3 to read: Facebook’s election boondoggle | Saving investigative news | Newsletters as a business

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Nov. 29, 2016: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Nov. 29, 2016: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. How the election blew up in Facebook’s face: A fascinating autopsy of Facebook’s decision to become more focused on real-time content, like Twitter, and how that led directly to an horrifying avalanche of fake news. It’s a case study of how seemingly innocuous decisions to encourage sharing had unimaginable results. By Ben Kantrowitz at BuzzFeed.
  2. Saving investigative news: Folks, it’s a great time to be a corrupt politician in America. That’s why we need investigative journalism more than ever, at a time when the news media’s financial underpinnings are collapsing. Here’s some ideas for what we can do. By yours truly. (Text of TedX talk.)
  3. Newsletters are cool (again): Newsletters, those digital dinosaurs from the wayback before social media, are making a comeback. Here’s a couple of stories about how to make a newsletter work for you: How to start a newsletter” by Mario R. Garcia and 8 business models for email newsletters,” by Andrew Jack.
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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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Call to action for journalists | Legacy media as outsiders | How social beat newsrooms for influence

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

Trump plays his trump card

It’s all about Trump fallout this week. And out of hundreds of pieces written, here’s three of the best.

Call to action for journalists: Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Postwrites a stirring call to action for journalists operating in a world where they are openly hated by the president: “If January 2017 isn’t going to herald disaster for press rights — and the citizens served by a free and independent press — we’re going to need some help. We’re going to need some heroes.” Absolutely true.

Legacy media needs to act as outsiders: New media sites, operating largely in the Facebook universe, ran circles around legacy media during the election, writes John Herrman for the NYT. And legacy media is still acting as if they are on the inside, close to power — but they aren’t, and they need to embrace their outsider status. An interesting take on strategic action for newsrooms.

How social media is beating newsrooms for influence: Mainstream media wrote incredibly tough stories about Trump, ranging from his ducking of federal income taxes to his (possibly) illegal use of a nonprofit. Yet the stories didn’t seem to stick. For an explanation, look no further than collapse of traditional news media’s influence and the rise of social media. Story by Pablo Boczkowski for Nieman Lab.

Bonus (non-Trump) read: Nuggets of wisdom, from the MIT Media Lab: Cool tips for building a creative, supportive environment at work or school. I just started at Northeastern U as a journalism prof. But I spent the past 2–½ wonderful years at Civic Media at the Media Lab. Some great ideas for running anything from a newsroom to a classroom.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

From surviving to thriving: Star Trib | How ‘Clippy’ changed the world | Google, FB suck up all ad growth

By Matt Carroll <@MattatMIT>

Nov. 8, 2016: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. From surviving to thriving — The Star Tribune: The Star Trib in Minneapolis has come a long way from the daily that wobbled through a tumultuous period. It’s gone from hanging in there to an aggressive attitude that has transformed the newsroom. Here’s how they did it, with a number of concrete steps. By Kristen Hare for Poynter.
  2. How Microsoft’s ‘Clippy’ changed the world … through #AI: Remember Clippy, that much-maligned personal assistant from Microsoft? That stupid animated paperclip you couldn’t wait to turn off? Yeah, me too. But Clippy was on too something — he was the great-grandfather of Siri and a whole new generation of AI assistants who are slowly becoming indispensible to us. A thoughtful ode to one really annoying (but prescient) critter, by Brian Feldman for The Vindicated.
  3. Google + Facebook = All digital ad growth: Maybe that ad thing for newsrooms isn’t working out so great, after all. An analysis by Digital Content Next of digital advertising for the first half of the year shows that Google and Facebook saw their advertising shoot up more than 60% and 20%, respectively. Everyone else? Down 3%. That’s not to say individual newsrooms did not make gains — some did quite well — but the overall digital advertising trend is clear: It’s all about Google and Facebook. Better keep diversifying those revenue streams, newsrooms. Story by Peter Kafka for Recode.
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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.