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Monday, June 12th
by The Fix Team

Getting people to pay for news

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Grupo Godó, Preqin, Boussias Communications, DPG Media, and many more.

Over the past two years, digital news publications saw a notable increase in new subscribers, largely driven by the pandemic.

The situation might be somewhat different right now – lockdowns are practically over in most of the world; Russia’s war in Ukraine is attracting much less attention than three months ago; the cost-of-living crisis in some countries has an impact as well.

Still, digital news subscriptions are growing. The latest Global Digital Subscription Snapshot published by international media network FIPP counts 37.8 million digital-only subscribers across 121 publications. 

The leader is obvious – The New York Times has 9.5 million subscribers, by far the most among all online news outlets. Interestingly, the leader among non-English language titles is Caixin, a Chinese business publication, with 850,000 digital subscribers.

The Guardian and Financial Times, each with over a million paying subscribers, are two biggest European publications. For non-English titles in Europe, three leaders by the number of digital subscribers are German Bildplus (over 600,000 subscribers), French Le Monde (420,000), and Italian Corriere della Sera (384,000).

Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza also made the top-10 for non-English publications, with 280,000 subscribers.
From The Fix
Iașul Nostru was the only European publication to win the Substack Local grant. How is it doing after the first year?
David Tvrdon
An interview with Alexandru Enășescu, a Romanian journalist who runs his local news publication on Substack. 
What Analytics taught me about my community
James Breiner  
Newsletter and publishing partners matter more than social media and search
Your newsroom probably needs a YouTube specialist
David Tvrdon
Having someone on staff that watches closely all the video platform-related news would be helpful
Digital audio revenues up 500%, reports AOP and DeloittePress Prize
“This exponential growth shows that the digital advertising market has truly bounced back from the challenges and impact of COVID-19.”
What we are following 
Vox Media has a variety of newsletters under their umbrella of brands. Now they are expanding their shopping content, both by adding it to existing newsletters and by launching separate ones. In an interview for Digiday, Vox Media’s SVP of e-commerce Camilla Cho discusses the company’s strategy around commerce newsletter expansion.

As the media industry moves away from print, B2B and specialist publisher Haymarket is betting on podcasts replacing print magazines. Press Gazette interviewed Haymarket’s deputy managing director on why podcasts are the next step for their company.  

Most independent media outlets in Russia were closed or exiled. One outlet broadcasting to Russians is headquartered in Ukraine. February Morning, a Russian-language TV channel founded by exiled former Russian MP Ilya Ponomarev, employs 70 people and sees its mission in ending Putin’s regime.The Guardian profiled the channel.

In recent years, press freedom in Hungary took a hit under the reign of prime minister Viktor Orban. For NiemanReports, Hungarian journalist András Pethő gives advice to journalists experiencing similar crackdowns on free press, focusing on the mistakes they can avoid. Pethő suggests focusing on the quality of reporting and resisting the temptation to make yourself the centre of the story.  
Industry news
Facebook is rethinking its news deals with major publishers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Three years ago, the company struck deals with various news publishers to pay for their content while launching a dedicated news section. The biggest beneficiaries have been The New York Times (over $20 million annually on average), The Washington Post (over $15 million), and The Wall Street Journal (over $10 million). Now that the contracts are close to expiration, Facebook’s parent company Meta “is re-examining its commitment to paying for news,” WSJ writes.

According to the report, Facebook’s leadership seeks to focus on short-form videos in an attempt to compete with TikTok. Besides, “regulatory efforts around the world looking to force platforms… to pay publishers for any news content available on their platforms… have damped Mr. Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm for making news a bigger part of Facebook’s offerings.”
Last year, the Netherlands was shocked by the killing of Peter R. de Vries, a prominent and popular investigative reporter. This week, a trial opened in Amsterdam against two alleged perpetrators of the assassination. 22-year-old man known as Delano G is the suspected shooter, while Polish national Kamil E, 36, allegedly assisted in the murder.

Prosecutors demand a life sentence for both men; both of them were arrested on the day of the murder. Previous press reports tied the murder to prominent Dutch criminal Ridouan Taghi, leader of a gang investigated by the journalist, but Taghi hasn’t been charged with De Vries’ assassination.
British journalist Dom Phillips went missing in the Amazon, along with Brazilian expert on Indigenous groups Bruno Pereira. They went on a reporting trip in the rainforest and have been missing since the beginning of last week. As BBC notes, “Mr Pereira recently received threats over his work against illegal fishing.” Although there is hope of finding Phillips and Pereira alive, the authorities say they do not exclude a possibility of the men having been murdered “in a region where drug-trafficking and poaching are rife.”

Dom Phillips is a freelance journalist who has written about threats to the Amazon for The Guardian and The Washington Post, among other outlets. Brazilian security forces are actively searching for Phillips and Pereira, though the chances to find them fade with each day, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said.
Opportunities and deadlines
The Bertha Challenge. The challenge supports a year of work for investigative journalists to focus on the questions of global food security. The Bertha Foundation will pay the fellow’s yearly salary and fund other expenses, as well as provide access to peer and mentor support.
More info:
Deadline: June 26

Investigating the Influence Industry Summer School. Tactical Tech is hosting a two-week online summer school dedicated to investigating the political influence industry. Online sessions will include lectures, seminars, and hands-on workshops. Participation is free.
More info:
Deadline: July 4

The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards. Kavli Foundation is receiving nominations for the science journalism award. Entries must be in English or include an English translation. There are eight categories with two awards in each. 
More info:
Deadline: August 1

Job Openings

Audience Engagement Manager. Reuters is looking for a professional to work on and Reuters Legal News. Your responsibilities will include devising and implementing audience strategies, as well as building and monitoring engagement campaigns. The role is based in London.
More Info:
Deadline: June 26

Project Assistant. The European Journalism Center foundation, an international non-profit, is looking for a person to support the organisation in delivering grant programmes for European journalists. You need at least one year of experience in managing projects in the communication or journalism field, knowledge of the European media landscape, and great written and spoken English. The position is based in Maastricht, Netherlands.  
More info:
Deadline: June 24

Chief of Party for a Media Engagement Activity. Internews is looking for a Chief of Party to work on a USAID project aimed at strengthening the information space in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this role, you will provide strategic, operational and representational leadership, as well as oversee organisation of the project’s activities. The role is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.   
More info:
Deadline: Open until filled 

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