Nieman Lab: The Daily Digest – August 12, 2018

An analysis of 16,000 stories, across 100 U.S. communities, finds very little actual local news
“Sometimes a story was literally just a YouTube video that they were linking to.” By Laura Hazard Owen.

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

Nieman Lab
Nieman Lab is a project to try to help figure out where the news is headed in the Internet age.

Ultimately, what it probably comes down to is These platforms are terrible, are they ultimately enough of a net positive for me individually that I stay on them? By Laura Hazard Owen.
Submissive audiences? “Less special” news outlets? And other inspiring thoughts from WordPress’s publisher summit
WHAT WE’RE READING

THE NEW YORK TIMES / BRIAN HAMMAN
How we hire front-end engineers at The New York Times →
“Over the years, we’ve lost several external and internal candidates who wanted to be at The Times but were frustrated by having to prove themselves again and again. We recently made a major change: rather than having separate job postings and interview processes for each team, we consolidated to a single application and review process across all our front-end openings.”

DIGIDAY / MAX WILLENS
Subscription publishers wrestle with password-sharing →
“The difficulty of identifying password-sharers has marketing consequences. In theory, a person who’s accessing subscriber content through a friend or family member should be a prime target for marketers. But that person can’t be targeted if they can’t be identified.”

AXIOS / SARA FISCHER
The local TV consolidation race is here →
“Scale matters when we are competing against massive pay TV conglomerates, Facebook, Apple and Netflix. If you want a healthy broadcast business that keeps the Super Bowl on free TV, that encourages local investigative journalism and allows stations to go 24-7 live with California wildfire coverage, broadcasters can’t be the only media barred from getting bigger.”

MEDIUM / ANDREW GOLIS
Two years after its shutdown, the founder of This. (and now GM of Vox) reflects on the push for quality over quantity on social media →
“We didn’t make it (a story for another Medium post). But the problem has only gotten worse, and gone from a fringe interest of media critics and idealists to possibly the central business challenge of most of the big platforms and one of the central cultural challenge to our democracy.”

REYNOLDS JOURNALISM INSTITUTE / MADELEINE BAIR
El Tímpano will pilot a text message distribution and engagement strategy to serve Latino immigrants →
“As we talked to community organizers about what approaches they find most effective in reaching Latino immigrants, two strategies came up again and again: in-person engagement and mobile messaging.”

LENFEST INSTITUTE / ANH NGUYEN
How VTDigger revamped its podcast strategy →
“The podcast, hosted and produced by a VTDigger reporter with radio experience, launched that summer covering Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ run for president and the state’s legislative session. It was a flop: ‘We made every mistake you can think of.’”

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW / PETE VERNON AND STEVEN THRASHER
A Q&A with Northwestern’s new professor for social justice reporting (with a emphasis on LGBTQ issues) →
“You can’t just accept the position of power in understanding what’s happening in the country. You have to look around the corner and look in the margins because the people who are most in the margins are often the ones who are often suffering the most.”

REUTERS / GREG ROUMELIOTIS
An investment firm led by a former hedge fund executive is in talks to acquire Tronc →
“Will Wyatt is a veteran investor in the media and the consumer sector, having led some of Starboard’s biggest bets in the space, including in Tribune Media Co, one of the largest U.S. television station operators.”

WASHINGTON POST / ELIZABETH SPIERS
No, Jared Kushner, it was not okay to delete her journalists’ work →
“There are a number of other technical reasons you might not be able to find a story in the archive, but one that would never occur to any rational journalist, or even any reasonable person, is your boss, the owner of the paper, is stealthily destroying your work and damaging the credibility of his own media publication in the process. Even in the annals of terrible media owners, this is something that would normally be credible only to a conspiracy theorist.”