Most of you know me as a press critic. But I have other lives as a professor at NYU. I teach grad students about innovation in journalism. I study the digital transformation of the press. And I run projects that agitate for change.

This thread is about those latter lives. 1/
I have a new post up at my blog, PressThink. "Notes on membership." pressthink.org/2020/09/notes-… It explains what I have learned about membership and the search for a sustainable path in journalism after three years as director of the research project I founded, @membershippzzle. 2/
Today's a big day in the life of @membershippzzle. We launched The Membership Guide, based on three years of study. Here's an introduction to what the Guide is and does. membershippuzzle.org/articles-overv… It's not a research report, but a practical tool for doing membership at your site. 3/
"Journalism needs solutions to its trust and revenue problems. Membership is one of them." membershipguide.org That's how we introduce the Membership Guide. It puts into usable form everything we have learned at @membershippzzle and @lenfestinst about how membership works 4/
In my 34 years of publishing things as a professor of journalism, The Membership guide is probably the most useful thing I have done. We had a team of researchers, designers and developers working on it for sixth months. They’re the ones who made it. membershipguide.org 5/
These are case studies from around the world. They tell of how different journalism sites are making membership work:

* How Zetland turned its members into powerful ambassadors

* How Daily Maverick implemented a pay-what-you-can model

and 32 others. membershipguide.org/case-studies 6/
"Locate your strongest supporters, and learn how to appeal to them for support." That's my definition of membership.

"When you can’t receive the product unless you pay your share of the costs for producing it, that’s subscription."

From my new post: pressthink.org/2020/09/notes-… 7/

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More from @jayrosen_nyu

23 Aug
Here's an example of local TV (@WNEP, an ABC affiliate in Scranton, PA) getting duped into covering a QAnon event as a "just folks" demonstration against human trafficking. These events happened all over the country today.

wnep.com/video/news/loc…
Another local TV station (@WOODTV in Grand Rapids, MI, an NBC affiliate) duped into covering a QAnon event as "people gather to protest human trafficking." woodtv.com/news/grand-rap…

Maybe check if your local station did the same. Marches like these all over the country today.
Some context from NBC reporters who have been tracking it: QAnon looms behind nationwide rallies and Save the Children hashtags. nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news… "Local media coverage of the events has been widespread and credulous, almost never mentioning the events' QAnon connections."
Read 13 tweets
17 Aug
Just published: my NEW post.

"From emergency to active threat: We have again switched settings in our coverage of Donald Trump." pressthink.org/2020/08/from-e… Written in the style of an editor's note explaining a shift in coverage. I hope you will read it— and tell me what you think.
By moving on the Post Office, Trump escalated the crisis in journalism.

"It’s more than a civic emergency; it’s a national crisis. News coverage has to reflect that. We can’t just cover these events in bigger type. We have to take commensurate action." pressthink.org/2020/08/from-e…
Take everything you were going to spend on the conventions and put it toward a threat modeling team. Then reorganize your campaign coverage around their findings.

One of the recommendations in my new post, which is styled as an editor's note to readers. pressthink.org/2020/08/from-e…
Read 4 tweets
13 Aug
This tweet by @Yamiche demonstrates the "truth sandwich" method of reporting false or dubious claims. First state what is true. Then introduce the truthless or misleading statement. Then repeat what is true, so that the falseood is neither the first impression nor the takeaway.
If you're new to the "truth sandwich" concept, or wondering how it applies in this case, here's my thread from a few months ago that may help.
Speaking clearly and bluntly, NBC's White House correspondent @GeoffRBennett shows NBC's social media team that it needs to learn the "truth sandwich" method for reporting a false or misleading claim. via @BGrueskin
Read 4 tweets
25 Jul
As a propaganda machine, Sinclair is far more dangerous than OANN. Although it's emerging a little more as itself lately, it is still for the most part a stealth network that operates through local "community" stations that present to the viewer as ABC CBS NBC & Fox affiliates.
What stands out for me about Sinclair is how stealth and deception are built into the company's structure and operating style. Not just it's programming. It exploits the credibility of other news brands, ABC, CBS, NBC, whose logos are prominent in Sinclair's iconography. Like so:
If Sinclair had any pride, its local stations would BOAST about being part of Sinclair. They would name and own their ideology, which does frequently distinguish them from rivals: "Your conservative alternative in local news." But this is not Sinclair's way. Stealth is. Like so:
Read 4 tweets
23 Jul
I have been asking myself what might prevent another New Tone Tuesday, where POTUS reads some scripted lines in his hostage voice and the press reports a change. presswatchers.org/2020/07/save-l… Ridicule after the fact has had little effect. Something more pre-emptive is called for... 1/
A newsroom that wanted to keep this pattern from repeating itself would need STANDARDS for what constitutes a significant shift, not in his tone striking but in his problem-solving. Talk to public health experts, read the studies, consult the proposals that are out there and— 2/
— come up with your newsroom's most considered view on what "changing course," and "showing presidential leadership" actually mean in this situation. Which steps are required? It is imminently knowable. So do the work and compose a standard. That's step one. 3/
Read 8 tweets
21 Jul
I have these questions for CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, PBS, and members of the @whca ahead of an event at the White House today that is being called a briefing. (Short thread.)

Here are some things to ask yourselves... 1/
You know you have a choice, yes? If you feel you have no choice on whether to broadcast a briefing, whether to show up and pitch questions, then you are stating that press freedom has somehow disappeared. This cannot be.

Here's a choice you can make: 2/
Second question: do you have enough information from past performances to predict how this coronavirus briefing is likely to go, and what the president's behavior will be?

If you do — and I certainly think you do — then you can game out an intelligent response. 3/
Read 8 tweets

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