Upworthy

Career Beat: Clark Gilbert leaves Deseret News

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Clark Gilbert will be president of BYU-Idaho. Previously, he was CEO of Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media. (Poynter)
  • Peter Kendall will be managing editor at the Chicago Tribune. Previously, he was deputy managing editor there. Colin McMahon will be associate editor at the Chicago Tribune. Previously, he was cross media editor there. Joycelyn Winnecke will be president of Tribune Content Agency. Previously, she was associate editor of the Chicago Tribune. (Poynter)
  • Tanzina Vega will be the Bronx courthouse reporter at The New York Times. Previously, she was a race reporter there. (Poynter)
  • John Reiss is now executive producer at “Meet the Press.” Previously, he was acting executive producer there. (Politico)
  • Darcie Conway is now an editor at aplus.com. Previously, she was a content curator at Upworthy. (PR Newswire)
  • Tim O’Connor will be publisher of Shape. Previously, he was a managing director for Meredith’s corporate sales group. Eric Schwarzkopf will be associate publisher at Shape. Previously, he was publisher at Fitness. Betty Wong will be vice president of brand development for Shape and Fitness. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Fitness. (Email)

Job of the day: The New England Center for Investigative Reporting is looking for an investigative reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org. Read more

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NYT’s Amy O’Leary will be Upworthy’s editorial director

New York Times digital deputy editor Amy O’Leary will be the new editorial director for Upworthy, the viral news curator announced Tuesday.

In her new position, O’Leary will be the top editorial staffer, responsible for overseeing the creation and dissemination of Upworthy’s brand of shareable content. She replaces founding editorial director Sara Critchfield, who left in 2014 to work as a media strategist and consultant. O’Leary will report to Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley.

In a blog post accompanying the announcement, O’Leary said she’s leaving The New York Times because of Upworthy’s potential to harness the power of social media to shed light on important stories:

Today, I don’t think even the most talented journalist can be content to say that important stories are just ones people should read or view. Today we have to go farther. We have to be willing to get out there, into the street fight for human attention that is the Internet, and be willing to deploy our strengths as storytellers to make sure the most impactful ideas reach real people, where they’re at.

How to do that? The best way I know how to is to merge narrative skills with deep analytics to craft impactful stories that massive numbers of people want to read and view and share. And Upworthy has been the absolute leader in cracking that code.

O’Leary comes to Upworthy with a proven ability to “make important stuff compelling,” Upworthy cofounders Eli Pariser and Koechley said in their announcement.

Amy is an amazing multimedia storyteller, learning the trade as a producer for This American Life, creating wonderful stories for RadioLab, and joining the New York Times as a multimedia editor who can think as fluently in text and audio as she can in data and mockups and wireframes.

O’Leary was appointed to her current role as digital deputy editor for international news late last year. Before that, she held roles as a deputy editor for digital operations, multimedia producer, online news editor and reporter. She was also one of the authors of The Times’ much-publicized innovation report, which assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the paper’s digital efforts. Read more

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Facebook and Twitter Applications on Ipad

Times of India publisher to staffers: Give us your social media passwords if you’re posting news

mediawiremorningHey, it’s Tuesday. Media stories coming your way!

  1. Strict, strange social-media policy at Times of India: Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd staffers have been told not to post news stories from their personal social media accounts; instead, they must create company-authorized accounts, according to Quartz India. Even weirder: the company — which publishes The Times of India and The Economic Times — “will possess log-in credentials to such accounts and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge,” Sruthijith KK reports. (Quartz India) | Quartz-related: How often should a site launch a redesign, like Quartz just did? Mario Garcia: “The answer varies, and there is a basic principle I follow: redesign (and/or rethink) when you need it.” (Garcia Media)
  2. NYT’s controversial Michael Brown profile: New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes that calling Michael Brown “no angel” in a profile of the 18-year-old killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was “a blunder.” (Public Editor’s Journal) | Times national editor Alison Mitchell told Erik Wemple that the phrase derived from the story’s lead, which told an anecdote about Brown seeing a vision of an angel. (Erik Wemple) | The Times has used the term “no angel” in the past to refer to Al Capone, Whitey Bulger and one of the Columbine killers. (Vanity Fair) | The profile was written by John Eligon. (The New York Times) | Austin Kleon’s “newspaper blackout” poem from Monday:
  3. Facebook cracks down on clickbait: How does Facebook define clickbait? It’s “when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.” (Facebook) | “Algorithm tweaks don’t change the bottom line: Facebook is in charge of what you see,” Mathew Ingram writes. (GigaOm) | Upworthy’s Adam Mordecai is “stoked” about the news. (Twitter) | “We welcome a focus from Facebook on engaged time,” an Upworthy spokesperson told John McDermott. (Digiday) | Previously: Upworthy released code for its “attention minutes” metric meant to go beyond clicks. (Poynter) | Previously: Facebook’s Mike Hudack famously — and ironically? — ranted against the shallowness of U.S. news in May. (Poynter)

