Media Oxpecker: You’re Doing It Wrong

Rounding up media news you may have missed while you were busy engaging.

  • Jeff Jarvis is developing a master’s degree in Social Journalism at CUNY because, apparently, up until this point journalists like you have been explicitly against serving and building relationships with your community:

    I say that social journalism must turn the telescope around and start with the public, with the people being served. The first skill we will teach in this new program is listening to a community, hearing and discerning its needs and then thinking about how best to help it meet those needs.

    For inventing the concept that newspapers should serve their readers and measure the impact of their work, Jeff Jarvis has already secured funding from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and matching funds from a major foundation.

  • The Awl’s Josh Herrman on the recent proliferation of “explainer” sites like Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and Ezra Klein’s Vox:

    We stare them in the face and we cannot quite describe what we are looking at. Are they publications? Some sort of health food? Are they explaining the news to me, or to someone standing behind me? This is the root of the explainer backlash, to whatever extent there is one: The way these confident, assertive sites, in their quest to make us feel smart, end up making us feel like idiots.

  • But how will the explainer sites make money? Digiday’s Lucia Moses adsplains:

    These publishers haven’t talked much about their revenue strategy, but this is still publishing. They’re in it for the advertising. Online publishers can build an ad-based business one of two ways: Go the scale route by selling price-depressing ads programmatically, or focus on the long tail of lucrative, highly custom advertising (which presumably has a better shot at getting consumers’ attention). These publishers are making a bet on the latter, and in the case of the startups, they have the benefit of having established backers — Vox is part of Vox Media; Fivethirtyeight has ESPN — to help with technology and ad sales.

  • A history of rust belt alt-weeklies by Cleveland Scene alum Laura Putre.

  • Former Washington City Paper sports writer Dave McKenna, who was the target of a lawsuit by Washington [RACIST TEAM NAME REDACTED] owner Dan Snyder, will cover ESPN as a media reporter for Deadspin:

    Deadspin’s coverage of ESPN has matured and grown in recent years though, specifically with the addition of the respected reporting of Koblin. Deadspin’s reporting on Lynn Hoppes, Sarah Phillips, and the network’s Tim Tebow obsession were influential pieces of journalism – not born out of vengeful spite and fury, but of holding the powerful accountable.

  • Meet the 24-year-old who publishes outrageously false stories online — about the Undertaker dying, about NFL players being gay — just “to see how far the stories can go, how crazy they can get and still get people to share them.”

    I want to be known by everyone. I enjoy being a villain to people. Thats why I write. I will get the people to buy into my works just to rip their hearts out … I write because I know the sheep will look at it. I know how to exploit people.

  • Why some publishers are killing their comment sections.

  • And finally, Sacramento News & Review’s Cosmo Garvin on the role of alt-weeklies in their communities:

    Alt-weeklies like SN&R also have something that readers can’t get anywhere else: local long-form journalism and muckraking and an explicit willingness to question authority—as old-fashioned as those things may sound. There are lots of places to get show listings. There is some great food blogging and some admirable experiments in citizen journalism going on in the Sactosphere. But there are few places to find reporters who are paid to dig into powerful institutions.

Jason Zaragoza thinks Jeff Jarvis might secretly be an explainer site. Get more industry news delivered right to your inbox by subscribing to the AAN newsletter. Are you excited for Nashville? We are.