Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging and freelancing stories from the week.
Wolff: Why Digital is the New Wasteland (USA Today)
One of the founders of The Verge, Joshua Topolsky, recently wrote a “vitriolic manifesto about web content,” says USA Today’s Michael Wolff. Topolsky says it stinks, Wolff says. It’s something that many might agree with, he continues, “citing banal news feeds, repetitive posts, listicles, ever-popular cat videos, and BuzzFeed’s recent video production of an exploding watermelon.”
The New York Times wants to know why you use ad blockers. The paper is collecting information via a massive reader survey with a dozen questions. Questions begin broadly about the user’s ad blocking habits before narrowing to specifics about the Times’ website, Digiday reports. In March, the Times began showing some ad blocker users a pop-up asking to be whitelisted or buy a digital subscription.
The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington said a longform venture in the mode of Highline (which was launched last year) was long in the making for HuffPost. According to Poynter, Huffington said, “I had been wanting to build a longform department at HuffPost for a while and it was question of finding the right editors to lead it.” Highline’s success with longform content fits into a growing consensus that readers are willing to consume ruminative content in the age of the smartphone, Poynter says.
Instagram Business Profiles Test Now Features Analytics (SocialTimes)
If Instagram is going to introduce profiles for businesses, the next logical step is analytics for those profiles, SocialTimes reports. Instagram business profiles now feature a chart icon in the upper-right corner, giving access to analytics as well as a contact button next to the following button, a linkable location tag and categories for the profile, says SocialTimes.
Gannett is trying to make Tribune Publishing Chairman Michael Ferro an offer he can’t refuse, Poynter reports. Recently, Gannett upped its bid to purchase the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and nine other major dailies to $864 million, an increase of nearly $50 million from its previous offer of $815 million, says Poynter.