Issue #58 — 14 steps to create better journalism and boost revenue

Poynter put together this step-by-step guide on how to succeed at independent journalism and make some revenue in the process. Pick your revenue model, segment your audience, create a roadmap, solicit feedback and lots more useful tips with actionable insights.

Welcome back to your weekly update with all of the most important stories in digital publishing curated for a growing community of people who are deeply interested in the future of publishing. A warm welcome to all of our latest new subscribers!

If you have questions or feedback about the newsletter, hit reply and let us know! 📫

💯 Top picks

14 steps to create better journalism and boost revenue

Poynter put together this step-by-step guide on how to succeed at independent journalism and make some revenue in the process. Pick your revenue model, segment your audience, create a roadmap, solicit feedback and lots more useful tips with actionable insights. This week’s top pick requires approximately 16 minutes of your attention!

💸 Business models

Converting news readers into paying subscribers: a primer for publishers

“With 52% of publishers focusing on subscriptions as their main revenue source this year, the need to better convert subscribers is continuing to grow.”

Twipe break down some of the top learnings from recent research about subscription media. According to the stats, readers are more heavily persuaded by what they’ll gain from a subscription, rather than what they’d lose if they don’t subscribe.

Mozilla teases $5-per-month ad-free news subscription

“Mozilla has started teasing an ad-free news subscription service, which, for $5 per month, would offer ad-free browsing, audio readouts, and cross-platform syncing of news articles from a number of websites.”

With sports, local newspapers try 'unbundling' the subscription

“The rookie campaigns of many newspapers’ digital sports subscriptions are over. Now comes the work of developing the standalone subscription products into long-lasting sources of revenue.”

How Nordic giant Schibsted 'saves' unsubscribers

Here’s another example of a publisher employing tactics that are well known in the SaaS space. Norwegian outlet Shibsted has been busy working on user journeys and implementing a churn-stopping user management feature that allows subscribers to change or pause their memberships. Here’s another article from INMA that takes a deep dive on some of the tactics they’re using.

A landscape study of local news models across America

Heidi Legg published a new Shorestein Center paper that takes a look at digital subscriptions and emerging business models for both non-profit and for-profit organisations. See also: an overview of 21 examples of news outlets who are building subscription businesses.

✍️ Modern journalism

Where should analytics live within a media organisation?

When news brands debate where to house data analytics functions within an organisation, they must put the business case first and avoid keeping data in a silo. Here are five tips to do it right.

Is “news on the internet” the same as “news on your phone”?

How do we calculate the true trends of people reading the news on the internet? Is reading a story on an app on on social media the same as reading a story online? The Pew Research Center has been perfecting how they survey people about their reading habits for years - Elisa Shearer shares some insights from the inside.

Working across disciplines: A manifesto for happy newsrooms

This piece from NiemanReports argues interdisciplinary teams are essential in the modern newsroom. Publishing in 2019 and beyond opens the doors for new approaches and new skills in newsrooms: coding, designing and data science to name a few. But to make this work, publishers need to adopt a fresh perspective!

👩‍💻 Technology

Six months into 2019, what new do we know about the state of podcasting?

The latest issue of Hot Pod (republished on NiemanLab) takes a look at the latest news and insights in the growing podcasting industry, and gets top points for creative use of the word “somnambulant”.

Why you have to keep logging in to read news on your phone

“Do you pay for news online? The news industry thanks you for your business. Want to read that publication on your phone without having to log in over and over again? You’re mostly out of luck.”


🤷 WTF?

Newsroom employment has declined 25% in a decade

Pew have reported that while employment decline has been driven by job losses at newspapers, digital-native news outlets continue to generate too few positions to balance things out!