GalleyCat FishbowlNY FishbowlDC UnBeige MediaJobsDaily SocialTimes AllFacebook AllTwitter LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser

Posts Tagged ‘longform journalism’

Vox Media’s Jim Bankoff: Longform Journalism Can’t Exist ‘In a Vacuum’

Jim BankoffWe’ve written here on 10,000 Words about the great things Vox Media is doing with longform journalism. In Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do interview, the company’s CEO, Jim Bankoff, talked more about his strategy for longform and how publishers can make bonafide, meaty content enjoyable for consumers — and advertisers.

“Looking at longform in a vacuum as a standalone is the wrong thing to do. I would imagine that if you had a media brand that is solely focused on publishing 5,000-word stories with beautiful proprietary photographs and highly-produced videos, it would be a tough thing to make that economically sustainable,” he said. “ We have serious investors and we run a serious business, but we believe the key to growing those margins is making sure that we have quality, engaging products. We can allocate investment across a variety of different endeavors, whether it’s longform, shortform or video. It’s the mix that consumers appreciate.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media?

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

The (New) Cost of Longform Journalism at Esquire

Would you pay $1.99 just to read one story?

That’s the question Esquire magazine is posing to readers as of late, testing out a “micropayment” model for writer Luke Dittrich’s 10,000-word piece “The Prophet,” based on Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who claims to have visited heaven.

Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger penned the following note for prospective buyers on the magazine’s site:

“This is the first time we’ve asked online readers to pay for a story, but for good reason: Because stories like Dittrich’s matter and they don’t come along often. Because great journalism—and the months that go into creating it—isn’t free. So, besides providing the story to readers of our print and digital-tablet versions of the August issue, we are offering it to online readers as a stand-alone purchase. Thank you. —DG”

Read more

Kickstarting Journalism and Climate Change Reporting

I never thought Veronica Mars and long form reporting on climate change had anything in common, but it turns out, they both have the same business model. You want it? You’ll have to pony up for it.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has been reporting on nuclear weapons, power, disarmament and general military issues surrounding it since 1945, sustains itself with a combination of digital subscriptions, individual donations, and foundational philanthropy. This spring, William and Eleanor Revelle, who’ve led the clean energy cause and have supported The Bulletin with donations and insight on their editorial board, are offering a Challenge Gift. They’ll grant $50,000 and match every donation made to the Bulletin until May 31, 2013 in the hope of raising $100,000 to be used toward reporting on climate change. A week after announcing the challenge, $10,000 has already been raised and Bulletin publisher Kennette Benedict is hopeful that they’ll meet their goal.

It’s a good example of what news organizations need to do to thrive. Here’s why it works:

1) Diversity is Key

According to Benedict, donations and grants like this make her journal work. Individual donations makes up about 20% of their revenues. Ten percent is from subscriptions to digital content and the rest is from philanthropy. When the Post announced its paywall yesterday, the internet was already lamenting its ‘leaks.’

But that is sort of the point. When advertising just doesn’t work, subscription and membership models have to be dynamic. We’ll see how the Post works out this summer. But for niche news, like the Bulletin, there should be options. The Bulletin offers some content, like roundtables and short articles for free. You can buy single articles. Or you can subscribe to the full digital version, as an individual or as an organization. Since their news is, well, news-worthy, they offer free subscriptions for media personnel. So a journalist reporting on climate change or nuclear power can get research from the Bulletin experts.

2) Stay on Your Beat

But to depend on donations from readers, you have to offer good content. Veronica Mars’ Kickstarter campaign worked because they had not just a fan base, but a script ready for pre-production and the big name stars to offer. You can’t start from scratch. Likewise with news. Read more

How To Go Print First, Digital Next

If you wanted to branch out and start your own publication, how would you do it?

Unless you’ve been living in a ditch for the past ten years, your first step would be to start a website, right? Even I’ve championed the idea that new magazines and journals should start online.

But print isn’t dead just yet. And for a niche market, print’s a good marketing strategy.

In the name of full disclosure, I have contributed sporadically to Region’s Business, a political and business journal based in Philadelphia since its launch. When my first piece ran, I was ready at the keyboard to tweet the link to the launch edition. But there wasn’t one. The magazine, launched in August 2012, started off the old fashioned way — with a little start-up capital, ad buys, and paid subscriptions.

Editorial director Karl Smith always seemed one step ahead of the market. He moved seamlessly from various editorial roles in print to interactive media director at Calkins Media papers in Pennsylvania. When AOL’s Patch.com came calling, he hopped aboard to launch the hyper-local news sites as a Regional Editor outside of Philadelphia.

And now, among tablet saturation and folding weeklies, he was taking a business and politics journal to the presses. It was time to figure out how, and why, that was possible.

Read more

MIT Technology Review Wants Your Ideas

Unlike most pubs that are cutting down on long-form stories and giving less resources to in-depth reporting, MIT Technology Review remains deeply invested in giving journos the time and space to investigate a bold idea. Editors at the mag are looking to add to their stable of freelancers who generate 75-80 percent of the content in the feature well and reviews sections.

“I would hate to think of a freelancer assuming, ‘Oh, they wouldn’t want that because it’s going to be such a major project to go report,’” said deputy editor Brian Bergstein. Au contraire: With a bimonthly publishing schedule and a budget for deeply reported pieces, that’s exactly what editors want to hear, even if it’ll take four months to investigate. “We want to have the kind of things readers are only going to get here,” he said.

For more info, read How To Pitch: MIT Technology Review. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>