Splice News media trends: The week according to Alan Soon

As a leading light of the commentariat in Asia, newsroom consultant and former alumnus of Yahoo, CNBC and Bloomberg, Alan Soon knows a thing or two about the media. Here is his roundup of developments inside the bubble this week

To sign up to his newsletter, from which this content is taken, visit the The Splice Newsroom.

Germany is showing just how serious it is about clamping down on hate speech. The justice minister is proposing fines of up to $53 million for social networking sites that aren’t moving fast enough to remove illegal content such as hate or defamatory “fake news.” Heiko Maas says Facebook is deleting 39% of posts flagged by users — and Twitter… just 1%.

The U.S. Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence agents for hacking into and stealing 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014. The data was apparently used to spy on targets including the White House, military officials and bank executives.

The Wall Street Journal published an extensive interactive graphic showing the Trump family’s potential conflicts of interest. This is how they did it.

Twitter will reportedly open up its live-video streaming APIs for media companies to feed videos directly onto the platform. It will also announce partnership with companies that provide backend services for live streaming.

Facebook has some problems in common with Twitter when it comes to live video content. Sports is important, but Facebook — like Twitter — is only able to get its hands on the fringe stuff that aren’t bringing in the numbers.

…Btw, there’s a live audio broadcast feature in Facebook. FB hasn’t said much about it but The Economist has been streaming audio shows on it.

…Switcher Go is worth trying if you’re running Facebook Live broadcasts. The app allows you to broadcast recorded clips directly into your Live feed.

The Boston Globe wanted to send breaking news alerts on the phone. But it didn’t want to put out yet another news app. So it’s using Facebook Messenger for notifications. Here’s how.

The Washington Post will license its Arc CMS to its rival Tronc. This is the biggest deal yet for Arc, which is used by InfoBae in Argentina and Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Adblock Plus is putting together an “Acceptable Ads Committee” to decide which ads to whitelist. The program is highly controversial because Adblock makes money by charging companies to whitelist their ads. Publishers on the committee include Conde Nast and Dennis Publishing.

There’s a journalist running around rural Uttar Pradesh in India using WhatsApp to broadcast his news. Shivendra Gaur has paid subscribers — about 8,000 of them.

…Here’s another interesting subscription model in India. It’s called The Ken (apparently an old English term for knowledge) and it covers tech and business out of Bangalore. It’s a gorgeous site. Check out this profile.

Jahabar Sadiq (the former editor of The Malaysian Insider, and a subscriber of this newsletter!) is back with a new news service called The Malaysian Insight. It goes live by the end of the month. The site will focus on politics.

Singapore Press Holdings won a tender to set up two new radio stations in Singapore — one in English, the other in Mandarin targeting seniors.

Not many people understand how Snapchat works (me!). So here’s a beginner’s guide to Snapchat. Especially useful for marketers.

You may have heard me speak about the need to think of our audiences as customers. IMHO, it’s one of the biggest reasons behind the failure of the mass media model — we don’t know what our readers/viewers want, and so we can’t give it to them, let alone monetize it. Here’s some interesting research from Parsely showing that publishers aren’t thinking enough about conversions.

Nick Foley at design agency Landor is having a go at brand managers for stifling creativity. “Some 20 years ago, I worked as a brand manager at Mars. It intrigues me that such a job title still exists.”

My friend Erwin Oliva — an ex-journalist, a teacher and a concerned father — wrote a rant about why “young people” don’t give a shit about the news. It’s not that there isn’t enough content out there; there’s just too much.

A recommendation: Erin Cook’s “Dari mulut ke mulut” (ie. word of mouth) email newsletter that comes out every Thursdayrounding up the news of the week in Southeast Asia. I’ve long begged for something like this — something that covers the region in one simple format. Nicely assembled with an excellent voice. Subscribe here.

Have you tried The Hustle? It’s like theSkimm — but mostly focused on millennial men. It’s now going after female audiences too. By the way, it also raised $300,000 from its readers in 55 hours. A unique voice too!

You can now send money on Gmail on your phone. It’s already available on the Web version, but now it’s also on Android.

MIT is offering $250,000 to a group or individual for disobedience. “This idea came after a realization that there’s a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules or laws to benefit society.”

A court ruling in the U.S. came down to one humble keystroke — the comma. Long live the Oxford comma.

Quote of the week
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Jack Kornfield


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