This week Hannah Robathan, co-founder of Shado, tell us about the realities of publishing a print magazine and online platform that gives people the space to tell their own stories. We spoke about their frustration with the mainstream media, what activism means and what success looks like for Shado.
In the news roundup, the BBC and Reach make big announcements about office closures, we ask if an Instagram for under 13s is as crazy as it sounds, and discuss the Telegraph tying its journalists’ appraisals and potentially pay to their stories’ performance.
We desperately need a break – see you on April 12th!
The full transcript is live here, or here are some highlights:
On starting Shado
We started Shado in 2019, I guess out of a frustration at mainstream media, that didn’t seem to be much centering of voices of those who have lived experience. We didn’t have any experience with media, but we decided that we would create Shado as a platform for people to take control of their own narrative, to tell their own stories.
And that started with our first issue, which was on migration to Europe. A majority of the contributors, whether it was the artists or the writers, were of refugee or asylum seeking status themselves. We were tired of the mainstream media’s lack of representation.
When we first started I think it was actually a blessing that we didn’t have any experience in media. Obviously you can have an editorial voice, you can change people’s words so that it makes them sound a bit better. But we didn’t really know that. And so we developed sort of this collaborative methodology, where we kept everyone’s voices as authentic as possible.
And so it’s quite nice, now that we’ve been going for a few years. People know the sort of style that we have.
On being global
With all of our issues we take a really global approach to a topic. We’re lucky to work with people from over 60 countries around the world, which is really exciting.
The same goes for our youth issue; we have such a range of different pieces from protests in Peru and Thailand, to the youth leading the charge on TikTok. It’s a whole range of really exciting young people.
When it comes to the website, I suppose that’s where we have a bit more space to explore topics that aren’t necessarily being focused on in print. So that gives us a chance to have a bit of a broader brief rather than a theme.
When it comes to Instagram, we’re pretty active on that, but we are always aware that it can never be the be all and end all. It’s been really useful for us, especially as a global publication in terms of finding people to contribute and people finding us. But we are aware that it does need to go further than the old infographic industrial complex.
I think success and impact become quite interchangeable. I mean, for us, it’s creating real life change – we really want to encourage culture led system change. And so whether that’s starting small, reading an article that we might have in our magazine that takes you on to change your opinion, or doing something with whatever emotion you might have got from the issue.
I think success looks like real life change, hearing that our work has moved someone, has led them to do something differently.
- Some 550 BBC jobs closed or moved as news shifts away from London
- Daily Mirror publisher Reach to close a London office and make most staff permanent home workers
- Tribune will permanently close the newsroom of The Capital Gazette and four other papers across the United States
- Ashton Lattimore: Remote work helps level the playing field in an insular industry
- Six McClatchy newspapers and its DC bureau will vacate their offices, leaving journalists working remotely until at least 2021
- Google-backed journalism study points to a local news resurgence
News in brief:
- Facebook will soon start testing partnerships with a small group of independent writers for its new publishing platform. The platform will include tools for journalists to build websites and newsletters, as well as monetize with subscriptions.
- The Daily Telegraph wants to link some elements of journalists’ pay to the popularity of their articles. It wants to use its ‘STARS’ system, which scores stories according to how many subscriptions they drive, to reward those whose work attracts and retains subscribers.
- Rewarding good subscriber content is not the same as rewarding clickbait – Adam Tinworth
- Is The Telegraph Onto Something With Its STARS? – A Media Operator
- Facebook is building an Instagram for kids under 13. Currently, users have to be at least 13 to sign up, but the app has come under criticism for failing to keep younger members safe from bullying and abuse.
- News Corp Australia announced this week that it had signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Facebook for use of news articles from publications such as The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun and videos from Sky News Australia.
- People are mad at Substack for allegedly misrepresenting how possible it is to make a living from newsletters.
- The current director of communications for the UK government is set to leave to go work for The Sun.
- The Wall Street Journal has launched a media literacy programme aimed at getting readers to critically assess the quality of news information.
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