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Media Beat

Is BuzzFeed Really America’s ‘Least Trusted’ News Source?

The study that has everyone’s attention in the media world today concerns trust and political ideology.

Depending on your affiliation and your favorite outlets, the extensive Pew Research Journalism Project survey could be seen as either a good or bad thing: more American readers of various political persuasions trust The Wall Street Journal than any other publication, and CNN/Fox remain the biggest/most trusted sources of TV news (which is great for Brian Stelter).

We’re not too concerned with party politics, though. We’re most interested in the fact that the pubs with the smallest divide between “trust” and “distrust” were PBS and WSJ, while the pub with the largest difference between those numbers was…BuzzFeed. Here’s the chart:

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So does this survey encourage doubts about the value of placements on BuzzFeed?

We have to say no.

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Will We Ever Learn to Trust a Nielsen Rating Again?

mfXjziuRatings are Nielsen’s bread and butter, so you can imagine the upset when it was discovered that recent numbers may have been “misattributed.”

From the New York Times:

Nielsen, the television research firm, acknowledged on Friday that it had been reporting inaccurate ratings for the broadcast networks for the last seven months, a mistake that raises questions about the company’s increasingly criticized system for measuring TV audiences.

The error wound up benefiting one network, ABC, while negatively affecting the others, according to people briefed on the problem. In a telephone call with reporters, Nielsen executives would not confirm that it had resulted in added viewers for ABC, saying they could not discuss individual clients.

How does a company recover from such a taint? Read more

STUDY: Readers Remember Print Placements Better Than Digital

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A common challenge we’ve heard discussed among our PR contacts with “old-school” clients involves convincing them that placements on specialty blogs can be just as valuable (in terms of dollars and cents) as a mention in the Wall Street Journal.

No, you can’t hang them on your wall — but they can be even more important in terms of raising awareness of the client’s business.

A new study from the University of Houston does sort of throw a wrench into that line of thinking, though: it found that readers are more likely to remember things like, say, your client’s name and the products they sell when this information appears in print.

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Matt Damon Does Ice Bucket Challenge with Toilet Water to Send a Message

To date, so many people have dumped water over their heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that the effort has raised over $88 million for the ALS Association, and while that’s a whole lot of money for a very worthy cause, it also means a whole lot of fresh, clean water — a rare commodity for millions of people — being wasted.

This is why actor Matt Damon, co-founder of charity Water.org, had mixed feelings about accepting the challenge sent his way by friends Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck.

“It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in a video uploaded to the his organization’s YouTube channel, “But because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water — and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t — and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.” Read more

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Wins Positive Press for His Perfect Definition of Feminism

proxyThe word “feminism” can be a touchy one, especially given the wildly-varying definitions out there, and celebrities often seem particularly wary of stating their allegiance (or lack-thereof) to the concept. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, however, has no such qualms.

In a recent interview with the Daily Beast that’s now gone viral, the star explained why he considers himself a feminist, and then went on to give the word one of the most clear, simple, and positive definitions we ever remember hearing.

Gordon-Levitt was asked:

I read that you consider yourself a “male feminist,” and you credit your parents who are educators and really taught you about the history of feminism. But nowadays, you have a lot of young stars coming out against being labeled a feminist.

His response (below) has both women and men singing his praises in multiple publications and all over social media: Read more

Former WH Chief Defends Powerful Women Appearing in ‘Women’s Magazines’

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You may have noticed a not-so-recent trend: powerful women in politics, technology and other fields appearing on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan as they make major career transitions.

Unfortunately, these very women often receive a steady drumbeat of criticism after making such appearances. This doesn’t just apply to politics, either–remember Marissa Mayer‘s 2013 cover shoot?

Last week, Marie Claire’s newest contributing editor Alyssa Mastromonaco finally stood up to defend the practice in The Washington Post with the simple headline “Being informed and fashionable is natural for women.

Mastromonaco is more qualified than most to comment on this topic: she spent six years as President Obama’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

We’ll review what she wrote after the jump.

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Coldwell Banker, BuzzFeed Pair Up for Sponsored Content Series

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A couple of weeks ago, a BuzzFeed listicle that looked a whole lot like a paid placement for Target inspired a bunch of journalists on Twitter to ask for some clarity as to what is and isn’t sponsored content.

We’ll soon have another example of the strategy in action: today real estate brand Coldwell Banker announced a partnership with everyone’s favorite kitty-pic-factory-turned-real-news-source.

What will this partnership entail?

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THR ‘Most Powerful’ List Reflects New Media’s Influence

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The Hollywood Reporter just released its annual “most powerful people in New York media” list, and the most surprising thing about it is how unsurprising the new listings are.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg provides the story’s lede–and while the piece mentions the expansion of Bloomberg TV and Businessweek, everyone knows that it’s still all about those terminals.

The big news, though, is the addition of the names you’ve come to know from the digital side.

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STUDY: Readers Less Engaged with Content Found via Search or Social

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In one of the week’s most interesting studies, the invaluable Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project found that readers who visit news sites directly are more engaged with the content they encounter than those who come across the same stuff on social.

This finding applies to search engines, too:

  • The average direct visit to any given news site lasts 4 minutes, 36 seconds
  • The average visit to the same site via a link on social or a web search lasts only 100-102 seconds

Unsurprisingly, the regular reader is more dedicated. There’s more…

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Time Out New York Wants Your Best Food Porn Pics

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Today in Crowdsourcing Content news, Time Out New York managed to combine editorial, social media and friendly competition in a clever promo campaign.

To be specific, the image on the cover of the mag’s upcoming, always-popular Food & Drink Awards issue will come from a certain Instagram user with a gift for picking a great spot and composing a great shot.

The rules are almost painfully simple: post a pic taken at one of the many New York bars/restaurants on the Readers’ Choice nominees list (no selfies), add the tag #TimeOutFoodAwards…then sit back and wait for the instant gratification that will almost certainly never arrive.

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