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Boletín Semanal octubre 13, 2019

Como lograr captar la audiencia mas elusiva de todas como es la de los adolescentes

From The Cohort, Poynter's newsletter for women kicking ass in digital media

MediaWise works with teens across the country to produce relevant fact-checks on social media platforms. (Sara O'Brien)

Teens are hard to figure out, and reaching them online can feel like a constant battle. Like playing Fortnite, but blindfolded — constantly taking shots in the dark hoping something lands. (Fortnite is still a thing, right?)

We both work for MediaWise, a grant-funded digital media literacy project that aims to teach teens how to tell fact from fiction online. Our audience demands a totally different approach to publishing, which has forced us to ignore a traditional newsroom model.

MediaWise doesn’t have a website. (Well, there’s this.) A print product was never really an option. The project lives solely on social, which means we first have to think about how content will be shared, then how it will be presented. It also means we have to be quick to adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape, and willing (sometimes reluctantly) to jump on bandwagon apps and trends.

Alexa helps lead MediaWise’s Teen Fact-Checking Network, a national team of student journalists who debunk misinformation they see on their own timelines. She was 16 in 2007.

Heaven leads MediaWise’s social media development. She was 16 in 2014.

But being 16 in 2019 requires a unique set of skills online, many of which newsrooms should be adopting themselves.

MediaWise has taught us a lot about how teens use social and how they obtain news. Here’s the best of what we’ve learned so far. We hope you find it useful and applicable in your own newsrooms.

Adapt to working backwards

Other newsrooms might see MediaWise’s workflow as backwards. Unlike most news orgs, we don’t have a hub, per se. We live on Instagram. We’re a year into the project and we’re just now creating a blog-style page where some of our fact-checks can live. This model has its share of benefits and challenges.

The way we think about social first is by asking our teen reporters to pitch stories they’re seeing as fact-checkable claims on their social media feeds. We prefer their pitches to come from widely shared posts that make them raise an eyebrow. 

During the scripting process, they’re required to write some social copy for their story. How will the tweet read? What’s going to make someone share this in a group chat with their friends? How might we compel a follower to pursue the heavy lift of tapping through an entire Insta story? 

Since MediaWise almost exclusively publishes on social, our focus has always been writing for social. We repeatedly ask our teen fact-checkers, “How would you text this to your friends?”  From there, we encourage them to craft their articles around features built within the Instagram app. Effects, filters, boomerangs and GIFS are all fair game when it comes to our style of storytelling.

Meet teens where they’re at

We’re teaching teenagers how to discern what’s real and what’s not online. We’re meeting them where they are —  on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok. 

Few teens have watched a newscast outside of school. And even fewer have read a newspaper front to back. They aren’t going out of their way to find what they need to know because they’ve never had to. (And why should they?) 

Instead, more than half of teens turn to social media for their news. Half get their news from YouTube alone. Of those teens, the majority of them will seek the trusted expertise of their favorite influencers and celebrities. 

This doesn’t mean that teenagers are an unattainable market; it means that we need to get on the apps that they’re on. And do it sooner rather than later.

Don’t be afraid to try anything once

Not all apps will work in a traditional newsroom. And with the rapid release of new platforms, a younger audience becomes a moving target as opposed to a static one. Social media storytelling is constantly evolving. 

The only way to find out if a new app will work is to try it. Simple. In terms of MediaWise, we don’t have much to lose by going a little rogue. We’re doing something that’s never been done before and writing the rules as we go. We also have the advantage of a 50-person consulting group made up of our teen fact-checkers. Most newsrooms obviously don’t have a network of teens at their disposal; Instagram polls and live streams are good alternatives for this. 

We need to see the value in what teenagers are interested in and take stock in it. 

Some traditional newsrooms fail to acknowledge what, to them, are seemingly menial platforms until those platforms explode in popularity. By the time newsrooms are willing to invest resources and dip their toes into the trend, the water has already run dry. Teens will have moved on to what’s next. 

Almost no one could’ve predicted an app meant to send spicy content to love interests would rise to prominence as a major news player. Now, Snapchat reaches 90% of 13- to 24-year olds in the U.S. NBC took note and hosts a daily news show within the platform aimed at teenagers  (one of the hosts, Savannah Sellers, is now a MediaWise ambassador).  

