Must Reads: ‘Keep Your Soul’ and the Benefits of Keeping Comments Anonymous
AJR's must reads include wise words from an editor at the Atlantic and thoughts on anonymous commenters.
August 29, 2014

Editors Note: Links to selected media from the past week.

Short Takes:

*Instagram unveils Hyperlapse, for capturing time-lapse videos. The Next Web

*Seven things to never do while brainstorming. Fast Company

*“Embrace nerd, evangelize normals, keep your soul.” Capital New York sits down with Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic. Capital New York

*Apple announces a new wearable technology to come out in September. Re/code

*Evan Hill recalls his often-touching relationship with Jim Foley. The Atlantic

*An interview with the man in the iconic Ferguson photo of him throwing a canister of tear gas. CNN

*Although the correct way to refer to animals is “it,” this article makes a case for using “he” or “she.” Chicago Now

The Gender Gap

Performance reviews are harsher on women than on men, according to Fast Company. While men receive constructive criticism, women are often attacked for their personalities, as documented by linguist Kieran Snyder. This brings into question the “Double Bind”: If women are too nice, they won’t be taken seriously, but if they are too assertive, they come off as abrasive.

A new study also documents a disturbing gender gap for female journalists on social media.On Twitter, female journalists are verbally abused and trolled more than men, a report from Demos said.

Digital Subscription Slowdown at the NYT?

Re/Code takes a look at the paywall model at The New York Times and whether it is meeting projections in terms of online and app subscribers. According to Re/Code, the Times has hit the “low end” of projections four years ago regarding how many paying online and app users it could attract, an indicator that its digital subscription growth touted recently could be slowing.

Loosen Your Grip

Dan Gillmor, who teaches digital-media literacy and entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, writes in The Atlantic: “Guess what, journalism companies? Facebook is going to be your biggest competitor in the long run. Twitter is a media company, too. And Google’s eating your lunch every day.” How Twitter and Facebook attempt to control content posted on their sites leads Gillmor to call for a re-decentralization of the Internet.

Tweet Happy

Twitter opened its analytics dashboard to the general public, reports TechCrunch. Now you can gauge the performance of every single tweet that you send, look at trends, see how many people saw your tweets, etc. This feature used to only be available to advertisers and verified users.

Anonymity isn’t that bad after all
You might want to think again before you get rid of an anonymous commenting system. Research shows that if you remove anonymity, a majority of readers simply won’t comment. Those surveyed said they didn’t want their comments and opinions to impact their professional life. 80% of those surveyed said they wouldn’t comment if it required them to publish their name or make an account.

The Silent 40%
About 40% of Twitter users do not tweet. Is this a big deal? Adam Bain, “number two head honcho” at Twitter told CNBC he’s perfectly happy with them staying silent. “If anything we need to make it clear that you can use Twitter without tweeting,” said Bain.

Not-so-social Media
Journalists working at the Times of India are required to surrender their Facebook and Twitter passwords and let the Times post for them, writes Quartz. How much control should employers have?

Startups Covering ISIS
Convinced The New York Times is the only place to get news about the Middle East? Think again. Digiday covers five media startups that have done surprisingly in-depth reporting about ISIS. Included is Vice, which sent a journalist to go on a ride-along with an ISIS militant.

[Below, the Vice News documentary of the Islamic State.]




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