OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: The worst year in digital media history (Medialyte) 

But did you know: 5 local news experts on the best and worst of 2023 (Poynter) 

Five local news experts, including API CEO Michael Bolden, weighed in on the media year that was. Many cited the increased understanding of need in industry and solutions to it, like the Press Forward initiative to direct more philanthropic dollars to news outlets, as the best industry news of the year. The worst things included layoffs, newspaper closures and threats to press freedom. Darryl Holliday of City Bureau cited the need for organizing around policy and legislation to create a new independent, noncommercial media movement. 

+ Noted: Tiny News Collective hires Amy L. Kovac-Ashley as first executive director (Tiny News Collective) 

API UPDATE

4 audience-first takeaways from The Sacramento Bee’s restaurant cookbook strategy

Here’s an idea to steal and adapt: How to create a regional keepsake that drives revenue toward your newsroom. Benjy Egel, food and drink reporter at The Sacramento Bee, created Sacramento Eats: Recipes from the Capital Region’s Favorite Restaurants.  He wanted to show that greater Sacramento can stand on its own as a dining destination if one knows where to look, from the prix-fixe special occasion places to the scrappy soul food joints, by amassing a one-of-a-kind guide for local gastronomes to experience the city’s foods in the comfort of their own homes. 

+ 4 benefits of engaging audiences with solutions journalism (Better News) 

Tell API and AP how to support your election coverage

The American Press Institute and The Associated Press want to support your 2024 election coverage. Read about our collaboration, and take this 4-minute survey to help us better support you.

TODAY: Exclusive to Table Stakes alumni: How can automation and other emerging technologies help your news organization? Join the American Press Institute’s VP of product strategy, Elite Truong, in a virtual session that looks into the strategic decisions every newsroom has to make in the era of generative AI, whether to ignore or embrace new technologies.  

The hour-long session will cover what you’ll need to evaluate:

  • How automation can help scale reporting capabilities
  • Ways to optimize processes in the news production cycle
  • Strategies to maintain audience and newsroom trust

Register for the 1 p.m. ET session on Thursday, Dec. 14. 

+ Exclusive private coaching: Alumni who attend the session are invited to sign up for 45 minutes of innovation coaching with Elite Truong. A limited number of spots will be available.

Need to check if your organization is part of the Table Stakes network? Check here.

REVENUE ROUNDUP

How publishers are unlocking ad revenue with privacy-first media (Digiday)

Advertisers are relying more on first-party data from publishers as privacy laws interfere with the ability to collect third-party data. A recent survey found that advertisers who used this first-party data to personalize ads increased their ad performance. Publishers can use privacy-oriented tools like data management platforms and data clean rooms to help build audience modeling for advertisers and offer bespoke advertising options for brands. 

TRY THIS AT HOME

What The Guardian has learned from five years of daily news podcasting (Press Gazette)

When The Guardian launched its first daily podcast in 2018, the producers wanted it to have a “documentary” feeling with a focus on storytelling, rather than a roundtable discussion. Today in Focus has topped 250 million listeners, and often ties in with other work at the organization. Over the years, their planning has become more meticulous, and prep for every episode includes a “worst case scenario” to ensure that something is released every day. 

OFFSHORE

How journalists in Gaza and the West Bank report the news (Study Hall)

Tareq Hajjaj is a Gaza correspondent for the American news site Mondoweiss. His only tool is his phone, which he uses to record interviews with Gaza residents and to stay in touch with his editors. Without a laptop, he dictates his story into WhatsApp voice messages, which are then transcribed and edited by Mondoweiss editors. He has stopped wearing protective gear that would identify him as a journalist, which  he fears would make him a target. 

+ Related: ‘I’m not just covering the news – I’m living it’: Gaza’s citizen journalists chronicling life in war (The Guardian)

OFFBEAT

Axel Springer, OpenAI strike “real-time news” deal for ChatGPT (Axios) 

OpenAI has struck a deal with publisher Axel Springer to provide “real-time news content” through various AI tools. OpenAI’s ChatGPT will gain access to content from Axel publications like Politico and Business Insider, and will use this information to provide news summaries as well to train on the large language model. ChatGPT users can access summaries of some news content from Axel’s brands, including content that is otherwise paywalled, with attribution and links included. 

SHAREABLE

Media Matters sues Texas attorney general over response to Elon Musk dispute (NBC News)

Liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America has sued Texas’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, after he opened an investigation into the organization following their reporting on white nationalist content on X, formerly Twitter. Media Matters says that the suit is a First Amendment violation that has had a chilling effect on its journalism. Paxton claimed that the outlet engaged in “potentially fraudulent activity” in its investigation of X and its owner, Elon Musk.