The civic media crisis and what philanthropy can do
March 8 2017
According to Bruce Sievers and Patrice Schneider, “. . . philanthropy offers one of the few social resources with the potential to protect the civic role of the media and sustain civil society’s vital function in democratic life.” Here, they outline what’s needed for philanthropy to preserve civic media and democracy.
Since Facebook made CrowdTangle free, more than 150 local newsrooms have adopted it
March 8 2017
CrowdTangle, a tool that measures social performance and tracks how content spreads online, has seen a large uptick in use since Facebook bought it and made it freely available last fall. “There’s a real hunger and a need to help folks figure out how to navigate all the changes happening in the industry,” says CrowdTangle CEO Brandon Silverman.
Inside the changes that could save Twitter’s business—and reshape civil discourse
March 5 2017
Twitter’s new algorithm, which has led to an increase in use among both new and existing users, is “quietly starting to reshape both Twitter’s business and the way people experience it,” Will Oremus explains in Slate. “This includes the president of the United States, his 25 million followers, the activists opposing him, and the media that must make sense of it all.”
Facebook business success stories: Toomey for Senate
March 1 2017
Facebook, which claimed to not be a contributing factor in the 2016 presidential election, now features a case study of Sen. Pat Toomey in its collection of “success stories.” Facebook claims the social network helped Toomey win re-election in 2016 by targeting “persuadable” voters using a “made-for-Facebook, audience-specific content strategy.”
Kaiser Health News was born out of a recognition that newsrooms everywhere were having difficulty supporting and producing the kind of in-depth and high-quality health policy journalism that the nation and health care system need. Today, the nonprofit newsroom that’s editorially independent from the foundation that supports it—the Kaiser Family Foundation—disseminates original reporting through partnerships with major media organizations.
Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed
Nina Sachdev Hoffmann | January 26 2017
“If ever there was a time for the people creating technologies to keep in mind the impact of their creations, it’s now.” What does that mean? Well, essentially, this: At corporations and universities across the country, incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake. Or, in the simplest of terms, advancements in audio and video technology are becoming so sophisticated that they will be able to replicate real news—real TV broadcasts, for instance, or radio interviews—in unprecedented, and truly indecipherable, ways.
Medium, and the reason you can’t stand the news anymore.
January 15 2017
On Medium, journalist Sean Blanda takes a deep dive into journalism business models and how “the methods used to fund modern journalism simultaneously undermine trust in the news outlets.” Here, he explains how “the economic incentives of news directly contribute to the divisiveness of our country.”
Here’s why the Washington Post is growing on Facebook
January 10 2017
While some newspapers struggled to reach readers through social media, the Washington Post increased Facebook engagements by nearly 70% in a 12-month period, according to NewsWhip data. NewsWhip attributes this growth to a combination of strong original reporting, descriptive headlines, and “fostering organic engagement.”
Donations to media nonprofits spike again as Meryl Streep champions a free press
January 9 2017
Proof: celebrity endorsements work. When Meryl Streep criticized President-Elect Trump’s treatment of journalists at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, the result was a major increase in donations for the Committee to Protect Journalists, which “not only provides a support system for reporters in dangerous circumstances, but also keeps track of and reports on the repression, persecution and violence visited on reporters worldwide.”
Foundations take myriad approaches to combat misinformation, fake news
December 21 2016
Foundations that have long supported public-interest journalism, fact checking, news literacy education, media innovation, and research on civic engagement and trust in the press will play a crucial role in promoting factual journalism that competes with misinformation. Ask media funders how to combat fake news and you’ll get answers as varied as the foundations themselves. But there are several points of widespread agreement, each of which provides a window into how funders view this much-publicized problem, how they plan to address it and what they still are trying to sort out.
It’s funny because it’s true: Fact-based comedy can affect audiences
December 20 2016
Toxic Comedy, a collaborative effort from Center for Investigative Reporting and WFMU, an independent radio station in New Jersey, combined live stand-up comedy events with investigative reporting about environmental contamination. A full report on the project’s impact is forthcoming, but early survey results from audience members indicate that comedy can, in fact, be an effective vehicle for investigative journalism.
As part of Nieman Lab Predictions for Journalism 2017, MIT Research Affiliate Sam Ford argues for a new model for measuring impact that includes “considering ways to extend the shelf life of stories,” “building relationships with the publics who care about our stories,” and “tackling the industry’s ongoing diversity issues.”