Nieman Lab

17,433 Followers | @niemanlab | Figuring out the future of journalism.

Has the GDPR law actually gotten European news outlets to cut down on rampant third-party cookies and content on their sites? It seems so

It seems that a fairly severe, sweeping data privacy law in Europe could be the incentive news organizations needed to trim the number of third-party cookies and content loading on their sites before readers have a chance to give explicit consent, according to a Reuters Institute report on a wide …

European News

Democracy is cracking and platforms are no help. What can we do about it? Some policy suggestions

Platforms aren’t efficiently self-regulating. Government officials don’t know how Facebook’s advertising works (or some know it too well). The internet can be a cesspool of spiteful users and malicious bots and yeah, in some places, digital-based communities and positive connections. But what can …

Social Media

How media coverage of epidemics helps raise anxiety and reduce trust

Lethal infectious diseases are making headlines again, with 17 confirmed new Ebola cases reported in Congo as of August 8. The news brings back the memories of Americans’ unjustified fear during the 2014 outbreak.<p>In any outbreak or public health crisis, health organizations such as the Centers for …

Public Health

Major internet companies might want to push their own point of view, but can they also take care of misinformation please and thank you

So we all heard Facebook’s view on the role that major companies play in deciding who gets what news. (Really, no need to say it twice.)<p>But what does your average Mark or Campbell think?<p>According to a new survey by the Knight Foundation and Gallup, American adults feel negatively about major …

Internet

I want bad news and I want it fast: That’s the business model for Factal, a business-focused company from the founders of Breaking News

Breaking News, which sent out news alerts from around the globe 24 hours a day, was beloved, but that wasn’t enough to save it. The company, consisting of a Twitter feed (with 9.1 million followers), app, and website, was shut down by its owner, NBC News, at the end of 2016. From a memo to …

iOS Apps

American podcasters are starting to pay more attention to their international audiences (and their pounds, loonies, and euros)

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 173, published August 14, 2018.<p><b>International House of Podcasts.</b> When considering the global potential for podcasts, the prospects of non-American podcast companies and publishers — like the BBC, Louie Media, The Australian (I guess? …

Podcasting

Read Nieman Lab stories in other languages — and help us translate them into more!

Did you know you can read many Nieman Lab stories in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, German, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish?<p>Over the past couple of years, through the help of many partners, from the likes of IJNet to Yomiuri Shimbun to Outriders to Tencent, we’ve been trying to expand …

Journalism

How not to be a parachute partner: ProPublica’s figured out how to collaborate with local newsrooms without bigfooting them

Eight months into its first year, ProPublica’s local reporting network has helped: a radio reporter in Orlando survey first responders about PTSD; a newspaper reporter in southern Illinois scrutinize the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s policies nationwide; and a reporter with 27 years …

Journalism

Facebook’s message to media: “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back”

The Australian — the Murdoch-owned national paper — has an interesting (and aggressively paywalled) scoop about Facebook today, based on comments Campbell Brown, the company’s global head of news partnerships, allegedly made during a meeting with Australian media executives in Sydney last week.<p>Here …

Digital Advertising

Submissive audiences? “Less special” news outlets? And other inspiring thoughts from WordPress’s publisher summit

Do you really want your audiences to submit to you?<p>That and other questions came up during this year’s WordPress Camp for Publishers, running Wednesday through Friday in Chicago. Brian Boyer of Spirited Media “forever ruined” Submit boxes for some attendees, but Austin Smith (CEO of Alley and the …

Inventions

An analysis of 16,000 stories, across 100 U.S. communities, finds very little actual local news

We know that local journalism is suffering. We talk about news deserts and shuttering newspapers. Research has tended to focus on individual communities, or more broadly on certain types of journalism outlets and the coverage of certain types of topics.<p>But what do the problems for local news look …

Journalism

We can write about Twitter, we can stay on Twitter, but we can’t expect anything from Twitter

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.<p>Are you still having fun? Brief recap of why Alex Jones and Infowars are bad and gross. …

Social Media

The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an audience-driven article using Instagram Stories (and it wasn’t even about a hippo)

If you follow news organizations on Instagram, you probably see a dozen news quizzes or “things to know” every week on your Instagram Stories. Now, there’s nothing necessarily <i>wrong</i> about testing followers on current events and sharing roundups. But on a platform that lets users vote, rate …

Social Media

There will always be another Alex Jones, a glitch in the American system

Confrontational characters spouting conspiracy theories and promoting fringe ideas have been with us since the invention of American broadcasting. First on radio, then on television, the American audience has consistently proven eager to consume the rants of angry and bitter men.<p>Before Alex Jones …

Society

How The Wall Street Journal is revamping its newsletters — and trying to add some whimsy

The Wall Street Journal is not exactly known for its sense of whimsy — but that’s what the folks revamping its newsletter system are aiming for.<p>When Cory Schouten and Annemarie Dooling (formerly of CJR/Indianapolis Business Journal and Vox Media, respectively) joined the Journal’s newsletter team …

