Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Need to Know: Dec. 5, 2017

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


You might have heard: Americans are skeptical of “the news media” in the abstract, but generally trust the news they rely on, research from API shows

But did you know: Trump has led to a surge in Democrats’ confidence in the press, while an alarming number of people who support Trump express extreme negative views of the media (BuzzFeed News)
According to a new study from Poynter, the Trump era has led to increased trust in the media, but simultaneously created more partisan divides in people’s view of news organizations. Poynter’s survey found that 74 percent of people who identify as Democrats have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in media; one year ago, that number was 51 percent. Meanwhile, just 19 percent of Republicans say the same. The survey also found that party and level of support for Trump has a large influence over people’s views of the media: 60 percent of those who said they approve of Trump agreed with Trump’s statement that media is the “enemy of the American people”; 15 percent of those who disapprove of Trump said the same.

+ Noted: WSJ changes its style guide to recommend avoiding the term “Millennial” as it is a “snide shorthand” for “an important group of WSJ readers” (Wall Street Journal); The Information launches two new subscription tiers: a $199 plan for people 30 and under and a $749 “all-access” plan (Digiday); is creating a Facebook brand called Reckon that tries to break out of the traditional newspaper voice with “audience-centric, accountability journalism” (Nieman Lab); In its advertising spend forecasts, Zenith expends 94 percent of growth in ad spending in the next three years to occur on the Internet (The Drum)


Tools to help you avoid a sting (Poynter)
Project Veritas’ attempted sting of The Washington Post shows the importance of knowing who you’re talking to, Ren LaForme writes. LaForme shares some tools to do this kind of research without spending a lot of money: If you have a full name, people-search sites Pipl and Spokeo will usually return an address and info about who else lives or previously lived at that address; if you don’t have a full name, start by Googling their first name along with their job, current town or any other unique identifying details.


A Millennial-focused unit at Malaysia’s The Star ‘shows how a fresh product can build a new audience for old media’ (The Splice)
R.AGE is a multimedia unit inside Malaysian newspaper The Star focused on creating investigative content targeted to younger audiences. Executive producer Ian Yee explains that audience engagement is central to R.AGE’s strategy, which often includes helping its audience get involved in the issues R.AGE is reporting on. “I don’t see there being any kind of conflict. I think a lot of Millennials don’t see that either, don’t see that there should be that line,” Yee says. “People can get involved in causes and issues so much more and they’re much more invested. They’re not just passive readers.”

+ Two months after she was killed by a car bomb, police in Malta have arrested 10 people in connection to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death (Guardian)


For the second year in a row, the world’s biggest tech convention doesn’t have a single female keynote speaker (Fast Company)
CES, the biggest tech convention in the world, is under fire for not having a single female keynote speaker for the second year in a row. The last time the convention had a female keynote speaker was in 2016 when General Motors CEO Mary Barra and IBM CEO Ginny Rometty spoke. And, some notable people in the industry are taking note: “All men should boycott @CES if women are not invited to speak! Insulting in this day and age,” HP’s global CMO Antonio Lucio tweeted.


ABC News president chastises staff over reporting error and says Brian Ross will no longer cover stories related to Trump (CNN Money)
“We have taken a huge hit and we have made the job of every single person in this news division harder as a result,” ABC News president James Goldston told staff after Brian Ross erroneously reported on air that Trump instructed Michael Flynn to reach out to the Russians as a candidate, rather than as president-elect. “We have people in Washington who are going to bear the brunt of this today and in the days forward. … The thing that compounded our mistake is that not only did we make a mistake, if we had then corrected ourselves right away, again — we wouldn’t be in this position. It would have been a very different story.” Goldston also said that Ross will no longer cover stories related to Trump, and CNN Money’s Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter report that there’s internal questions about Ross’s credibility going forward.

+ ABC News suspended Ross for four weeks without pay (New York Times); Ross tweeted, “My job is to hold people accountable and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself” (@BrianRoss, Twitter)


The Dallas Morning News is moving into a new space, designed for its digital future (Dallas Morning News)
“There’s an intangible benefit to a new space that feels more up-to-date and more forward-looking that will energize this newsroom in a way I’m really excited about,” Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson says. “The building itself won’t drive our culture, but it’ll create the possibility for a change in culture and some new traditions that I think can drive our digital progress forward.” This week, DMN is moving into new home on the other side of downtown Dallas, an office with a smaller footprint that also shows it’s “clearly focused on digital transformation.”

+ Earlier: Our Strategy Study on how to design the physical spaces of newsrooms for digital practices

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