  4. How American journalist was released in Syria: Before Peter Theo Curtis was freed on Sunday, Qatar “had been working on the case for months at the request of the Obama administration.” David Bradley, chairman and owner of Atlantic Media Co., and a former FBI agent had traveled to Doha to meet with the Qataris, Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung report. Officials insist no ransom was paid. (Washington Post)
  5. An ‘emotional cauldron’ after James Foley’s death: “When the press isn’t panicked about the Islamic State, it’s confused,” Jack Shafer writes. “Enemies exist, of course. But boogeymen don’t.” (Reuters)
  6. Ken Doctor on Gannett’s “newsrooms of the future”: “It’s easy to paint the laying off/buying out of veterans as simply getting rid of the digitally clueless. There’s some of that, of course, but this is mainly a financial exercise, as is most of the change we see sweeping the American news industry this year.” (Nieman Lab) | Previously: Gannett exec: Goal of reshuffled newsrooms is to invest “fewest resources necessary in production.” (Poynter)
  7. AP expands food columns: “Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian will join AP’s team of kitchen authorities, taking over ‘The Healthy Plate,’ a weekly column aimed at helping home cooks discover the healthier side of everyday ingredients,” according to a press release. (AP)
  8. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: John Batter will be CEO of Gracenote. Previously, he was CEO of M-GO. (Tech Crunch) | Mark Jurkowitz is the owner of the Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head, North Carolina. Previously, he was the associate director of Pew Research Center’s journalism project. (Romenesko) | Jon Ward is a senior political correspondent with Yahoo News. Previously, he was a political reporter for the Huffington Post. (Politico) | Shauna Rempel is now a social media strategist for Global News. Previously, she was social media and technology editor at the Toronto Star. (Muck Rack) | Chris Tisch is now business editor for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, he was assistant metro editor there. (Tampa Bay Times) | Nathan Lump is now editor of Travel and Leisure. Previously, he was director of branded content at Condé Nast. (Time Inc.) | Job of the day: The San Antonio Express-News is looking for a web producer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would you like this roundup each morning? This week, please email me: skirkland@poynter.org. You can reach your regular roundup guy at: abeaujon@poynter.org


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Forest

Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives?

For most publishers, less than 10 percent of June page views came from traffic to evergreen articles — stories that were more than three days old by Parse.ly’s definition.

Among the publishers included in the analytics company’s data: Upworthy, Conde Nast properties, The Atlantic properties, Fox News, The New York Post, Mashable, Slate, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and The New Republic.

Nearly half of the publishers see less than 5 percent of their web traffic attributed to content that is more than three days old, according to Parse.ly:

parselyevergreen

Unsurprisingly, Parse.ly found that topic-specific sites generally received a higher percentage of traffic from evergreen stories than breaking-news sites did. Upworthy doesn’t include timestamps in its stories, and many of Slate’s pieces are less time-sensitive than stories from The New York Post or Fox News and thus more likely to have a long shelf life of shareability. The mileage you get out of people coming across old stories varies a lot depending on what kind of content you have.

Parse.ly uses the data to suggest that publishers should actively take advantage of archive material, not just passively observe readers coming across it via search: “Integrating evergreen posts into your distribution strategies can attract and grow readership without having to increase editorial costs.”

