Must Reads: A New Home for Happy News and Maureen Dowd’s Christmas Card
Happy, Texas.
September 19, 2014


Editor’s Note: Links to selected media from the past week.

SHORT TAKES

* The Washington Post launched an e-newsletter called The Optimist that is all about feel-good news.  Images & Voices of Hope

* This may be the year native advertising went mainstream, judging by how many major news outlets have adopted the practice. A fresh look at the how and why of native ads. Nieman Journalism Lab

* The Huffington Post has a “very ambitious video plan” that includes long-form video and aims to make the site “50/50″ video, founder Arianna Huffington says. The Wrap

* Could Digg, the original news aggregator, be making a comeback? The redesigned site is drawing eight million visitors a month, and Digg’s CEO says he has “a realistic plan” to break even. Vox

*A former top editor at CNN and Newsweek describes his year-long effort to get an interview with Bill Cosby for a biography published this month. The Washington Post

*Longform.org, which aggregates nonfiction stories from more than 1,000 publishers, released a new iPhone app that lets people follow individual writers and publishers. Longform’s co-founder says the larger screen of the new iPhone 6 should be a boon for his app.  Capital New York

* The Georgia News Lab, an Atlanta-based partnership between The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta’s WSB-TV, and four area universities, aims to develop the investigative skills of young minority reporters. Columbia Journalism Review.

* New Zealand decides bloggers can be considered journalists in the eyes of the law. A high court ruling decides the definition of journalism “does not impose quality requirements.”  Nieman Journalism Lab

STORIES OF THE SOUTH

There is a place where beautifully told stories are making money, and it’s The Bitter Southerner, reports Forbes. The year-old digital publication publishes one story about the South each week and uses a membership model similar to public radio. It also features a book club and sells “fine Southern goods” from a “General Store.”

FUNNIEST HEADLINE OF THE WEEK AWARD GOES TO….

Poynter.

Poynter.org screenshot

Poynter.org screenshot

Poynter’s story is about a New York Times correction on a common confusion involving two animals.

MAUREEN DOWD’S CHRISTMAS CARD

Remember when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ate a pot candy bar in Colorado and wrote about her bad experience with it? She’s now depicted in a “Consume Responsibly” campaign billboard, reports Politico. What is Dowd’s reaction? “I love the billboard,”  she told the Daily Beast. “I’m going to make it my Christmas card.”

A NEW LOOK FOR ESPN.COM

Mashable shared an early look at ESPN.com’s redesign, the first major change to the sports news website in more than five years. The redesign is expected to officially launch in spring 2015 for ESPN’s 20th anniversary, Mashable reported.

AOL: A VIDEO POWERHOUSE?

AOL has been making a lot of video, and, according to Digiday, it’s pretty good at it. The web giant launched AOL On Originals in 2013, reports Digiday, and now round two of the short videos are appearing online. AOL’s Web videos include coverage of City Ballet (below). Digiday reports the AOL On video library is drawing more than 1.2 billion views a month, a large audience that is attractive to advertisers.

This post contains contributions from Leslie Walker, Rose Creasman Welcome, Daniel Singer and Dustin Levy.

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