Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Buzzy social audio apps like Clubhouse tap into the age-old appeal of the human voice
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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.
February 26, 2021
Meet Dana James, who is writing for Black Iowans and Black Iowans only.
Men Yell At Me / Lyz Lenz / Feb 26
“So far for 2020, we’ve documented 126 journalists arrested or detained, and 16 journalists — including Sahouri, Cummings, Beckner-Carmitchel and Singh — who still face pending criminal charges. In fact, Beckner-Carmitchel is still also facing charges for a separate incident, after he was detained on Nov. 3, and cited with a ‘pedestrian on the road’ violation. JB
Freedom of the Press Foundation / Kirstin McCudden / Feb 26
“The presentation [to analysts on Thursday] included a number of ambitious goals that sent the stock soaring, including doubling revenue and adding more than 120 million new users over the next three years. But the most important goal Twitter presented Thursday is also the most difficult to quantify. The company said it wants to ‘double development velocity’ by the end of 2023, which means ‘doubling the number of features shipped per employee.'”
Bloomberg / Kurt Wagner / Feb 26
February 25, 2021
“More than a hundred staff at the Qatar-funded media organization Al Jazeera have signed an open letter to management objecting to the launch of a rightwing digital platform that they say betrays its journalism and will ‘irreparably tarnish the network’s brand and work.'”
The Guardian / Michael Safi / Feb 25
The Arizona Republic found 42 percent of their digital-only subscribers had not read a single article in the last month. These “zombies” were “the un-dead,” “paying subscribers, but not a part of our living community.” “Zombies, like nearly everyone else, aren’t in the habit of coming to your homepage to find your ‘Big-J Journalism’ stories. You must go find them on their preferred platforms and give them what they want.” LO
Better News / John Adams and Alia Beard Rau / Feb 25
The network of news organizations focuses on statehouse coverage. They’ll launch in Idaho and New Hampshire this spring, followed by New Jersey, Oregon, and New Mexico by the end of the summer.
Poynter / Angela Fu / Feb 25
“I see the support,” says Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher of Black Voice News. She says their income has doubled in the past year, as the publication has diversified its revenue from just advertising to include grants. “Brown-Hinds said she has not seen such support from advertisers, funders and the broader community in the four decades that her family has owned the paper.”
Report for America / Alison Bethel McKenzie / Feb 25
Stuff reached out to Facebook to discuss their concerns about reaching under-served populations with reliable news content. “The initial response was, ‘We can teach you to reach them with paid targeting’. But why should we pay to help them clean up their misinformation problem?”
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism / Caithlin Mercer / Feb 25
Ryan oversees newsroom recruitment, diversity, and inclusion. She also edits “the controversial coverage from media columnist Ben Smith (who has taken aim at the institution itself) and reporter Michael Powell (who covers free speech and campus discourse) … ‘After [executive editor Dean Baquet], Carolyn has the hardest management job in the newsroom right now. Her portfolio is at the center of all the questions that are roiling the newsroom.'”
Business Insider / Steven Perlberg / Feb 25
The announcement says Facebook will make the investment in the news industry over the next three years. SS
The Verge / Nick Statt / Feb 25