Need to Know: June 24, 2020


You might have heard: Reducing print must be accompanied by investment in better digital experiences for readers   

But did you know: E-replica editions, the ugly ducklings of digital news, have suddenly become strategic (Poynter)

While e-replica editions of newspapers — online recreations of print products — have existed for years, they are becoming an increasingly important tool for publishers. For many readers, the print paper allows them to scan articles without the distraction of homepage ads, and the technology has improved to ensure that online e-replicas are more current than a printed edition. After The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette moved to only printing on Sundays, the paper’s publishers spent two years developing an e-replica for tablets that convinced 80% of the paper’s subscribers to switch to the digital version. The focus on an e-replica offers potential for advertising partnerships, as well as bonus package content like special sections and extra games.

+ Noted: 2020 White House Correspondents’ Dinner is cancelled (Twitter, @JonKarl); Stars and Stripes faces $15 million budget cut after Trump administration proposes eliminating federal support (Washington Post); Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, joins Media Development Investment Fund as Chief Investment Officer (MDIF); First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund launches new relief fund for journalists who continue to be impacted by pandemic (Press Freedom Defense Fund); NYT names Mary Suh acting Op-Ed Editor until the fall and The Intercept’s Charlotte Greensit as Opinion’s managing editor and associate Editorial Page editor (New York Times Co.); Oklahoma news collaborative grows to 18 partners, focuses on COVID effects in K-12 education (Local Media Association)


5 ways Advocate Media is addressing reader fatigue (Metrics for News)

As news organizations begin to see declining reader interest in coronavirus coverage, we talked to one hyperlocal news organization in Dallas to see how they’re pivoting coverage to evolve with reader interests. For Advocate Media, coronavirus-adjacent news-you-can-use like business reopenings and new social-distancing guidelines has been performing well, as well as its free online event series that was inspired by audience members’ questions.

+ Trust tip: Acknowledge what you don’t know (Trusting News)


Digital First Responders: How innovative news outlets are meeting the needs of immigrant communities (Center for Community Media)

Small community news outlets face more financial pressure than ever, but those that are thriving are focusing on building direct lines of communication with their audience. For many immigrant communities, these outlets provide not just news, but critical information about how major global issues like COVID-19 uniquely impact their lives. One key has been embracing free social media platforms, which allow outlets to meet audiences while remaining on a shoestring budget.

+ New York Times publishes poll methodology ahead of poll — and explains why (The New York Times)


Politicians, celebrities join call to save BBC regional current affairs shows over ‘London-centric’ services (Press Gazette)

With the BBC facing a £125 million deficit due to the pandemic, the corporation has considered scaling back some of its regional news programming. In response, members of Parliament from several parties joined with celebrities and journalists to protest the possible change, saying that news that is not London-based is more important than ever, and should be strengthened rather than cut. Regional staff cuts have already been announced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with more likely to come in England.

+  CBS News’s 24/7 digital streaming news service, CBSN, launches global expansion (Axios) 


Charitable giving plunges 6% in first quarter, signaling $25 billion in lost revenue for nonprofits (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Individual charitable donations dropped 6% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 2019, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, that could mean $25 billion in lost revenue. March of 2020 saw an 11% drop from 2019, but early indications are that donations started to rise at the end of March. One small positive — donations less than $250 rose by 6%. But both the total number of donors and the donor retention rate dropped.

+ Earlier: Readers have come through with financial support, but newspapers must still confront big consumer revenue questions around COVID-19 (Local Media Association)


Blogger deletes entire archive after New York Times writer says it will publish his real name (Slate Star Codex)

Scott Alexander, the pen name of the psychiatrist blogger behind Slate Star Codex, wrote Tuesday that he was deleting his entire blog after The New York Times said it would publish his real name in an article about the site. Alexander writes that, as a practicing psychiatrist, he feared for his practice and his safety if his real name was published, and that he deleted the blog in hopes that the Times would not publish the article if the site no longer existed. He encouraged his readers to reach out to the Times to change their policy of “doxxing” anonymous writers.


Civic Bright Spots Map highlights where investments are going in local news (Knight Foundation)

The Knight Foundation has released a new interactive map that highlights support for local media with reporters covering COVID-19. The Civic Bright Spots Map tracks funding from groups like the Frontline Local Journalism Initiative and the Solutions Journalism Network for publications like Oklahoma Watch and the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. Each funder profile includes a breakdown of the revenue models (for-profit vs. non-profit) and platforms funded by each organization.