J-schools need to focus on data, local news, social media and business models 5/21/19

It's no secret that journalism is at a bit of a crossroads. With technology and media consumption habits changing constantly, the industry has been thrust into a state of near perpetual turmoil. Journalists everywhere are figuring out what to take from traditional practices, what to leave behind, and what they need to invent. They must – to quote Brad Pitt in "Moneyball" – adapt or die.

Much of this work, of course, will need to be done by young reporters. Those entering newsrooms now and in the near future will play a huge role in deciding what journalism will become. From that truth, a natural question arises: How should journalism schools prepare these future industry leaders for what lies ahead?

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RJI links 5/21/19

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

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Texas Supreme Court tosses out libel lawsuit against Dallas Morning News 5/14/19

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in favor of The Dallas Morning News and staff writer Kevin Krause in a libel lawsuit brought by a North Texas drug-compounding business and its founders.

The state's high court unanimously reversed a judgment by a Fort Worth appeals court and said The News published stories that accurately quoted court documents and didn't report that the pharmacies were "actually guilty of anything."

The justices directed the trial court to dismiss the case and award legal fees to The News.

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The last family-owned daily in Mississippi 5/14/19

Columbus is a town of about 24,000 in eastern Mississippi. Its small downtown has architecturally beautiful "good bones" of pre-World War II buildings now becoming popular for second- and third-story rentals and apartments.

One of the most stately of these downtown structures is the longtime home of the local daily newspaper, The Commercial Dispatch. The newspaper is nearly a century old; it has been based at its current home, on Main Street, since the 1920s; and through that period it has been owned and published by members of the Imes family.

The paper is printed each day in that same downtown site. Like other small-town, local papers, it is in worse shape than it was a decade ago. Then, its daily paid circulation was around 16,000. Now it's between 13,000 and 14,000 (including a new edition for the nearby, prospering university town of Starkville, home of Mississippi State).

But it has held up much better than most. According to its publisher, Peter Imes – the fourth generation of the Imes family to have this role – the paper's editorial staff is about the same as it was a decade ago: a total of 12. That is down from its historic peak of around 20, but has held steady in a time when newsroom staffs have been drastically hollowed out elsewhere.

How has the Dispatch held on, to the extent that it has?

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Across seven countries, the average price for paywalled news is about $15.75/month 5/14/19

More and more news organizations are implementing paywalls. A new report from the Reuters Institute for Journalism surveys the paywall landscape in six European countries and the U.S.

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Study: Journalists need help covering misinformation 5/7/19

In a new study conducted by the Institute for the Future, a California-based nonprofit think tank, researchers found more than 80 percent of journalists admitted to falling for false information online. The data was based on a survey of 1,018 journalists at regional and national publications in the United States.

Perhaps more concerning: Only 14.9 percent of journalists surveyed said they had been trained on how to best report on misinformation.

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Under new employment advertising rule, Americans need not apply 4/30/19

Proposed changes to an advertising requirement for employers in the U.S. could mean that soon, many eligible American workers will not learn about available job opportunities in the U.S. before they are offered to non-resident, foreign workers instead.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) are proposing to eliminate the requirement that employers inform U.S. workers of available job opportunities through publishing job listings in the local print newspaper. Instead, they are proposing to allow employers to simply place an ad on a website that is "widely available." While this solution may seem acceptable, it will practically guarantee that fewer eligible U.S. workers will know about job opportunities.

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His father installed printing presses. He dismantles them. 4/29/19

When Joel Birket was a child, his family moved to new cities for a year at a time so his father, William, could install printing presses at the major daily newspapers in Seattle and Minneapolis. "I saw all the different trades and effort that was put into making these presses work," Birket says. "It was just fascinating." Later, Birket – who entered the same line of work in 1994, and who now oversees his own shop specializing in machinery moving and press installations – opened drawers at printing plants and spotted his dad's handwriting on old drawings detailing the operations of a press.

Recently, Birket, who is 44, stood in the press room of the Nashville-based Tennessean for a different sort of job than the one his father so often performed. In 1989, Birket’s dad had installed the Tennessean’s printing press. Nearly three decades later, Birket had returned to take it apart.

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Gannett just launched its own image licensing and wire service 4/29/19

Gannett has launched a platform that makes original images from USA Today and its 109 local newsrooms available to paying customers.

Gannett said the platform, called Imagn, includes original sports, entertainment and breaking news images. The site promises 600,000 photos "per year from 10,000 sporting events covered by 300 sports photographers nationwide" to start, and an additional 1.8 million photos every year.

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For many rural residents in U.S., local news media mostly don't cover the area where they live 4/23/19

Americans in urban communities are more likely to say local news media mostly cover the area where they live, while rural residents say that their local news media mostly cover another area, such as a nearby city, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Roughly six-in-ten self-described urban residents (62 percent) say their local news media mainly cover the area they live in, while a majority of those who describe themselves as rural residents (57 percent) say the opposite is true – their local news media mostly cover some other area, a concern raised by many journalism watchers following newsroom cutbacks and media consolidation. Self-described suburbanites are more evenly split, according to the survey conducted Oct. 15-Nov. 8, 2018, among nearly 35,000 U.S. adults.

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