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What ‘trust in news’ means to users, shoppable print using image recognition, and more: This week in publishing

The must-read publishing stories you may have missed this week

Shoppable print…without QR codes

The poor QR code has had a rough ride. It has been largely underused in Europe – at least until the pandemic – and was hampered by confusion among mobile users about how to scan them.

For print publishers, the potential of QR codes for shopping was slowed by a reluctance to pepper meticulously-designed spreads with the little pixel boxes. But this week, Bauer Media has announced that they are partnering with a company that will allow them to produce shoppable content without the need for QR codes.

The new technology relies on mobile image recognition, directing readers to specific online content. As a result, editorial staff won’t have to change print magazine layouts or creative.

Its success will depend on two factors: how easy the readers find it to use, and how good the technology is at actually finding purchaseable products online. Regardless of its initial results, this is a tech that is only going to get smarter with time.



What “trust in news” means to users: Insights for publishers, from Reuters Institute

When asked what they thought about the news media they consumed or came across in their daily lives, readers’ perceptions tend to be built around their sense of familiarity with brands. Sometimes this is more about intuition than rational judgment. 


Using real women in imagery: Future Publishing’s story

The outreach dovetails with Future’s own research of over 4,000 women which found that 8 in 10 women aged 40 plus still don’t feel that there are many women in the media who look like them.


World’s largest digital media owners grew their ad businesses by 40% globally

A range of factors, including the notion of creative destruction, is arguably more important drivers of growth in advertising than economic activity alone.


Bauer Media’s Grazia and heat magazines go shoppable using image recognition

The new technology avoids the need for QR codes or watermarking and instead relies on mobile image recognition, directing readers immediately to specific online content.


PPA publishes results of industry-wide diversity and inclusion survey

A new report published by the PPA sees the results of the first-ever industry-wide diversity and inclusion survey, offering insight into representation and inclusion across the industry.


Publishers ranking: Europe’s top 15 news media on TikTok

The trio of Daily Mail, Tagesschau and BBC dominate the ranking. But publishers from across Europe are joining the trend.


Local newspapers vastly preferred over Google: Major survey down under

Newspaper readers in rural and regional Australia are five times more likely to go directly to their local newspaper website than Google or Facebook for local information.


Building a modern and sustainable media outlet is easier than ever

“Easier than ever”, of course, does not mean easy. Here are the tools to make sure the hard work you put toward launching a successful news media brand pays off.


What is Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and why should publishers care?

ATT requires mobile app publishers to request permission to collect a user’s app data for tracking and accessing device identifiers, such as the IDFA.

Mental Floss Editor in Chief Erin McCarthy on the title’s 20-year mission to make readers smarter

This week Mental Floss Editor in Chief Erin McCarthy tells us about how it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary, how the magazine started in a university dorm room, its mission to help people feel smarter, and how the team decides what to cover.

Will a cookieless world help publishers get ahead?

While heads are spinning trying to make sense of how to survive in a privacy-centric era of marketing and advertising, this is an immense opportunity for publishers to position themselves in a place of power.

“We will once more meet face to face”: Publisher’s Pandemic Roundtable

Our Pandemic Roundtable, comprising Joe Berger, Bo Sacks, Gemma Peckham, Samir Husni, Sherin Pierce, and me, started one year ago and is, amazingly, going stronger than ever.

See the rest of this week’s stories at