Nieman Lab: The Daily Digest

We analyzed 9,722 fact checks to tell the story of Covid-19 misinformation

“There isn’t a good origin story for the virus, and so this information vacuum is allowing misinformation to circulate.” By Bethan John.
Columbia Journalism Review / Danny Funt
Television is making more documentaries than ever — but skipping the journalism →
“It is common to give subjects incentives that would be scandalous in any other news medium: paying for access, clearing quotes and clips, giving a subject’s business partners a producing credit.”
Columbia Journalism Review / Lauren Harris
Will Congress intervene in the local news crisis? →
“Assess the problem; propose solutions; report back—that’s the vision. The commission would submit a report with their findings, which would be made publicly available and presented to Congress…Though it implies the possibility of future action, it doesn’t require it, and that’s the next indispensable step toward providing communities with the information they need.”
Hindustan Times Tech / Marcia Sekhose
India embraces the evolution of podcasts and the audio streaming space →
“In its Culture and Trends report, Spotify said 60% Indian Gen Zs and millennials chose podcasts as one of the elements for self-discovery. About 76% of Indians are also turning to audio to cope with stress and anxiety, and almost a third of Indians listen to mental-health-related podcasts.”
The Daily Beast / Lachlan Cartwright, Maxwell Tani, and Rachel Olding
The New York Times will “re-report” its blockbuster podcast after the main character was arrested for allegedly faking his background in terrorism →
“Initially, both the Times and [Caliphate host] Rukimini Callimachi stood by the podcast and its characterization of Huzayfah … But in a new statement on Wednesday, the Times said it is ‘undertaking a fresh examination of his history and the way we presented him in our series.'”
Columbia Journalism Review / Jon Allsop
Last night was the logical endpoint of debates in America →
“In so many ways, 2020 is a natural jumping-off point for broad, society-wide debates that allow radical ideas—on reforming the economy, on fighting climate change, on racial injustice, and so on—a fair hearing. It’s the media’s job to moderate such debates, by featuring them prominently in our day-to-day coverage and chatter. Until we do that more consistently, debates—in the narrower sense of that word—will, like so much else in America, continue to be a shitshow.”
The Wall Street Journal / Lukas I. Alpert
Axios will turn a profit this year thanks to its sponsored newsletter model and will launch local newsletters in four cities →
“The company has avoided staff reductions and is on track to take in about $58 million in revenue in 2020, up more than 30% compared with the year before, and is on target with its prepandemic projections, largely because of the success of its sponsored-newsletter business, the people said. Some big newsletter sponsors have included Comcast Corp., Koch Industries and Wells Fargo & Co. Newsletter sponsorships contribute more than 50% of the company’s total revenue, the people said, and now Axios is looking to expand. Early next year, the company said, it plans to establish two-person newsletter teams in several local markets, starting with Minneapolis; Denver; Tampa, Fla.; and Des Moines, Iowa.”
The New York Times / Katie Robertson
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren pulled out of the New Yorker Festival in solidarity with the magazine’s union →
“In a Sept. 24 letter to the two politicians, The New Yorker Union asked them to reconsider their participation in light of an ongoing labor dispute with New Yorker management. ‘The NewsGuild and The New Yorker Union are fighting for basic dignity on the job and we stand with them,’ Ms. Warren and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in a joint statement to The New York Times. ‘We will not cross the picket line and attend the festival unless The New Yorker leadership agrees to the union’s demands — they should do so immediately.’
Nieman Storyboard / Trevor Pyle
How a viral tweet led L.A. Times reporter Jaweed Kaleem to a sensitive story on family, race and America →
“The access and intimacy of Kaleem’s story is startling. It opens with a tense argument between mother and son, then delves into the love that binds them, and the differences that make them clash.”
Via Fuego: What the future-of-news crowd is talking about today around the web
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.