La Nación’s trailblazing data journalism, YouTube’s effects on independent media and more in this week’s Digital Media Mash Up, produced by the Center for International Media Assistance.
How the Argentine daily La Nación became a data journalism powerhouse in Latin America
n 2010, political reporter Diego Cabot of Argentina’s La Nación received a leak with massive potential: a CD with 26,000 emails from the minister of transportation under then-President Cristina Kirchner. For two weeks, four La Nación journalists pored over thousands of documents by hand. But then the paper’s then-IT manager Ricardo Brom built a search engine that let journalists go through the leaked documents — and they had their first scoop within 40 minutes. (Nieman Lab, 4/20)
How YouTube’s shifting algorithms hurt independent media
At the age of 21, David Pakman started a little Massachusetts community radio talk program. While the young broadcaster got his show syndicated on a few public radio stations, it was a YouTube channel he began in 2009, “The David Pakman Show,” that opened up his progressive political commentary to a whole new digital audience. The show has since amassed 353,000 subscribers, and roughly half of its revenue now comes from the ads that play before his videos. He earns enough to produce the show full time and pay a lean staff.
Or, at least, he used to. Last month YouTube announced abrupt, vague changes to its automated processes for placing ads across the platform. Ads on Mr. Pakman’s YouTube channel evaporated, dropping to as little as 6 cents a day, and forcing him to set up a crowdfunding page to help cover US$20,000 a month in operating costs. (The New York Times, 4/17)
A French journalist is bringing fact checks to millions using Facebook Live and his own two feet
Julien Pain was tired of preaching to the choir.
After spending several years debunking viral fakes for France 24’s Les Observateurs, Pain was on the lookout for a format that would expand the reach of his fact-checking.
“I realized I was only reaching people who agreed with me,” says Pain. “And people who didn’t check their information wouldn’t be reading my fact-checking.”
Since September, he has taken fact-checking to the streets in Facebook Live videos no longer than an hour. These are streamed from the account of his new employer, France Info. The videos also get pared down into three-minute “capsules” that air on both TV and social media. (Poynter, 4/20)
In many communities, best local journalism is not coming from print
Margaret Sullivan is right to sound the alarm about what steep newspaper cuts are doing to local journalism across the country, but her April 16 Washington Post column, “Great local reporting stands between you and wrongdoing. And it needs saving,” misses the story of what is replacing, and has the potential to replace, the local journalism that has been lost. (Matt DeRienzo, Medium, 4/17)
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