Need to Know: April 21, 2014

Fresh useful insights for people advancing quality, innovative and sustainable journalism


You might have heard: Circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers recorded a second consecutive year of growth, according to preliminary data compiled by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA)

But did you know: Newspaper industry narrowed revenue loss in 2013 as paywall plans increased (Poynter)
The newspaper industry narrowed its total revenue loss in 2013 to 2.6 percent, the best performance since 2006, according to figures by the Newspaper Association of America, writes Rick Edmonds. Circulation revenues grew for the second consecutive year, up 3.7 percent in 2013 compared to a 5 percent increase in 2012. That was driven by continued adoption of paywall plans, now at more than 500 of the roughly 1,400 dailies.

+ Former Patch staffers are launching their own news sites around the country, focusing on improving the Patch model (NetNewsCheck)

+ Facebook is launching a mobile ad network this month that publishers could use (Recode)

+  Mobile location-based service revenues in North America will grow from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $3.8 billion in 2018, according to a recent forecast from Berg Insight (eMarketer)


How to craft a concise pitch (Fast Company)
Bing Gordon, a partner and chief product officer at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, shares some consistent patterns in good pitches after listening to “hundreds of pitches for new companies and products.” The advice ranges from how to make an effective four-slide pitch to asking the questions that the investors will ask and is applicable to any kind of idea pitch.


Italian newspaper to give away 20 million copies (Financial Times)
The owners of Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading national newspaper, will deliver 20 million free copies of the daily on a single day in May. The marketing stunt, coinciding with next month’s European parliamentary elections, is aimed at celebrating Italy’s economic recovery and promoting the relaunched website of the country’s best known newspaper as it tries to stem years of heavy losses.

+ How the Guardian reached 100 million monthly uniques (The Guardian)


The mega platform will give way to smaller, mobile tribes (ReadWrite)
As people’s internet consumption moves from the desktop to mobile, online communication will happen in smaller circles with more meaningful interactions. The next generation, raised in always-on connectivity, will embrace ephemerality and digital tribalism and those users will abandon the major social networks and migrate to more granular mobile villages with simpler ecosystems. Brands, companies and startups that build social products, services and devices must build for app-only tribes in the future.


Content recommendations shouldn’t be an audience engagement afterthought (INMA)
Nobody knows your media brand’s content better than you do, so instead of farming out your news site’s content recommendations to an outside vendor that promises to keep visitors on your site, John Lervik suggests developing your own engagement strategy based on audience insights and the individual reader’s actual content engagement and consumption.


The grammar of clickbait (The American Reader)
“The most essential grammatical tic that Upworthy employs is a bit more complex than simple word choice or sentence structure: the titles introduce a fairly typical story, idea, or theme in the first sentence, then use a much shorter sentence to complicate or undermine it,” writes Michael Reid Roberts in this charming deconstruction of Upworthy headlines.

+ “The Periodic Table of Storytelling” shows the elements of telling a good story (Open Culture)

+ Define generations by the tech they use instead of by age (Vox)

+ Paper produced by San Quentin inmates looking to grow (Sacramento Bee)