News Bites 1-11-21

News Bites is our quick snack of public media news that you may have missed...


10 Things Public Media Should Forget and Consider in 2021

2020 should be a lesson in the Yogi Berra quote: The future ain’t what it used to be.

To think that life after 2020 will follow a linear path, you’d be kidding yourself. And the ripples of 2020 will continue long past this year.

Will public media emerge stronger from the pandemic? It’s too early to answer that question, but this is a perfect moment for self-examination. READ MORE AT CURRENT...

What Do 12 Million Google Searches Find? A Bias Against Local

Google’s search algorithms may be masterful at finding all sorts of things online, but when it comes to news it rarely steers users to local media. That is the conclusion of a new study done by a trio of journalism researchers who analyzed the results of 12.29 million responses to Google news searches within every U.S. county for a set of keywords. They also compared the number of local outlets reported in the results against the number of national outlets.

“We find that, unless consumers are searching specifically for topics of local interest, national outlets dominate search results. Features correlated with local supply and demand, such as the number of local outlets and demographics associated with local news consumption, are not related to the likelihood of finding a local news outlet,” the report concludes. “Our findings imply that platforms may be diverting web traffic and desperately needed advertising dollars away from local news.” READ MORE AT INSIDE RADIO...

Our Old Models of Journalistic Impact Need To Change

The notion that journalism is important to democracy because it holds powerful officials accountable to the public is one of those Journalism 101 ideas that’s so familiar that it becomes taken for granted in how journalists think about and justify their work.

But thanks to the increased influence of foundation funding, some parts of journalism have been forced to make the case for their democratic role more explicit, as “impact” has become a watchword in nonprofit journalism. But as many news organizations become more concrete in how they document their impact, one question has still received relatively little attention: How exactly does that impact happen? READ MORE AT NIEMAN LAB...

Corporate Support Strategy in the Coming Year: Growing and Diversifying Audience

After a recent lively one-on-one conversation with Greater Public CEO Joyce MacDonald, the VP and GM of Jacobs Media, Paul Jacobs, answered some additional questions from station colleagues across the system about corporate support efforts in the wake of challenges from the past year. READ MORE AT GREATER PUBLIC...

Ajit Pai Says He Is Leaving FCC Better Than He Found It

FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who is exiting the commission Jan. 20, said his reforms of the agency since taking over in 2017 have fundamentally changed the FCC for the better.

In a virtual address to the Free State Foundation, Pai took something of a victory lap, outlining the ways he thought his process reforms had made the agency more transparent and effective, by clearing out the regulatory underbrush, a pledge he made early on.

Pai also suggested that Free State's advocacy for process reform had played a part in "helping to build an intellectual foundation for important changes to what we do and how we do it." READ MORE AT NEXT TV...

PLUS: New Year, New FCC

Four Columbus Broadcasters Launch ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV Service

Four local Columbus television broadcasters, WSYX, WCMH-TV, WWHO and WTTE have launched ATSC 3.0 transmission, bringing NextGen TV service to local viewers.

WSYX is the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned ABC/Fox affiliate in Columbus; WCMH-TV is the NexStar Media Group-owned NBC affiliate; WWHO, the Manhan Media-owned CW affiliate operated under a shared services agreement by Sinclair; and WTTE, the Cunningham Broadcasting-owned TBD affiliate operated by Sinclair under a local marketing agreement. READ MORE AT TV TECHNOLOGY...

PLUS: Broadcasters Eye ATSC Rollout of 16 Additional Cities by End-of-Summer

News Production Adapts to Remote Trends

When the world went into lockdown last March due to COVID-19, all manner of companies sent their staff home to work remotely via the web. For many sectors, this unexpected move away from the office was difficult to support using their existing software/ IT infrastructures. But for the firms who make multiplatform news production software, it wasn’t— because the pandemic simply accelerated a trend that was already underway. READ MORE AT TV TECHNOLOGY...

PLUS: How Has COVID Impacted Audio At-Home Production?