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Up for Debate (Page 7)

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers points of debate and discussion about what’s happening in journalism.

Internet video view metrics are mostly meaningless because of the ways the numbers are inflated

The way we’re measuring video views right now is essentially useless, Gawker’s Kevin Draper writes. If you were to measure BuzzFeed’s exploding watermelon live stream like Nielsen measures TV viewing with its “average minute audience” metric, its viewership would be closer to zero, Draper says. Facebook’s metrics also inflate audience numbers: It counts a user […]

‘Podcasts work nothing like the App Store, and we’re all better off making sure they never head down that road’

The New York Times wrote this weekend about the surge in podcasting and Apple’s relationship to that surge, but Marco Arment argues that podcasts still work more like an “old-school blog,” rather than the App Store. Podcasters have control over monetization and analytics, and podcasts can be hosted anywhere, with podcasters retaining control and ownership. […]

In the platform shift, many small publishers are ‘left on the outside looking in’

Many bigger publishers have had the opportunity to work directly with platforms such as Facebook on Instant Articles or Google on Accelerated Mobile Pages, but smaller publishers are often left out of these conversations. There’s an incentive for platforms to work with big publishers because of their audience numbers, but small publishers still need to […]

The problem with story quotas: ‘Providing a lot of stories is not the same as providing a service to readers’

When newsroom leaders implement story quotas, John Robinson says they’re measuring the wrong thing: Simply providing a lot of stories isn’t the same thing as providing value and service to readers. Robinson writes: “It is true that every marketing survey of news content I’ve seen says that readers want ‘more.’ But it’s not more ‘stuff.’ […]

‘Is the chatbot trend one big misunderstanding?’

U.S. tech companies are rushing to mimic Chinese messaging platforms and their success, but WeChat product manager Dan Grover suggests that China’s experience shows that chatbots aren’t always desirable. U.S. chat bots are mostly being designed to perform tasks, such as searching for flights, via a conversation between the user and the bot. But that […]

The best things in journalism were never made to reach the most people, but the right people

“The truth is that the best and most important things the media (let’s say specifically the news media) has ever made were not made to reach the most people  —  they were made to reach the right people,” The Verge’s Josh Topolsky writes. “Because human beings exist, and we are not content consumption machines. What […]

With the rise of platforms, publishers will now need to justify having a website at all

The online advertising and publishing landscape is shifting toward platforms, Paul Bradshaw writes, forcing publishers to justify why they need to have a website at all going forward. Bradshaw writes: “The Facebook/Google/Medium takeover is not the end of the open web, but rather the beginning of journalism which is genuinely of the internet and not […]

Digital-only organizations are searching for successful revenue models, just like legacy organizations

Digital-only organizations are facing some of the same problems as legacy organizations, Ken Doctor writes. Digital-only publications are still trying to find sustainable business models, but it’s not really a “cratering” of the digital news business. Doctor writes: “[What we’re seeing is] a significant recalibration. If people expect these companies to have figured out how […]

Still wrestling with the Gay Talese story, Dean Baquet met with the NYT Style department

The New York Times is continuing to struggle with a story written by freelancer Sridhar Pappu about the Twitter backlash to comments made by Gay Talese about female journalists, and executive editor Dean Baquet met with the Style department about the story on Tuesday. Baquet said in a note last week that the story failed […]

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