Bits and tidbits

Some ideas from around the country to help you do your job better

Handy little tool draws from Bloomberg data to add financial context on top of any news article

A new tool built for Bloomberg by the New York-based mobile and web development agency Postlight cuts the fact-finding process for those interested in the financial context around companies and people that appear in the news to a single step. Called Bloomberg Lens, the tool will find companies’ and people’s names in any news article — not just Bloomberg’s — and overlay key facts such as stock prices or a person’s previous company affiliations. In a time when the President of the United States is himself a longtime businessman with a family’s worth of business entanglements, getting an easily accessible snapshot of financial context around any news article, even when you don’t think you need it, could actually prove useful. (Of course, you won’t get the fancy Bloomberg Terminal stuff like real-time positions of oil tankers around the world — that, you’ll still have to pay a hefty price for.) [Full story: Nieman Lab/Shan Wang]

Publishers are seeing another big decline in reach on Facebook

The Facebook anguish continues. A Medium post investigating declining Facebook reach has set off the most recent alarm bells among publishers. Kurt Gessler, deputy editor for digital news at the Chicago Tribune, posted that since January, the Tribune has seen a significant drop in the reach of its posts on Facebook, despite having grown its fan base.

The post sparked a sigh of validation across publishers as others chimed in on social media that they’re seeing similar declines.

Facebook’s news feed algorithm changes have been part of publishing reality for many years. But to Matt Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe, “last month was probably the worst we’ve had in reach in about a year. The fact everyone else is seeing it is a little bit troubling.” [Full story: Digiday/Lucia Moses]

Advice for journalists working with traumatic imagery

Traumatic imagery has always been a part of journalism, but in today’s 24-hour news cycle, those who work in media are exposed to negative news like never before.

Gavin Rees of the Dart Centre Europe, an initiative dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, said he’s seen firsthand how newsroom workers are increasingly exposed to intense images.

“To some extent, this has all happened before — there was some pretty horrific imagery circulated during the first Iraq war and the genocide in Rwanda,” he told IJNet. “What’s different [now] is the intensity of the material: it’s shot in high definition, it’s user-generated and coming at the journalist.” [Full story: MediaShift/Clothilde Goujard]

How to fly drones for journalism in the U.S.

By Will McDonald, Poynter

About six months ago, we bought a drone to help us cover stories at the Yakima Herald-Republic, a daily newspaper in Yakima, Washington. We’d seen other people’s drone footage of fires and floods and protests, and wanted to get our own.

We knew that a drone had a lot of potential to contribute to our news coverage, but we didn’t know exactly what rules apply to journalists, and how confusing and limiting some of those rules can be.

Over the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about drone laws and the FAA. I’m now an FAA-licensed remote pilot, with authorization to fly in most of the restricted airspace that surrounds my newsroom, and a waiver to fly at night for the next four years.

So here’s some of what I got a lot of headaches learning and wish someone had spelled out in one place. Hopefully it will answer a lot of questions you may have about using drones at your news organization. [Full story: Poynter/Will McDonald]

The future of digital advertising: Designs for mobile screens may be more effective

As the news industry searches for new revenue models to finance journalism online, a new research study suggests that some sorts of digital advertising are demonstrably more effective with users than others. …

Ads that people see as they scroll through a story—known as scroll ads, a newer form of advertising developed for mobile screens—appear to be more effective on a range of metrics than older ad types such as pop-up ads and static banner ads, according to new research by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. [Full story: American Press Institute]

The Washington Post cuts off ad tech vendors slowing its site

It’s hard for publishers to say no to vendors that advertisers want to work with. But in its effort to speed up advertising, The Washington Post has had to rethink its use of vendors.

As the Post has built on its own proprietary ad products, it has cut out several of the ad servers, ad builders, native-ad and video vendors it used to work with.

“We go to our partners and say, ‘This is how fast things need to be executed; if you don’t hit this threshold, we can’t put you on the site,’” said Jarrod Dicker, the Post’s head of ad product and technology. “We found that vendors we do use are ones that went back to their engineering teams and found out how to expedite their loads. … The vendors that haven’t been able to come to the table with faster solutions, we no longer integrate with.” [Full story: Digiday/Ross Benes]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *