The Big Issue

By Maria Teresa Ronderos
2 November 2018
Many large newsrooms and news agencies have, for some time, relegated sports, weather, stock exchange movements and corporate performance stories to computers. Surprisingly, machines can be more rigorous and comprehensive than some reporters. Unlike many journalists who often single-source stories, software can import data from various sources, recognise trends and patterns and, using Natural Language Processing, put those trends into context, constructing sophisticated sentences with adjectives, metaphors and similes. Robots can now convincingly report on crowd emotions in a tight soccer match. More
By Joshua Benton
1 November 2018
The Failing New York Times released its third-quarter numbers this morning and, well, if the rest of the news industry was doing this well, we could shut down Nieman Lab and grab some worry-free beach time in warmer climes. Its ongoing transition from print to digital revenue has been managed without the staffing disruption just about everyone has seen, and it continues to see significant jumps in paying digital subscribers, seven years after launching the paywall and two years after its initial Trump bump. More


By Karen Rundlet
16 October 2018
If news and information are part of the fabric of democracy, then the fabric of U.S. democracy is in tatters. That’s the conclusion that leaps off the map in the 2018 The Expanding News Deserts report, which shows that 171 U.S. counties do not have a local newspaper, and nearly half all counties — 1,449 — have only one newspaper, usually a weekly. The report by Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, shines the light on a silent phenomenon, the disappearance of 1,800 newspapers since 2004, and drop by half of the number of reporters covering local news. More
By Michael K. Spencer
12 October 2018
The battle for the future of the smart home might also be the end game for the future of advertising. With Facebook all but irrelevant there, the likely scenario is Amazon vs. Google. This is what we are seeing with Alexa devices vs. Google Home (Google Assistant) smart speakers. More
By Karen Hao
7 October 2018
When Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg promised Congress that AI would help solve the problem of fake news, he revealed little in the way of how. New research brings us one step closer to figuring that out. More
By Jessica Clark
5 October 2018
For those wondering how the much-ballyhooed blockchain economy might help to bolster funding for nonfiction media, the launch of Civil is a proof-of-concept moment. This first-of-its-kind network of news organizations just opened the sale of CVL tokens—a digital coin that supporters can buy to either donate to participating newsrooms or play a role in deciding how the network itself should evolve. More
By Kristian Porter
25 September 2018
Up to 400 job cuts and the closure of three radio channels and three TV channels sparks serious concern for the reach of DR and media pluralism in Denmark, Public Media Alliance reported.
The changes are part of comprehensive media reforms agreed by the government and the Danish People’s Party (DF) in June, which will see public broadcaster DR’s overall expenditure cut by 20% over the next five years. More
By Miranda Katz
24 September 2018
Whitney Phillips' "The Oxygen of Amplification" draws on in-depth conversations with dozens of journalists to illustrate an uncomfortable truth: The media inadvertently helped catalyze the rapid rise of the alt-right, turning it into a story before it was necessarily newsworthy. More