Nieman Foundation at Harvard
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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.
July 17, 2019
“Any type of news organization can apply. The application is simple. The key questions: What are the coverage gaps in your community? What specific beat(s) would you create for RFA corps members to fill that gap? Can you deliver your (and your community’s) share of the reporter’s salary? Quick and easy. If your newsroom is selected, Report for America pays about half of an entry-level salary. The rest is split between the news organization and local donors.”
Report For America / Jul 17
“Stories like these typically pop up on social media, where they spread quickly and catch the attention of news organizations and spread even farther…Sweet stories like these, the critics say, hide an underlying rot. Individual acts of kindness don’t solve systemic problems — in fact, they can do harm by glossing over deeper issues.”
The New York Times / Jacey Fortin / Jul 17
“Neuralink described a ‘sewing machine-like’ robot that can implant ultrathin threads deep into the brain…The company claims the system will eventually be capable of reading and writing vast amounts of information.” I can see the 2024 Medium post now: “How Old Media is Blowing It On Neural Media.”
The New York Times / John Markoff / Jul 17
“The $2.5m Partnership Grant…will support the development of the Global Journalism Innovation Lab/Lab Mondial d’Innovation en Journalisme, with hubs across Canada and internationally…The six-year project is led by University of British Columbia School of Journalism associate professors Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young.” Also including familiar-to-Nieman-Lab researchers like Candis Callison, Heidi Tworek, and Gord Pennycook.
University of British Columbia / Jul 17
“Like SnappyTV” — its predecessor product, which Twitter acquired back in 2014 — “LiveCut helps publishers increase the distribution of their videos and directly monetize them through Twitter Amplify. PBS NewsHour was one of the five publishers in the alpha test of LiveCut.”
Digiday / Kerry Flynn / Jul 17
Now including some top soccer (er, football) writers in the U.K.: “The incredible hiring spree has been described as ‘setting off a bomb’ in the industry.”
BuzzFeed / Mark Di Stefano / Jul 17
“I have no idea what [Mark Zuckerberg’s] done personally. I focus on how we all work on this together. It’s all hands on deck. People need to enlist much like in the US after the attack [on Pearl Harbor] in December of 1941, much like people during the Battle of Britain. There are foreign adversaries who’ve come out, published their public statements and say that they’re at war with us.”
The Guardian / David Smith / Jul 17
“Journalism may not have come honorably to the conclusion that dispassionate distance is a virtue. But that’s the fragile line that separates the profession from the rancid, institution-debasing cesspool that is today’s politics….Were we to use my moral standards, the line for calling people and words racist in this country would have been crossed decades ago. But that’s not what journalists do. We report and interview and attribute.”
NPR / Keith Woods / Jul 17
“WAN-IFRA and the Google News Initiative (GNI) have launched Table Stakes Europe…applications are already being accepted (the deadline to apply is 1 September)…’No one has figured out the answer going forward. But what it does is put local enterprises on a hopeful path toward the future that’s grounded in the own experienced reality of making progress and transformation.'” JB
WAN-IFRA / Brian Veseling / Jul 17
“All of this — the thinning newsrooms, the video emphasis, and the out-of-state consultants and contributors — is a big change for a newspaper that was the first in Oregon to win a Pulitzer Prize for its local investigative journalism in 1934.”
Jefferson Public Radio / April Ehrlich / Jul 17