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In Grief and In Anger, Welcome to Peste Magazine

“Peste Magazine believes health is a human right. We believe in naming the names of the powerful who believe others do not deserve that right, because of who they are, where they live, what they do, how they fuck, or how much money they don’t have.”

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Wikipedia has once again debated whether Fox News is a reliable source.

“The final result: Li found consensus that Fox be deemed a “marginally reliable” source for information about politics and science. This means that its use as a reference in Wikipedia articles will not be permitted for “exceptional claims” that require heightened scrutiny, but that its reliability will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for other claims.”

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Axios's 'Smart Brevity' and Questionable Book-Selling Tactics

“The intrigue: An internal Axios memo encouraged each employee to buy six copies of the trio’s new book. Workers could then get those purchases expensed by the company—a practice that could cost Axios more than $70,000, according to Defector.” Savage.

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Inside Podcasters' Explosive Audience Growth

“Each time a player taps on one of these fleeting in-game ads—and wins some virtual loot for doing so—a podcast episode begins downloading on their device. The podcast company, in turn, can claim the gamer as a new listener to its program and add another coveted download to its overall tally.”

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Americans see media as critical to democracy, 19th News/SurveyMonkey poll says

“An increasingly diverse country does not see itself reflected in the media. Communities of color, LGBTQ+ people and marginalized groups are still underrepresented in both who covers the news and what news is covered.”

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How we know journalism is good for democracy

“When respondents have the least information, candidates of color—particularly Black candidates—are disadvantaged, among respondents across party, ideological, and racial attitude lines.”

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Welcome to the new Verge

“We also thought about where we came from and how we built The Verge into what it is today. And we landed on: well shit, we just need to blog more.” Love.

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Make Your Voter Guide ICONIC

“This kind of user-friendly experience is something we keep dreaming that more newsroom voter guides will feature.”

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Person-Centered Terms Encourage Stigmatized Groups’ Trust in News

“Participants trusted articles that used person-centered terms for their group more than articles that used stigmatizing terms.” Understandably.

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People of color at 'New York Times' get lower ratings in job reviews, union says

“While there were some fluctuation — on average, the performance of Black employees rose over the intervening years, while it declined for Latinos at the organization — white workers were consistently assessed as outperforming their peers.”

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Healing Polarized Communities

“We cannot begin bridging communities beyond our newsrooms without building — and supporting — more diverse communities within our newsrooms.” So proud to work here.

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Choose Your Own Literary Adventure

“The colorful recommendation chart, one of many that have rippled through the Twitter and Instagram feeds of book lovers, came from a small bookstore in Madison, Wis., called A Room of One’s Own. […] The charts seem to speak the internet’s language, one that meets people where they are by acknowledging that literature can be overwhelming, and people often don’t know where to start.”

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A luxury magazine photo hid relics Cambodia says could be stolen

For me the lede here is: Architectural Digest appears to have deliberately run a photo altered to hide the fact that an article's subject owns stolen Cambodian artifacts.

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After Roe v. Wade Reversal, Readers Flock to Publications Aimed at Women

“Alexandra Smith, the audience director of The 19th, which was founded in 2020, said growth in traffic had been “exponential.” She said an increase in search traffic had continued well after the June 24 court decision, with readers now looking for information on how the decision could impact access to Plan B and IUDs. They were also looking to read about the impacts on other civil rights, such as marriage equality.” Hey, I get to work there!

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Alex Jones must pay $50m for Sandy Hook hoax claim

“Despite retracting his claims about Sandy Hook, Jones has continued to use his media platform to argue the case was rigged against him and claimed that members of the jury pool "don't know what planet they're on". His Infowars website depicted the judge being consumed by flames.”

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Meta officially cuts funding for U.S. news publishers

“As the company moves forward with sweeping changes to the Facebook experience, news has become less of a priority.”

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How Florence Nightingale Changed Data Visualization Forever

“Recognizing that few people actually read statistical tables, Nightingale and her team designed graphics to attract attention and engage readers in ways that other media could not. Their diagram designs evolved over two batches of publications, giving them opportunities to react to the efforts of other parties also jockeying for influence. […] The reforms Nightingale fought for […] would be driving forces—along with the development of vaccines that conferred immunity to diseases and artificial fertilizer that boosted crop yields—in doubling the average human life span during the following century.”

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De-FAANGing local news

I've spent over half my career at the intersection of technology and media. I believe journalism is the bedrock of a well-functioning democracy. Given the choice between tech companies and news organizations, I'll support the latter every time. I'm well-documented as being an advocate for antitrust reform and an opponent of Facebook's policies. And yet, I don't at all get the lawsuits from local media against Facebook and Google. Help me out here.

There have been attempts at legislation all over the world to force sites like Google News to pay publications for the right to link to them. Not only does that fundamentally undermine the web, but consider the effect of extrapolation - should science journals have to pay for the right to cite other papers, for example?

The latest lawsuit alleges that Facebook and Google engaged in anti-competitive activity in order to fix advertising prices. Which seems plausible - but it wouldn't have affected local news in itself. It would affect the entire internet. That doesn't and shouldn't prevent news organizations from filing suit, but the surrounding rhetoric is bizarre - as if the rise of the internet is something that these companies inflicted on the news industry.

I've got bad news for these organizations: the internet was going to happen anyway. There is no lawsuit that will prevent its continued growth. It's like yelling at the rise of television; the only way to respond is to actually engage with it.

Newspaper is a technology, in the same way the web is a technology. It does not have an inherent right to survive. What's important is keeping journalism alive: speaking truth to power and empowering voters with the information they need to make well-informed decisions. The form that takes will change over time, and news organizations need to be able to experiment and innovate to adapt to a changing context.

In fact, the internet presents an immense opportunity for local news: a way to transform from a broadcast model, where information is conveyed from an ivory tower, to a conversational model, where news organizations curate an informed conversation with their communities. Companies like Hearken can help news organizations facilitate these conversations, and enact the internal culture change needed to maintain them.

The choice really is: adapt or die. It's certainly true that organizations need help if they're going to adapt. It's not a slam dunk; it's a difficult climb. But some seem to want to try and claw back the past instead of building the future, and that's a real shame.

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Interested in media startups? Don't miss @mattervc's live AMA one hour from now: https://huzza.io/mattervc/live-stream/ama-with-matters-managing-partner-corey-ford

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In New York? Want to change media for good? Go meet @mattervc for some drinks. https://tgifinnyc.splashthat.com/

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My friends at @latakoo are killing it. Enterprise designed for companies, that works with your existing infrastructure.

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This year we did a lot of research on podcast listeners. Here's what we found out: https://medium.com/@erinjo/6-things-we-learned-from-podcast-listeners-4a1e0155de78

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Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park: http://www.theawl.com/2015/05/what-could-go-wrong /via @kevinmarks

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Email: ben@werd.io

Twitter: @benwerd

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