Hi there,

How’s everything going? Are you following the recent developments on Twitter? We see many folks around the web considering whether they’d leave Twitter after Musk took over but we won’t. We won’t pay for the blue check mark but we’ll overstay on Twitter, for way too long. So far there isn’t any other platform such as Twitter where people can engage in conversations and journalists can get feedback for their work.

There’s very recent research from the Reuters Institute in Oxford about the relationship between publishers in the global South and platforms. “Twitter is mentioned by almost every interviewee but is used very differently from Facebook and Instagram.” Take a look at this very interesting research. 

And speaking of tools, let’s talk about Qurio!

Recently we talked with a representative from a community-based media organization in Europe. He was very well-read and did his homework because the community is of value to their media organization. 

We talked about how the pandemic reshaped the ways audiences consume the news because especially for smaller news organizations the following question is always open. “What is news for my community?”

That’s why, as journalists, we should be constantly asking and listening to our community. This particular news organization that’s run mostly by citizen journalists acting in a very professional manner during the pandemic discovered that “the media is about engagement” and that the “user is always at the center” of their efforts. 

In the news industry, we should embrace a more “customer-centric” mentality for mostly two reasons. Because this is part of our mission, as journalists we should be serving our readers, and also we should be monetizing from this relationship because there’s no other way strong media will emerge and keep going. 

Enough with theory and I’m honored to give you a sneak peek of our campaign editor:


For your radar

There are several good reasons to survey your audience early and often.

Here are a few by Simon Owens:
  • Collect audience demographics for advertisers
  • Explore new content ideas
  • Test headlines
  • Increase engagement
  • Add new data points to your reporting process
Read his full Substack newsletter here.

7 habits of highly relevant journalists

Ever heard of Newsgeist? It's a Google sponsored invite-only event that brings together individuals from journalism, technology and public policy who are reimagining the future of news reporting in both digital and analog forms. One of its components are Ignite Talks, five-minute presentations that challenge established thinking and spur new ideas.

Ellen Heinrichs, the Bonn Institute's founder and CEO, recently gave one of these talks in Bratislava. Entitled "7 habits of highly relevant journalists", it summed up what journalists need to do to ensure we better meet user needs and remain relevant in our rapidly changing times.  

Here are her seven tips:
  1. Be aware of your impact.
  2. Listen to your audience.
  3. Report on problems and solutions.
  4. Ask better questions.
  5. Embrace complexity.
  6. Look for common ground.
  7. Be an ally
And a bonus tip: Forget objectivity and hire for diversity.
If you're interested in a little more context, you can watch Ellen's whole speech here.

The Lenfest Institute has published a book.

“Elements of Nonprofit News Management” by Richard J. Tofel, the former president of ProPublica, offers unique insight and advice into the essentials for launching and running a nonprofit news organization. 

You can purchase a paperback or Kindle edition, or download a free PDF version here.
Mr. Tofel, who is a former ProPublica President, joined Jim Friedlich, Lenfest Institute Executive Director & CEO, for an intimate conversation reflecting on his experience at ProPublica and lessons from decades in the news business. You can check out a recording of the full conversation here.

Here’s some of the insight and advice by Mr. Tofel shared:
  • News organizations must have a clear mission statement. For example, ProPublica crafted its mission statement around "the moral force of investigative journalism”. This language helps the newsroom focus its priorities and determine which stories are most important to cover.
  • Every nonprofit news organization needs a board of directors. When looking for board members, publications should seek candidates who understand the role of the board and can help make the mission work, support editorial independence, bring interesting perspectives to the work, and are able to work collaboratively.
  • No two nonprofit news organizations sustain themselves in the same way. Depending on the region and its demographics, the percentage of funding that comes from membership, advertising, events, major donors, or other streams could vary. Publications must do what works best for their communities.
  • A successful startup needs 18 months of operating expenses before launching. Many potential supporters will want to see results before donating. "There are a lot of people who are not willing to support something until they see it, and not just for a day," Dick said. It’s key to find early funders who believe in you.
Do you know anyone who'd need some extra help with their audience engagement efforts?

We offer pro-bono coaching because we’ve been in your shoes and know how hard it is.

Learn more about Coaching
Did you know that we have a dedicated Spotify playlist? Curated by the good people behind the best frog in media.
Hit "Play"!
That’s all for this week, and please, get in touch with any questions simply by responding to this email!

Take care,

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