Hearst is building a 12-person research team to boost engagement 11/13/18

When Troy Young took over as president of Hearst Magazines in July, one of his to-do list items was looking at ways to streamline its magazine operations and integrate several of the previously separated print and digital teams. To that end, the company is increasingly using data to make editorial decisions, with help from a new 12-person research team.

Pure audience scale is still important to publishers like Hearst, which is still growing; monthly unique visitors rose to 128.2 million in September, up 16 percent year over year, according to comScore. But increasingly, publishers like Hearst are paying attention to measurements of quality, like repeat visits and time spent. Already, Hearst has been tilting toward reported stories over aggregated or quick takes that are designed to go viral.

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CNN sues Trump Administration for barring Jim Acosta from White House 11/13/18

CNN sued the Trump administration on Tuesday in an effort to reinstate the press credentials of its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, escalating a dispute that has highlighted the increasingly tense dynamic between President Trump and the news media.

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RJI links 11/13/18

News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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Front pages on election day: Go vote 11/6/18

Front pages from local newspapers around the country led election day coverage on front pages with words including "wave," "decision" and "divided." But a good number used the front to simply remind people to vote, how to vote and where to find results.

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Accidental disclosures ... and prior restraints 11/6/18

If a government agency inadvertently releases unredacted versions of records in response to a public records request, can the agency turn around and claw back those records? Can the agency demand the requester not publish the information, or  – even more extreme  – have the already-published information taken down?

Anyone with even a minimal understanding of the First Amendment knows that the answer to these questions should be an unequivocal "no." But that hasn't stopped some government agencies from trying.

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Ongoing legislative battles put public notices in peril 10/8/18

If you look closely at the fine print just below the banner logo for PublicNoticeAds.com, a single-source searchable database for legal ads published by "participating newspapers" across the country, it reads: "The public notice database on this site is not a substitute for the official publication that is required by law. You will still find those notices in your local newspaper."

On the site's homepage are links to each to state with "participating newspapers," though most simply redirect the browser to other websites of a similar design. For example, clicking on the link to Connecticut redirects the user to Connecticut public notices, which is "powered by MyPublicNotices.com." From there, users can click on individual links to public notices on individual websites for each newspaper title, or search notices published in any of the state's local and regional titles.

In fact, legally mandated public notices are already prevalently available online and digitally redundant to what's published in printed newspapers. In addition to these sites, they are also found on government-maintained sites, legal sites and on many newspaper-branded websites.

Yet, in several states just this year, legislators have proposed bills that would allow for public notices to bypass print altogether, possibly narrowing access to information and starving newspapers of the revenue derived from publishing information of this kind.

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Observer launches Sports Pass, for digital access to extensive coverage of Carolinas 9/11/18

The Charlotte Observer has launched Sports Pass, a sports-only digital subscription for everyone who wants to stay engaged and up-to-date on every major sports team – not just in Charlotte, but throughout the Carolinas.

For $30 a year, Sports Pass is your golden ticket to unlimited digital access to every single sports story the Observer publishes on CharlotteObserver.com.

That includes access to most sports stories published by the other six McClatchy newspapers throughout the Carolinas.

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A decade in, the Texas Tribune pursues the rest of its audience 9/10/18

About a month before the Texas Tribune launched in 2009, media reporter Jack Shafer wrote a piece for Slate delineating the numerous problems inherent in nonprofit journalism – namely, that nonprofits lose money on purpose, and thus, have to take handouts, which, Shafer says, "come with conditions." Shafer, who then blithely referred to CEO Evan Smith as "picking the pocket" of venture capitalist John Thornton, also spelled out that audience development is always secondary to advocacy in this sort of business model:

"Commercial outlets may reflect their owners' views, but this tendency is always tempered by the need to attract readers and viewers. Nonprofit outlets almost always measure their success in terms of influence, not audience, because their customers are the donors who've donated cash to influence politics, promote justice, or otherwise build a better world."

Of course, the Texas Tribune's base, composed of members scattered across the state and beyond, also includes deep-pocketed professional philanthropists. But just as the Tribune has evolved from a niche publication for hardcore policy wonks to a mainstream, establishment publication, its lofty goals for influence and audience aren't at odds with each other; they're inextricably linked.

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McClatchy introduces new series to connect with readers on policy solutions 9/10/18

Coming out of the 2016 presidential election year, covering politics in the media has often times gone through chaos and disorder. It's what prompted McClatchy to launch the Influencer series in four of its major markets: California, Florida, Missouri and the Carolinas.

Kristin Roberts, regional editor of the McClatchy's East region, is in charge of leading the series in all four markets. As regional editor, she discovered that having reporters just cover polls during the elections was a bad decision and it didn't help readers.

"We didn't satisfy the consumer's desire to understand policies affecting their communities and where candidates stood on those policies," she said. "Readers want us to force conversation about policy, not personality."

Now, she considers the Influencer series the start of changing the way newsrooms should approach covering politics.

And it all starts with the reader.

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People care about getting printed paper 9/10/18

Anyone thinking people don't care about the printed newspaper these days should talk with T&D Circulation Director Barbara West-Ravenell.

When mechanical problems delayed the The Times and Democrat's press run on Sunday night (Sept. 2) and into the day on Monday, the result was subscribers not receiving their newspaper on schedule on Labor Day morning. Never mind that it was a holiday -- or maybe in part because of it -- people were not happy. They expect the newspaper to be there and be there on schedule.

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