Paying for news: Why people subscribe and what it says about the future of journalism
May 2 2017
Research from the Media Insight Project, an initiative from the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, shows that coverage of a specific topic is the biggest reason people pay for news. This research also reveals that, despite stereotypes, nearly 40 percent of Americans under the age of 35 pay for news.
This Pew Research Center study Google search data from local and regional audiences in the context of a specific real world event: the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich. The goals of the study were to “begin exploring what aggregated search behavior can tell us about how news spreads in our increasingly fractured information environment, as well as about how the public’s focus shifts over the course of a developing news story.”
When movies go to Washington: Documentary films & public policy in the United States Vol 1
May 1 2017
This report from the Center for Media and Social Impact offers advice from documentary filmmakers, advocates and policymakers who have used social issue films to effectively shape public policy. Helpful strategies include understanding how the issue factors into the current policy landscape and choosing the right policymakers, organizations and advocacy groups to support the cause, among others.
Nonprofit investigative journalism conversations about impact and reach
April 27 2017
Seton Hall Associate Professor Matthew Hale and colleagues provide a glimpse into the types of nonprofit news stories that result in additional press coverage. In addition, they offer some insights into how selected nonprofit news organizations are thinking about and assessing impact, which were gathered through informal conversations with stakeholders.
General election news coverage: What engages audiences down the ballot
April 1 2017
This report from The Engaging News Project and the American Press Institute and funded by the Democracy Fund reveals some very interesting news reading habits among audiences in the run-up to the 2016 general election. Some key findings: Articles about corruption garnered the most page views and social referrals during the 2016 election, and articles mentioning issues and strategy received fewer page views and referrals than those that did not. Plus, economic topics like jobs and trade were not prominent on the local news agenda, despite their role in animating many of the voters who supported Donald Trump in the presidential election.
ProPublica’s annual report to stakeholders contains impact highlights over the last year. Impact is measured not through “audience size or honors,” but rather in terms of “real-world change.” This year’s highlights include the return of campaign funds, new guarantees of due process, the resignation of a Trump administration official with conflicts of interest, and the end of a predatory banking practice by Wells Fargo, among others.
While the situation is improving, men continue to outnumber women in the media field in 2017, according to the latest Status of Women in the U.S. Media Report from the Women’s Media Center. One example: There are now an unprecedented number of minority female TV news directors, but these numbers still don’t reflect the U.S. population as a whole.
Processing political misinformation: Comprehending the Trump phenomenon
March 1 2017
This study in Royal Society Open Science examines both true and false statements Donald Trump made during the 2016 Republican primary. Findings reveal that correcting Trump’s false statements did lead people—across political ideologies—to change their minds about those statements. However, knowing statements were false did not decrease the likelihood of voting for Trump among Trump supporters or other Republicans.
Does engagement in advocacy hurt the credibility of scientists? Results from a randomized national survey experiment
February 27 2017
This study, published in Environmental Communication, reveals that participating in advocacy does not undermine the credibility of scientists or the scientific community. However, “even if people do not object to scientists engaging in advocacy per se (as opposed to refraining from advocacy), they still may object to a specific position that is advocated.”
Same beds, different dreams? Charitable foundations and newsroom independence in the Global South
February 1 2017
This report from the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy investigates what happens when foundations underwrite news content in the Global South. Among other findings, it uncovers a clear need for agreed-upon standards and guidelines for maintaining editorial independence.
Journalism that stands apart: The New York Times report of the 2020 Group
January 15 2017
The New York Times reflects on what’s working now and what must change in order to ensure its sustainability: “Why must we change? Because our ambitions are grand: to prove that there is a digital model for original, time-consuming, boots-on-the-ground, expert reporting that the world needs. For all the progress we have made, we still have not built a digital business large enough on its own to support a newsroom that can fulfill our ambitions. To secure our future, we need to expand substantially our number of subscribers by 2020.”
Exploring the impact of formats on audience metrics
January 1 2017
Digital analytics company Parse.ly takes a look at how audiences engage with content across multiple media formats. Video turns out to be the least engaging, while long-form content is most likely to attract and engage new users and drive growth.