Issue #92 — Major news publishers take down paywalls during times of crisis

This weeks issue covers how publishers are handling coronavirus coverage, alongside your regular weekly roundup of stories about business models, tech & journalism.

It’s been a long week for everyone, hasn’t it? Despite these confusing times we’re continuing to put together the most important stories about independent publishing, including the headlines about how publishers are handling coronavirus coverage, alongside your regular weekly roundup of stories about business models, tech & journalism.

Stay safe & see you next Sunday.

💯 Top picks

Major news publishers take down paywalls for coronavirus coverage

Most major publishers have made some, if not all, of their coronavirus coverage free - even those who have recently installed a paywall.

💸 Business models

"Publishers get anywhere between 30% to 70% of their traffic from newsletters," the unsung hero of subscriptions and traffic acquisition

“Newsletters not only give publishers an additional touchpoint with their readers which can help them stay top of mind in an increasingly competitive environment, but they also deliver the most engaged users i.e the highest revenue-generating users.”

The Dispatch surpassed $1 million in revenue by being newsletters-and-podcasts first and taking it slow

The conservative politics site has nearly 10,000 paying subscribers a month after putting up its paywall. “We don’t want the outrage clicks. We’ve said from the beginning we’d like to slow the news cycle down.”

Spanish podcast Radio Ambulante built a devoted audience - here's how

“With a little help from NPR, the podcast creators went from not taking a salary to skyrocketing growth.”

John Paton interview: Making quality journalism pay at The Independent

The Independent was the first UK newspaper that went digital-only, with 100 journalists losing jobs, and the remaining 60 facing an uncertain future. Here’s how they’re making digital revenue work for them.

✍️ Modern journalism

Online news traffic has surged during coronavirus

“The traffic surge really took off on March 12, the day after Trump’s address, the suspension of the NBA, and Tom Hanks’ announcement he had tested positive.”

'But I'm still on deadline': How remote work is affecting newsrooms

“Safety concerns in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic are quickly creating a new normal for media workers.”

What makes an award-winning podcast?

“Production values, sound design and innovative approach to interviewing can make or break your chance to win the next Publisher Podcast Award.”Journalism.co.uk explore what the world can learn from this year’s podcast award winners.

Q&A with Simon Rogers

Learn more about the future of data journalism with Simon Rogers, data editor at Google News Lab.

👩‍💻 Technology

This beautiful library in ‘Minecraft’ lets people access the work of censored journalists from anywhere

“You might not be able to find accurate info in the press in countries with oppressive regimes, but you can at Reporters Without Borders’ Uncensored Library in the game.”

WhatsApp unveils $1M grant info hub to fight coronavirus misinformation

“WhatsApp has long grappled with its platform being used to spread misinformation. In the latest move, today it announced two initiatives to fight specifically against fake news and other misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

🤷 WTF?

Now you can watch Netflix online with your friends

“Everyone knows this: the need to socialize is a primal part of human nature, so while the world practices social distancing, it is important to fill that void. Luckily, there is a Google Chrome extension that allows you and your friends to watch Netflix together without having to be in the same room.”

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