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We’ve got a very busy week here at Media Voices. Tomorrow (Tues) Peter and I will be at the PPA Festival, and Chris will be hosting Google’s Local News Summit. Then on Wednesday afternoon we’ll be hosting the fourth Publisher Podcast Awards. If you’re planning to be at any (or all) of them, do say hello!
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I found some time this weekend to catch up with the latest InPublishing magazine, and loved this blisteringly honest feature from Liz Gerard. She neatly picks apart the issue with so much of today’s ‘journalism’, and how it leaves whole sections of society disregarded.
“Is it any wonder that newspaper readerships are shrinking faster than one of Sunak’s cashmere jumpers on a boil wash?” she asks, arguing that with so many people now cast as ‘the other’ and excluded from editorial consideration, papers retreat to what they think matters to their core audiences. “A medium that was once a source of information, entertainment and even delight has become a vehicle for hate and resentment.”
It’s not a cheery read but is a very necessary one. Brands will find their reputations slowly eroded if editorial isn’t sufficiently invested in – and setting staff targets of writing 6+ stories a day isn’t going to produce quality, trusted output, no matter how talented they are.
Good. This was an utterly appalling lapse of judgement which saw magazine Die Aktuelle claim to run a ‘first interview’ with the injured Formula 1 legend, with the article using quotes generated by an AI programme. No doubt we’ll see more incidents like this (there’s already a Joe Rogan/Steve Jobs AI podcast) but publishers need to hold themselves to a higher level of accountability than this.
We’ve seen a few reports out this quarter that have highlighted just how much of a priority retention now is for subscription publishers. If you fall in that camp, then this piece from The Audiencers should be on your reading list. Madeleine White has analysed the ‘aha moments’ from 3 successful British digital publishers to inspire your own efforts.
This is more than just a post-mortem of BuzzFeed News, although there are some great annecdotes from Charlie Warzel about what it was like working there in its heyday. “It seems likely that a zombified form of BuzzFeed will become the embodiment of everything the previous version wasn’t: terrified, obsessed with squeezing every ounce of shareholder value from its employees, and constantly bending to the forces of new technology like artificial intelligence, rather than harnessing and growing alongside them,” he writes.
More from Media Voices
Our special Practical AI podcast documentary explores how local media organisations have got started with AI projects, the benefits they’re seeing, the challenges they’ve faced and what advice they would give to other publishers looking to get into AI. This episode and our corresponding report have been made possible with the support of United Robots.
Our Practical AI report sidesteps the myths and misconceptions surrounding AI to find out what practical applications there really are for publishers. It spotlights use cases from publishers using AI to turn massive structured datasets into local news reports, updates on local sports teams and the insights inside property listings.