Nieman Lab: The Daily Digest

Some midterm polls were on target, but finding which pollsters to believe can be tough

The outcomes confirmed anew that election polling is an uneven and high-risk pursuit. By W. Joseph Campbell.

Can Mastodon be a reasonable Twitter substitute for journalists?

Adam Davidson: “I think we got lazy as a field, and we let Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and, god help us, Elon Musk and their staff decide all these major journalistic questions.” By Julia Angwin, The Markup.

11 (and counting) things journalism loses if Elon Musk destroys Twitter

Goodbye to screenshotted best bits, DMs, “that tweet should be a story”… By Laura Hazard Owen.
The Guardian / Adam Gabbatt
Crime coverage on Fox News halved once the U.S. midterms were over →
“It crescendoed right before election day, and then once the election was over, so was America’s crime crisis no longer the subject of maximum concern that it had been in the previous weeks.”
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism / Federica Cherubini
61% of media leaders embrace hybrid work; 20% want to return to pre-pandemic norms →
“Regardless of what rules organisations have put in place in terms of home versus office work, opinions are divided on whether staff are effectively coming back to the office. At the end of summer 2022, there were reports of other industries also battling with their employees to get them back into the workplace.”
The New Yorker / Jelani Cobb
Why Jelani Cobb quit Elon Musk’s Twitter →
“On November 20th, the Mastodon handle @LauraMartinez posted, ‘I’m here because Elon broke Twitter,’ which was more of a summary of what a great many people felt about the old platform than a zealous endorsement of the buggy, complicated new one.”
The Guardian / Edward Helmore
Layoffs, low ratings and a lurch closer to the right: Is CNN in crisis? →
“‘One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bullshit,’ [CEO Chris Licht] said. ‘You have to be compelling. You have to have edge. In many cases you take a side.'”
Financial Times / Hannah Murphy, Alex Barker, and Arjun Neil Alim
Twitter’s ad business is in trouble →
“After several waves of job cuts and departures, Twitter’s ads business team has shrunk so much that many agencies no longer have any point of contact at the company and have received little to no communication in recent weeks, according to four industry insiders.”
The Guardian / Rupert Neate
UK minister rejects measure designed to tackle legal harassment of journalists →
“A cross-party coalition of MPs has been calling for the change in the law to ‘prevent the use of court processes to silence investigative journalists’ with the threat of multimillion-pound legal costs, following a rash of Slapps seeking to ‘silence investigative journalists.'”
The Washington Post / Erik Wemple
News outlets stand by their midterm debacle →
“Which is to say: Major media outlets promoted an inaccurate depiction of the national political mood heading into Election Day, and they have no stated regrets about it. And if they’re holding discussions on improving the coverage, they don’t care to disclose them.”
The Washington Post / Taylor Lorenz
“Opening the gates of hell”: Elon Musk says he will revive banned accounts on Twitter →
“This is the second time in a week that Musk has used a Twitter poll to seemingly make a major decision related to the platform.”
Ars Technica / Ron Amadeo
Amazon Alexa is a “colossal failure,” on pace to lose $10 billion this year →
“The report says that while Alexa’s Echo line is among the ‘best-selling items on Amazon, most of the devices sold at cost.’ One internal document described the business model by saying, ‘We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.'”
The Present Age / Parker Molloy
“Sorry you didn’t get invited to a wedding, I guess?” →
“This is the story of some DC reporters who got upset that they didn’t get invited to a wedding. Nothing more. And naturally, when faced with pushback (such as asking why Cook didn’t bother to read the photo caption), these journalists got even more defensive, arguing that people just don’t understand how journalism works.”
Via Fuego: What the future-of-news crowd is talking about today around the web
Twitter grapples with Chinese spam obscuring news of protests
SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter's radically reduced anti-propaganda team grappled on Sunday with a flood of nuisance content in China that researchers said was aimed at reducing the flow of news about stunning widespread protests against coronavirus restrictions. Tech is not your friend. We are. Sign up for The Tech Friend newsletter.
How to be a witch without stealing other people’s cultures
Witchcraft isn't just for Halloween anymore - it's a lifestyle. As the Trump era turned witchery into a symbol of feminist resistance, the New Agey self-care crowd began intermingling with the "mysticore" pop culture aesthetic to turn crystals, tarot, and astrology into a whole ass vibe.
‘Burner’ firms are infiltrating innocent people’s houses
Llewellin Road is an unremarkable street in the historic Herefordshire market town of Kington. There are about 60 properties, largely terrace houses built in the 1960s. It's full of families and elderly residents, many of whom have lived there for years.
Ukraine update: Why are there suddenly so many videos of Russian forces acting like zombies?
When people hear the term "hypothermia," they tend to picture travelers trapped in endless snowdrifts, or huddling on some high ridge of a mountain whipped by raging gales. But it doesn't take extreme conditions to put people into extreme duress. Last...
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Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the stories the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most. Usually those are about journalism and technology, although sometimes they get distracted by politics, sports, or GIFs. Check out Fuego on the web to get up-to-the-minute news.