura Forman / Nov 23
“They thought the project would last a week or two. ‘We just sort of figured, of course the CDC would put out this information,’ [Covid Tracking Project co-founder Alexis] Madrigal says. ‘But it just never happened.'”
Bloomberg / Drew Armstrong / Nov 23
“Snapchat says its algorithms will work to surface the most engaging Snaps to display to each user on a personalized basis. To do so, it will rank the Snaps in the new feed using a combination of factors, like how many other people found a particular Snap interesting, how long people spent watching it, if it was favorited or shared with friends, and more.”
TechCrunch / Sarah Perez / Nov 23
“The movie [named Christmas in the Rockies] follows protagonist Katie Jolly, who has aspirations to leave her small town for a career in New York City, but ends up taking over the family’s lumber business after a relative suffers an injury. There’s also a love interest and a storyline involving a lumberjack competition.”
The Hollywood Reporter / Alex Weprin / Nov 23
“Authority also plays a big role in pricing…Ben Thompson charges $12/month for Stratechery, which is quite a bit higher than the average. His authority opens the door for this. As your authority in your niche builds, you’re also able to charge more.” JB
Newsletter Crew / Yaro Bagriy / Nov 23
November 22, 2020
“We’ve seen a number of news organizations blend their subscription services based on market needs, audience needs, and effectively, the premium-ness and the strength of the content they are able to generate…The choice of a subscription model is an evolving decision. It’s not something that is wholly fixed.”
WAN-IFRA / Lee Kah Whye / Nov 22