Gawker.com is gone. Some people are upset, some people are dancing on its grave. Is there a right or a wrong perspective on Gawker's demise? Was its fate deserved because of its controversial and confrontational editorial style, or was Peter Thiel's cash-fueled vendetta an ugly harbinger of what could happen to the state of media if the powerful choose to litigate the free press into non-existence?
The hot Gawker takes have been flying left and right, and on this week's Hacks and Flacks, Andrew Grzywacz and I try to dig through it all. We acknowledge the contrasting reactions of the media and the general public toward Gawker's end, and discuss the possible implications for other publications.
What's new in the world of digital media? Some publications are launching on new platforms to get their content in front of readers, while others are experimenting with social and mobile channels to improve reader engagement. And no one can figure out what's going on with Twitter.
We cover it all on this week's Hacks and Flacks, in our first monthly roundtable featuring March's own Andrew Grzywacz and Paul Davenport, plus Hacks and Flacks alum Jim Young. We muse about the BBC's use of Yik Yak to engage readers, the launch of Quartz's new messaging-based mobile app and the increased decoupling of the news from native sites as publications turn to platforms like Facebook Instant Articles, Medium, Snapchat Discover and Google AMP.
We also cover Twitter's algorithm update, Bill Simmons' new media venture, and share our thoughts on how marketers and businesses can similarly experiment with digital media channels to reach their audience.
Is there anything more frustrating about the Internet than advertisements? Pop-ups, banners, videos – they interrupt the browsing experience and may even grind your page load times to a halt (and drain your monthly mobile data plan, by the way). At the same time, online advertisements are a valuable source of revenue for publishers, who have seen revenue from print advertisements largely dry up.
Enter ad blocking software. These controversial tools are common among Internet users, and they're sure to become even more popular after Apple permitted the use of ad blocking software on its devices, as part of its most recent iOS update.
This leads to a number of questions. What are the ramifications for publishers if blocked ads suppress revenue opportunities? Are paywalls and contributed content viable alternatives? What about other collateral damage of ad blocking (goodbye Google Analytics tracking)?
We explore all the ins and outs of ad blocking on this week's episode.
It's been a busy summer in the world of media and journalism.
The "New York Times" made some news of its own, after topping 1 million digital-only subscribers and rolling out its "live journalism" program. Bill Simmons left behind writing for ESPN in favor of a multi-platform gig with HBO. Digital media companies continued to trend toward unionization, and Gawker in particular experienced some of the greatest growing pains, following an editorial controversy that split its newsroom.
On this episode, we finally do come summer catch-up, working our way through these stories and more.
Pew Research Center's "State of the News Media 2015" is a must-read for anyone who follows the U.S. media. This year, the report provided a broad look at the media landscape, while also identifying winners and losers, based on audience size and revenue. Not surprisingly, the report painted a rough picture for newspapers and cable news, while it projected a brighter future for mobile and digital news, local and network news, and podcasts.
On today's episode, Manny and Jim break through as much of the 96-page report as they can. Along the way, they touch on how some of the most prominent stories of the day are reported (including Deflategate), the value of streaming radio, whether Feedly or Pulse is a preferred news aggregating app, and much more.
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published a 13,000-word, independent review conducted by the Columbia Journalism School around its November 2014 story, "A Rape on Campus," which the report deemed to be riddled with basic reporting errors. Rolling Stone has since retracted the story and the reporter has issued a formal apology.
To walk us through the full timeline - from how the article came together and how it finally fell apart - we spoke with Allie Bidwell, Education Reporter for U.S. News & World Report, who has been covering the story for months.
Before talking to Allie, we chatted about two ongoing stories - the 2015 Pulitzer Prize announcements and BuzzFeed's continued deletion, and subsequent restoration, of editorial posts that may have violated BuzzFeed's commercial interests.