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Need to Know: Mar. 1, 2016

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


You might have heard: One of Snapchat’s biggest challenges is that it’s difficult to find content on the platform, which may mean Snapchat is missing out on revenue

But did you know: Snapchat adds a web player for Live Stories, the first time that Snapchat content has been made available outside of the app (The Verge)
Snapchat quietly updated its website Sunday evening to make the Oscars Live Story available on the web. While it’s unclear whether all Live Stories will be available on the web, Sunday marks the first time that Snapchat has officially made its content available outside of the app. As Jacob Kastrenakes writes, making Live Stories available on the web is a smart move for Snapchat: If Live Stories are viewable on the web, it will be easier to share a story with others, which could lead to more people visiting the app itself.

+ Some Snapchat Discover publishers have exclusive deals to sell their own ads, but Snapchat could take power away from those publishers as it wants to sell ads based on audience and give advertisers the ability to buy ads for audiences bigger than what one single publisher may bring in (Digiday)

+ Noted: Almost a year into Instant Articles, publishers say they’re seeing positive results, but monetization and metrics are still areas that need work (Digiday); Warren Buffett’s shareholder letter notes that, “Circulation of our print newspapers will continue to fall, a certainty we allowed for when purchasing them” (Nieman Lab); Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile resigns after seven years, and says he’ll be building something new (Fortune); Financial Times will launch on Facebook at Work, an internal business version of Facebook (Financial Times)


Emailing teenagers the news: 8 good questions with Clover’s Liza Darwin and Casey Lewis
Email newsletters are in the midst of a renaissance, and a new email newsletter is aiming to make sense of the news for teenage girls. We talked to Clover’s Liza Darwin and Casey Lewis about how they came up with the idea of Clover and why they think teenage girls will respond to their newsletter.


In adapting its brand to Snapchat, how the New Yorker is adapting its voice for the platform (Digiday)
On paper, the pairing of the New Yorker and Snapchat seems like a strange one, Ricardo Bilton writes. While the New Yorker has built its reputation on long articles and literary criticism, it’s using Snapchat to focus on its visual elements, such as the magazine’s cover and cartoons. But the New Yorker is having to adapt its voice for Snapchat, editor Nick Thompson says: “We’re not going to be telling a 20,000-word story on Snapchat, but the same things that inform those stories will inform how we approach that platform. We’re trying to take what’s essential to our brand and bring it there.”


European media are reacting to Donald Trump with befuddlement and panic (New York Times)
Just like American media, Dan Bilefsky writes that European media are also having to adjust to covering Donald Trump as an “unstoppable juggernaut.” Bifelsky writes that European media’s reactions range from outrage and panic to confusion, as well as admiration in some unlikely places. Coverage of Trump typically focuses on his outrageous statements as opposed to analysis on what a Trump presidency would mean for America and the rest of the world, Bifelsky writes.

+ Earlier: In the U.S., news organizations are divided on how to cover Trump’s campaign, with The Huffington Post at one point considering Trump coverage to be entertainment and BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith telling staff it’s OK to call Trump a “mendacious racist”


Why organizations often forget what they learned from big mistakes, and how to avoid forgetting (Harvard Business Review)
When a business makes a serious failure, the University of Texas at Austin assistant professor Francisco Polidoro Jr. says it triggers a learning cycle, forcing the organization to identify the root cause of the mistake and make changes in its processes and structure. But at the same time, organizations often face external pressure to change, as well as internal pressure to avoid making a similar mistake in the future, and those pressures fade over time. To avoid forgetting those lessons, Polidoro says that managers should make all employees feel like they are tasked with protecting the organization and empowered to raise concerns.


How a reader’s council could help publishers avoid problematic stories (Medium)
Writing about SB Nation’s retraction of its Daniel Holtzclaw story, Paul Ford asks, how can publishers avoid retractions? Ford proposes creating a reader’s council of around 200 people who read your stories for a small fee, giving that council access to drafts and notes and the ability to anonymously flag potential problems in stories. Ford says: “Now instead of waiting for the Internet to take you to task, a group of strangers can take you to task, quietly, on a regular basis.”


Catch up on what happened at this weekend’s Beyond Comments conference in Boston (Storify)
At this weekend’s Beyond Comments conference hosted by The Coral Project in Boston, more than 100 journalists gathered to talk about how to create better online communities. Adrienne Debigare rounds up the best tweets and ideas from the event for those who couldn’t attend. Some notable ideas: Commenters are a news organization’s most engaged readers, discussion around comments needs to think bigger than simply harassment and “trolls,” and better metrics are needed to measure the value of comments to news organizations.

+ Earlier: Our Q&A with The Coral Project’s Greg Barber about how the project wants to help news organizations better manage comments and better understand commenters

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