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Monday, June 6th
by The Fix Team

Tools for community building 

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from IMS, MadreMedia, NZME and many more.

Building a passionate community around your media product is important for success – especially if you’re leaning on reader revenue. 

There’s a lot to creating a robust community, but an important part is to get the platform right. In the latest piece for The Fix, David Tvrdon shares insights based on his experience building a community around his podcast. Should you pick Facebook Groups? Discord? Reddit? Twitter Communities?

Probably not the latter, David says – Twitter Communities looks like an unfinished product. Overall every platform, expectedly, has its pros and cons. Discord is increasingly popular and offers many features, though it might be too difficult for some users. Facebook is increasingly considered a toxic place, but its group features are easy and convenient to use. 

What’s most important is to understand your audience and know its needs and preferences. In other words, media about gaming probably needs to make use of Discord, while a gardening outlet might settle on Facebook.

Just asking your readers about their preferences could be a great start. 

 
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From The Fix
 
How is an editorial board different from a newsroom? Few readers understand the distinction
Anton Protsiuk
That might be a problem for The New York Times as it ventures to become a truly global news giant
How to improve your Engagement Funnel and increase ARPU
Madeleine White
A study reveals the adapted engagement strategies to put in place for each user cohort, ensuring you maximise average revenue per user (ARPU) at every step of the conversion funnel
This article was created in partnership with Poool
Community building platforms: Facebook Groups vs. Twitter Communities vs. Discord. Which to choose?
David Tvrdon 
Each has its pros and cons, but Twitter’s Facebook group clone is the least developed
Italy’s Il Post hits 50,000 subscribers
James Breiner 
Digital native differentiates itself with scrupulous precision, transparency
Investigations into Finnish police, corporate landlords across Europe win 2022 European Press Prize
The Fix Team 
European Press Prize announced winners and runners-up for the 2022 edition
What we are following 
 
Many publications increasingly rely on reader revenue models for their survival. Although they show great promise, however, there’s a common concern that subscription models serve mostly rich and educated audiences. Reuters Institute shows how news outlets from Sweden, Spain and South Africa are tackling this issue by creating more inclusive schemes, such as the “pay what you can afford” model.

The past three months witnessed the exodus of independent media from Russia. Where did they go and what are they doing now? Many journalists moved to Latvia and are trying to rebuild their lives and their newsrooms. Benjamin Bathke from GIJN tells their story. 

The debate on how much data Facebook should share with the public continues. Last week the company said it plans to share more data about political ad targeting. While journalists and researchers can benefit from this move, Facebook has historically been reticent about actually sharing data with independent researchers, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. CJR details the concerns. 

Print magazines are not living their best times. Besides rising competition from digital platforms, print media are also not immune to supply chain problems. Claudia Smukler, production director at progressive US publication Mother Jones, describes how her magazine has suffered from the global supply chain crisis – and will continue to suffer until at least 2023.

Industry news
 
Last week brought new casualties among journalists covering Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed while reporting in eastern Ukraine. He was hit by shell shrapnel while covering evacuation of people from the Donbas region. Leclerc-Imhoff’s colleague was slightly injured, while their field producer remained unharmed. The 32-year-old reporter worked for French news channel BFMTV; he graduated from the Institute of Journalism Bordeaux Aquitaine, Sky News reports. Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff is one of multiple journalists killed while covering Russia’s war in Ukraine over the past three months. 
Last year, we saw a stock market boom in the United States and other Western countries. Recently, however, the market has tumbled, impacting the media among other industries. Two news stories have been indicative of the trend.

First, Substack decided not to pursue further fundraising efforts for now. The platform reportedly attracted $65 million at a $650 million valuation, with yearly revenue of about $9 million, last year. More recently, however, the company seems to have struggled to attract investors at a high valuation, and thus it dropped efforts to raise money. As The New York Times notes, this decision “is another sign of the stark shift from the recent go-go years of free-flowing cash for young start-ups, particularly buzzy, consumer-facing ones like Substack.” 

Second, Forbes decided not to proceed with plans to go public. The company intended to do so via SPAC; however, in recent months, investors have been more skeptical of SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, as financial instruments, The New York Times notes. “Investor enthusiasm around blank-check companies peaked early last year but deflated after a number of SPACs failed to live up to their promises to investors,” NYT notes. Potential slower growth of the ad market amid economic challenges also contributes to the concerns.
Opportunities and deadlines
 
Leap: ICFJ’s News Innovation Lab.  International Center for Journalism organises a 10-week program to explore, design and develop journalist-related products. During the program, you will be able to attend workshops and hackathons to work on the challenges that your newsroom might have. The program is virtual and free of charge.
More Info: https://bit.ly/3GTdl7j
Deadline: June 15

Modern Slavery Unveiled.  This grant programme looks for journalistic teams to investigate the exploitation of Asian victims of human trafficking and forced labour in Europe. Teams of professionals from Europe and Asia are eligible to apply. Along with financial support, your team will participate in training and a mentorship program.
More info: https://bit.ly/3xbfhVv
Deadline: September 15

WPI Fellowship. World Press Institute encourages journalists from all over the world to apply for their fellowship. 10 professional journalists will be selected to tour the U.S. and gain access to think tanks, media, advocacy and policymakers. The program will run from March to May 2023. 
More info: https://bit.ly/3NPJ63s
When: September 15

Job Openings
 

Senior Market Researcher. Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, is looking for a Senior Market Analyst who will be responsible for market research projects. Experience of working at least 4 years in market research is required. The organisation is based in the UK, however, you can work online. 
More info: https://bit.ly/3NTRkaI
Deadline: June 13

Executive Director. The International Press Institute (IPI) is seeking a candidate who will lead the global activities of the organisation. You should have significant relevant professional experience at a senior level and hold a degree in journalism or a related field. The position is located in Vienna, Austria.
More info: https://bit.ly/3Nlm2ty
Deadline: June 15

Media Strategy Manager. Sky, a British media company, is looking for a manager who will drive media strategy. To be successful in this position, you need in-depth knowledge of media channels and an understanding of statistical analysis and advertising research. The position is based in the UK.
More info: https://bit.ly/3xd7rLc
Deadline: Open till filled 

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