New York Magazine and Business Insider

At Nieman Lab, Joshua Benton recently highlighted a 10-month-old New York Magazine piece that became the second-most popular story on the site thanks to the magazine posting it on Facebook “as if it were a new story.”

The story, “Why I’m Glad I Quit New York at Age 24,” naturally received lots of complaints on Facebook, but only one commenter, Julian Garcia, mentioned the fact that it wasn’t new: “You constantly post this article.”

Readers might not care so much about newness if a timeless feature or essay is good, but there’s certainly an expectation that most of what you see on Facebook is new news. It’s called the News Feed, after all, so transparency when it comes to old stories seems important. Then again, I wonder if the Facebook post would have taken off like it did and reached so many interested readers if it had come with a “from the archives” disclaimer. Would it have biased readers against reading a story they’d otherwise be interested in?

Here’s a good example from Deadspin, which identified a news hook for sharing an old story on Friday. The tweet is transparent about when the story was originally published, but the note about when it was published isn’t so prominent that it was likely to be a turn-off:

Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton also recently reported on how some media organizations are strategically resurrecting old content. He notes that Business Insider resurfaced a four-month-old story, “7 Reasons You Should Teach Your Children To Speak French,” for Bastille Day. That satisfies our journalistic urge to justify resurfacing old content with a current news hook. But Business Insider’s rationale for putting an October 2013 article about “How Sugar Is Destroying The World” back on the site’s homepage this month is less clear.

Bilton goes on to note:

The trouble comes when publishers confuse readers. Just look at the Business Insider story: Not only was it given a new timestamp on the homepage, but it was also placed among all of Business Insider’s legitimately new content without any special labeling. Someone visiting the homepage, unless they were surprised to see Perlberg’s name again on a new story, would not have any idea the piece was old.

Does resurfacing old content require a news hook?

In February, I noticed a 2013 Poynter post about the first season of “House of Cards” was performing well on Chartbeat thanks to search referrals. Because season two had just been released on Netflix, I felt comfortable sharing it again on Twitter.

But what about Roy Peter Clark’s defense of the Oxford comma, which was a big hit this year and certainly addressed a timeless topic? Would our readers feel deceived or cheated in some way if we pushed it out again in January without any specific news hook? Or would it be serving our readers well to strategically extend the life of this evergreen content and distribute it to those who may have missed it the first time around?

That’s how New York Magazine’s Stefan Becket justified reposting Friedman’s piece on Facebook:

On Twitter, journalists frequently preface links they share with a “late to this” disclaimer — even if the content is only a day or two old. My instincts say it’s weird to dig up old content without a specific reason, but it’s worth asking if our hyper-sensitivity to timeliness can get in the way of serving readers who might not care as much about news hooks or newness as we do.

So on a slow day, why not try sharing something evergreen from the archives like New York Magazine did — but with a Deadspin-style note indicating when it was published — and see how readers respond? As Parse.ly says, it doesn’t cost a thing.


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Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is not giving up, the BBC cuts hundreds of jobs

mediawiremorningGood morning. Let’s do this. Read more

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Survey: Readers feel deceived by branded content

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day, and from Kristen Hare, a world roundup):

At Nieman Lab, Alberto Cairo takes data journalism sites Vox and FiveThirtyEight to task for “worrying cracks that may undermine their own core principles.”

— Two-thirds of respondents to a survey by Contently “said they felt deceived when they realized an article or video was sponsored by a brand,” Erin Griffith writes at Fortune. And most readers don’t even understand what “sponsored content” means.

— Speaking of branded content and native ads, Upworthy claims many of its branded posts outperform editorial posts. Ben Young, CEO of Nudge, tells Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton that it makes sense that native ads “you’ve been working on for two weeks” would perform better than daily content.

— Between January 1 and June 30, Marc Andreessen tweeted 21,783 times, “more than any of Twitter’s founders have posted since its creation, and an average of five tweets per hour, every hour.” Dan Frommer breaks down that craziness at Quartz.

Glenn Greenwald’s not happy about how moderators of Reddit’s world news section are filtering out stories from The Intercept because they consider it “opinion” content. “Reddit is practicing censorship, pure and simple,” he said in an AMA.


