This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers ideas and insights you’ll want to share and discuss.

‘The case against media. By the media.’

“Dire signs for media were everywhere this year,” New York Magazine writes: Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, questions about why more news organizations weren’t paying attention to police shootings, and accusations of being both too far to the right and too far to the left. New York Magazine talked to journalists about the structural problems […]

Some reasons newspapers have dropped their paywalls: Public emergencies, experimentation, and wider access

78 percent of newspapers with circulations over 50,000 have some sort of digital subscription model, but once those subscription models are in place, what will cause a newspaper to take a paywall down? A new study from the University of Southern California looks at 69 instances (41 permanent, 28 temporary) where newspapers dropped or eliminated […]

In the 2016 presidential election, campaigns are becoming a direct source of news

New research from the Pew Research Center examining the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump shows that campaigns are increasingly becoming a direct source of news. Clinton’s campaign website offers two sections for campaign news updates that mimic the look of a digital news publisher, while Trump posts many news stories published […]

Live video is taking center stage in RNC coverage

There’s no shortage of live video from this week’s Republican National Convention, Sahil Patel writes. Social networks including Facebook and Twitter are airing speeches in full, while news outlets are devoting their own resources to live coverage of the convention. CNN plans to go live at least once or twice during lunchtime at the convention, […]

The Republican convention will tests the limits of both Trump and the news media

This week’s Republican National Convention won’t only test the limits of Trump as a presidential candidate, Jim Rutenberg writes. The convention will also test the limits of news organizations, as Trump has something he’s never had before: “Nearly full control of the national media stage for four straight evenings in prime time, across not only […]

Why more readers should frequent the comment section

While some are giving up on the comments section, Natalie Jomini Stroud says there’s still compelling evidence that the comment section can be good for both readers and news organizations. Comments provide an important way for journalists to interact with their readers. And with a focus on making the comment section a more civil place, […]

When newsletters get longer, Clover Letter finds that it can be harder to accurately measure audience

Clover Letter, a newsletter targeted to teenage girls, noted a somewhat unexpected challenge of email newsletters: After a strong start with 70 percent open rates, founders Casey Lewis and Liza Darwin found their open rates started to drop after they began including more GIFs and other images. But it wasn’t necessarily that fewer people were […]

What journalists can learn from Pokemon Go: Could newsrooms give readers information based on the places they go?

You don’t have to be a Pokemon Go enthusiast to learn something from the game, Melody Kramer writes. Kramer proposes some ideas and lessons journalists can learn from the augmented reality game, including: Could newsrooms give their readers information based on the geographic places they visit, and could they use that data to report on […]

The problem with Tronc’s video strategy: ‘Churning out content isn’t necessarily a winning strategy’

Tronc is planning to put out 2,000 videos per day, largely through automation. But this strategy isn’t new, Timothy B. Lee writes. Some media companies such as eHow have been churning out text-based articles by the thousands for at least a decade, but when Google’s algorithm learned that people weren’t really interested in these “spammy” […]

Incoming public editor Liz Spayd’s advice for the NYT: Listen to your readers

In her first column as public editor, Liz Spayd offers her advice for how the NYT can attract more readers: Listen to your readers more. Spayd writes: “What The Times and most other newsrooms mostly do now is not so much listen to readers as watch and analyze them, like fish in a bowl. … […]