Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

The revenue strategy for explainer journalism is unclear


You might have heard: The Upshot, The New York Times’ new project for explanatory and data-based journalism, launched yesterday (New York Times)

But did you know: Lucia Moses asks whether there’s an ad model for this sort of niche, explanatory journalism. Online publishers can build an ad-based business one of two ways: Go the scale route by selling price-depressing ads programmatically, or focus on the long tail of lucrative, highly custom advertising. These publishers are making a bet on the latter. “It fits nicely within the trend towards more native, idea-driven and contextually relevant advertising,” said Paul Bascobert, COO of the Bloomberg Media Group.

The Upshot is a promising data-driven approach to the news that’s committed to showing their work (Tow Center)

The new wave of data journalism sites have a chance to personalize the news, to say what it means: “If explaining pensions – and the problem of undersaving – why not ask people how long they expect to live, and show the results versus what the actuarial tables predict?” (The Guardian)

+ Noted: A survey of local news startups finds that most publishers report revenue growth (Knight Digital Media Center); The OC Register strikes content-sharing deal with news nonprofit, Voice of OC (Poynter); 17 projects receive funding through Knight Prototype Fund (Knight Foundation); 8 nonprofit media winners announced in first round of INNovation Fund (INN)

Read More

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

Featured topics

Go deeper on…

Dive deep on everything we produce about these key topics.

Strategy Studies

The best practices for innovation within news organizations

This Strategy Study presents examples and insights about journalism innovation, offering actionable advice and methods to move your journalism and business forward.