In this issue, we look at the early cracks in Reach plc’s page-view push, how Vogue Portugal is instilling body confidence through print, Bloomberg Media’ podcast partnership, and a moral question about whether to show shocking images of school shootings.
Today’s roundup is brought to you by Esther.
We are very much not fans of Reach plc’s recent page-view push – it’s a strategy that totally disincentivises proper local coverage. This is now starting to play out. Traffic to Reach’s fast-growing local news site for the UK capital MyLondon has dipped back below that of the Evening Standard amid disquiet among some staff about its traffic growth strategy.
Two former staffers said they had been writing as many as ten articles per day in an effort to hit page-view targets. Any time a particular article or topic did well on page views, they would be directed to produce as many similar pieces as possible. “When you found something that works, it’s almost like you’d dug your own grave because you’d be writing about that stuff forever,” one source said.
Press Gazette has done its own analysis of the content mix, which is a bit depressing (only half were actually about London, and almost three-quarters didn’t involve original reporting). Reach has vigorously defended itself, but this is still a predictable cycle for local sites pushed to do clickbait content.
How Vogue Portugal is using its beautiful print publications to instil body confidence and promote greater sustainability
Magazine covers don’t get much more striking than the one that adorns the March 2022 issue of Vogue Portugal. Featuring a close-cropped photo of the folds on the naked back of plus-sized model Anne Caroline de Oliveira Souza, it stirs the debate surrounding positive body image with just one extraordinary snapshot. A great piece to start the week with following Peter’s magazine rant last week.
Bloomberg is great at reporting. iHeart Media is great at marketing. The publisher and the podcast network coming together to produce podcasts makes perfect sense. Bloomberg is clearly seeing this as experimental, given the variety in the slate of shows announced. With the power of a podcast network like iHeart Media behind them to help the most challenging aspect of podcasting – discovery – the results will be of interest.
“We cannot sanitize these killings”: news media considers breaking grimly routine coverage of mass shootings
This is a subject I wish we didn’t have to bring up in today’s roundup, but here we are. I’m sure you can vividly remember the image of the drowned Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish beach, or the video of George Floyd’s murder – grim moments that sparked actual change. This piece argues that it’s time news outlets showed pictures of the carnage caused by assault weapons on children’s bodies as it might actually shock US leaders into doing something to prevent the ‘next time’.
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