Media Insider: Best & Worst Journalism in 2015, Hyperlocal Newsweeklies Make a Comeback, and Will the Podcast Bubble Burst?

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging and freelancing stories from the week.


Photo by Jojo Bombardo used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Best and Worst Journalism of 2015 (Columbia Journalism Review)

It’s been a stellar news year for a lot of reasons. And, at least according to Columbia Journalism Review, 2015 also was a disappointing year. Some of the journalism standouts include the Sept. 2 images of drowned Syrian refugee toddler Aylan Kurdi and the grace under pressure as two WDBJ reporters in Roanoke, Va. were gunned down during a live broadcast. You can read CJR’s worst journalism round up, which leads with Brian Williams and how things changed for him with NBC News.

Is LinkedIn’s New Freelance Marketplace Worth the Effort? (Contently)

In October, LinkedIn launched ProFinder, a new platform that connects freelancers with clients, leveraging the site’s huge network of profiles. In this piece, writer Aja Frost goes into about her experience using the new platform.

Paper Lions: Why Hyperlocal Newsweeklies Are Making a Quiet Comeback (Forbes)

The media landscape is littered with examples of failed publications of all sizes, and even plucky newsweeklies have been unable to return to their pre-2008 heights, reports Forbes. Networks like even have tried to take over the hyperlocal news game by hiring freelancers to crank out 250-word stories remotely. But buying or starting a local newsweekly isn’t for the faint of heart, Forbes says.

Medium is Now Hosting Publisher Sites, Starting With The Awl’s Billfold (Digiday)

The Awl recently announced plans to migrate the entirety of its personal finance site, The Billfold, to Medium. The site’s URL, staff and overall editorial approach will remain unchanged, Digiday reports. Medium says it’s “too early to go into specifics” on the monetization plans with the Billfold. But, Medium says its existing content deals are a good indication of where it plans to take publishing in the future.

The Podcasting Scene Will Explode (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Writer Rex Sorgatz makes this bold prediction for 2016 – podcasting will explode. “Some media analysts see a bubble poised to burst; others, incremental growth. I see something more radical: a complete regime change in the audio landscape. Finally,” he says. Sorgatz makes his case with some radio-dominating numbers: Terrestrial radio occupies 52 percent of all audio consumption; satellite, another 8 percent. In total, those two comprise 74 percent of all audio revenue, he says. And while we’re on the subject of podcasts, my colleague Anna Jasinski recently wrote some great posts in this space. In case you missed them: 7 Must-Listen Podcasts for Bloggers & Solopreneurs and 5 Noteworthy Podcasts for Freelancers & Writers.

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Christine Cube is an audience relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. Follow @cpcube or check out her latest on Beyond Bylines on PR Newswire for Journalists.

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