Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds changed our perception of media last week with hershocking and heartbreaking real-time web video of the last minutes of Philando Castile’s life. The couple, with her daughter riding in the back seat of their sedan, had been pulled over by local police in a Minneapolis suburb, and Reynolds had the astonishing presence of mind to send the aftermath of Castile’s shooting by a police officer — which included her arrest by cops who didn’t even try to save his life — to the world via Facebook’s “Live” video platform.
Making sure newsworthy pictures and videos are real is more important than ever, but that doesn’t mean journalists have to do it alone.
Eyewitnesses have always been central to how journalists cover the news, but social media presents new challenges in how they are contacted and credited.
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith says he begins every morning the same way.
“The first thing I do in the morning before I brush my teeth, before I eat breakfast, is check the price of oil,” Smith told me.
Oil prices are hovering around $45 a barrel these days. That’s up from under $30 earlier this year, but still way down from recent peaks; as recently as 2014, prices were over $100 per barrel, and experts believe that the oil market won’t return to that level anytime soon.
Here’s a simple tip for publishers looking looking to attract readers on Medium: Start with what already works on the platform (first-person stories), and avoid what doesn’t (straight news).
Obvious advice, perhaps, but that idea has become core to The Washington Post’s Medium strategy over the past few months. Medium, despite being a popular choice for hate reads, hot takes, and stories of corporate failure, isn’t known for being a particularly significant source of traffic. But the unique strengths of the platform, coupled with the kinds of people who read it, have made it an attractive target for publishers either way.
On Wednesday, The Financial Times began testing blocking a tiny percentage ofregistered readers on desktop who have adblockers turned on, reports Jeremy Barr over at Ad Age. Instead of displaying a non-dismissable message to subscribe or a plea to turn off adblockers, the Financial Times is removing entire words from articles. The experiment is a real-life extension of the whimsical tactic of “disemvoweling,” put in place years ago on Boing Boing and Gawker Media sites and suggested not long ago by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos as a way to extract a little money from interested readers.
When a gunman opened fire on police officers at a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas ten days ago, the city devolved into chaos. As with any breaking news event, especially one in a city centre, eyewitnesses were quick to upload footage from the scene.
One in particular struck a chord.
These are just a few of the most notable options right now, and they signal the beginning of an era: Major brands are becoming increasingly innovative about getting users to spend more time on their sites.
Remember when bots were all the rage? Waaaaaaaaay back in April, Facebook announced that it would begin supporting bots within its Messenger chat app, and CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and other publishers — along with lots of retailers and other #brands — launched bots on the platform.
Here’s some good news and bad news for publishers losing sleep over the rise of adblocking: The good news is that most people don’t hate all ads. The bad news is that, no, they won’t turn off their adblockers, even if you beg them.