Similarly, few newsrooms saw the value in an app replete with 30-second videos of teenagers lip-syncing to popular songs. At first glance, TikTok can easily feel like a way to waste time. Upon further inspection, you’ll realize the algorithm is mastered to keep the user engaged in a way other popular platforms haven’t. (RIP Vine.) Teens are eating it up. 

The Washington Post is making an amazing effort through its artfully crafted //www.tiktok.com/@washingtonpost">creations. It tapped into the features in a way that works not only for it, but also for the teens who follow. Overall, the Post’s videos are just funny or entertaining. Other newsrooms ought to take a page from the Post’s book. By no means is TikTok the most effective form of journalistic storytelling, but it has teens’ attention. Newsrooms stand to benefit from dedicating resources to this space because it’s a major opportunity to market their product to teenagers. 

We want to presume TikTok won’t be a vehicle for publishing investigative journalism. However, given the way technology has evolved, there’s no way to tell for sure. 

If we’re meant to inform teens, we have to make concerted efforts to reach them. 

Teens are not consuming news and information in ways that make sense to most adults. They don’t gather around the TV at 5 p.m. with mom and dad on the couch. And they’re certainly not reading the morning paper at the breakfast table. 

We must not get caught up in allowing big players to dictate what’s what in publishing. While most newsrooms already have a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, it’s worth exploring and establishing a voice on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok, as well.

Follow your audience and be quick about it.

El periódico Toronto Star esta aumentando las suscripciones digitales basados en una estrategia de que es lo que buscan como lo buscan y cuando lo encuentran

Las ideas que se comparten a continuación son el producto de una sesión de maestría especial del Laboratorio de Suscripciones de GNI, donde se invitaron a profesionales expertos de entre los diez participantes, o de otras organizaciones, para hablar sobre un tema importante clave relevante para el éxito de las suscripciones.

As local news publishers investigate, transition to, and expand digital subscription models, the road leading to sustained business success is still under construction.

At Torstar Corp., newsrooms are turning to data for solutions. Specifically, a simple, but effective management strategy concept: OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, that allow newsrooms to focus on important, well-defined data points.

In April, Torstar was named one of 10 newspaper partners to participate in the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab. In partnership with Local Media Association and FTI Consulting, the lab is an ambitious program focused on finding a path forward for reader revenue strategies.

Torstar — whose media operations are divided into three primary divisions: Daily News Brands, Community Brands, and Digital Ventures — is focusing on building its newsrooms around the metrics-centric approach of OKRs.

Torstar’s Daily News Brands segment includes the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily print newspaper, and thestar.com, one of the most-visited newspaper websites in Canada. Its platforms use a mix of locked content only available to subscribers and metered paywalls. Its portfolio also includes The Hamilton Spectator, the Waterloo Region Record, the St. Catharines Standard, the Niagara Falls Review, the Welland Tribune, and the Peterborough Examiner.

Fredric Karen, senior vice president of editorial at Torstar, is tasked with creating data-driven and data-centric newsrooms across all of Torstar’s properties. His primary focus is driving growth in digital subscriptions.

Karen, who began at Torstar earlier this year, implemented OKRs across newsrooms as his first project and shared insight during a recent GNI Subscriptions Lab cohort meeting.

“One of the first things I was told was that ‘we have a lot of data coming in from the data team, but we don’t know what to look at,’” Karen said. “We didn’t know what is actionable and what our focus area should be.”

The first step for Karen was to create target-setting frameworks for all the Torstar newsrooms to focus on important data points as OKRs. These are defined as:

  • Objective: “Where do we need to go?”
  • Key Result: “What is our focus area to get there?”
  • Target: “How will we know when we’re there?”

To help newsrooms focus on the data points that matter, Karen and his team decided to identify and define five objectives: digital position in the market, traffic, journalism that puts the customer first, local brand objective, and subscriptions. Each objective could have a number of key results.

“I wanted to keep it very simple,” Karen said. “Newsrooms are stressed and can struggle with data, they should have a simple process and template to use and to work with.”

