Need to Know: Sept. 24, 2015

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


You might have heard: Axel Springer is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy Business Insider for $560 million

But did you know: Following a lost attempt to buy the Financial Times, Axel Springer is looking to become a bigger player in English-based media (Politico Media)
Ken Doctor writes that after Axel Springer lost out on the Financial Times to Nikkei, it’s now looking to buy Business Insider to move in the “direction of a (mainly) English-language, global business news product.” Axel Springer has also recently invested in Mic, online magazine Ozy, and U.S.-based virtual reality producer Jaunt. Doctor writes: “Control of Business Insider would be much more than a consolation prize, after that agonizing, last-minute defeat at Nikkei’s hands in the acquisition of the FT. It signals Springer’s absolute determination to be a big, global player in English-language-based international media.”

+ Noted: Mail Online reports slowing digital ad growth of 16 percent in 11 months to the end of August, compared to 49% in the same period last year (Guardian); Forbes removed ads from its website after discovering the ads were serving malware (Forbes); Six months after it shut down, parts of Gigaom are relaunching, but it doesn’t have a team of full-time reporters and editors (Nieman Lab) To attract new readers who are mostly online, The San Francisco Chronicle is turning to crowdfunding and offline events (Nieman Lab)


Find API at ONA15 — and we’ll buy you a drink
If you’re attending ONA15 in Los Angeles this week, don’t miss our sessions on fact-checking for the 2016 elections (Friday at 1:30 p.m.) and breaking down the Millennial monolith (Saturday at 10:30 a.m.). Plus, track down a member of the API team, and we’ll hook you up with a drink ticket (while supplies last) worth about one beer at the X Bar at the Hyatt hotel as thanks for being a Need to Know subscriber.

+ If you aren’t able to make it to ONA15, Poynter has some tips on how you can keep up from home (Poynter)


Why The Atavist is discontinuing its mobile apps and placing its emphasis on the web (Atavist)
The Atavist announced Wednesday that it’s discontinuing its mobile apps, in favor of placing all of its focus on the web. Evan Ratliff and Jefferson Rabb write that driving users from social media into a native app is challenging and largely ineffective. They also say The Atavist was running into design and technical limitations with the app approval process, leading to a longer wait time on getting fresh content out. Ratliff and Rabb write: “Ultimately, whatever small slice of attention we were gaining by having our app on some people’s home screens was outweighed by the technical, business, and design considerations that had piled up against it.”


BuzzFeed UK is expanding its editorial team and will cover more local news (Guardian)
BuzzFeed UK is adding 14 new staff members to its editorial team and moving into more local coverage. Four of BuzzFeed UK’s new staffers will be regional beat reporters, covering areas such as the north of England, Scotland and Wales. Mark Sweney writes that BuzzFeed UK’s expansion into local coverage “will not please regional newspaper publishers who already face significant competition to keep readers attracted to their online news sites.”

+ Five months after its launch, Politico introduces paid subscriptions in Europe based on the U.S.’s Politico Pro (PressGazette)

+ After nine months of selling its time-based ad campaigns, Financial Times has 13 brands on board (Digiday)


Why building social ties at work is essential and how to build those relationships more effectively (Harvard Business Review)
Research shows that social ties and friendships at work are essential, Amy Gallo writes, but more people are shying away from making friends with their co-workers. Plus, those friendships can lead to your co-workers understanding you better and viewing you and your work more positively. Instead of trying to be friends with everyone at first, Gallo recommends starting small and focusing fostering ties with one or two people, and look for people that you have things in common with.


India’s Times Group is linking journalists’ salaries to their Twitter activity (Newslaundry)
Indian media conglomerate Times Group will be basing a part of journalists’ salaries on their Twitter activity, Arunabh Saikia reports. The company sent an email to its employees, outlining guidelines for creating Twitter accounts associated with the organization, but still clearly identified as personal accounts. A journalist with the Times of India said: “We have been told that our Twitter activity is being monitored, and our target variable pay, which is a significant part of our salaries, will depend on our engagement levels on Twitter.


How the media in Philadelphia will navigate the city during the Pope’s visit (Poynter)
As Philadelphia prepares to host Pope Francis on Saturday and Sunday, Philadelphia journalists are making their plans for how they’ll get around the city with streets shut down and an estimated 1.2 to 2 million visitors descending upon Philadelphia. Melody Kramer talked to journalists in Philadelphia about their plans, which include doing a lot of work ahead of time, a lot of walking, and planning to get a really, really early start.

+ Serial season 2 may cover the mystery of Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years after inexplicably leaving his base in Afghanistan (Deadline Hollywood)