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Upworthy releases ‘attention minutes’ code; Sports Illustrated to relaunch website

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

Upworthy has released sample code for its “attention minutes” system of measuring engagement. “We actually use attention minutes as a core company goal,” Ed Urgola, Upworthy’s head of marketing, tells Fiona Lowenstein at CJR.

This week, Sports Illustrated becomes the latest Time Inc. magazine to undergo a website refreshing to be more mobile- and video-friendly, Emma Bazilian writes in Adweek. Poynter covered the redesigns of Time and Fortune and Money earlier this year.

Online news and politics videos are watched to the end 43 percent of the time, according to a Coull analysis of 12 million video plays. “The US and South Africa lead the way, with almost half of all online videos watched all the way through.”

Here’s how Twitter lit up around the world during the U.S.-Portugal World Cup match on Sunday:

“Anyone who doesn’t love Twitter is an idiot,” says Dan Snow (who still uses a BlackBerry) in a Guardian Q&A with Michael Hogan.

Does social media have an influence on your purchasing decisions? Most respondents to a Gallup poll said it doesn’t, Jeff Elder reports in the Wall Street Journal.

Circa will err on the side of not publishing the names of mass killers whenever possible, Evan Buxbaum wrote in a Medium post Friday. Poynter’s Al Tompkins and Roy Peter Clark recently advocated for doing the opposite.


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The Day in Digital: Inside the New York Times CMS and the impending Amazon phone

Content management systems are so in this season. Luke Vnenchak has a fascinating look inside Scoop, The New York Times’s “homegrown digital and (soon-to-be) print CMS.”

Jeff Bezos is expected to announce an Amazon smartphone today. How can the company compete with Apple, Android and Samsung? Quartz’s Dan Frommer has some thoughts on the strategy.

The Atlantic’s in good shape, for lots of reasons. Here’s another one, from a Jeff Sonderman tweet during American Press Institute’s summit on video:

Media critics weren’t critical enough of Aaron Kushner’s print-centric strategy at the Orange County Register, Clay Shirky writes, helping to poison the minds of young people who need to understand that print is in a death spiral from which it can’t recover.

“Do you really need another app for sharing photos and videos with your friends?” Ina Fried asks at Re/code as Facebook releases its new Snapchat competitor, Slingshot.

At PBS MediaShift, Dorian Benkoil explores efforts by Chartbeat, Upworthy, the Financial Times and more to measure “what advertisers and publishers really want — people actually paying attention.”

Yahoo revealed its worldwide workplace diversity. Employees are overwhelmingly white and Asian, and 62 percent male.


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As reporters get measured, why even BuzzFeed, Upworthy aren’t beholden to numbers

Audience-based accountability can be scary for reporters, especially if it’s based on imperfect page-view metrics that don’t account for the fact that what’s journalistically important isn’t always what’s popular.

So how do we acknowledge the fact that our journalism exists to be read even as we remain suspicious of purely readership-based assessments of our work? Here’s how Rick Edmonds put it in his recap of the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver last week:

I don’t think anyone is saying that data science will fully replace “gut” calls on what to cover and play prominently. But as leading practice on digital-only sites shows, hard real-time evidence of how stories perform is both a valuable supplement to old-timey news judgment and a check on bad choices.

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Nitsuh Abebe writes about Upworthy, which “publishes both some of the web’s most successful material and some of its most widely mocked and reviled.”

“I think marketing in a traditional sense, for commercialism–marketing to get you to buy ­McDonald’s or something–is crass,” says Sara Critchfield, the site’s editorial director. “But marketing to get people’s attention onto really important topics is a noble pursuit. So you take something that in one context is very crass and you put it in another. People will say, ‘That’s very crass,’ but in the service of doing something good for humanity, I think it’s pretty great.” This happens often when you ask questions about Upworthy: It turns out that whatever you were curious about is actually wonderful, because it’s ultimately in the service of the good of humankind. Would you need to be a black-hearted monster to feel that there must be a catch? Or that one will arrive next month, when Upworthy is slated to announce its long-awaited monetization strategy?

Nitsuh Abebe, New York

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