Here are OKR examples:

Objective: Become an entirely subscription-funded newsroom
Key Result: Create “content buckets” based on data
Target: X monthly new subscribers from hard locked articles

Objective: Same as above*
Key Result: Higher readership from subscribers
Target: Grow the number of page views from subscribers from x to y by the end of the year

“We all know in newsrooms there are a lot of priorities,” Karen said. “I wanted each newsroom in Torstar to focus on these specific things in 2019.”

Establishing newsroom OKRs allowed Karen and his team to align strategy with other departments in the company such as marketing, product and data teams. The implementations of OKRs across Torstar newsrooms has allowed the teams to:

  • Understand their priorities
  • Have creative and fruitful discussions around journalism and innovation in newsrooms
  • Create more goal-oriented newsrooms
  • Help everyone better understand how each local strategy is aligned with the overall Torstar strategy

“OKRs are an opportunity to show in one place, one snapshot, who you are as a newsroom in terms of both business and values, with a monthly check-in on how you are living up to those goals,” said Irene Gentle, editor in chief, The Toronto Star. “It helps keep you ambitious and honest, and prevents the many other distractions of daily work from obscuring the fundamental vision.”

The outline for a standard OKRs worksheet is below. Objectives and key results could vary newsroom to newsroom and should align with overall company objectives.

Following the roll-out at Torstar, action steps are underway to ensure momentum continues.

Torstar has conducted workshops across all its newsrooms, and each has assigned a point person to collect and follow up on results each month. From there, each quarter Torstar leaders analyze the data.

“The OKR process has helped focus staff on what matters,” said Paul Berton, editor in chief, The Hamilton Spectator. “It forces all of us to keep an eye on data and continually review what we are doing with an eye to exactly what readers want, and what will help make our news agency a habit.”

As media publications continue to struggle to survive, Karen acknowledges that the financial situation has helped form staff buy-in and embracing of data throughout the newsroom.

A rough financial situation has actually led to more buy-in, Karen said.

“The financial situation has helped. People are expecting change.”

This report was produced as part of Accelerate Local, dedicated to reinventing business models for news. 

La transformación digital del Washington Post y por qué les funciona el fenómeno Trump

Emilio García Ruiz, editor digital de ese medio, habla también sobre el periodismo no gratuito y el enorme cambio en la competencia por la audiencia.

Nota publicada en el Diario La Voz del Interior

Jeff Bezos, 2013 y 250 millones de dólares. Magnate, año y cifra que se combinaron para la adquisición del Washington Post, un tradicional diario regional de Estados Unidos, que venía a la baja. ¿Qué pasó? El inversor, dueño de Amazon (entre otras empresas) y de la mayor fortuna personal del mundo, transformó a ese histórico periódico (conocido por llevar adelante la investigación del Watergate en la década del ‘70) en un exitoso caso de reconversión periodística.

“El modelo papel es geográfico; el digital, no”, dijo Emilio García Ruiz (editor digital del Washington Post) en su charla con La Voz. Fue en el marco de la Jornada de Innovación, Tecnología y Periodismo que organizó Telecom en San Miguel de Tucumán. Con esa frase, García Ruiz explicó el cambio de paradigma al que se sometió su medio y que supuso un amplio desafío para todos los estamentos de la empresa. Sobre todo, su redacción. 

Transformación digital. García Ruiz explicó el proceso que vivió el Post, tras la compra del medio por parte de Jeff Bezos.

Estadounidense y descendiente de españoles, habla el idioma de sus padres, pero con acento estadounidense. Y con mucho sentido del humor. “Me encanta Argentina. Es un país fenomenal y la gente es tan simpática. Cuando tienes una invitación de Argentina, simplemente vas”, explicó con una sonrisa. 

Pero se trata de una voz autorizada en relación al futuro de los medios. Es que Internet produjo grandes cambios: “En internet ya no hay distinción entre un diario o un canal de televisión”. Pero la cuestión va mucho más allá. Es que los medios tradicionales y los nuevos medios de comunicación (aquellos que nacieron como digitales) no sólo compiten entre sí. 

“Hoy el periodismo compite con todo mundo que quiere vender anuncios en Internet. La competencia es compañías de audio, de música, audiolibros, series, películas... Lo digital nos ha unido a todos y eso genera una competencia enorme”, explica. 

