3 to read: Bottomless Pinocchio | Good Google? Gone | Congress misses its chance

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Dec. 15, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

The WaPo’s ‘Bottomless Pinocchio’: A new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again: Love this. You have to give the WaPo credit for their aggressive coverage of Trump. For instance, not so long ago, a politician caught lying would be embarrassed enough to stop repeating the lie. Not Trump. So the WaPo has upped its game w this interesting new system for ranking repeat liars. Kudos to Glenn Kessler.

What happened to the good Google?: Google’s Dragonfly will intensify surveillance of journalists in China: Many Google watchers and company employees were shocked when they found out the search company was working hand-in-hand with the Chinese gov’t to create a censorship-compliant search engine. When word leaked out, it caused protests within the company. Well, apparently they weren’t enough to derail the project. Money talks, and the Chinese market is too big to give up over the principles of democracy, apparently. Mia Shuang Li for CJR.

The missed point of Google’s Congressional hearing: Congress had a chance to dig deep into Google’s business practices and how they can hurt consumers across the country, notes Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed. So did pols look at how people are tracked? Or how their personal data is sold? No. Instead pols focused on perceived political bias, asking shallow questions. And not surprisingly, the Google CEO gave evasive answers. All in all, a chance to shine a little light on the internal workings of one of the most influential corporations in the world was flubbed.

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3 to read: Shiny Things Syndrome | Dealing w editors | Oui: Facebook’s local news problem

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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

Journalism has a focus problem: How to combat ‘Shiny Things Syndrome’: In an era when change is a constant, it’s easy for newsrooms to be distracted by the latest and greatest promise to … engage with the audience, restore revenue etc etc. Yet Julie Posetti calls for newsroom to slow down, take a more measured, strategic approach to change. Interesting read, based on her research published in the Journalism Innovation Project for the University of Oxford.

Interesting tips on dealing w newsroom editors: A common complaint, from both young and seasoned reporters, is how to deal with editors who dismiss ideas out of hand or who run roughshod over copy. Here’s some tips on how to deal with what can be a difficult situation, by Wilson Lievano for The GroundTruth Project. Interesting ideas on a perennial problem.

The “Yellow Jackets” riots in France are what happens when Facebook gets involved with local news: Ryan Broderick for BuzzFeedNews argues that changes in the Facebook algorithm to emphasize local news helped lead to the recent riots in France. I’m not entirely convinced by the claims, but it is more evidence that Facebook is fairly clueless about what they have unleashed and are amazingly sluggish about reining in bad actors. It seems they still think of themselves as engineers playing with software, when in fact they are a media company.

3 to read: Surviving tech | Improving subscriptions | Follow the Texas Trib’s money trail

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Dec. 1, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

How to survive the next era of tech (slow down and be mindful): Farhad Manjoo at the NYT is one of the more thoughtful commentators on the world of tech. In this, his last ‘State of the Art’ column, he has advice for consumers on to swim when the sea of technology always seems stormy. (btw: It’s a big swing in advice from his first column five years ago.) Whether you agree or not, he is a reasoned voice and is always interesting.

How to improve subscription registration & payment forms: The devil is in the details, as the saying goes. And it is always an unpleasant surprise to me how often registration and payment forms for news sites are clunky, too long, and confusing. Hello! Newsrooms, wake up, please. Reader revenue is the future. Make it as easy as possible for those readers to subscribe. Some nice examples for API by Gwen Vargo.

Where the Texas Tribunes revenue comes from: As advertising-based revenue models for media collapse, it has become increasingly clear that newsrooms need to lean on a variety of different revenue streams. The Texas Tribune is a shining example of that. Here’s how they do it. Interesting story by Freia Nahser for the Global Editors Network.

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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.