3 to read: Shiny Things Syndrome | Dealing w editors | Oui: Facebook’s local news problem

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Dec. 8, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

Journalism has a focus problem: How to combat ‘Shiny Things Syndrome’: In an era when change is a constant, it’s easy for newsrooms to be distracted by the latest and greatest promise to … engage with the audience, restore revenue etc etc. Yet Julie Posetti calls for newsroom to slow down, take a more measured, strategic approach to change. Interesting read, based on her research published in the Journalism Innovation Project for the University of Oxford.

Interesting tips on dealing w newsroom editors: A common complaint, from both young and seasoned reporters, is how to deal with editors who dismiss ideas out of hand or who run roughshod over copy. Here’s some tips on how to deal with what can be a difficult situation, by Wilson Lievano for The GroundTruth Project. Interesting ideas on a perennial problem.

The “Yellow Jackets” riots in France are what happens when Facebook gets involved with local news: Ryan Broderick for BuzzFeedNews argues that changes in the Facebook algorithm to emphasize local news helped lead to the recent riots in France. I’m not entirely convinced by the claims, but it is more evidence that Facebook is fairly clueless about what they have unleashed and are amazingly sluggish about reining in bad actors. It seems they still think of themselves as engineers playing with software, when in fact they are a media company.


3 to read: Surviving tech | Improving subscriptions | Follow the Texas Trib’s money trail

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Dec. 1, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

How to survive the next era of tech (slow down and be mindful): Farhad Manjoo at the NYT is one of the more thoughtful commentators on the world of tech. In this, his last ‘State of the Art’ column, he has advice for consumers on to swim when the sea of technology always seems stormy. (btw: It’s a big swing in advice from his first column five years ago.) Whether you agree or not, he is a reasoned voice and is always interesting.

How to improve subscription registration & payment forms: The devil is in the details, as the saying goes. And it is always an unpleasant surprise to me how often registration and payment forms for news sites are clunky, too long, and confusing. Hello! Newsrooms, wake up, please. Reader revenue is the future. Make it as easy as possible for those readers to subscribe. Some nice examples for API by Gwen Vargo.

Where the Texas Tribunes revenue comes from: As advertising-based revenue models for media collapse, it has become increasingly clear that newsrooms need to lean on a variety of different revenue streams. The Texas Tribune is a shining example of that. Here’s how they do it. Interesting story by Freia Nahser for the Global Editors Network.

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3 to read: ‘Deep fakes’ are coming | 2d & 3d subscriptions? | Behind the curtain: FB’s big fail

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Nov. 17, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die: Fake news is about to get a lot faker. Improving technology means it is getting more and more difficult to tell doctored videos from real life. Heck, even badly edited fake videos are taken for the truth — what happens when people can’t tell the difference? A chilling look a the future of fake news by Oscar Schwartz for The Guardian. Extra: World’s first AI TV news anchor unveiled in China.

How many people will pay for 2d or 3d news #subscription?: Quartz and New York mag just put up paywalls, joining a lengthening list of high-profile, quality news pubs that have done so, such as the NYT and WaPo. But how many people can afford to pay for two, three or more news sites?, asks Joshua Benton of NielamnLab. He’s pessimistic, citing research that says only 16% of Americans will pay for any news. (Myself, I’m more optimistic. As more paywalls go up, people will of necessity read fewer sites. But from the perspective of the newsrooms, they don’t care, as long as they have enough paying customers. We’ll see how it plays out.)

Delay, deny & deflect blame at others — How Facebook’s leaders handled crisis: This story will only reinforce your worst fears, if you’ve had doubts about Facebook’s ability to come up with a successful solution in the wake of the Russian election scandal and the company’s unscrupulous handling of data from millions of users. FB’s top leaders were slow to realize they had a problem, slow to realize the breadth and depth of the issues, including the anger of the public, and seemed mostly interested in wallpapering over concerns. The NYT story paints a picture of a dysfunctional platform. Not pretty, but a great read.

3 to read: Help beyond the story | Who builds what’s next? | Missing the story (on race)

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Nov. 10, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

A journalist’s dilemma: wanting to do more to help than tell the story: So many of us have faced this situation: A tragedy. A plea for help. And after you write your story, what do you do? What help can you give? Samantha Max for the Ground Truth Project talks about how she handled that situation. Good read.

Local newspapers are shells of themselves. So who builds out what comes next?: Ken Doctor, in a somewhat rambling column for NiemanLab, sees some hope that deep pockets are about ready to get off the sidelines to invest in promising journalism models. But if that’s so, where will they invest? And what will the impact be on local journalism?

Missing the story (on race, in newsrooms): Newsrooms, despite decades of effort, for the most part are underrepresented when it comes to minorities. This, argues Jelani Cobb in CJR, is bad for the news business. When he was hired by David Carr for the City Paper, Carr explained that he was hired not because of some vague ideas of “inclusion” but because “he worried that there were specific stories missing from his newspaper.” Well, that makes sense.