El desafío es gigante. Se debe “llamar la atención” del usuario, que también es usuario de Netflix o Spotify, por ejemplo. Pero también se debe “competir” con los colosos Google y Facebook, que no sólo cambian todo el tiempo el modo en el que visibilizan o no los contenidos de los medios, sino que además dominan el 80 por ciento de la pauta publicitaria en la web.

El editor digital recomendó mirar cómo fue el proceso de cambio que llevaron adelante en el Washington Post para “aprender de todo lo que nosotros nos equivocamos y ahorraros cinco años”. Graficó que todos los medios, sin importar de qué tipo ni de qué países sean, están en “la misma larga carretera. Al principio de ese camino cada medio está en su plataforma original (como radio, televisión o papel) y, en el final de la carretera, está lo digital. El desafío es saber cómo recorrerla”.

Uno de los puntos clave para el Washington Post fue el cambio cultural que debieron afrontar en su redacción. “En todas las redacciones está este problema. Y esto no es un asunto de Argentina o de Estados Unidos. Pasa en todo el mundo. Los seres humanos nos acomodamos a un estilo de vivir y de trabajar. Y cuando vas y le dices 'oye, todo lo que estáis haciendo tenéis que cambiarlo', es muy difícil. Hay gente que lo puede hacer, hay gente que cambia y se convierte en una persona totalmente distinta. Con los demás, es un poco a empujones, pero también hay gente que nunca va a cambiar. A ellos hay que dejarles ir a hacer otras cosas. Lo importante es que tenemos que servir a nuestros lectores en la forma que ellos esperan”. 

Entonces, ¿se acabó la zona de confort del periodista? García Ruiz no dudó: “Es difícil ser periodista ahora”. Y añadió: “Tienes que ayudar a encontrar una audiencia. Eso es algo que no teníamos que hacer antes”. 

Las cifras acompañan el modelo de negocio del Washington Post. Pero hay un detalle muy significativo que hizo explotar la tasa de suscriptos en su sitio web: la llegada de Donald Trump a la presidencia de Estados Unidos.

El Post es un medio opositor a la administración Trump. Entonces, ¿es Trump un mal necesario para el Post?

El editor lo explica: “Lo que es importante para nosotros es tener noticias interesantes. Y Trump es interesantísimo. Hace cinco años tuvimos una racha en la que no había noticias. No pasaba nada, el mundo estaba aburrido. No teníamos lectores y nuestros números bajaban. Ahora vivimos en un tiempo especial porque hay noticias por todas partes. Es muy difícil, pero es mucho mejor que no tener nada que hacer o ver qué inventar para llenar. Estamos transitando una época dura, pero no la cambiaría por nada”. 

Para el Washington Post, el 40 por ciento de sus ingresos proceden de la edición papel, entre venta directa, suscriptores papel y venta publicitaria. En digital, su publicidad está por los 50 millones de dólares anuales, pero la gran apuesta son los suscriptores digitales. En la actualidad, cuenta con 1,5 millón, que abona cada uno 120 dólares al año. Y quieren seguir creciendo.

“Las noticias de calidad son importantes. No son gratis. Perdón por cualquier mal entendido anterior”, indicó Jeff Bezos sobre el sistema de suscripciones para poder acceder a los contenidos del Washington Post por el que apostó. En esa línea, García Ruiz sumó: “¿Empezamos a dar los diarios gratis cuando había noticias importantes en la edición papel? No; entonces, ¿por qué bridar nuestros contenidos en la web gratis?”.

Los periódicos de la cadena Hearst en Connecticut Planean un Paywall para informes exclusivos

Hearst Connecticut Media Group plans to add a paywall to a premium section of the websites for its six daily newspapers.

That “Insider” section will have exclusive content from the Connecticut Post, New Haven Register, Danbury News-Times, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time and Norwalk Hour. Its hard paywall won’t allow access to a handful of free stories before kicking in.

Paywalls and subscription sales have become a more important source of revenue for local newspapers that face a growing threat from digital rivals. The loss of readership and advertising has been blamed for the disappearance of local news coverage in hundreds of U.S. communities.

