Need to Know: Aug. 11, 2015

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


You might have heard: Events can bring in significant revenue for publishers as well as strengthen a brand

But did you know: New York Times’ live events and conference business could bring in $20 million (New York Times)
Though the The New York Times hit a milestone of 1 million paid digital-only subscribers last week, 70 percent of NYT’s revenue still comes from print. Public editor Margaret Sullivan says NYT’s conference and live events business could help fund journalism in a changing revenue structure by bringing in as much as $20 million. NYT is holding three conferences in the U.S. this year and five in Europe. At these conferences, NYT journalists do live interviews or serve as moderators on panels. NYT senior editor Charles Duhigg, who leads the conference efforts, says: “It’s live journalism. We just happen to do it in a public forum.”

+ Noted: Washington Post, Huffington Post reporters charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer’s performance nearly a year after their arrests in Ferguson (Huffington Post); Facebook ads outperform ads on other social networks in terms of advertisers’ satisfaction with results, according to Forrester Research (Wall Street Journal); Nonprofit criminal justice news site The Marshall Project finds plenty of partnerships but is struggling to fundraise (Nieman Lab)


How NYT retrains reporters’ thinking to write push notifications (Nieman Lab)
New York Times day editor Karron Skog says writing a push notification requires a different kind of thinking as you can’t go back and edit more information in, a shift that has required retraining reporters’ processes. Skogs said NYT has established a process for sending push notifications, which allows them to get notifications out faster. Part of that process is getting reporters to write in chunks after a notification is sent in order to get readers to come back. Skogs says: “We still have some blips here and there, where we have a reporter who may want to file more and the editor isn’t aggressive enough to say, ‘We don’t need that much. Just send us the bare minimum of what you have and you can fill out from there.’”

+ In the era of the Apple Watch and the ubiquity of notifications, is it time to re-define what we consider “breaking news”? (Garcia Media)


Why Huffington Post is taking a stand against issues such as atheism and selfies in its Arabic edition (BuzzFeed)
In its English language edition, The Huffington Post is known for embracing pop culture and progressive politics, Tom Gara writes, but it’s taking a different approach in its new Arabic edition. A recent column criticized the rise of the “selfie” for its potential to harm traditional Arab values, a viewpoint that drew criticism on social media. The post was later removed but Huffington Post’s executive international editor Nicholas Sabloff says the post reflects the challenges of trying to reflect the diversity of voices in the Arab world: “In a region where the media landscape is polarized, we are trying to create a space where a diversity of perspectives can co-exist. … We want HuffPost Arabi to provide diversity and balance as a site.”


How NFL highlights and content could be used in Twitter’s Project Lightning (Re/code)
NFL extended a deal first signed with Twitter in 2013 that brings football highlights to the social network, but NFL content will likely now be used as part of Twitter’s upcoming Project Lightning. Project Lightning will curate content around breaking news and live events, such as an NFL game. NFL content that can be used on the platform include clips from games as they’re happening and behind-the-scenes footage.


New study on ad blocking says 45 million people in the US use ad blockers (New York Times)
According to a new of ad blockers by Adobe and Dublin startup PageFair, 200 million people worldwide now use ad blockers with 45 million of those in the United States. The report says ad blockers will lead to $22 billion in lost advertising revenue worldwide this year, a 41 percent rise in the last year. Adobe’s director of product marketing Campbell Foster says: “What’s causing grave concern for broadcasters and advertisers is video advertising, which is some of their most valuable content, is starting to be blocked.”


Why a CUNY grad student is collecting data on journalism salaries (Nieman Lab)
Julia Haslanger, a graduate student in CUNY’s social journalism program, wants to know how much money you make. Haslanger is collecting salary information through Journo Salary Sharer, which asks journalists to anonymously share their salary as well as contextualizing information such as years of experience and location. Since the survey opened Friday morning, Haslanger has received 1,700 responses, enough to draw conclusions on reporter salaries in large metro areas, she says. She’s hoping to get more information on different roles and smaller markets: “I just wanted to start with [getting] some numbers out and available to people so they can make decisions, make sure they’re getting paid fairly, and know how to negotiate.”

+ Why ProPublica partnered with Yelp to add info on health care facilities: It serves ProPublica’s mission and strengthens brand awareness, but it could also increase its revenue and provide useful data for stories (Digiday)