Need to Know: November 9, 2022


You might have heard: Alden Global Capital wants to buy a few hundred more newspapers (Nieman Lab) 

But did you know: Alden Global Capital has abandoned its bid for Lee Enterprises (Axios) 

After attempting to take over Lee Enterprises for nearly a year, Alden Global Capital has reportedly abandoned these efforts due to rising interest rates and the fear of recession. Alden sold its stake in Lee in April, report Sara Fischer and Kerry Flynn. A recession could be especially devastating for outlets that have already been purchased by hedge funds, who may simply shut newspapers down if they can no longer profit from them. 

+ Noted: Chicago Sun-Times union blasts new owner (Axios) 


Do small, quick experiments around audience engagement

Looking for ways to better reach specific audiences? You can test your hypotheses and run experiments using API’s Metrics for News analytics software. Learn more here.

+ As your election coverage continues, don’t forget to check out API’s Election Coverage Resources.


How the News Movement is creating a social-first outlet with a firm focus on young audiences (Reuters Institute) 

Since launching at the beginning of 2021, the News Movement has amassed 63,000 followers on TikTok, with more than half of their views from people under the age of 24. The outlet, which is based in New York and London, officially launched in the U.S. last month, and has seen great success with explainers that provide context for younger audiences. Head of audience Valentina Park said that they hit a million views with a video that focused on where Ukraine is on a map, information that is crucial to explaining the origins of the conflict.


Young people in Taiwan are driving enthusiasm for independent media (International Journalists’ Network)

In 2014, the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan pushed “local” issues about Taiwanese identity to the forefront for many young people. As a result, many have begun working in independent media such as the online non-profit The Reporter. It has been able to maintain an ad-free model with funding from 17,600 sponsors, who support the outlet’s non-partisan investigative work. “No sponsor is a decision maker; it doesn’t matter if they’re a founder or a manager of the media, or how much they invest,” says social media editor Wang Yen-Chen. 


Twitter’s publishing of new rules adds to confusion on misinformation policies (The Hill)

Twitter has posted its new user rules, and the new policy does not address issues that the company had previously addressed, such as the spread of COVID-19 disinformation or crisis misinformation in conflict areas such as Ukraine. In August, Twitter said that, ahead of the midterms, it would label misinformation and direct users to “prebunks” about voting; new rules posted did not include any reference to those policies. Some of the policies still link back to old information on Twitter’s website, making it unclear whether old policies around misinformation are still in effect. 

+ Related: Elon Musk has discussed putting all of Twitter behind a paywall (The Verge); Twitter suspends users for imitating Elon Musk in early test of his free speech stance (NBC News); Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks (MIT Technology Review); What Twitter’s changes mean for news organizations (Los Angeles Times) 


Election coverage that shows generic “long line” images may discourage voting, new research finds (Nieman Lab)

New research has shown that television coverage of long lines at polling places may discourage people from voting in future elections. Seeing images of lines at polling locations made people “more likely to think that voting is time-consuming and decreased their stated confidence in elections,” write political science professors Kathleen Searles and Christopher Mann. They suggest that news outlets only use imagery with lines that are relevant to the story, and provide context of how long people waited and whether wait times were consistent.