Off the Top

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers a different take on the top story of the day.

Publishers believe they could lose 5 to 10 percent of Facebook referrals from the latest algorithm changes

You might have heard: Last week, Facebook announced it would tweak its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over posts from publishers But did you know: Most publishers say it’s too early to discern the effects of Facebook’s most recent algorithm change prioritizing friends and family over publishers’ posts. However, Ken Doctor reports […]

A new study from the Shorenstein Center finds there was obvious ‘journalistic bias’ in the over-coverage of the Trump campaign

You might have heard: Trump has dominated coverage of the presidential election:In a given week, Trump’s name appeared in homepage headlines 1,341 times, while Clinton appeared 361 times But did you know: According to a new study from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, there was clear “journalistic bias” in news organizations’ […]

BuzzFeed industrialized viral video, but independent YouTubers want to take it back

You might have heard: BuzzFeed “won the Internet” by prioritizing platforms: 27 percent of its traffic is native Facebook video But did you know: BuzzFeed has successfully industrialized the viral video, finding success in distributing video on platforms including Facebook and YouTube. But independent YouTubers who pioneered viral video want to take it back from […]

Taking on corporations and financial interests — by using data — is at the core of many Pulitzer Prize-winning stories, despite the fact that there’s no Pulitzer category for business reporting

You might have heard:  Data is essential to making the journalism of today stronger than what came before But did you know: This year alone, at least a third of the 28 Pulitzer winners or finalists explored the relationship between business and its impact on society. American business is arguably as powerful, if not more powerful […]

A Boston journalism nonprofit is among the first publishers to sell subscriptions on Medium

You might have heard: Nonprofit funding is becoming an important source of support for a new cohort of non-commercial news organizations and a growing number of commercial news publishers, which are partnering with nonprofit media and in some cases accepting direct grants themselves But did you know: Chris Faraone founded the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism […]

The once-vibrant pillars of black media are now fighting for survival — and the landscape is changing

The influence of black-owned media companies, like Johnson Publishing Co.’s Ebony and Jet, on black culture is diminishing. Companies are smaller and lack the financial resources to compete in the media landscape. But to that end, black media executives continue adapt. “If we don’t own our press, we don’t have a platform to speak,” said […]

The AP will use automated writing to cover the minor leagues

The Associated Press, which routinely covered some minor league stories through the 2006 season, will produce the stories using technology from Automated Insights and data from MLB Advanced Media, which is the official stat-keeper of the minor leagues. Automated game stories are available for Triple-A, Double-A and Class A games, covering 142 MLB-affiliated teams and […]

Why Facebook is devaluing publishers in the news feed

You might have heard: Facebook is changing the News Feed, so friends and family will rank higher — to the detriment of publishers (Facebook) But did you know: There’s more to be gleaned from Facebook’s statement than that it will hurt publishers. Facebook’s statement reveals how the powerful tech company thinks about its users and its […]

Sweeping changes are coming to The New York Times

You might have heard: The New York Times wants to double its digital revenue by 2020 But did you know: This summer, The New York Times is ushering in a transformation more comprehensive than it has seen in almost half a century. The 2020 Group — a team of seven Times journalists — is creating a sweeping strategic […]

Publishers are posting a growing number of stories to platforms, sometimes with financial incentive, without much insight into what the long-term effects might be, a Tow Center report finds

You might have heard: Facebook is paying media companies and celebrities to live-stream on Facebook Live and is paying 140 media companies as much as $3 million for 12-month contracts (Wall Street Journal), making the question of how to monetize live video on Facebook a little less pertinent for those publishers But did you know: […]