Need to Know: September 3, 2021

TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

A new study from the Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Republicans with at least some trust in national news organizations has been halved in the last five years, from 70% in 2016 to 35% in 2021. The decline is less sharp for local news, from 79% to 66%. There have only been slight declines amongst Democrats: from 83% to 78% for national news organizations and 85% to 84% for local news. (Pew Research Center) 

MOST POPULAR STORIES THIS WEEK

These are the stories that captured the most interest from Need to Know subscribers this week. 

Write digital headlines both readers and Google will love. In this helpful guide to SEO-friendly headlines, NPR reminds writers to avoid “journalese” in favor of conversational, succinct language. The guide also suggests avoiding starting too many headlines with “how” or “why,” and being careful with using partial quotes as they can seem sarcastic or misleading. (NPR Training)

Publishers rethink their value to stave off subscription fatigue among new paying readers. 2020 was a boom year for digital news subscriptions, and now many outlets are investing heavily to ensure that those new paying readers stick around. Some are hiring new positions and teams to help serve readers better, while others are pivoting on products and content to ensure a better value for subscribers. (Digiday)

Why the Arizona Daily Star is launching a solutions journalism beat. The Star has a history of covering stories around Tucson from a solutions perspective, and now reporter Caitlin Schmidt is the outlet’s new solutions beat reporter. The goal is to increase accountability and “remove excuses” so that citizens hold governments and organizations to a higher standard.  (Arizona Daily Star) 

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We’re hiring someone to join our team that runs Metrics for News, our custom news analytics tool. This person will help our client newsrooms use their audience data to make informed decisions about their journalism and drive more engagement and revenue. Learn more and apply.

+ Polarizing, oversimplified reporting causes mistrust. Let’s work on that. (Medium, Trusting News) 

FOR THE WEEKEND

+ Why Facebook won’t stop pushing propaganda (Mother Jones) 

+ Why Jim Cantore and hurricane reporters in the eye of the storm matter (Poynter) 

+ For misinformation peddlers on social media, it’s three strikes and you’re out. Or five. Maybe more (CNN) 

+ The life of a young TV reporter includes living on peanut butter and jelly and crying from exhaustion (The Buffalo News)