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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)

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