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Monday, December 12th
by The Fix Team

The year in podcasting

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from UA: PBC, Thaesis, Éditions de L'Avenir Presse and many others!

2022 has been quite a year, and we’re yet to spend some time examining it and looking back (or trying to shake it off as a bad dream and move on).

Let’s start, though, with analysing some of the key industry trends of the year. Last week The Fix’s David Tvrdon kicked off his annual series overviewing key news and events in news media, beginning with podcasting.

2022 has seen the launch of important narrative projects – and also shows designed to process topical events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has also been the year of continuing consolidation in podcasting – and major podcasts going exclusive to specific platforms like Spotify, raising questions over podcasting’s core philosophy as an open, RSS-supported medium.

YouTube, which perhaps inadvertently has become the biggest podcasting platform, cemented its role as such, while technological advances in AI are making podcasters’ life easier. 

Probably the biggest takeaway, though, is that the podcasting industry is still growing rapidly and has great potential, especially in Europe.
From The Fix
The year 2022 in podcasting: consolidation, Spotify’s Rogan problem and YouTube’s rise
David Tvrdon
An overview of the biggest news in podcasts and digital on-demand audio in 2022
To survive, independent Russian news outlets are building their business models from scratch
Veronica Snoj
Advertising revenue, donations from Russian readers are being replaced by international supporters and foreign grants
Hybrid workplace, newsletters and multiplatform approach: what does recent research say about the media environment?
The Fix
Roundup of three research papers on the news media industry 
Progress in spite of chaos: Cookie-less advertising marches ahead
Following the release of Equativ’s latest Identity Indicator report, Marine Desoutter argues that amidst a deeply fragmented and uncertain landscape, the industry is at last accepting that there is no one single road to cookie-free success
What we are following 
49% of leading news publishers across 44 countries are present on TikTok today, research by the Reuters Institute shows, with many of them having joined over the past year. In the UK, France and Spain, it’s over 80%. Still, news content on the platform is dominated by influencers and regular users, not journalists. The Reuters Institute’s Nic Newman analyses how publishers are creating and distributing news on TikTok.

The demise of crypto exchange FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been one of the biggest stories in finance this year. FTX’s bankruptcy was brought about by reporting from CoinDesk, a specialised crypto publication – and, ironically, the resulting meltdown caused a financial hit for CoinDesk’s parent company as well. The Verge looks into the story.

The pandemic hit some publishers more than others. Ink, publisher of the world’s biggest in-flight magazine, was especially affected. The company’s CEO shared its experience bouncing back from the deep crisis for PressGazette’s podcast The Future of Media, Explained.

Industry news
Latvia’s media regulator revoked the licence for Dozhd (TV Rain), independent Russian TV channel that relaunched abroad in the wake of the Kremlin’s media crackdown. Dozhd will continue operating, including broadcasting on YouTube, but the decision will have a negative impact on the organisation, including decreases in revenue and audience reach.

The revocation in Latvia came as a result of multiple occasions where Dozhd broadcast content supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine. Most prominently, the channel’s host seemed to suggest the organisation is helping Russian soldiers “with equipment and basic amenities at the front” in the war. Previous cases include displaying a map where occupied Crimea was shown as part of Russia.

Dozhd and multiple independent Russian media outlets dispute the decision, pointing out that the issues cited by the regulator were mistakes rather than the organisation’s official position – which is firmly opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and arguing that the punishment isn’t commensurate with the missteps. Latvia’s media regulator said while explaining its decision that it “was convinced that the management of TV Rain did not understand the nature and gravity of each individual infringement, nor of any set of infringements”, BBC reports.
New York Times journalists staged a 24-hour walkout last Thursday as management and the union hadn’t managed to agree on the conditions of a new contract. 1100 people went on strike, and the participants were calling on readers to “not cross the digital picket line” and refrain from using the company’s product for the day.

Although the strike was unprecedented in the company’s modern history — the first in over 40 years – and made the management’s life much more difficult, the coverage went on largely as normal. The publisher relied on pre-written stories and on non-American staff, who aren’t part of the union, for breaking news coverage.
The BBC is preparing to go fully online over the next decade, its director general Tim Davie said in his speech to the Royal Television Society. As The Guardian summarises, Davie said that “the BBC was committed to live broadcasting but Britons should prepare for the closure of many standalone channels and radio stations by the 2030s” in the wake of the current and looming shifts in media consumption.

The future might involve bringing the BBC together in one app combining its offerings across the board, Davie noted. He said he was “open-minded” about the organisation’s funding model. The future of the licence fee, which is the BBC current business model, has been under threat in recent years. 
Opportunities and deadlines

Michael Jacobs Grants. The Gbo Foundation and the Cartagena Hay Festival are accepting grant applications. The program is looking for journalists and writers who are working on articles/travel books on Latin America or Spain. The winner will receive $7,500 (€7,100) to cover their project. 
More info:
Deadline: December 30

World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest. Send your entries (photography, audio, video elements, graphics, illustration) to win the contest. Winners will be awarded up to €5,000. 
More info:
Deadline: January 10

Belarus Beehive Programme. The Belarus Beehive programme opened a call for project proposals, providing grants for investigative projects, as well as reporting on social, cultural and local topics. Projects must be submitted on behalf of coalitions consisting of Belarusian civil society organisations or individual experts and a partner from one of the EU countries. 
More info:
Deadline: December 30

Job Openings

IFJ Deputy General Secretary. The International Federation of Journalists is seeking a person for the position of Deputy General Secretary. Experience and knowledge of journalism and issues connected with news media are needed. You will be responsible for administrative affairs, finances, managing relations with members unions, and more. The position is based in Brussels.
More info:
Deadline: December 19

Country Lead Consultant. The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) is looking for Country Lead Consultants in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. You will be responsible for TRF’s projects in your country, manage relationships with stakeholders, support partners, design training activities. 
More info:
Deadline: January 31

Director of Media Operations. POLITICO Europe is seeking a Director of Media Operations to join the company as maternity cover for six months. You will oversee the Campaign Management team and the Ad Operations team, manage reporting and oversee analysis. The position is located in Brussels.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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