3 to read: Let’s charge for local news | The Left’s war against the NYT | How to make “events” work

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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

  1. How to fund local news? Here’s a crazy idea: Charge people: More and more news sites are souring on ever-dwindling ad dollars and looking harder at subscription and membership plans. Farhad Manjoo of the NYT makes a hard pitch that this is the way to go. As examples he holds up two sites — The Information and Stratechery. Frankly, I don’t think they are great examples. They are national models with plenty of room to scale, not local news sites. A better examples would be VTDigger. But I think he’s onto something. Worth reading for anyone who’s kicking around the idea of launching a local site or seeking a new revenue model for an existing site.

2. The Left’s war against the NYT: This is an interesting story because the NYT is portrayed by most right-leaning sites as the standard-bearer for liberal causes. But a wide variety of folks on the left have been pushing back hard against the NYT, and especially it’s coverage of Trump. Maybe it’s because the WaPo’s Trump coverage has more of an obvious edge, so there’s a strong contrast between each news org’s style and coverage. Anyways, good stuff by Graham Vyse for The New Republic.

3. Without a strategy, newsroom “events” don’t work: “Events” have become a buzzy word in newsrooms eager to create engagement, or revenue or … something. But it’s clear there’s a lot more to it than just renting a space, sticking up a few posters, and hoping for a success. Newsrooms need to have a clear understanding of why they are holding events, or they will be in for a big fail. Interesting talk on Poynter with Jon Cohn, who runs events for public radio station KPCC in southern California.

Matt Carroll teaches journalism at Northeastern University. Twitter: @MattCData. Instagram: mattcarroll54.

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3 to read: Support your local, crappy news site? | Pop-up newsrooms to create engagement| Stick it to Facebook

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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

  1. How do you support your local news site when its crappy owners are destroying it?: This is such a great question and I am so conflicted. I live in a neighborhood of Boston with a bad paper owned by a out-of-town, crappy news company. But I pay for the weekly because I feel I should help support some journalist’s career. On the other hand, there’s also a freebie paper owned locally, which does a very nice job covering my neighborhood. Let’s hope more of these local, quality news sites can arise and knock out the junk. Thanks to Matt DeRienzo, the executive director of LION Publishers, a group of independent online news sites, for raising the issue.

2. How using a pop-up newsroom can increase engagement with readers: I know Chris Faraone, of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and he’s an original thinker. I love this idea of using pop-up newsrooms to interact with readers. I’m not so sure how scaleable it is, but it’s a great effort, especially if it can be paired with other original ideas. Who else out there is doing creative work to engage with readers? Drop me a line.

3. Don’t like Facebook?: Maybe it’s time to create a better Facebook: My old boss Ethan Zuckerman isn’t someone who sits around whining when there’s a problem to solve. Yes, Facebook sucks in so many ways. So let’s fix it this problem by creating new, better platforms that beat Facebook at its own game. Maybe if enough people work to create new platforms, Facebook will actually respond to people. This is a call for action. Who’ll put skin in the game?

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  • Logo by Leigh Carroll <Instagram @leighzaaah>

Matt Carroll teaches journalism at Northeastern University. Twitter: @MattCData. Instagram: mattcarroll54.