3 to read: Twitter’s unlikely comeback | Krauthammer: Inspiration to disabled | When paywalls make decisions

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

June 23, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

  1. How Twitter made the tech world’s most unlikely comeback: Twitter is one of journalists’ favorite tools. Which meant I was a sad puppy a couple of years back the company when the RIPs started, as it shed users and was overrun with a troll infestation. But a funny thing happened. The company made an amazing comeback. This is Twitter’s success story. By Alex Kantrowitz of BuzzFeed.

2. ‘Charles Krauthammer inspired journalists with disabilities, including me’: Charles Krauthammer, the great columnist for the WaPo and commentator for Fox, died this past week. What some people may not know is that he was paralyzed from the waist down, as the result of a diving accident. His disability did nothing to slow him down. As a matter of fact, he helped inspire a number of other journalists with disabilities. A touching read by Cal Borchers of the WaPo.

3. When the paywall decides when to ask you to pay: Most paywalls are simple — read five or 10 articles, then a readers get asked to buy a subscription. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but it’s a blunt approach. Swiss news publisher NZZ is building a much subtler system and claiming excellent results. They use machine learning that takes in more than a hundred points of information, from how much time is spent on articles to device and time of day. The algorithm calculates the best point to ask an individual to subscribe. I can see a lot of places following this approach. Lucinda Southern for DigiDay.

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

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3 to read: Dogged reporter smashes fraud firm | 3 new news owners, 3 very different results | HuffPo reporter exposes racist troll - bounced by Twitter

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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

  1. What to do when the corporation is flat-out lying about its product: An over-hyped product. Nasty corporate villains. A dogged reporter. It’s all here, in this great read about how WSJ reporter John Carreyrou who took down the fraud firm Theranos (nice touch: constant surveillance). It’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

2. How three very different wealthy newspaper owners got three very different results: Jeff Bezos, John Henry, Aaron Kushner. These are the three men who bought the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Orange County Register (all on the cheap) and sought to change the fortunes of journalism. Dan Kennedy, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, has written a book called “The Return of the Moguls” that chronicles the very different paths and results each owner has encountered. A good read. (Conflict alert: Dan and I are colleagues at Northeastern.)

3. HuffPo reporter exposes racist Islamophobe troll on Twitter: Twitter, oh Twitter. When are you going to get it right? HuffPo reporter Luke O’Brien wrote a great story exposing an Islamophobe troll, whose racist tweets made her an alt-right star. So what happens? O’Brien gets death threats, he gets doxxed, his colleagues get threatened. And Twitter suspended his account — but not those of the people who were ripping into him on the platform. (His account has since been restored.) Twitter makes noises about cleaning up the acts of its users, but still has a long way to go.

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

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.

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