News Wrap: What Newspapers Can Learn from Grocery Stores
Newspapers can learn something from grocery stores.
July 3, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: Links to selected media news from the past week.


– Why should big brand names like Coca-Cola and Dell beg for news coverage when they can produce their own online publications, complete with original reporting and content? (Digiday, Mother Jones) 

– Where are most people spending their time on mobile? You may be surprised. (CNET) 

– Pulitzer Prizes get a new overseer. (New York Times)

– It’s out — 2014’s 50 blogs for journalists, by journalists. (  

– Time Inc. has ambitious digital goals, with one leader saying it wants to “build the next LinkedIn or Facebook.” Maybe they could call it Facetime – oh, that’s already taken. (The Guardian)

–  The New York Times is getting rid of some of its best-known blogs, which some industry analysts say could represent a fundamental shift in thinking at the Times. (

– Facebook moves to save face after it conducted a study in 2012 to see that if by shifting its algorithm to post more positive or negative stories on the news feed, that would influence whether users post more positive or negative status updates. (Wall Street Journal)


Another reason to try to be a better writer: You drive copy editors nuts when you hand in tired copy. Find out what they are really thinking of you, courtesy of a tweet from John McIntyre, a night editor at The Baltimore Sun: 


Out-trolling the trolls: Tom Goldstein, 43, is the man behind the hilarious tweets from the SCOTUSBlog Twitter account. The situation: SCOTUSblog covers the U.S. Supreme Court. But hoards of angry Twitter users didn’t realize this and directed their rage at this week’s birth control decision at the blog’s Twitter account, prompting a flurry of hilarious responses from Goldstein, who explains his thinking behind the exercise to American Journalism Review, here.

[Cat animated GIF courtesy of via]



It’s hard work, making a decent Vine: Two writers from Business Insider took a look inside the work behind one Vine, the social network which turned 1 this year. Guess how long it took producer Meghan Doherty to create this quirky 6-second Vine?



Invaluable advice for investigative reporters: New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo methodically lays out how to investigate powerful institutions, with some advice that is great for beginning reporters and experienced journalists alike, who need to be reminded of why it’s still a good idea to knock on someone’s door to get an interview (as opposed to sending them a tweet, for example.): “You would never tell a stranger about what an idiot your boss is while you’re sitting in the middle of your office, talking on the phone,” he writes in an essay released at the recent Investigative Reporters & Editors conference and reprinted on

Machines win Twitter: Think you are pretty skilled at Twitter? Let this interactive quiz from TheUpshot crush those delusions and those of your friends. It pits you against an algorithm to predict which tweets get more retweets.


Big changes for This American Life: This week Ira Glass’s narrative radio show, which, for 17 years, has called Public Radio International, or PRI, its distributor, became independent, reports The New York Times. This means Glass will have to market the show himself, as well as find corporate sponsors. “It’s the equivalent of Radiohead’s releasing its own album ‘In Rainbows,’ or Louis C. K.’s selling his own stand-up special — except all the time, for every show,” reports The Times.


Why newspapers should aspire to be like really great grocery stores: As Tulsa World, a newspaper in Oklahoma, contemplated whether to feature sports content from other places on its site, Poynter reports that some people in the newsroom uttered this question:

“Why would the paper promote articles and commentary it didn’t create?”

Jason Collington, the paper’s web editor, had the best response, possibly, ever:

“One thing I realized is, we would never go to a grocery store with one kind of tomato sauce.”

[Full House GIF via via]


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