Need to Know: Mar. 10, 2016

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


You might have heard: To get the newsroom to think digital-first, The Los Angeles Times is reorganizing its newsroom around a central “news and enterprise hub”

But did you know: To get out of a print-first mentality, The Dallas Morning News is completely reorganizing its newsroom (Poynter)
The Dallas Morning News wants to be a digital-first newsroom, and it’s totally starting over to achieve that. The newspaper will no longer have desks and beats, and will instead be organized into “hubs” around topics, such as breaking news or high school sports. Everyone in the newsroom had to reapply for a new job, which often wasn’t their current job because it no longer existed. The newspaper is also letting go of some of its coverage, because, as business vertical editor Paul O’Donnell says, “We can’t be everything to everyone anymore.”

+ The Dallas Morning News is also considering a move from its longtime downtown headquarters, nicknamed “Rock of Truth” (Poynter)

+ Noted: Twitter makes Moments more mobile-friendly by displaying the Google AMP link to a story when available (Twitter); Fresco News is partnering with Fox to bring its citizen journalism iPhone app to several Fox-owned local TV stations throughout the U.S. (TechCrunch); The Guardian is testing a tougher message to get people to turn ad blockers off, in place of the more polite message users see now (Digiday)


Lessons from NPR’s analysis on when is the best time to post on Facebook (NPR Social Media Desk)
Earlier analysis by NPR found that Facebook was largely time independent in terms of a post’s chances to be successful, but NPR’s social media editors decided to take a second look, and found that the question of when’s the best time to post on social media to be more complicated than they thought. On the surface, peak hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) appear to be a better time for posting than off-peak hours (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in terms of reach and link clicks. But, digital metrics analyst Dan Frohlich asks if that result could be created by the fact that NPR’s best content is posted during those hours.

+ How four small newsrooms are using video: New Brunswick Today creates bilingual weekly news summaries, while hyperlocal Brick City Live is repackages content from the site for News in 90 Seconds (Medium)


South China Morning Post’s social media presence in mainland China is wiped out by the government (Shanghaiist)
The social media accounts of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and WeChat were shut down by Chinese Internet censors on Tuesday, effectively eradicating its online presence in mainland China. Shanghaiist’s Kenneth Tan writes that the loss of its social media accounts severely hinders the South China Morning Post’s ability to move into mainland China.

+ Earlier: China’s new regulations on foreign-owned media outlets go into effect this month, and the restrictions could effectively ban foreign-owned media from publishing in mainland China if they’re strictly enforced


The Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker case could limit news organizations’ ability to report on unflattering details about public figures online (Vox)
In Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, both sides are arguing that the case will have serious implications for the Internet. While Hogan’s side is arguing that a loss would mean weakened privacy for Americans, Gawker argues that if Hogan is to win, press freedom is at risk. Gawker argues that if Hogan wins, it would limit news organizations’ ability to report on unflattering details about public figures, as well as discourage journalists from reporting on such stories.


A new print newspaper in North Carolina will likely face same challenges as established print newspapers (Columbia Journalism Review)
Inside North State Journal, there’s optimism that what the new print newspaper in North Carolina is different than what newspapers have done before, Corey Hutchins reports. But outside of the newspaper, observers have some skepticism that the newspaper will be able to overcome the same challenges that are facing established print media. The Fayetteville Observer’s Paul Woolverton says: “I’m suspicious. … Print readers are literally dying off. New readers are online, they have been trained for more than 20 years that online news is free.”


How digital analytics and the measurement of pageviews has evolved over time (MediaShift)
Reflecting on the past of digital analytics provides insight for the future of metrics,’s Allie VanNest says. VanNest provides an overview of how the measurement of a pageview has evolved from 1993 to today and how the idea of a “pageview” itself has expanded to include more complex layers of information. As for where we can expect metrics to go in the future, VanNest says pageviews are still important but “not as important as they used to be. Today, smart advertisers realize that clicks don’t always equal engagement, and this (in part) has given rise to a new interest in engagement metrics.”