3 to read: Making journalism crowd funding work | Finding subscribers | What Jill Abramson got wrong

Jan. 26, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

How The Correspondent became the largest journalism crowdfunding project in history — without 1 story on its site: News sites are increasingly turning to readers to be their financial saviors. But it’s not easy. So here’s a fascinating look at how The Correspondent patiently and carefully laid the groundwork for raising $2.6 million from more than 45,000 supporters. For people interested in starting their own crowd-funded news sites, this is a primer on how to do it well. Great story by Emily Goligoski and Aron Pilhofer for MembershipPuzzle.org.

How many paying subscribers do you need to keep a money-losing magazine afloat? A regional mag finds out: The digital age has not been kind to regional magazine, which at one point were fat, happy money-makers. Now they’re hanging on by their fingertips. So when Arkansas Magazine announced it would shut down if it didn’t get enough paid subscribers, the staff jumped in, pushing hard on social media. Here’s what happened. By Laura Hazard Owens for Nieman Lab.

What Jill Abramson gets wrong about the digital journalism: Abramson, the first female executive editor of the NYT, has written a book, “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts.” It’s a take on four big media players — the NYT, WaPo, Vice, and BuzzFeed, where media is headed, and her own bitter falling-out with the NYT. But apparently she had trouble wrangling the truth down about Vice and BuzzFeed. An angry war of tweets has erupted over what reporters at Vice and BuzzFeed claim are errors in the book. As Josephine Livingstone chronicles for The New Republic, it’s not a pretty. But it makes an interesting read.

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3 to read: WordPress unveiling CMS | AR’s newsroom moment | FB flubs its 10-year challenge

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Jan. 19, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

WordPress unveils a toolkit for local newsrooms: Reporters and editors love to bitch about their crappy CMS system, with good reason. Most of them stink. But there is some action towards improving them (talking about you, WaPo’s Arc). Finally, WordPress is diving into the fray. Honestly, it seems late to me. If there was an organization perfectly set up to dive into this years ago, it seems it would be them. But still, good news. Story by Christine Schmidtfor NiemanLab.

Augmented reality is having its newsroom moment: More and more publishers are sticking their toes in the AR and VR waters, testing how they can best use it in newsrooms. Let’s hope it’s not a “pivot to video” kind of moment. Max Willensfor Digiday.

How benign is Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’? Maybe it’s not that harmless, at all: My 10-year challenge is this: A decade ago, I would not have thought twice about posting pictures of myself up. Now… hmmm, what could possibly go wrong, since it involves the increasingly creepy Facebook? No thanks, FB. Good read by Kate O’Neill for Wired.

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.

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.