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Monday, October 17th
by The Fix Team

Leveraging election coverage to build a loyal audience

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Axel Springer, Agora, Council of the EU and many others!

In the United States, election coverage is almost never ending, with each election season spanning many months. While Europe – probably for the best – doesn’t have such a huge election-industrial complex, people going to the polls creates opportunities for news media publishers.

As Emma Löfgren writes for The Fix, “elections provide the perfect opportunity to field test your newsroom’s strategies and turn your readers into loyal and paying subscribers”

Based on her experience as editor of The Local Sweden, which offers election coverage for its primary target audience of foreigners residing in the country, Löfgren offers three clear principles for perfecting election coverage and turning readers into loyal subscribers as a result:
  • Explain. Help your readers make sense of the fast-moving news cycle by always putting the news in context. What are the issues that have an impact on their lives, and why?
  • Engage. Your audience aren’t just your consumers, they’re your best resource. Involving your audience in your reporting boosts trust, engagement and loyalty.
  • Empower. Think of your audience as active decision-makers. How can your coverage give them the tools to navigate life and change society around them?
Election coverage doesn’t have to be about chasing clicks. By understanding the needs of your audience, you can deliver real value to readers and listeners – and they will reward you.
From The Fix
How to leverage your election coverage to boost subscriptions
Emma Löfgren
Elections provide the perfect opportunity to field test your newsroom’s strategies and turn your readers into loyal and paying subscribers
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What does recent research tell us about the state of news media?
Roundup of three research papers on the news media industry – news diversity, reader habits and trust in news
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What we are following 
As The Fix reported recently, slow journalism could be a solution to journalistic crises. But there are pitfalls along the way, and publishers have to be flexible. One of the slow news startups, Tortoise Media, has been struggling with getting people to read their long-form stories – but they are seeing much more success in podcasting. writes about Tortoise’s pivot to audio.

Having an international team is valuable, but also challenging. One of those challenges is the question of how much you pay people from different countries. Rest of the World, a nonprofit newsroom covering tech stories from outside Western countries, seems to have an answer: equally. Read more about their approach to hiring in Digiday’s interview with Anup Kaphle, editor-in-chief, and Eli Berger, head of operations and chief of staff. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the spread of untrue information about COVID caused media scholars and professionals to fear an “infodemic”. Have these fears actually come true? Mark Coddington and Nick Mathews review recent research on this topic. 

There are many businesses that dip their toes in publishing, including major banks like Goldman Sachs, Citi, or JPMorgan Chase. Toolkits’ Shareen Pathak writes about why this is happening and why you should keep an eye on these developments. 

Industry news
Queen Elizabeth’s death in mid-September caused Reach, the company that owns Daily Express and Daily Mirror, to see a noticeable decline in advertising revenue. While it had always been obvious that the decision not to run ads during the mourning period would have a financial impact on publishers, we now have more precise numbers for one of Britain’s largest newspaper publishers. Particularly, the company reported its print advertising fell almost a third in September, while digital revenue decreased by 8% for the month of the Queen’s funeral. While the news of the Queen’s death caused a spike in newsletter sales, Financial Times reports, this additional revenue has been short of covering the impact of the ad blackout.
America’s second biggest newspaper owner – Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that operates some 200 newspapers in the United States, such as The Chicago Tribune – will stop the practice of the outlets endorsing nationwide and statewide political candidates. (Local candidates can still be endorsed). Although the practice of endorsing political candidates has deep roots in the United States, it has attracted controversy in recent years because of its potential for further decreasing trust in journalism, with many readers not seeing the distinction between the editorial board that typically endorses candidates and the newsroom.
TikTok is looking to expand into the e-commerce industry, Axios reports. The company posted a slate of LinkedIn job openings indicating the plans to build product fulfilment centres in the United States. As Axios’ Sara Fischer notes, “the move signifies TikTok’s commitment to e-commerce as its next major revenue stream, following the explosive growth of its ads business”, which could be an opportunity to increase profits in the US and across the world, as well as give the company more control over its revenue streams. 
Opportunities and deadlines

Audience-Engaged Journalism Grants. The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) provides grants to publishers interested in connecting more with their audiences. The grants can be individual and collaborative. The call is open for publishers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia.
More info:
Deadline: October 28

Oxford Climate Journalism. Reuters Institute provides an opportunity to join a global network of climate journalists. As a member of the network, you will participate in a six-month programme which will include workshops, networking opportunities and access to a community of 100 journalists from all countries.
More info:
Deadline: October 21

IJ4EU Impact Award 2022. The IJ4EU fund opened nominations for its annual award, given to journalistic teams that collaborate on transnational issues. Three prizes of €5,000 will be distributed.
More info:
Deadline: November 14

Job Openings

Program Manager. Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is looking for a program manager for its European Independent Media Accelerator Program. You will be responsible for managing the selection of media organisations, managing and monitoring the program along with other responsibilities. The position is based in the CEE region.
More info:
Deadline: October 24

Programme Operations Specialist. International Media Support (IMS) is hiring a person to join the Department for Eastern European and Global Response. Key functions include financial and administrative coordination. Relevant educational background, knowledge and experience with financial management and programme cycle management are required. The position is based in Copenhagen. 
More info:
Deadline: November 30

Content Solutions Executive, Embrace. Embrace, Euronews’ commercial content wing, is looking for a sales executive. The position is based in London. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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