Wall Street

Whoops, the paywall just reset: Here are some of the nasty bumps your paid-content setup can hit

The growing troubles of (non-Facebook, non-Google) digital advertising have left many publishers eager to move to a reader-driven, digital-focused revenue model. And it can be done: The New York Times announced in its earnings report Thursday that subscriptions now account for nearly two-thirds of …

Golden State Warriors

In Germany, a news site is pairing up liberals and conservatives and actually getting them to (gasp) have a civil conversation

If only online dating could go as smoothly.<p>As an attempted antidote to sociopolitical polarization in its country — particularly all the hateful logjams that play out online — the German national news site Zeit Online has developed a seemingly simple mechanism of matching up people who live near …

Europe

If Facebook makes a safe harbor for journalists and researchers, would it help?

If The New York Times hadn’t reported on the fake Twitter follower factories.<p>If ProPublica hadn’t investigated targeted Facebook ads discriminating against users based on race, disability, and gender.<p>If Gizmodo hadn’t uncovered the way Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature can create shadow …

Social Media

Podcasting’s next frontier: A manifesto for growth (beyond the already converted)

<b>Editor’s note</b>: This piece is based on a talk by Tom Webster, the vice president of strategy for Edison Research, which (among other things) is probably the leading research firm for the podcast industry.<p>It advances a number of arguments that I think you’ll find interesting — and which have wide …

Podcasting

A big shakeup at Audible has left the audiobook giant’s podcast strategy unclear

Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 172, published August 7, 2018.<p><b>Huge shakeups at Audible Originals.</b> I can confirm that the Amazon-owned audiobook giant announced internally last Thursday that it was eliminating a considerable number of roles within its original …

Alex Jones

More than 1,000 U.S. news sites are still unavailable in Europe, two months after GDPR took effect

As a senior editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daniel Rubin writes a daily newsletter with links to 10 “Hey, Martha!” articles — some on Philly.com, some on other news websites. The newsletter is a labor of love, Rubin said, and he kept it going even during a recent vacation to Ireland.<p>Scouring …

Journalism

WhatsApp is a black box of viral misinformation — but in Brazil, 24 newsrooms are teaming up to fact-check it

Another big national election means another big collaborative fact-checking initiative. But this one will get a small but important assist from the Facebook-owned messaging behemoth WhatsApp — where a healthy share of the world’s misinformation gets distributed.<p>Comprova, a fact-checking collective …

Journalism

What is a Scandinavian media company’s first-ever director of public policy up against?

GDPR and forthcoming ePrivacy regulations around consumer data protections. Antitrust fights and fines, new taxation proposals, a continued unpleasant relationship between technology platforms and news organizations. And no respite in sight.<p>Karin Pettersson, Schibsted’s new director of public …

Media Industry

Echoing the network: The most interesting new digital and social media research

<b>Editor’s note</b>: There’s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media — but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers?<p>Our friends at Journalist’s Resource, that’s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard …

Social Media

Upworthy just laid off 31 people. The question remains why.

Good Media Group, which owns viral site Upworthy and Good Magazine, cut at least 31 employees yesterday. The layoffs were first announced on Thursday afternoon in a tweet from editor-in-chief Liz Heron, who said she is also resigning.<p>Upworthy CEO Charlie Wilkie also resigned Thursday, and Upworthy …

Employment

With “Your Feed,” The New York Times lets iOS users follow topics and journalists (in a non-overwhelming way)

The New York Times has a new notification for you: Open its iOS app and, in the upper right-hand corner of the home screen, you’ll see a new icon right next to the Times logo. That’s “Your Feed,” a major new feature that the Times rolled out to all iOS app users this week and officially announced …

iOS Apps

Google, working with news orgs like ProPublica, will return more datasets in search results

In a study last year, Google News Lab found that 51 percent of news organizations in the U.S. and Europe (and 60 percent of digital-only news orgs) have at least one dedicated data journalist on staff.<p>That means, of course, that plenty of newsrooms <i>don’t</i> have a data journalist around. But even for …

Google News

We asked Nieman Lab readers for their thoughts on journalism school. Here’s what they said.

Should journalists go to journalism school? Does “J-school” mean majoring in journalism in college, or going to a graduate journalism program, or both? Maybe these questions shouldn’t be that confusing, but when Marlee Baldridge, Nieman Lab’s 2018 Google News Initiative Fellow, started working on a …

Journalism

Should you major in journalism? Here are stories from eight working journalists who didn’t

The first time Emily Kask, 24, tried journalism school, it didn’t work out. She’d never thrived in an academic environment, and she felt a complete lack of support from school administrators and mentors. Kask then transferred to Western Kentucky University, which had a strong multimedia program …

Journalism

Facebook puts $4.5 million more into news support with a membership accelerator and News Match cash

When Facebook announced its subscription accelerator for certain local news organizations in February, we chalked it up as one move in the larger dance between publishers and platforms. Now, Facebook is taking another step in the tango (pasodoble?) with a new accelerator focused on memberships for …

News Industry