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.

3 to read: The rise of The Skimm | Crowdsourcing a mystery | Facebook’s political ad fail

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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

How The Skimm went from 2-person startup to 7 million subscribers: By being really good at what they do, that’s how. They give a news summary in a chatty way that is geared towards females. The founders, Carly Zakim and Danielle Weisberg, have managed to tap into a market that only continues to grow. It’s a remarkable story of savvy growth. By Noreen Malone for The Cut.

A massive Facebook group is working to unravel the disappearance of a baby 22 years ago: This is an interesting project with lessons for newsrooms everywhere. A baby in Australia vanished more than two decades ago, and the mom was convicted of murder, despite a lack of hard evidence. Two journalists are digging into the case, with the help of more than 30,000 members of a Facebook page. What’s of particular interest is how the journalists and volunteers are managing the page to keep the investigation on track. Nice story by Laura Hazard Owen for NiemanLab.

Think Facebook is actually checking who buys political ads?: In a word: Nope. It’s depressing, honestly. Facebook talks big about stopping “fake news” by cracking down on phoney political advertising by everyone from the Russians to money-hungry teens. But when push comes to shove, Facebook does … not much. Nice investigation by William Turton of Vice, which pretended to be from the offices of the 100 US senators and bought political ads on Facebook. How many were blocked from buying? Zip, none, zero.