Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

In 2019, I expect to see more consolidation, delineation, and bundling within digital media. These are overly-glamorous words for relatively old-fashioned strategies, which fits neatly into what I predict 2019 will bring: exciting words for simple products — in other words, marketing to consumers, particularly among younger brands not already doing so. At this point,…

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For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

It’s time we got serious about building media curriculum around digital product concepts. But in order to make meaningful, comprehensive and holistic change, we’ll apparently need new faculty. A research project by assistant professor Amanda Bright of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia says it’s faculty who are…

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Local news fails — in a good way

I like to believe I have a growth mindset. When my kids fail at something, I help them step back and evaluate what they learned. I’m not above quoting Einstein — “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” — or invoking superheroes to make my point. But that message is…

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Toward a symphony model for local news

It’s been a cruel decade for local news in the U.S., particularly for newspapers. But in a few communities, there has been a bright spot, as financial saviors have rescued newsrooms beset by cascading rounds of newsroom layoffs and coverage cutbacks. John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, bought the Globe in 2013 for…

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We can acknowledge what we don’t know

First let’s acknowledge up-front that when it comes to “saving” local news, none of us has any clue what we’re doing. Not me. Not you. Not the boss with the biggest title. Or that slick presenter you saw at South By. Or the person who made the savvy investment, or spot-on prediction, or devastating tweet,…

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Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

For years, I’ve been a Facebook apologist and enabler. I’ve gone to newsroom meetings, conferences, industry talks, and after hours meet-ups, to strategize with others on how news organizations could make the most of Facebook. While the goal of these discussions was almost always to figure out how publishers could increase the reach of their…

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There is no magic — you’ve got this

The Pareto principle, which is also known as the 80-20 rule, states that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs. It’s named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who helped develop the field of microeconomics. He observed that 80 percent of land in Italy was owned by about 20 percent of…

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Say it with me: Racism

While I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, here’s one I’m definitely encouraging for 2019: It’s time for all of us in journalism to pledge to not just report on racism, but to call it out. Many of us know racism when we see it, and we’ve seen plenty of it in recent years, from…

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Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

2019 will see continued, if not increased interest in understanding the local journalism landscape from a bird’s-eye view. Though a relatively new subfield, news ecosystem mapping projects have proliferated, and will continue to do so, as they also become more sophisticated in their methodology and presentation. The major disruptions to journalism have affected newsrooms at…

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The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Dan Gillmor has pointed out that some news outlets give considerable air time and print space to people who they know are lying, thereby amplifying disinformation. He characterizes this as being “loudspeakers for liars” because these outlets end up repeating blatant deceptions for their audiences — large and small, national and local — to absorb….

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