OFF THE TOP
You might have heard: Meta ban has been rough, but Google ban would be worse, say small news outlets, analysts (CBC)
But did you know: Canadian government reaches deal with Google on Online News Act (CBC)
Content from Canadian news outlets will continue to be shared on Google platforms — and they’ll get paid for it. In response to Canada’s Online News Act, which requires search engines and social media platforms that share news content to compensate the publishers, Google has agreed to pay news companies around $100 million annually. Meta, which started blocking news content on Facebook and Instagram this summer in response to the Online News Act, has not resumed talks with the government.
+ Noted: News philanthropy leader Karen Rundlet to helm INN as CEO (Institute for Nonprofit News); 127 jobs cut across BBC News but 147 new digital roles created (Press Gazette); Rapid decline of American newspapers hits Ohio hard (Axios Cleveland)
The 10 most popular Better News case studies of 2023 (Better News)
In 2023, Better News featured lessons and successes from local news organizations building trust in marginalized communities, partnering with local organizations and diversifying revenue streams. These case studies help accelerate the work of journalists and news organizations across the industry. The most-read articles include how the Detroit Free Press used personas to better gauge readers’ interests, how WJCT Public Media turned newsletter subscribers into donors and how a reader-oriented ask-the-newsroom effort brought digital subscribers to the Redding Record Searchlight.
+ Launching a newsletter? Consider these tips first.
Japan’s Nikkei aims for greater subscriber engagement through new metrics (WAN-IFRA)
Nikkei, a 147-year-old business and economic news publication, pioneered Japan’s digital subscription model when it acquired The Financial Times in 2015. In 2019, Nikkei aimed to reach its target demographic of urban white-collar professionals by offering 1-month free trials and limited access to free registered users, which resulted in an increase in subscribers but also a rise in churn. To address this, they reduced the number of free articles from 10 to one, resulting in a 20% increase in subscribers.
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Could Meta still be a friend for publishers? (Press Gazette)
Pulman’s Weekly News, which covers Devon, England, has been using Facebook’s subscriber feature for a month — and 500 of its 1,700 followers have already signed up to pay £3.49 a month for access to a dedicated discussion group, exclusive posts, videos including live broadcasts, photos and polls, a subscriber badge next to comments and featured commenting capabilities. Pulman’s publishes primarily on Facebook rather than asking readers to log in to a separate news site, and owner Duncan Williams notes that he’s meeting the needs of people in rural areas who turn to Facebook for news.
The Israeli government has Haaretz newspaper in its sights as it tightens the screws on media freedom (Nieman Lab)
Haaretz, a left-leaning Israeli newspaper, may face financial penalties from the Israeli government, which has accused it of “lying, defeatist propaganda” and “sabotaging Israel in wartime.” The move was triggered by opinion columns in Haaretz criticizing Israel’s occupation of Gaza. The government previously enacted emergency legislation to close or signal block foreign media seen as harmful to the country.
Substack has a Nazi problem (The Atlantic)
Substack’s terms of service bans “hate” but an informal search unearthed newsletters with white-supremacist, neo-Confederate and Nazi content and symbols — many of which offer paid subscriptions, of which Substack gets a cut. Several are run by national white supremacist organizations, and at least four are run by organizers of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally. Some of the newsletters have tens of thousands of subscribers, and several extremists who have been banned from other social media platforms have established successful paid newsletters on Substack. Substack’s co-founder Hamish McKenzie has repeatedly said the platform is built for minimal moderation.
Can this public radio show get ‘Middle America’ to tune in? (The Daily Beast)
Former NPR host Jeremy Hobson hopes to hear from people who live in states where electoral politics impact presidential elections — voices not often heard in national conversations on public radio. He hosts and produces Middle America, a weekly public radio show that airs on 380 stations and addresses one topic a week. The show takes live calls responding to an issue that a panel discusses during the segment — for example, a trans high school student from Minnesota called in to talk with a former Republican governor about finding middle ground on identity. The show runs as a podcast the day after it airs.