Need to Know: July 10, 2019

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


You might have heard: Millennial reading habits are surprisingly traditional (Mental Floss)

But did you know: Majority of 18 to 34-year-olds consume news weekly, half every day (Knight Foundation)

According to a survey from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, most young adults are engaged with the news on some level. About 90 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds consume news at least once a week, and more than half are daily consumers. The survey explored reasons why that age group shares news, the most common being interest in the topic and the least common being to persuade others and to confirm their viewpoints with others. The report also showed a racial disparity when it came to how often those surveyed consume news, with white 18 to 34-year-olds 18 percent more likely than their black peers to consume news at least once a day.

+ Earlier: Our landmark study of young adults “How Millennials Get News” plus follow-ups on how young adults feel about paying for news, breaking down the four distinct types of Millennial news consumers and a guide to best practices for reaching a Millennial audience

+ Noted: New scandals rock government’s foreign broadcasting service (The New York Times); How Facebook fought fake news about Facebook (Bloomberg); CNN debuts new polling standards as 2020 race heats up (CNN); Employees at Seattle’s Cascade Public Media seek union representation (Current)


How the UNC-Duke rivalry helped two nonprofit student newspapers collaborate — and make revenue (Better News)

Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: The University of North Carolina and Duke University’s student newsrooms teamed up to create the Rivalry Challenge around the Duke-UNC men’s basketball game earlier this year. There were two big parts to the challenge — a fundraising competition and a joint editorial project in print and online between the two teams of student journalists. This story is part of a series on Better News that showcases innovative and experimental ideas that emerge from the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative; and shares replicable tactics that benefit the news industry as a whole.

+ July 15 is the final day to apply for a free online course on building audience trust. Participants will learn techniques for responding to criticism and combating misassumptions, and they’ll get a personalized action plan for proactively describing the mission, values and processes of their journalism to audiences. Learn more and apply. (Medium, Trusting News)


Working across disciplines: A manifesto for happy newsrooms (Nieman Reports)

Collaborations with experts in other fields, from coding to design, can be one of the best experiences of your career or a headache, writes Uli Köppen in a “manifesto” for interdisciplinary newsroom teams. Aside from having a clear mission with equally clear priorities, one of the first pointers Köppen mentioned involves building your team. Tight deadlines may come with pressure to recruit team members as quickly as possible, but at the beginning of a project, you often don’t know what kind of skills will be needed, which can nudge the team toward high turnover down the line. Journalists in interdisciplinary teams also recommend striking a balance between overlapping skills and specialization. Köppen adds that “teams can build structures to share knowledge: Coders giving Github intros, writers teaching investigative methods, designers and writers developing a design language together.”

+ 7 tips for covering the 2020 US census (Journalist’s Resource)


López Obrador launches its own ‘Verificado’ and infuriates fact-checkers in Mexico (Poynter)

Last year, a Mexican fact-checking initiative called Verificado brought 60 media organizations together to fight disinformation connected to the presidential election. Now, a new group called “Verificado Notimex” evokes that project, but it’s an initiative connected to Notimex, a newswire service operated by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s staff. A third organization that launched in 2017 has a similar name, VerificadoMX, and is prepared to sue the Mexican state in order to protect its moniker. According to VerificadoMX, less than half of López Obrador’s statements made during YouTube appearances are true.


Google Chrome’s built-in ad blocker rolls out globally (What’s New in Publishing)

On Tuesday, Chrome’s ad blocker will start filtering ads that don’t meet the Better Ads Standards, which were developed by the Coalition for Better Ads. Advertisements that don’t make the grade include “highly annoying” and otherwise intrusive ads, like auto-play videos that include sound. Chrome users have the option of disabling the ad blocker, which is expected to most impact video providers and ads with poor optimization. Cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher Augustine Fou told The Register that “the more important opportunity here is to filter out malvertising (ads laced with malware) and drive-by crypto-mining ads, and other unwanted security risks that come in through the ad slots.”


Facebook’s ex-security chief on disinformation campaigns: ‘The sexiest explanation is usually not true’ (First Draft News)

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, told First Draft News that the main sources of disinformation are politically-motivated “semi-professionals who are making money pushing disinformation.” He suggested disinformation is usually not caused by a foreign influence campaign, but individuals who are paid to amplify spam on Facebook. Stamos also urged the media to consistently call for regulation of technology companies, while expressing frustration at a paradox where “large media organizations call for these companies to be subservient to governments, and then also believe that the companies should protect people from their own governments.”


Not just one foundation, not just one newsroom: How the Colorado Media Project is trying to rebuild a local news ecosystem (Nieman Lab)

Next year, the Colorado Media Project will move into the state’s largest newsroom, where nine journalism organizations will share office space and collaborate, all with a five to seven-year subsidized rent. That coworking space is one of several initiatives the Colorado Media Project is working on as a community to reinvigorate journalism in the region. Also in the works is a membership plan that would lift paywalls on multiple sites, creating shared revenue as inspired by a ski pass that grants admission to dozens of resorts. This joint effort follows a series of developments similar to those playing out in other local media markets, starting with the closure of The Rocky Mountain News and draconian cuts and layoffs at The Denver Post. According to JB Holston, a dean for the University of Denver, Colorado’s solution “didn’t take a ton of capital. It just took a lot of willingness on the part of a lot of different folks to collectively figure out what we should do, where are the gaps, and how we can fill them.”