OFF THE TOP
You might have heard: Social media news consumption slows globally (Axios)
But did you know: Social media traffic to top news sites craters (Axios)
Referrals to news sites from Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, have collapsed over the last year. Social platforms have stopped putting effort into elevating high quality information from reputable news outlets, leading to a flood misinformation on their networks — and forcing some news outlets to scramble for a new business model. But, Sara Fischer writes, this could help news outlets become less dependent on external platforms and focus instead on building their own products. [newsletter align=right]
+ Related: Are social media mining journalists’ mental health? (The Fix); TikTok confirms small test of an ad-free subscription tier outside the US (TechCrunch); Meta plans to charge $14 a month for ad-free Instagram or Facebook (The Wall Street Journal)
+ Noted: Meta news leader Campbell Brown exits company, marking end of era (Axios); Kansas police chief who led raid on small weekly newspaper has resigned, official says (Associated Press); Kyle Pope leaves Columbia Journalism Review to join Covering Climate Now (Covering Climate Now)
Trust Tip: Talk about how funding influences your coverage (Trusting News)
A recent study from NORC at the University of Chicago, Media Impact Funders, and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism found that more outside funding is flowing into local journalism and for-profit newsrooms than ever before. While it’s great that newsrooms are finding new avenues to diversify funding, the report did note some concerning findings about perceptions of editorial independence.
Like any possible conflicts of interest, this could easily lead to audience distrust, especially since we know the public already makes assumptions about how corporate owners and the newsroom’s financial interests dictate news coverage. That’s why it’s so important for newsrooms to get on the record and be transparent about their funding and ownership.
TRY THIS AT HOME
How a rural Kansas weekly newspaper refreshed an outdated business model (The Colorado Sun)
Last year, University of Kansas journalism professor Teri Finneman approached Joey Young, the co-owner of a weekly newspaper in south-central Kansas, with an idea. She offered him a $10,000 grant to experiment with three concepts that would shift the business model away from subscriptions and advertising towards more modern revenue streams — live events, newsletters and memberships. These were ideas that Finneman was researching, but wanted to test their effectiveness with a weekly paper. Young’s paper, Harvey County Now, found that all three methods were successful in building up the paper’s readership and increasing revenue.
+ Related: While many small-town newspapers are vanishing, these Coloradans are working to keep local news alive (The Colorado Sun)
Indian police raid critical media outlet over alleged China ties (The Washington Post)
Police in Delhi raided the homes of journalists at NewsClick, a left-leaning news site that has been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Indian government has claimed that the news outlet has been receiving money from China; the site has denied any financial misconduct. Police in New Delhi conducted more than 30 simultaneous raids on early Tuesday morning, invoking an anti-terror law and confiscating phones and laptops. Other news outlets that have been critical of the government have been raided in the last few years.
+ Related: Under India’s pressure, Facebook let propaganda and hate speech thrive (The Washington Post); A global web of Chinese propaganda leads to a U.S. tech mogul (The New York Times)
How much can artists make from generative AI? Vendors won’t say (TechCrunch)
As artists and creators have objected to the use of their content in training artificial intelligence models, vendors like Adobe, Getty Images, Stability AI and YouTube have promised to compensate creators for the use of their work. But there’s no transparency on how much these creators will be paid or how these decisions will be made; most companies will only say that creators will receive a proportional share based on licensing activity down the line. One informal survey found that photographers were paid less than a penny per photo from Shutterstock’s Contributors Fund.
Boss of new global health newsroom: ‘There is no for-profit model for what we’re doing’ (Press Gazette)
The recently launched nonprofit news outlet The Examination focuses on global health, and executive director Ben Hallman says this kind of work would not be possible at a for-profit news outlet. Hallman says the outlet’s core readers will likely be those working in the public health space, but that he hopes to also reach communities that are most affected by public health disparities. He says the model is to partner with both big, influential partners — it has already co-published stories with The Washington Post, Guardian US and Der Spiegel — as well as small, local news outlets that are most connected to those impacted by the work. [newsletter]