By creating a hybrid of paywall and free content, Hearst Connecticut aims to generate reader revenue, while also supporting “significant” web traffic that supports ad sales, Matt DeRienzo, vice president of news and digital content at Hearst Connecticut Media Group, told Publishing Insider.

“We decided to create a premium section that engages readers with exclusive content and welcomes their participation,” he said. “We wanted to build a whole experience around that.”

Subscribers will receive an exclusive daily email newsletter that has a guide to its journalism and a behind-the-scenes look at decision-making.

In addition, “Insider” readers can take part in live chats with reporters, columnists and experts, as well as join a subscribers-only Facebook group. The publisher also will host monthly in-person meetups with subscribers and editors over coffee.

Readers who already subscribe to the print or digital editions of the newspapers will have access to the premium section for no extra costs. Digital subscribers get online access to all six newspapers.

In announcing the new paywall section, DeRienzo touted Hearst’s role as a community watchdog that has exposed government corruption, public-health risks and wasteful spending of taxpayer money.

“A significant investment goes into employing the reporters, photographers and editors who cover local schools and government, breaking news and crime, local sports, business and state issues,” he said. “Many readers want to support this kind of level of local journalism.”

Noruega marca el camino logrando que por primera vez los ingresos digitales compensan la caída del papel

El informe anual de la Autoridad de Medios de Noruega sobre el desarrollo económico de los periódicos muestra que 2018 ha marcado un punto de inflexión para la industria de los medios y por primera vez  el crecimiento de los ingresos digitales superó la caída de los ingresos en papel, lo que ha permitido mantenerse estable o crecer.

Las cifras muestran que los ingresos globales se mantuvieron estables y después de muchos años de importantes reducciones de costes, se han podido realizar inversiones. La mayoría de los periódicos ha tenido en 2018 un desarrollo positivo. En general, estas tendencias pueden indicar que la “presión” sobre el estado de los medios noruegos ha disminuido un poco, asevera Mari Velsand, directora de la Autoridad de Medios.

Rentabilidad estable

Los periódicos noruegos han perdido, al igual que casi todos los otros medios europeos, salvo alguna excepción, numerosos ingresos en los últimos años. Sin embargo, en 2018, el desarrollo de los ingresos se mantuvo estable por primera vez desde 2011. El retroceso global de la industria de medios noruega ha sido de 70 millones de coronas noruegas (unos 7 millones de euros), pero se debe más a mayor inversión que a reduccion de ingresos.

“Los costes aumentaron un poco por primera vez desde 2012”, dice Velsand, y esa es la clave de este ligero descenso en rentabilidad.

Los ingresos del usuario aumentan; los publicitarios disminuyen

El Informe del estado de los periódicos noruegos acaba de publicarse

Por primera vez también, el crecimiento de los ingresos digitales compensó la caída total de los ingresos en papel en 2018, principalmente debido a los mayores ingresos de los usuarios digitales (suscripciones y ventas de suscripciones). Los periódicos parecen haber ganado impulso en el mercado de usuarios digitales. Se vendieron significativamente más suscripciones digitales en 2018 que el año anterior, dice Velsand.

Hasta 2014, los ingresos por publicidad eran la fuente de ingresos más importante para los periódicos. La evolución cambió cuando Facebook y Google comenzaron a tomarse en serio las acciones en el mercado noruego, y los periódicos experimentaron  una fuerte caída en los ingresos por publicidad en los últimos años.

Los ingresos por publicidad también cayeron en 2018, pero no al ritmo rápido como antes. Los ingresos por publicidad digital aumentaron el año pasado, pero no lo suficiente como para compensar la disminución en los ingresos por publicidad de las ediciones en papel, dice Velsand. La compensación ha venido, por tanto, por la vía de las suscripciones.

La necesidad de cambio no ha terminado

Aunque los ingresos de los usuarios digitales están aumentando y el cambio digital se ha acelerado en los últimos años, los ingresos en papel del periódico siguen siendo los más grandes. Más del 70 por ciento de los ingresos totales de los periódicos noruegos provino del periódico de papel en 2018.  

