Media Oxpecker: April 19, 2013

Every week we round up media news you may have missed.

  • The story of how InsideClimate News — with seven employees and no office — won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting:

    The Web-only publication, which was founded in 2008, has reporters and editors scattered among New York, San Diego and Tel Aviv. But the scrappy outfit — which is primarily funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Marisla Foundation and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment — has made its mark by pursuing investigative journalism rather than aggregating other publications’ coverage.

    “We try to fill in the gaps that exist in American journalism that are more and more common,” said David Sassoon, the site’s founder and publisher.

    What can we learn from the other Pulitzer-winning publications? With more publications turning to reader revenue to offset advertising declines, Ken Doctor asks whether investing in the newsroom can benefit the bottom line:

    For their part, editors and reporters have always wanted to believe their work had value — but they were the last ones to impute financial value, especially since so many over time have flouted their innumeracy.

    If the people who are supplying most of your revenue — not yet the case for most dailies, but it likely will be within three to five years — are happy with the product, they’ll keep paying. If they are delighted, they may pay for subscriptions and for new products to be created and sold. If they’re not satisfied, newspaper business fortunes will have squandered their greatest opportunity in a generation.

  • If you read only one takedown of the New York Post and its reckless speculation on the identity of the Boston Marathon bombers, make it this one by Gawker’s Tom Scocca.

  • Why former ReadWrite editor-in-chief Dan Lyons left the media business:

    Instead of inventing a new business model, media companies keep trying to tweak the old one. By that I mean they keep trying to invent new kinds of advertising. It’s a pointless exercise. They’re like blacksmiths who are responding to Henry Ford and his automobile by trying to create a better horseshoe.

  • Digital ads now account for 25 cents of every ad dollar spent.

  • The nonprofit Texas Tribune is getting a $1.5 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

  • Howard Owens, publisher and editor of The Batavian in upstate New York, talks with Street Fight about what it takes to sustain a hyperlocal news site.

  • The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) is now accepting applications for its Minority Leadership Institute in Washington D.C.

  • Twitter is rolling out keyword ad targeting: “The company believes the real-time feature will improve the experience with ads, as users see more relevant Promoted Tweets.”

  • Six ad servers for hyperlocal news sites.

  • And finally, is your social media editor destroying your news organization today? Choire Sicha on the useless noise coming from social media “pros” during today’s manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers:

    Most of these people were just watching TV, just like you. At least if they were in a newsroom, they had more than one TV on, so I guess that’s a mild service?

    What’s the point? The point is: most of this sucks for your news brand. Is it not stressful enough that your whole office is trying to verify and break news, to then have these people babbling on?