Joshua Benton, Nieman Lab

Joshua Benton

Nieman Lab

Cambridge, MA, United States

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Recent:
  • Unknown
Past:
  • Nieman Lab
  • The Atlantic

Past articles by Joshua:

LION’s Local Journalism Awards show the potential of the next generation of nonprofit news outlets

The recent boom of local nonprofit news organizations is proving their model can serve smaller markets, too. → Read More

This political era has nearly killed off newspaper endorsements for president

In 2016, U.S. newspapers were nearly unanimous in rejecting Donald Trump. Blowback from his supporters didn't change their opinions — it only made them keep quiet about it. → Read More

Do news organizations call racist things racist now? It’s still a mixed bag

Saying Democrats want to give African Americans money as thanks for all the crimes they've committed against white people — is that racist? Or still just "racially charged"? → Read More

The Chicago Sun-Times, fitting its new public-media ownership, is dropping its paywall

"It’s a bold move: Reporting the news is expensive...But we know it’s the right thing to do." → Read More

Most people on Twitter don’t live in political echo chambers — but mostly because they don’t care enough to bother building one

"The elite discussion on the platform is important, but it is not necessarily observed directly by the masses." → Read More

The relief of missing out: Anticipated anxiety is a big reason why more people are avoiding the news

"Obviously, I could be a little bit more into what’s going on and look myself...Knowing more about it doesn’t do anything about it, does it?" → Read More

No, the Green Bay Packers are not a realistic business model for your local newspaper

Until the news business adopts NFL-style revenue sharing — which, um, it won't — the Packers are more of an exception than a useful metaphor. → Read More

Are you legally liable for the contents of every web page you link to? Australia finally gets sensible

Its High Court overruled a finding that Google was legally responsible for the contents of news articles it had no role in publishing. But it wasn't unanimous. → Read More

Axios sells for $525 million, to a company that seemed to be getting out of the media business

Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises has spent the past decade selling off most of its media properties as it brings in billions from cable. So why dive back in? → Read More

“Number soup”: Can we make it easier for readers to digest all the numbers journalists stuff into their stories?

"Numbers do not speak for themselves. All the same, many people believe that they do. An ideology we call numerism, which accords a privileged epistemic status to quantification, is widespread." → Read More

For print newspapers, one Florida retirement community is a better market than Atlanta, St. Louis, or Portland

For local newspapers, print circulation has collapsed for every audience except retirees. That's why the daily paper in The Villages, Florida (metro population 129,752) prints as many copies as the one in Atlanta (metro population 6,930,423). → Read More

The Washington Post wants to give you a good deal on a digital subscription — from now until 2072

Anyone who tells you they know what digital news will look like in 50 years is lying. But the Post — with an owner rich enough to allow a decades-long time horizon — says it'll still only cost you $50 a year. → Read More

Facebook looks ready to divorce the news industry, and I doubt couples counseling will help

Out of every 1,000 times someone sees a post on Facebook, how many of them include a link to a news site? Four. No wonder Facebook doesn't want to write publishers big checks anymore. → Read More

What’s working for local TV stations on Facebook? Posting early, killing hashtags, skipping sports

Local TV stations have huge audiences on Facebook, but they'll need new ways to reach younger Americans who associate the app with their parents. → Read More

How do newsrooms talk to readers when they’ve really screwed up? With process, transparency, and trust

At their best, they talk explicitly about reader trust — how it gets earned and lost. They lay out their standards and where they fell short. They make opaque newsroom processes transparent. And they show their work. → Read More

CNN, Plus or Minus: The news network’s new streaming platform is dead, and that’s okay

It wasn't hard to see this day coming on the day CNN+ was announced. It didn't take blowing hundreds of millions of dollars to figure it out. → Read More

The New York Times would really like its reporters to stop scrolling and get off Twitter (at least once in a while)

"Tweet less, tweet more thoughtfully, and devote more time to reporting," says executive editor Dean Baquet. Is that a wise redirection of attention or a mistaken view of reporting circa 2022? (Both, a little.) → Read More

WhatsApp seems ready to restrict how easily messages spread in a bid to reduce misinformation

A new beta version would add significant friction to forwarding messages more than once — the latest in a line of structural changes meant to reduce how often misinformation goes viral. → Read More

How can journalism get better at covering climate change? Being a bummer might help

A new study of social media about a climate change conference found journalists' negative tweets gained far more traction with users than positive ones. That's one of the findings in this new collection of research into climate journalism. → Read More

Celebrating the life and work of Brent Renaud, the filmmaker and Nieman Fellow killed in Ukraine

"We’re bombarded these days with judgment and analysis of everything. What we’re trying to do is give the audience a look into cultures or worlds that they don’t have access to, and give some empathy to that story." → Read More