Today’s roundup is brought to you by Chris.
I’m seriously hoping that this year we see fewer success stories related to monolithic media empires and more around smaller indies. Some of the greatest grief I’ve encountered while doing Media Voices has been when a small publication has to shut down or go into hibernation – the Overtake, the Roost… – so it’s always commensurately joyous to find some that are #winning.
Cheapskate has outperformed given its small size – though you might say its subject matter put it in the right place at the right time given the upcoming cozzie livs crisis. Its co-founder Kate Samuelson, (shortly departing The Week to be editor-in-chief of newsletter start-up The Know) started Cheapskate with graphic designer Georgia Weisz in May 2019 focusing on free events.
There’s no obvious path to revenue there – Samuelson and Weisz do not pay themselves -or at least not huge great sums of money. But by concentrating on super-serving a niche audience of empty-pocketed Londoners, Cheapskate has managed to both provide a valuable service and a proof point that you can be a smaller but sustainable publication.
I practically live on Twitch. For years now I’ve been banging its drum when it comes to media companies, and we’ve recently seen titles like Refinery29 launch regular programming on the video platform. But – as this article demonstrates – there’s still plenty of opportunities for publishers if they don’t mind investing in an Amazon-owned platform. And if you want to start following me on there, well, who am I to stop you?
I’m ambivalent about this one. There’s some great insights in here from Alex Stamos, former head of security at Facebook and now head of the Stanford Internet Observatory, not least the suggestion that the danger of misinfo gets worse the less you actually consume on a subject. But the way it’s presented feels a little like a headline in search of a story – especially since the practical dangers of disinformation have been so aptly demonstrated over the past few years.
Forgive the obvious question – it is, of course, because the media industry has had its revenue legs kicked out from underneath it. But this is an interesting study because it shows how, over time, the rise of broadcast and digital jobs specifically have impacted jobs in newsprint. If you’re anything like me, you’ll stare at the line ‘journalism degrees are not the most lucrative’ for a disconcertingly long period of time.
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