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Notebook: The Writer of the Future

As the monopolies grow, the possibilities for securing revenue for writing and being party to its distribution constrict. According to the Poynter Institute, jobs in journalism shrank by 23 percent between 2007 and 2018 (in print by 45 percent). Shane Bauer’s 2016 report on private prisons, which contributed to a Justice Department decision to end private prison contracts, reportedly cost $350,000 to produce and brought its publishers $5,000 in ad revenue. Observers dispute attempts to place a dollar amount on what Google and Facebook have pulled from journalism earnings, but no one disputes that Google and Facebook have grown rich advertising around journalism, and news publishers, who create the “content” and pay those who write it, are losing. Other models for funding journalism, such as philanthropy and venture capital, are coming up short as well.

Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018, Study Says – The New York Times

The journalists who create that content deserve a cut of that $4.7 billion, said David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the alliance, which represents more than 2,000 newspapers across the country, including The New York Times.

‘This could ruin us’: A class-action suit imperils California freelancers – Columbia Journalism Review

Dynamex is shorthand for a class-action lawsuit in California about the employment status of delivery truck drivers. Last April, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Dynamex Operations West, a package delivery company, had misclassified its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. The ruling also covers exotic dancers, hairdressers, freelance reporters, and anyone else who works as an independent contractor (IC) in the Golden State. Heralded by labor groups as protecting the rights of vulnerable workers and confronting the abuses of the gig economy, Dynamex has also created widespread confusion about who’s exempt, who’s in trouble, and what the ruling will mean for freelancers. To say that it’s having an impact would be an understatement. People are freaking out.

The ‘Liar’s Dividend’ is dangerous for journalists. Here’s how to fight it. – Poynter

This is a bigger problem than the Oxygen Theory, which argues that by debunking a falsehood, journalists give the claim a longer life. The Liar’s Dividend suggests that in addition to fueling the flames of falsehoods, the debunking efforts actually legitimize the debate over the veracity. This creates smoke and fans suspicions among at least some in the audience that there might well be something true about the claim. That’s the “dividend” paid to the perpetrator of the lie.

Can Paul Huntsman Save The Salt Lake Tribune? – The New York Times

Since buying the struggling daily from its hedge-fund ownership group for an undisclosed sum in 2016, Mr. Huntsman has sometimes found himself at odds with family members and the local establishment his ancestors helped shape. He has also been challenged by the task of keeping the paper alive at a time when small newspapers are dying out and big dailies with national followings are growing more dominant.

How Google and Facebook Are Slowly Strangling Their Digital Offspring | Vanity Fair

The conventional wisdom used to be that digital natives were the only journalism businesses that would thrive. But big layoffs at BuzzFeed and HuffPost show that the Web’s dominant companies can’t be trusted to build a news business on.

The digital winter turns apocalyptic – Columbia Journalism Review

THIS WEEK, AS A LONG-PREDICTED collapse seemed to hit digital media, we saw a few of the tried-and-true ways managers use to explain to employees why they’re  laying them off.

The digital winter turns apocalyptic – Columbia Journalism Review

THIS WEEK, AS A LONG-PREDICTED collapse seemed to hit digital media, we saw a few of the tried-and-true ways managers use to explain to employees why they’re  laying them off.

With Foreign Bureaus Slashed, Freelancers are Filling the Void – At Their Own Risk

Since then, freelancers have increasingly filled the void. These include both Western journalists working in conflict zones around the world, as well as local journalists working in their own non-Western countries.

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News | GQ

Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper. Zach Baron spent time with the reporters fighting to keep news alive in an age when the forces they cover are working equally hard to destroy them.

Meet Jonathan Albright, The Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News | WIRED

Buried in media scholar Jonathan Albright’s research was proof of a massive political misinformation campaign. Now he’s taking on the the world’s biggest platforms before it’s too late.

What the 2018 Pulitzers tell us about the state of American journalism | Poynter

The 14 Pulitzer prizes for American journalism can be a form of tea leaves for the state of the industry. The winners and finalists offer a highly imperfect view of who’s doing notable work. It is often said that you have to be both good and lucky to win one of the prizes. Here are a few observations:

What the 2018 Pulitzers tell us about the state of American journalism | Poynter

The 14 Pulitzer prizes for American journalism can be a form of tea leaves for the state of the industry. The winners and finalists offer a highly imperfect view of who’s doing notable work. It is often said that you have to be both good and lucky to win one of the prizes. Here are a few observations:

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