Bill Keller, The Marshall Project, and making single-focus nonprofit news sites work

 

?When you have a startup, one of the most challenging things is to establish yourself as a credible news organization,? Neil Barsky, founder of a new news nonprofit focused on criminal justice issues, told me.One quick route there: Hire Bill Keller.

That?s what Barsky did for the Marshall Projectyesterday, bringing the former New York Times executive editor over to be its first editor-in-chief.

We?re at a point in the evolution of nonprofit news organizations where metaphors become more useful. Is this a single-topic ProPublica? An InsideClimate Newsfor courts and prisons? Like ProPublica, the Marshall Project came to public notice with the hiring of a big newspaper name (The Wall Street Journal?s Paul Steiger); like InsideClimate News, it aims to focus dedicated attention to a large, systemic problem that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day news budgets of other outlets.

 

The newsonomics of The Guardian?s new ?Known? strategy

 

LONDON ? The Guardian is an enigma.

Long a storied editorial brand, it?s been propelled toward the top of global news audience, both by its open strategy and its hard-nosed journalism. In the past year, it?s broken story after story on NSA spying as the primary recipient of the Edward Snowden files. It?s also expanded its efforts in both the U.S. and Australia, enlarging its global readership. With ?open? as its watchword, The Guardian has pushed into every nook and cranny of the social sphere, as cataloged here at the Lab.

The newsonomics of the for-profit move in local online news

Josh Fenton is an ad guy running a local news startup. Therein lies our tale.

GoLocal24 is a different kind of online startup. It?s for-profit, unlike so many of the city startups we?ve seen. It?s fueled solely by advertising revenue, while many other startups get no more than 20 percent of their income from ads and sponsorships. It claims a 20 percent profit margin, when a break-even balancing of foundation, grant, membership, events, and ad income vs. expenses serves as a wider model among its nonprofit peers.

 

On the necessity of European journalism

 

If a genuinely open-minded European outlook were cultivated among journalists, then the European project would flourish for the next 50 years. Stephan Ruß-Mohl contends that a culture of European journalism is essential for overcoming the eurocrisis

?I see this as the next CNN?: Jason Calacanis? Inside.com aims to solve news on mobile devices

 

In the 13-plus years since the original ahead-of-its-time Inside.com launched, it?s been part of a Steve Brill mashup, a dead domain, a planned flagship brand that didn?t happen, and a dormant asset waiting to be exploited. For most of that time, tech publishing entrepreneur Jason Calacanis wanted it. He was finally able to snag it from its most recent owner, Guardian News & Media, popping up a placeholder that stayed up longer than expected. Today, the placeholder came off and Inside came back in a guise few would have predicted: a mobile-first general news app and companion site based on OPJ: Other People?s Journalism

What?s New in Digital and Social Media Research: Linking helps save newspapers and how multitasking spikes arousal

 

Editor?s note: There?s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media ? but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers?

Our friends at Journalist?s Resource, that?s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry. Here, John Wihbey sums up the top papers in digital media and journalism this month.

Paywalls are not a cure-all: Evidence from Gannett

 

The invaluable Rick Edmonds has a useful analysis of Gannett?s latest earnings and comes away with some disquieting findings. Key among them:

Circulation revenues were up for the year (1.1 percent) but down for the fourth quarter (-1.6 percent) compared to the same period in 2012. CEO Gracia Martore explained in a conference call to analysts that the company has now ?cycled through? the lucrative introduction of paywalls together with bundled print + digital subscriptions at its 80 community newspapers.

 

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