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Monday, April 19th
by The Fix Team
The advertising alternative

Hello everyone and a big welcome to our new subscribers (it’s a lot of freelancers this week – so a big shout out while maintaining privacy)!

Making money through advertising has been the way of the world for news media – and it has increasingly sucked. Last week two important stories underscored the scope and scale of alternatives revenue streams.

The first comes from Substack, a newsletter platform everyone’s been obsessing about. The company is launching a $1-million investment initiative to boost local news. Local media have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic (and, frankly, everything else). 

The platform is hoping to “foster and develop the local news ecosystem by helping independent writers build local news publications based on the subscription model”.

As Recode notes, while Substack is best known for attracting big names, it would also like to become known as a place for “journalists you haven’t heard of” to cover their hometowns. Most importantly, it wants to prove subscriptions can work for local news (at least better than ads).

The second story comes from The Guardian, which has been effectively moving toward philanthropic support. According to a NiemanLab story, The Guardian raised $9 million between April 2020 and April 2021, and the pandemic barely hit the newspaper’s donor-funded projects.

It’s part of a growing trend of commercial media outlets pursuing philanthropy as one of their revenue streams. In this case, The Guardian is attracting donor money to tackle complex topics that are hard to monetise directly, such as environmental justice or human rights.

Although Rachel White, the president of the newspaper’s philanthropic arm, believes growth in philanthropic support has not kept up with the journalism crisis, the trend gives hope.

Just a reminder, that last week we’ve launched our own Telegram channel! In there we are sharing all the fresh opportunities, important articles and digests. Consider subscribing!

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From The Fix
“It’s about who we’re saving media for” – community media management book review
Jakub Parusinski
“Community Powered Journalism” dives into details of modern media management. 
7 TikTok accounts worth following
Maxim Harbuz
The fast-growing platform is a unique opportunity to reach new audiences – here’s 7 media who have figured out how to do it.
How to cover populists
Anton Protsiuk
Outrageous politicians benefit from even critical coverage. New research explores a way to report on radicals without amplifying their views.
The “Substack obsession” is not really an obsession with Substack
Dávid Tvrdoň
The newsletter platform has become the “google this” of independent publishing. But the disruption it is shorthand for is bigger than one company.
What we are following 
Sending Western (especially white) correspondents to cover “exotic” countries was always problematic. But only recently has this “colonial gaze” received due criticism from local journalists. Splice Media tells a complicated story of privilege, endurance, and slow change towards diversity.
‘Everyone thinks social-related tasks are always a ‘quick’ update when in reality we're juggling 12 other ‘quick’ tasks. After-hours requests take on a guilt cycle: ‘Can you update this quickly?’ at 8 p.m. or on a weekend turns into feeling like you SHOULD be able to do it quickly’.

Rachel Karten, a social media consultant, gathered real-life stories of what it takes to work as an SM manager. 
It’s no secret Donald Trump openly hated the NYT, often attacking them and calling them “fake news”. Yet during his term in office the news group’s digital subscriptions grew from 1.6m to 6.7m. How did they manage to do it? PressGazette shares a fascinating interview with former CEO Mark Thompson.
Bonus piece :
Are we on the verge of becoming radically healthier thanks to Alexa and Siri? Not necessarily. Shira Ovide of the NYT explains why technology is no silver bullet when it comes to medicine (at least, yet). 
Industry news
Our latest weekly digest explores stories about wins and losses for diversity!
  • The BBC faced an unusual problem over the past week – a flood of criticism came from frustrated viewers over the expansive coverage of Prince Philip’s death. BBC channels dropped all plans for the sake of “blanket coverage” of the death of the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh. As a result, the BBC faced an unprecedented number of complaints; 109,741 of them, to be precise. The issue has political undertones – as a public broadcaster, the BBC has to try and please both right-wing and left-wing audiences.
  • This week saw two historic appointments that mark the growing diversity in top media leadership globally.
    - First, Reuters announced Alessandra Galloni as its next editor-in-chief. An Italian, she has been Reuters’ global managing editor for the past six years. Most notably, she will be the first woman to hold the position in the agency’s 170-year history.
    - Across the Atlantic, the history is being made at ABC News, where Kimberly Godwin was named president this week. Coming from CBS News, Godwin will be the first Black American leader of a major broadcast news division and only the third woman in such a role.
  • In Russia, police raided a student outlent and detained four journalists for “protest violations,” who will now face criminal charges for supposedly involving minors in unauthorized protests. DOXA magazine was founded in 2017 by students and alumni of Moscow’s universities.
    - Just days before, the police raided the office of iStories Media, an investigative outlet, and the apartment of its top editor Roman Anin, seemingly for Anin’s past investigation concerning Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian energy giant Rosneft.
  • TikTok will fund a public health series from NowThis, a US-based news organisation focusing on social media. This marks the first time the platform has backed a content series from a news publisher directly.
Find the full version of our weekly digest on our website.
Opportunities and deadlines

Social Media Marketing master class. SSE Riga provides a free online webinar with Linor Goralik on strong, low-cost, high-value, high-impact solutions for social media marketing.
More info: 
When: April 21st

Newsletter manager for Forum.euGreat opportunity from — the innovative pan-european media. They are looking for professionals who can do the mapping of customer journeys, A/B testing and track metrics.
More info: 
Deadline: April 28st 

Distribution of investigative stories — webinar. GIJN is running two webinars with experts in the field of investigative journalism who will share practical tools and tips for engagement.
More info: 
When: April 29th

From our partners: 

MediaKit is a Russian-language newsletter that collects all the best new tools for media professionals, news, and success cases to take you on a media journey through Eastern Europe and Russia.

Find out more.
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