“Esto muestra que los desafíos y la necesidad de reestructurar los periódicos están lejos de terminar, a pesar de que 2018 marca un desarrollo más estable de lo que hemos visto en los últimos años. Dado que todavía existe una considerable incertidumbre acerca de los ingresos futuros de los periódicos, la digitalización y el desarrollo comercial serán cruciales para que los periódicos avancen en paralelo con el enfoque continuo en los costes y la eficiencia“, dice Velsand.

Pequeño periódico de Carolina del Norte recupero el dinero que ha perdido ppor anuncios con dinero producido por la circulación

Poynter and API teamed up this week to take a deeper look at what’s working in local news. Here, you can read how The News Reporter grew a loyal and paying audience online, and over at Better News, learn how the Whiteville, North Carolina, newsroom shifted to digital using essential lessons from Table Stakes.

When The (Whiteville, North Carolina) News Reporter launched a website, “our strategy was to make it just good enough,” said Publisher Les High.

The advertising team didn’t want a site that competed with the print product. And for years, it did not.

High remembers a meeting several years ago when that thinking started to shift, at least for him. A young ad rep looked at his phone and said “All I know is however people get their news, they need to get it from us.”

It took several more years and a change management program, but in the past two years, The News Reporter made a series of changes that led to something so many local newspapers are now attempting – replacing one set of revenue with another.

In two years, the News Reporter:

  • Went from 48 subscription plans to two.
  • Became a 24/7 newsroom.
  • Saw pageviews double.
  • Switched the days it published print.
  • Increased the cost of single-copy sales.
  • Increased overall circulation revenue by 48%, print circulation revenue by 90% and digital subscription revenue by 493%.

Now, money lost from advertisers has been replaced with money brought in from subscribers, High said, “almost to the dollar.”

“Table Stakes changed everything,” High said.

The newsroom learned to test and experiment, and to survey and hold focus groups, Clore said. The data from that work helped staff take on big shifts that seemed scary, like cutting down on subscription options and changing print publication days.

One example: In talking to people in the community, staff learned readers didn’t care what day they got the paper, High said, “just so they got it.”

Related reading: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s audience team stopped putting all their time into Twitter (and referral traffic stayed the same)

Another: The paper used to offer 48 different subscription plans, which no one really understood, said Jenny Clore, director of marketing. Now, it offers just two, digital and print-plus, with print-only grandfathered in. The first two cost the same, and many people include print because of that.

Hunches are precious things to journalists – they lead to tips and stories and breakthroughs. But in the shift from a twice weekly paper to a digital newsroom, staff at the News Reporter learned about another critical tool as they made big changes, simplified and listened to their community: Clore put it like this – “What’s the data say?”

News Reporter staff at the 2018 Christmas party. (Image courtesy Jenny Clore, The News Reporter)

GETTING DIGITAL

By April of last year, the News Reporter newsroom was publishing continuously online and ready to launch a new site. The plan – offer the community the news for free for 30 to 90 days, then put up the paywall.

“Well, technology had a different idea,” Clore said.

It took eight months to get the paywall up. In that time, single-copy sales did suffer, she said, but something significant with readers changed, too – “they had developed a true routine and habit going to the site to get their information,” Clore said.

Related training: Essential skills for rising newsroom leaders

That transition, even though it took a lot longer than they intended, helped readers get to know the News Reporter online, develop the habit of reading it and make the choice to support it when the time came.

Monthly page views increased from 150,000 to 300,000.

After increasing the price of the paper from 75 cents to $1, unit sales went down but revenue grew by 51%.

Digital subscription revenue grew by 493%, from $3,894 in a five-month period before the paywall to $23,121 in a five month period after the paywall.

Circulation revenue from print and digital grew by 48% to $124,149.

And the News Reporter isn’t done changing.

The ad department plans to test different types of digital ads and wants to find ways to better monetize video. The newsroom sees opportunities with newsletters both for attracting advertisers and growing audiences. And as they transform for the present and the future, High wants to see the paper get back to its roots with more investigative journalism and enterprise reporting.

For a long time, the site and the newsroom’s approach to digital was just good enough.

Now, they’ve learned to question, test and experiment. They’re always going to be changing, Clore said.

“We’re never going to be done.”