Media Insider: Media Industry Rebounds, BuzzFeed to Pay Contributors, Morning Brew Hires CCO

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Photo of the Classified section of a newspaper 

AXIOS | SARA FISCHER
Media on the Mend: Annual U.S. Media Job Losses

About 963 newsroom jobs have been lost so far in 2021 — down 91% from the 10,576 cuts through the same period last year, according to new data. Other factorslike record advertising growth and the speedy return of live events, suggest the media industry is rebounding quicker than it originally anticipated. A year ago, media companies were reeling from the early effects of COVID-19 — scrambling for loans and laying off thousands while hoping to make it through a possible recession. Now, things are looking up, mostly because the economy didn’t collapse.

Related: How local news organizations are taking steps to recover from a year of trauma.

INSTITUTE FOR NONPROFIT NEWS
INN Index 2021 Shows Broad and Sustained Growth Across Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News published its latest Index report this week, capturing the state of nonprofit news in 2021. Among the highlights:

  • News nonprofits produce in-depth, specialized coverage. One-third of the field focuses on investigative reporting and close to 40% primarily provide deep explanatory coverage.
  • Audiences grew and the journalism served more people — traffic to nonprofit news sites grew by 43% and newsletter lists grew by 36%.
  • Revenue grew for most outlets: nearly two-thirds of sites with comparable data saw individual giving grow and 60% saw grant funding gains.
  • Staffing held steady, and even expanded by some measures. Among established, primarily digital publications, total staffing was estimated at 2,700, including nearly 2,000 journalists.

ICYMI: Sony Music Entertainment expands its global podcast division, acquires producer Somethin’ Else.

VARIETY | TODD SPANGLER
BuzzFeed Will Pay for User-Contributed Content This Summer for the First Time

For the first time, BuzzFeed is offering to pay contributors for their content submissions — and the more viral the articles are, the more they’ll get paid. The Summer Writers’ Challenge lasts eight weeks (June 15-Aug. 15) and is aimed at exploring what happens “when we combine BuzzFeed’s scalability with tangible rewards for our Community’s most creative and resourceful users.” Contributors can earn up to $10,000 for each post, depending on the number of page views each article receives. The payments are based on a sliding scale: For each post that surpasses 150,000 views, contributors who apply for the program will get $150; a post with 500,000 views earns $500; more than 1 million views pays out $2,000; and if your post reaches the highest tier of 4 million views, you’ll get $10,000.

Also from Variety: Spotify launches Greenroom, its live-audio app to take on Clubhouse, with plans to pay creators.

NIEMANLAB | SARAH SCIRE
Here’s What Makes Americans Think a News Article Is Newsworthy

Do Americans pay attention to individual bylines? When it comes to determining if they can trust a news story, new research indicates Americans care much more about where a story is published than who reported it. New analysis from the Pew Research Center found that Americans also consulted their own gut instinct. About a third of U.S. adults said their intuition about a story was a “very important” factor in determining its trustworthiness and 77% said their gut reaction was at least a somewhat important factor. The research comes out of a larger project by the Pew Research Center to track news production and consumption in the early days of the Biden administration.

For more detail, including a breakdown by political affiliation, read the full survey.

TALKING BIZ NEWS | CHRIS ROUSH
Morning Brew Hires Coen as Chief Content Officer

Morning Brew has hired Mashable editor-in-chief Jessica Coen to be its chief content officer. A longtime tech editor, Coen will lead the publication’s expansion into new business lines, like events, video, audio, and service journalism. Morning Brew is planning its first slate of original video series and exploring different business models to support video, which could one day include licensing its intellectual property for a streaming series. It’s also looking to beef up its podcasting efforts and focus more on storytelling on social channels and original features.

Meanwhile, NBC News tapped Politico editor Carrie Budoff Brown to oversee “Meet the Press.”

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, baking, and cuddling with her dog Toody.

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