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.

3 to read: ‘Darth’ D’Vorkin at LA Times | Ben Shapiro: The thinking conservative | ‘Engagement reporter’?

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 27, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

  1. ‘Darth’ D’Vorkin: LA journalism’s ‘Prince of Darkness’: If you think things are bad at the LA Times now, get ready — they could get a whole lot worse. The new editor in chief, Lewis D’Vorkin comes across as a someone willing to sell his ethical standards for a few million clicks, give a take a hundred thousand. Just what the Times needs, what with reports of their new publisher’s history of harassment. Hang in there, Times newsroom. Story for CJR by Lyz Lenz.

2. Is Ben Shapiro a conservative liberals can count on?: Despite the obviously partisan take, this is a great read about a fast-rising conservative writer and podcaster who is not a mindless follower of Trump. Shapiro comes across as a brilliant intellectual with points to make, and if he ticks off fellow conservatives, well, that’s just too bad. Nice story by Seth Stevenson for Slate.

3. What the heck is an ‘engagement reporter’?: Newsrooms have dived deep into the “engagement” pool. The problem is that no one quite agrees what the heck that means. A survey of those with the label finds that those reporters are still working to define their exact roles. Interesting story on an evolving idea, by Taylor Blatchford for MediaShift.

Bonus read: How an undercover female reporter exposed sexual misconduct at a London charity bash: Men behaving badly is not exactly a breaking news story these days. But Madison Marriage, working for the Financial Times, covered a top-shelf charity event — for men only — and discovered a level of abuse and boorishness towards young women hostesses that boggles the mind. Marriage reported that men of all ages were pawing at the young hostesses, many college students. It’s a remarkable story that has rocked England. Great read by William Booth and Fred Barbash in the WaPo.

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

3 to read: Inside the secretive world of WikiLeaks | Membership plan or no? | End of ‘The Awl’ = End of fun on Internet

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 20, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

  1. Inside the secretive world of Julian Assange & WikiLeaks: Wikileaks impact on journalism has been immense, from releasing hacked Democratic emails to US documents tied to Afghanistan. Yet surprisingly little is know about the world that has been created by its founder, Julian Assange. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima talks and tags along with a quirky, paranoid German hacker, one of Assange’s few friends, gaining some insight into a dark and secretive corner of the world. Interesting take.

2. Figuring out if a membership plan is your newsroom’s best path forward (or not): Newsrooms increasingly are looking with envy at those sites that have blossoming membership plans. But Emily Goligoski of the Membership Puzzle Project throws cold water on newsrooms that are not willing or able to work intensely with their audiences. Creating a successful membership model is a serious, time-intensive commitment. Good stuff.

3. ‘The End of the Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun from the Internet’: OK, I grant you: The hedline (not mine) is an overstatement. But it’s still a wonderful read by Jia Tolentino for The New Yorker on how special quirky places for writers are getting squashed flat by the mega-corporate platforms. Read it and lament the loss of The Awl, even if you were not a reader.

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  • Logo by Leigh Carroll (Instagram: @leighzaaah)

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