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Monday, October 31st
by The Fix Team

How news publishers should think about platforms

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Prisma Media, Idler, PressPad and many others!

Despite being an integral part of the news landscape, social platforms are inherently “self-interested, powerful for-profit actors”, as well “amorphous, ever-changing, and opaque in their operations”. Importantly, they haven’t been designed with news content in mind.

Those are some of the key findings of the recent research report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The authors looked at how digital publishers in the Global South approach working with digital platforms – from South African Daily Maverick to Indian The Quint.

News outlets in the Global South face an additional challenge – their markets are not in social media companies’ primary focus; most money is being made in the United States and a handful of other rich Western countries.

Still, a practical and pragmatic approach to platforms – being selective and aware of the risks, keeping editorial mission and target audience in mind, being flexible – allows to yield significant benefits, from distribution to monetisation and community building. As one of the report’s interviewees put it, “[w]e have to work with people, not with platforms”.

To that end, last week, The Fix reported on Geneva, the latest social app that focuses on community building. While it’s unclear what practical benefits news publishers can reap from the platform, it’s useful to keep an eye peeled on new opportunities and learn from them as they arise. 
From The Fix
Advanced search: how to dig using search engines – Part I
Alberto Puliafito
From autocomplete suggestions to search modifiers, how to start surfing open source information on the world wide web
The comeback of Appointment Internet: what we can learn from Geneva, the latest social app
Anna Sofia Lippolis
Geneva aims at building a better internet. What can we learn from it – and can it be useful for news media organisations? 
Belarusian journalists collaborate with the hacktivists who have a lot of sensitive information — how does it work and is this ethical?
Hleb Liapeika
“Now an average journalist has more access to sensitive or personal information than an average police officer”
“It won’t change your business, but it will add a new revenue stream”: Content licensing gets disrupted
Content licensing, previously the preserve of large media empires, is being disrupted by a number of startups gaining serious traction with many publishers 
This week's newsletter is sponsored by BeyondWords, an AI voice and audio publishing CMS for publishers to transform their content into audio experiences that drive engagement, expand audiences, and enhance subscriptions.

BeyondWords offers everything publishers need to deliver their articles and newsletters in superb audio, using professional voices that resonate and natural language algorithms that redefine text-to-speech. Some of the world’s largest media companies – including SchibstedMedia24, and Fox News – rely on BeyondWords’ deep learning models, APIs, player SDKs, and analytics to deliver audio experiences to millions of listeners every day.
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What we are following 
Historically, news organisations have used mobile app push notifications for breaking news. Now, however, publishers increasingly rely on them to drive engagement. Analysis by the Press Gazette shows that it works – but there are trade-offs to consider. Check out how The Guardian, BBC and others implement their push notification strategy.

With Axel Springer’s purchase of Politico in 2021, its CEO Mathias Döpfner has solidified his status as one of the most influential media executives in the world. Unlike some of his fellow European media moguls, Döpfner’s influence is now spanning into the English-speaking media markets. The New European profiled Döpfner – and the controversies his approach sparks across the Atlantic. 

It seems that publishers and ad tech vendors go hand in hand. Or so it seemed. Today, some of the media giants like Bloomberg and Vox are ditching their tech middlemen. Learn more from Digiday

Industry news
The global economic outlook – rising inflation, fears of the coming recession – are causing some media organisations in North America to consider job cuts. As Axios’ Sara Fischer reports, “economic danger signs are forcing networks and publishers to slash costs and prepare for trouble in ways that are reminiscent of the early pandemic days”. Some 1,100 jobs in the news media industry have been cut this year in the United States. In the US, the situation is exacerbated by the traffic decreases characteristic of the post-Trump era in American politics.
In the meanwhile, Semafor reports that the BBC plans to cut dozens of jobs in its Africa coverage. As Semafor’s Alexis Akwagyiram and Yinka Adegoke note, the cuts, which include laying off 50 of the 130 people on BBC Africa, are associated with the corporation’s digital transition, with many programs converted to digital-only. However, the plans are viewed critically by some analysts, particularly in light of the poor availability of the internet in some African regions. “Despite its colonial roots, the BBC has had a unique place in Africa’s media landscape and history standing up for human rights and countering authoritarianism in more recent decades”, prominent Nigerian journalist Dele Olojede notes in an interview with Semafor.
A prominent Russian propagandist has been suspended from RT for being too hateful even by the standards of the blood-thirsty Russian propaganda. Anton Krasovsky, TV host and director of Russian-language broadcasting on the Russian state-propaganda broadcaster RT, called for drowning and burning Ukrainian children critical of Russia during his on-air interview with science fiction writer Sergei Lukyanenko. Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief, denounced Krasovsky’s comment and announced his suspension from the broadcaster; Krasovsky apologised. He hasn’t been fired and might be reinstated later, as Simonyan has reportedly hinted.
Opportunities and deadlines

European Journalism Symposium.  Institut des Hautes Études des Communications and Journalisme & Citoyenneté invites professionals to join the European Journalism Symposium in Brussels. The Symposium will host over 25 sessions and 10 workshops focused on the themes like climate change, gender and diversity, media and information literacy.
More info:
When: November 23-25

Freelancer Wellness Grants. Freelance journalists can apply for grants from Freelancers Union and Fiver that will cover wellness-related expenses, up to €500. Eligible freelance journalists must reside in the US or countries where Fiverr is active.
More info:
Deadline: November 2

Webinar: Behind the scenes of the world's number one Spanish podcast. Join the Reuters Institute Global Journalism Seminars series. Carolina Guerrero, co-founder and CEO of Radio Ambulante Studies that covers Latin America and US Latinx communities, will share her experience of running the number one Spanish podcast. 
More info: 
When: November 9

Job Openings

Chief Executive. BBC Media Action, a charitable organisation within BBC, is looking for a new Chief Executive. The organisation is looking for a person with strong executive and organisational skills to put the charity on a sound and sustainable footing for the future. The position is based in London.
More info:
Deadline: November 21

Deputy Chief of Party, Armenia. Internews seeks a Deputy Chief of Party for the USAID-funded media development project focused on strengthening the integrity of informational space in Armenia. Experience of working in a similar position along, as well as in informational space or advocacy in Armenia or other countries of the region, are required, among other things. The position is based in Yerevan, Armenia. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

News Partner Manager, News and Publishing Partnerships. Google will hire a professional to work on news partnerships in the CEE region. The position is open in multiple locations in the CEE region – Prague, Budapest and Warsaw.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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