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OK sorry, but there’s only one story I can lead on today… the highly anticipated (and much promoted) Semafor debuted yesterday. Justin B. and Ben Smith’s new news site launched with eight sponsors and a flurry of interest around its Semaform article structure.
The idea is to separate news from views, add a counter argument and a perspective from somewhere else in the world. I’ve seen this described as a ‘proprietary format’ and while I think that’s a stretch, it is at least setting out to counter the melding of fact and opinion seen in so many publications.
The move isn’t just about better journalism though. “Corporate brand marketers are very interested in non-polarizing environments”, said Justin Smith. Watch this space to see if going a step further and ‘depolarising’ the news pays off.
Technology sprawl can cause big problems for publishers, from regulatory compliance to environmental concerns. Esther has been having a listen to our latest Conversations episode with Affino’s Markus Karlson and TTG Media’s Steve Hinds to list the benefits of technology consolidation.
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Press Gazette is reporting that 10 of the UK’s leading news websites saw their visibility in search rankings reduced significantly as a result of Google’s September core-algorithm update. The Mail Online suffered the biggest fall in its visibility index score, down 28 points from 76.2 to 48.2. The measure assigns higher scores to sites that rank better in search results.
Washington Post Columnist Perry Bacon Jr says that the United States should spend $10 billion to hire 87,000 new journalists for about 1,300 news organizations to address the huge decline in local journalism. His plan would see non-profit news outlets in communities across the country with a well-defined, transparent point of view and free for everyone in multiple formats.
This week’s podcast:
Our latest episode looks at how publishers with subscription and membership schemes are handling increasing pressure on consumer budgets, and subscription trends going into 2023 and beyond. To discuss this year’s subscription trends, we’re joined by Anthony Ribeiro, Audience Conversion Consultant at Poool.
We’re approaching our 6th birthday, would you believe! But this year has been our make or break year, and we’re pleased to say it’s looking really good thanks to your support and some much-needed advice. If you’d like to support us on a monthly basis or just buy us a virtual coffee, every donation is very much apprecitaed.