Need to Know: Sept. 3, 2015

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


You might have heard: Apple is developing a new app called News that will bring content from publishers together in one pre-installed app

But did you know: Apple’s News app will have more than 50 publishers when it launches (Re/code)
When Apple announced its upcoming News app in June, 18 publishers were on board. Now, Re/code reports that Apple has more than 50 publishers for the app. Publishers’ readiness to partner with Apple for the News app is likely due in part to the terms of the deal: Apple is allowing publishers to keep 100 percent of ad revenue for ads they sell and 70 percent for ads Apple sells. Publishers will also get credit from comScore for stories that users view, lessening the fear that the News app will cannibalize publishers’ audience numbers.

+ Noted: Vox acquires “quirky political science” blog Mischiefs of Faction, which is overseen by academics at George Mason University and the University of Denver (Poynter); New York Times partners with Evernote for Cooking integration, allowing users to add their own recipes and save recipes from elsewhere on the Internet to their NYT Cooking Recipe Box (New York Times); Dylan Byers is leaving Politico to join CNN Money and CNN Politics, covering the intersection of media and politics (CNN Money); Financial Times appoints Tom Betts as its first chief data officer, overseeing “strategic use of customer data and research across the organization” (Financial Times)


Article tags may not matter much for traffic, but tags are helping publishers gain better insights (Nieman Lab)
Many publishers use tags to try to direct readers to related stories, but analytics company found no statistical link between the use of tags and the amount of traffic a site received. However, did see publishers using tags to guide their strategies. Publishers are tagging by article format, paywall status and sponsored content. Atlantic Media Strategies marketing manager Joshua Laskey wrote on metadata last year: “Think if you were to tag articles based on whether they included a video; you could then analyze whether having this element improved article performance. This would help you to decide whether it made sense to embed more videos in the future.”

+ API’s Metrics for News program uses this approach to helping publishers study their content

+ Roy Peter Clark’s tips for handling quotes, including why removing language from quotes is necessary and how to be careful about slang and dialect (Poynter)


Following closure, Contributoria’s team remains optimistic about the future of crowdfunded journalism (
After announcing its closure on Friday, crowdfunded journalism platform Contributoria published its last issue yesterday. But despite the fact that Contributoria is closing, co-founder Matt McAlister remains optimistic about crowdfunded journalism: “Crowdfunding is just one piece of the puzzle, but we’ve seen first-hand the voracious appetite people have to be part of the journalism process, including the way it gets financed.” To preserve writers’ work, Contributoria’s website will become an archive next month.

+ Earlier: How crowdfunding journalism works in 2015

+ Four years after resigning due to the phone hacking scandal, Rebekah Brooks will return to News Corp. as chief executive on Monday (New York Times) and as The Sun’s new editor in chief, Tony Gallagher is expected to turn the newspaper’s focus to politics, human interest and features, as well as make the paper more powerful (Guardian)


Verizon will launch its mobile video service ‘in coming days,’ with free ad-supported shows from AOL, Vice Media and Viacom (Bloomberg Business)
Bloomberg Business reports that Verizon’s mobile video service called Go90 will be made widely available “in coming days.” Initially, the service will offer free shows aimed at young viewers. Go90 will only feature content from a handful of media partners, which currently include AOL and Vice Media. What’s expected to be launched is a pared-down version of Verizon’s earlier vision of a subscriber-based mobile TV service with live feeds and on-demand video from the four major broadcasting networks.

+ A look at what to expect from Comcast’s video service Watchable: It’s a “mix between YouTube and Hulu,” emphasizing editor-driven curation and without a comment section (Variety)


Dean Baquet: Mistakes in Clinton story were a result of ‘some sloppiness on deadline’ (Daily Beast)
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told The Daily Beast that mistakes in a story that said government officials sought a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of government information was not because of “institutional animus toward the Clintons.” Instead, Baquet says the mistake was a result of inattentiveness on deadline. Baquet told The Daily Beast: “I think if you did an anthropological study of how we made the mistake, the mistake had nothing to do with the Clintons. The mistake had to do with some sloppiness on deadline.”


Publishers may soon be able to determine when smartphone users are bored and push content to them (Nieman Lab)
Researchers from Telefónica Research in Spain have developed a machine-learning model that can recognize when a user is bored and then push content to those users. In their testing, the researchers found “participants were significantly more likely to open and engage with suggested content on their mobile phones when our algorithms predicted them to be bored.” Detecting boredom may be a successful strategy to deal with people’s scarce attention, Telefónica Research says.