OFF THE TOP

You might have heard: The Guardian sees record U.S. reader revenue (Axios) 

But did you know: News companies reverse course on hard subscriptions (Axios) 

Many outlets have found that hard paywalls throttle traffic and ad revenue without capturing enough subscribers, so they are turning instead to flexible paywalls, membership programs and advertising. While some large, high-profile news outlets and trade publications have succeeded in growing their subscriber bases, general news outlets have found that consumers are experiencing significant subscription fatigue. More are turning to optional reader revenue in the form of donations. 

+ Noted: NPR’s Linda Wertheimer, one of the network’s “founding mothers,” announces retirement (Deadline); Substack is helping creators sell ads (Axios); Roofing billionaires in $50M talks for Graydon Carter’s glossy newsletter (Semafor);  US rolls out visa restriction policy on people who abuse spyware to target journalists, activists (AP News) 

API UPDATE

Trust Tip: Replicate The NYT’s new staff bios with this guide (Trusting News)

The New York Times is getting industry attention after announcing the rollout of their new staff bio pages, which they call “enhanced bios.” The accolades they are receiving are rightfully deserved: These bios do a great job of highlighting both the ethics and expertise of their journalists, as well as showing the humanity and mission behind their work. 

Here is a quick breakdown of how you can replicate these staff bios — no matter staff size or CMS limitations!) The four things to be sure to include are: What I Cover; My Background; Journalistic Ethics; and Contact Me. 

+ Subscriptions, memberships and donation strategies are part of sustainable journalism business models. API wants to know which tool you primarily use for managing subscriptions and memberships.

+ Related: The Center for Media Engagement is looking for U.S.-based reporters to write a news story about the impacts of climate change on their local area (350-450 words) as part of a research study. The study aims to help researchers better understand the journalism process and identify ways to better support journalists. Journalists will be compensated $400 for their work and, if you would like, the story can be published on our site and circulated by our communications team.

Interested journalists can contact Research Associate Emily Graham for more details. lease include (a) the approximate number of articles you have published in the past year in non-student outlets, (b) whether you would consider yourself a general assignment reporter/journalist and (c) links to 3 or 4 articles you have written. (The Center for Media Engagement)

+ Muck Rack is currently conducting a survey called The State of Journalism where they poll thousands of working journalists to learn more about them, the industry, and the future of journalism. It should take 10 min, and the deadline to complete it by Friday, Feb. 9. 

TRY THIS AT HOME

Capital B Gary’s editor-in-chief on collaborating with his hometown community (Nieman Lab)

Last year, Capital B launched its second news organization in Gary, Indiana — the hometown of Capital B Gary editor Javonte Anderson. He says Gary has been long misunderstood, and Capital B seeks to amplify the voices and narratives of Gary while also holding public entities and government agencies accountable. He says the organization will build on its initial listening sessions with ongoing community engagement wherever their readers are — whether it’s churches, block clubs, salons or barber shops. 

OFFSHORE

Argentina’s government seals year-long public media takeover (Buenos Aires Herald) 

This week, the government of Argentina announced that it will take over several state-owned public media companies for one year “for greater efficiency in the operation of the public sector.” This follows a decree by the government declaring a public emergency across multiple sectors until the end of 2025. The journalist’s union has called the move illegal, while the government’s main opposition party has called it  “a clear step towards authoritarianism.”

OFFBEAT

How Microsoft is working with journalists to create the newsrooms of the future with AI (Microsoft)

Several news organizations and journalism groups have partnered with Microsoft to explore how to use generative AI in a newsroom setting. Semafor will use AI to help journalists with research, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY will offer a free program on how journalists can use AI in their work, the Online News Association will add programming on AI in newsrooms, and the GroundTruth Project will be adding an “AI track” for its Report for America and Report for the World members. 

SHAREABLE

These local newsrooms in Indiana, Kansas, Virginia are staffed entirely by students (Substack, The Nutgraf)

With the spread of news deserts, student-staffed news outlets are stepping up as the primary source of information in communities across the country. Organizations like The Eudora Times in Kansas and the Statehouse File in Indiana began as projects to help students gain experience, but have become key players in the local media scenes.