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Need to Know: May 4, 2018

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


You might have heard: Eight women said Charlie Rose sexually harassed them — with nudity, groping and lewd calls

But did you know: Charlie Rose’s misconduct was widespread at CBS and three managers were warned, investigation finds (The Washington Post)

Incidents of sexual misconduct by Charlie Rose were far more numerous than pre­viously known, according to a new in­vestigation by The Washington Post, which also found three occasions over a period of 30 years in which CBS managers were warned of his conduct toward women at the network. An additional 27 women — 14 CBS News employees and 13 who worked with him elsewhere — said Rose sexually harassed them. Concerns about Rose’s behavior were flagged to managers at the network as early as 1986 and as recently as April 2017, when Rose was co-anchor of “CBS This Morning,” according to multiple people with firsthand knowledge of the conversations. Rose’s response to the new allegations was delivered in a one-sentence email: “Your story is unfair and inaccurate.”

+ Noted: The New York Times added 139K digital-only subscribers in the first quarter of 2018 (The New York Times Co.); Senior writer Peter King is leaving Sports Illustrated after 29 years, signing an exclusive agreement with NBC (Deadspin); On World Press Freedom Day, dozens of news organizations are joining forces to promote high-quality journalism (CNNMoney); 2018 Online Journalism Awards introduce new Collaboration category, among other changes (ONA); Podcast app Pocket Casts was acquired by NPR, other public radio stations, and This American Life (The Verge); NowThis to launch breaking news channel on Snapchat (Axios); Blockchain media firm Civil launches an ambitious studio to build an “open marketplace for journalists” (Fortune)

API Update

How can mainstream and ethnic media team up to produce better journalism? Learn these lessons from facilitators

This article is our third in a series about fostering effective collaborations between mainstream and ethnic media outlets. These collaborations can open up new avenues of storytelling, expand reach, and illuminate stories that editors at mainstream publications miss. In this post, we delve into the lessons newsrooms can learn from organizations that support collaborations. These facilitators have the trust of ethnic and mainstream publications, and they can assist them with translation, training, and cultural and stylistic adaptation of stories.

+ Earlier: In our first post, we discussed the different forms these collaborations can take and outlined some of the obstacles. In our second, we looked at foreign-language publications owned by companies that also run larger, mainstream, English-language publications.

+ The week in fact-checking: The Facebook saga, jailed for fake news, and a new mission for a Tea Partier


Publishers are finding (modest) success with Facebook groups (Digiday)

A flurry of publisher Facebook groups emerged when the platform outlined its mission to foster community at the beginning of the year. Now, aside from driving audience loyalty, publishers are working out what Facebook groups are actually useful for: shaping editorial strategy, generating leads, audience research and to supplement email newsletters. While Instant Articles and Live video delivered immediate results, groups are a longer-term investment, according to publishers, requiring regular tending and audience management. In short, there are no easy wins.

+ Poynter launches free coaching calls for women in journalism (Poynter, The Cohort); A look at BuzzFeed’s Vidder, a video editing tool that lets anyone in the company build a video within minutes, no experience required (TechCrunch); Facebook to add followers/non-followers and gender metrics on Pages’ video retention graphs (AdWeek)


With an interactive game, the BBC is helping young people better understand the disinformation ecosystem (

The BBC created an interactive game to give young audiences the chance to find out what it’s like to be a journalist tackling the challenges of disinformation in today’s digital landscape. Developed in partnership with Aardman, BBC iReporter puts the player in the seat of a reporter as they go through their working day, scoring them on accuracy, impact and speed as they react to incoming news and tasks. It was designed by the broadcaster to help students filter information, make informed decisions, understand the importance of checking sources and deciding which sources to trust, and the benefits and pitfalls of using social media to gather information.

+ The Swedish Academy says it will announce the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 next year, amid sexual assault allegations against husband of academy member (The Guardian)


Pandora learns the cost of ads — and of subscriptions (Wired)

At best, advertising is something people tolerate while consuming media. At worst, it’s a turnoff, writes Erin Griffith. Media companies engage in a delicate balance between showing audiences enough ads to earn a profit without annoying them so much they leave altogether. A new study by Pandora shows that too many ads can motivate users to pay for an ad-free version, but push many more to listen less or abandon the service. The study found that the additional subscription revenue does not make up for the lost ad revenue from those who listen less or leave the service.


‘The Bloomberg paywall does not make sense’ (Slate)

In recent years, hundreds of publications have started putting up some version of an online paywall. Nearly all newspapers now have them; many magazines are following suit. At heart, the value proposition is simple: Pay us so that we can afford to continue to provide you with the journalism that the country needs. Now, however, Bloomberg is putting up a paywall, despite the fact that it can’t make the same claim, argues Felix Salmon. Bloomberg’s journalists are paid out of the billions of dollars that its company’s financial terminal business earns every year, at $20,000 per terminal per year. Bloomberg LP could shutter the entire website tomorrow, and its journalists and journalism would continue on the terminals; it’s certainly not facing an existential threat.


Looking for evidence that audience engagement helps newsrooms? Here you go. (Medium, Jennifer Brandel)

Hearken, the company for which Jennifer Brandel is a co-founder and CEO, is composed of journalists, business strategists and developers devoted to helping newsrooms improve and deepen their relationships with the public. “We do this because better relationships improve trust, enrich reporting and safeguard financial sustainability. As our work continues to expand … we are collecting data that helps us understand even more deeply how engagement drives results.” In response to a Columbia Journalism Review piece that claims the audience engagement industry struggles with measuring success, Brandel documents dozens of successes from Hearken’s partners. “We have data that shows how using Hearken’s consulting and tools leads to measurable value for partner newsrooms,” writes Brandel. “We work with a variety of newsrooms in a variety of formats and contexts, therefore the data is not uniform, but all of it is from Hearken-powered work.”

+ Related: Letter to the Editor: Hearken’s audience engagement model (Columbia Journalism Review)

+ The Denver Post’s editorial page editor resigns after fiery anti-ownership package grabs attention worldwide — and at the corporate office (Denverite)

For the Weekend

+ Campbell Brown on Facebook’s plans to decide what news is trustworthy (Columbia Journalism Review)

+ Sinclair preps to challenge Fox News: The company has met with former Fox staffers as it awaits approval of its merger with Tribune Media (Politico)

+ The Triibe roams a Chicago overlooked by legacy media: Rather than attempt to cover hyperlocal news for all of Chicago, The Triibe focuses on culture and everyday life for black millennials (Columbia Journalism Review)

+ The future of news: Automated, personalized, mobile, paid for, and (eventually) less fake. Quality journalism is coming back. (Bloomberg)

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