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Monday, August 15th
by The Fix Team

How powerful is the news media?

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from EURACTIV, Yomiuri, Mash Media, New Statesman, FT Strategies, Dailymotion and many more.

For many decades, politicians and business people have courted positive media attention to advance their own goals.

The impact of news media on politics and society has only been growing – with prominent journalistic investigations bringing down state leaders and bringing about the #MeToo movement. 

At the same time, however, the rise of social platforms, email and other ways to reach big audiences without an intermediary have made news media less prominent of a factor in some corners of public life.  

In the US, as New York reports, many Republican politicians no longer need validation by mainstream news outlets – or even crave being criticised by news media. “It used to be that you didn’t want to give the media a chance to attack you, but now you see people doing things that are deliberately transgressive just in order to create negative attention”, a former Republican political operative quoted by the magazine says. 

A recent study by Anu Kantola and Juho Vesa shows, the wealthiest 0.1% in Finland “prefer to avoid the media and journalism, while actively using hidden advocacy strategies and being confident in their ability to wield political influence”. The authors’ interviews highlight the wealthiest Finns’ sense of derision towards news media.

While the results of this study do not suggest media is unimportant – Kantola and Vesa suggest that the behaviour of their subjects is caused exactly by “the media's heightened powers” – they do show that the privilege of avoiding the media is achievable in today’s informational landscape.
From The Fix
 
For most news publishers, Vox’ YouTube strategy is impossible to copy. But carpet cleaning videos might be a better inspiration
David Tvrdon 
The chances are you will figure out making your own carpet cleaning-like videos before you are able to copy Vox
How Australian news media reinvented itself in the past two years
Jacqui Park
Thanks to the shift to reader revenue, the sustainability of Australian media appears more certain today – but there’s work to be done
Five tech and design books that will make media managers smarter. Or at least be a good read
David Tvrdon
Some loosely media-related summer reading tips
“Our infographic content is 1155% more likely to become evergreen”: How the South China Morning Post leverages infographics
WNIP
What makes a successful infographic?

 
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This week's newsletter is supported by Arc XP, a cloud-native digital experience platform for publishers and broadcast media to create and distribute content, drive subscriptions and reach audiences across channels.
 
Arc XP offers everything publishers need to efficiently create, manage and deliver content at scale in one solution. A division of the Washington Post, Arc XP was built to meet the complex needs of a media organization with over a thousand content creators and editors across the globe. Some of the world’s largest media organizations – including El Pais, MADSACK Mediengruppe  and Le Parisien  – now rely on Arc XP as the backbone of their digital business. 
 
Learn more
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What we are following 
 
Scaling beyond news reporting is always a gamble for media managers. Some ventures failed, like ESPN’s restaurants or Vox and BuzzFeed turning to Facebook videos. While some might expect that new solutions will come from digital space, the answer might lie in something old-fashioned like games and crosswords. NiemanLab writes about how games are making their way back to the media.

Advertising is typically the first expense line businesses cut during a recession – and news media suffers from these cuts. However, ditching advertising might not be the best strategy even in the time of economic hardship. Heather Osgood, Forbes Councils Member, argues that advertising in podcasts, if chosen correctly, can sustain brand recognition through tough times.  

Audio social spaces are one of the routes to get people to communicate with news organisations. It is a good way to get quick feedback and build engagement. Twitter Spaces became especially successful for discussions on such complicated topics as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Here are best practices and things to remember when starting your own social audio. 

Industry news
 
Axios announced its sale to Cox Enterprises for $525 million (€514 million). The US digital media company, which was founded five years ago by former Politico journalists, has gained prominence thanks to its focus on a quality audience, including policymakers and business leaders. Cox Enterprises is best known for its cable and broadband business; the company has previously been Axios’ major investor.

As The New York Times notes, “the deal offers a rare flicker of hope for the digital publishing sector, which has been fraught with difficulty for investors and operators over the last decade”. Many other companies in the industry have had financial struggles “as investors have cooled on digital advertising, a market dominated by tech giants like Google, Meta and Amazon”.
News Corp, a media and publishing giant owned by the Murdoch family, has almost doubled its profits. For the 2021/22 financial year, the company’s profits reached $760 million (€744 million), a record number. The revenue increased by 11% to $10.4 billion (€10.18 billion) year-over-year. The company has attributed the success to its digital transformation and recent acquisitions. Both digital advertising revenue and news subscriptions grew in the past year. 
Denník N, one of the biggest digital news publishers in Central Europe, announced its Czech version Deník N reached profitability in the first part of 2022 for the first time since its launch in 2018. Denník N was founded in 2014 an independent Slovak daily newspaper, focusing particularly on long-form journalism and betting on reader revenue. It has since added a Czech publication and recently launched a Hungarian one. “Deník N achieved an accounting profit of almost one million [Czech] crowns [€40,800] in the first half of the year”, the outlet’s publisher Ján Simkanič announced.
Opportunities and deadlines
 
Data Jouranlism Grants. Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting will support a journalistic project that will use innovative data techniques. You will need to submit a project proposal and methodology among other documents. Financial support typically varies from $10,000 to $20,000  (€9,700 to €19,500).
More info: https://bit.ly/3SEZiYF
When: Ongoing

Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators program. Newmark Journalism School is looking for a new cohort of media entrepreneurs to enrol in a 100-day certificate program. During this program, you will learn about innovations in journalism, revenue expansion, community engagement and many more things related to the business side of media. This program is online. The tuition fee is $4,000 (€3,900), but scholarship opportunities are available.
More info: https://bit.ly/3bW2aQ9
Deadline: September 6

Startups Best Practices. Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program invites news entrepreneurs to attend an online workshop. Three experts in the media field will explain how they grow and sustain their digital media startups. Participation is free.
More info: https://bit.ly/3zR4bFs
Deadline: August 17

Job Openings
 

Manager. FT Strategies, a startup consultancy within Financial Times, is looking for a person to fill in the role of Manager. You will consult media organisations, develop digital strategies and help transform media practices. A successful candidate has experience in management consulting along with other skills. The position is based in London. 
More info: https://bit.ly/3AhGibr
Deadline: Open till filled 

Digital Campaign Manager. Euronews London, the advertising sales division of Euronews in the UK, is hiring a Digital Campaign Manager. This role will include growing digital revenue and pre and post-campaign management. The position is based in London. 
More info: https://bit.ly/3QCztGB
Deadline: Open till filled 

Business Development Manager. If you have experience in advertising and business sales, interested in media, then this position is for you. Guardian Media Group is looking to hire a professional who will secure partnerships and look for B2B opportunities. The position is based in London.
More info: https://bit.ly/3Cige1t
Deadline: Open till filled 

The Fix Hiring 
Contributors. The time has come for us to expand our amazing team of contributors. We are looking for an experienced professional, with an interest in the media business. The position is remote and the workload is flexible. 
 
Also, if you are not ready for a long-term commitment, but have an idea that would fit The Fix - pitch us. 
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