Fox News crushed competitors on election night

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Fox News beat broadcast networks on election night

    It also crushed in 2010, the last Republican wave. (NYT) | "Fox News is normally the dominant player in cable news, but its high ratings on Tuesday may have been partly influenced by the nature of the 2014 electorate." (Politico) | Related: "Think of the GOP’s Senate takeover as a full-employment act for Washington reporters," Jack Shafer writes. (Reuters)

  2. Earnings season update

    News Corp saw overall revenues rise, but ad revenue at its print newspapers fell 7 percent over the same period the year before. Strong results at its book division (including recently acquired Harlequin) and other businesses drove an overall growth in revenue at the spun-off company.

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Fresh from Ferguson Fellowship, Beacon eyes new projects

Earlier this year, The New York Times profiled Beacon, a crowdfunding platform for journalists. The writer wondered: With all the hand-wringing in the news industry about asking readers to pay for content, would they ever sponsor a journalist?

Now, just a few months later, that question has been answered. As of this week, Beacon readers have raised $41,074 in partnership with The Huffington Post for a reporter covering the ongoing story of Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. The recipient of the funding, Mariah Stewart, has been catapulted from her job as a bra fitter at a nearby mall — she’s since put in her two weeks notice — to the front lines of a national story.

The last few months have been big for Beacon, too. Read more


HuffPost’s Ferguson Fellow: ‘This is huge for me’



Mariah Stewart hasn’t always been sure about her future in journalism. She remembers calling her mom in tears on her way to a feature writing class late last year, unsure if she’d be able to finish journalism school. She was having trouble finding a beat she was passionate about, and it was making her anxious.

That changed when she began reporting on the shooting of Michael Brown. Stewart, a 23-year-old freelance journalist who graduated from Lindenwood University in May, started covering Brown’s shooting days after it occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, without any financial backing because “it was news,” she said.

This week, the story suddenly turned into a yearlong assignment for Stewart after she was named the recipient of The Huffington Post’s Ferguson FellowshipRead more


Will Steacy photographed The Philadelphia Inquirer’s turmoil for 3 years

Will Steacy was in his New York apartment in 2011 when he got a call from his father in Philadelphia. It was bad news. After almost three decades at The Philadelphia Inquirer, his dad was being laid off.

The call was painful. Steacy, a professional photographer, had spent the last three years chronicling financial hardship at the Inquirer for a project he called Deadline. Starting in 2009, he began capturing images that depicted the Inquirer’s struggle to survive during an era of diminished ad revenue: vacant desks, trash bins piled high with newsprint, an old typewriter being used as a bookend. Steacy took a break from the project for a month. When he came back, the first image he captured was of his dad’s old desk. Read more


Print magazine doubles its fundraising goal

All Digitocracy

Last week, HRDCVR, a project to create “a book-shaped magazine by and for the new everyone” more than doubled funding goals on Kickstarter, raising $67,230 from 516 backers. On Monday, Emiley Mallory wrote about the magazine and its founders, journalists Danyel Smith and Elliott Wilson, for All Digitocracy.

The magazine, with just one issue planned, will come out Nov. 28.

HRDCVR’s mission is to challenge the lack of variety in society’s narrative and to bring more diverse communities forward. HRDCVR is, in essence, an ode to the culture. It’s not solely a hip-hop magazine and it’s not just about politics either, Smith said.

Wilson is a host and a television producer who runs the popular and influential website, Rap Radar. Smith is the former editor-in-chief of VIBE and was the first black editor at Billboard.

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CIR raises funds for investigation into ‘neighborhood NSA’

The Center for Investigative Reporting hopes to raise $25,000 to report on surveillance by local authorities, a practice speeded by technological improvements and federal money. Subscribers get benefits on a sliding scale — from a tote bag and a tour of CIR’s newsroom if you donate $350 to email alerts when new stories go up if you pledge $5 per month.

Beacon, which is handling fundraising for the series, refers to those alerts as “subscriptions,” but CIR spokesperson Lisa Cohen tells Poynter any stories that come from this project will be available on the CIR website, and “CIR will be working with partners as the stories warrant,” Cohen writes.

“During the past year, we’ve learned a lot about the federal government’s surveillance program, but we still know very little about how local police collect and mine data,” CIR reporter Amanda Pike says in a video accompanying the pitch. Read more


Live chat replay: Will crowdfunding finance journalists?

The startup Beacon, one of the newer efforts to fund independent journalists, says it has signed up 100 journalists and several thousand subscribers.

Shane Bauer is now featured on the site, trying to attract funding so that he can cover U.S. prisons for a year. As of Tuesday night, $14,520 had been raised, 19 percent of his goal. The post says a backer has pledged to match up to $37,500. Bauer has a little more than three weeks to raise what he needs. Contributors will get access to Bauer’s stories and all the other stories on the site.

Other journalists on Beacon have told stories about climate change, GMOs, social media and countries around the world.

Could this work for you? Is this a model for supporting journalists and getting stories out? Read more


Journalist tries to fund investigation with ‘dispatches from the trail’

Beacon | The Muckraker

Irish journalist Lyra McKee is using Beacon, a crowdfunding service for writers, to raise money to finish a book in which she investigates the last weeks of a local politician in Belfast named Robert Bradford, who was killed in 1981. Her campaign promises backers a chapter of her book every month until it’s published.

“Very few news outlets are funding investigative reporting right now,” McKee tells Poynter in an email. “I feel like investigative journalism has been driven out of the newsroom because editors want quick results. The economic turmoil of the industry means they’re answering to accountants now rather than their readers.”

Why not try for a grant? I asked. “The problem with grants is that everyone’s chasing them,” McKee replied. Read more


Radio show seeks funding to uncover undercovered America

A few days before the government shutdown, the former co-host of “The Takeaway” launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $92,000 for an independent radio show covering the often-ignored world between the two coasts.

But because of the Washington stalemate, the fundraising campaign to produce a show that’s not about the Beltway was canceled — for now.

“Believe me, the irony is not lost,” Celeste Headlee said.

Several factors prompted the suspension of the campaign, Headlee said, including problems filing paperwork with closed government offices and the busy schedules of people helping to develop the show who are also covering the shutdown.

Really, it was just bad timing, Headlee said.

The campaign relaunches on Oct. 25, with a push to raise the money needed to independently produce the hour-long news show and podcast called “Middle Ground.” The show’s producers will be asking for less money, too — down to $59,000 with the decision to seek three months’ funding instead of six. Read more


Change in securities law may let audience rescue NSFWCorp, CEO writes

PandoDaily | The New York Times

NSFWCorp CEO Paul Carr needs to raise money, and fast.

As I’ve said before, if we were a bullshit app with the kind of press we’ve enjoyed and as many paying customers as we have, we’d be drowning in investors. But we’re a “content company” which no Silicon Valley VC will touch with a barge pole.

A change in securities law that went into effect Monday “establishes a mechanism for ordinary people to make small investments in small companies,” Robb Mandelbaum writes. But the change may come too late for Carr’s online/print hybrid publication, he writes.

And it’s for that reason that companies outside the valley, generally, and media companies like ours, specifically, have the most to gain from today’s change in the law.

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