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Media Briefing: Q&A with Lindsay Peoples, The Cut Editor

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Media Briefing: Q&A with Lindsay Peoples, The Cut Editor

In this week’s Media Briefing Kayleigh Barber interviews Lindsay Peoples, The Cut editor-in–chief, about the Abortion Guide Vox Media’s New York Magazine and The Cut published last Month.

Cut to the core

The key hits:

  • New York Magazine and The Cut dedicated a cover story last month to an abortion guide as part of a larger package on reproductive rights and women’s health.
  • With some advertisers viewing abortion coverage as a brand safety issue, journalism dedicated to this topic could run the risk of not having financial support.
  • The Cut’s editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples said service journalism for readers hasn’t led to any push back from the sales team or advertisers.

Over the past couple of years, brands have become more outspoken in their marketing strategy, prioritizing brand awareness campaigns that are rooted in social impact, such as vocalizing their support of Black Lives Matter, sharing their sustainability efforts and speaking out against gun violence.

But in the month since the leak of the Supreme Court document that challenged Roe v. Wade – the 1973 ruling that gave people in all 50 states the right to an abortion – it seems that advertisers are taking a more measured approach to messaging on this topic, or staying quiet altogether.

This could be a problem for publishers when trying to get financial support to cover urgent issues like abortion rights.

For New York Magazine and The Cut, however, the threat of brand safety did not keep their editorial teams from printing a 20-page cover story titled “This Magazine Can Help You Get An Abortion,” as well as a state-by-state online directory for abortion facilities, with a multi-channel social strategy to boot. The publisher also removed the paywall from all stories in the online guide, which meant that the publisher was able to make a portion of their reader revenue.

Without the fear of demonetization holding her team back, The Cut’s editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples said she spearheaded the magazine’s abortion guide in order to provide readers the service journalism they needed in this moment, and in doing so, did not meet any resistance from the sales team or the audience growth teams in the process. — Kayleigh Barber

Below are highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Why was the abortion guide an important editorial package for you to work on?

One thing that I wanted to do when I returned to The Cut was to collaborate more with the New York Magazine team on issues related to inclusion, equity, and equality. The issue that we did earlier this year on 10 years since Trayvon Martin’s murder was a good example of that. We started brainstorming in December about the different things we wanted to [cover], and one was how to best serve our readers in the United States without having legal protections for abortion access.

There [were] a lot of conversations around Roe v. Wade, and then, obviously things changed with the leak of the Supreme Court draft and, for us, it felt like something that New York Magazine had already been covering the changing landscape of abortion access. We published our first guide to where and how to find abortion services back in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in all 50 states, and so it felt like that guidance was still needed [today]. We wanted to be there for our readers and that was the most important thing to us.

You mentioned that in December you identified abortion rights as being one of the topics that you wanted to focus on this year. Do you know when the original publication of this package was? Did you have any reporting already in place that would have allowed you to speed up publication of this guide?

We already had many things in the pipeline, so the timeline got accelerated as more things happened in real life. It’s something we brainstorm about and then meet in the moment. Leading that conversation in culture is my goal as an editor. It is an interesting juxtaposition to have to be prepared and perhaps be over-prepared in order to be of service our readers.

To your earlier point about access to abortion being an ongoing – and an ever-changing issue – are you treating this guide like an evergreen resource, given the fact that new bills and restrictions seem to be regularly introduced across the country that could drastically change the content of this guide?

This is an evergreen resource, so we are constantly discussing it in the background. This package is about service journalism. This type of fearless usefulness was a part of our mission at the magazine. Readers are my most important asset. What we do directly impacts their ability to live their lives and to have affordable, affirming health care and so, for me, it was 100% wanting to be a resource in that.

During the initial launch of this tool, errors were made and they were quickly fixed. We knew there would be many changes and that the tool would need to be updated constantly. Our own team of journalists, fact-checkers, and legal professionals will be diligently working on this tool to make sure it is serving our readers.

Outside of updating the directory tool or fact-checking information, are you going to be adding new content to this package beyond the initial publishing date?

We’re waiting for the Supreme Court to issue a ruling, which could be late June or early July, but that is why we wanted to make this into a larger package.

[The aborition guide] actually led into the State of the Uterus package [that debuted this week] and for us, it felt like there was this fear of devastating consequences for communities to be able to access basic health care and that feels more real by the day. [the package] is also about reproductive health. It’s about people feeling empowered to access the care they need. There will be plenty of information about where to find abortion services, and resources to expand coverage for gynecological, fertility, and reproductive health.

There is a brand safety element of the debate around abortion rights, where some advertisers don’t want to be a part of the conversation. Have you encountered any resistance from either the sales team or advertisers when creating this package from a business perspective?

No [but] It’s not surprising, if you take a look at my track record. Many people will often refer to a lot of my passions as polarizing. [but] I see them as fundamental rights for people. So whether we are talking about diversity or inclusion, abortion, gun rights, violence, or guns rights, those topics shouldn’t be polarizing. These are important topics that we need to talk about more frequently and shouldn’t be afraid of. These are topics that all of us should be discussing.

We haven’t received any resistance because I believe people understand these are issues that we need to confront and talk about in order for us to make change.

Was there a process of needing to alert the sales team at all that this package was coming up faster than it was originally anticipated?

They were aware of this project and we had a great relationship with our sales staff so they knew it was happening. It’s something we are all proud of. Everyone was aware that this was what we felt we had to do. They were also very open to us moving it up.

From an audience perspective, how is your team getting this guide in front of women who are in the position of needing it based on the location they live in? New York City residents won’t likely have to deal with the same restrictions or bans on abortions as those who live in the South and Midwest. How can people who live in dangerous areas of the country be made aware that this guide is available?

[We] wanted to eliminate the paywall to make sure that these resources will be available for people, no matter if they subscribed or not. We have done a huge push to share it via email and [have published] many organic social posts. We’ll also use paid digital ads on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. We wanted to make the package and tool available to anyone who might not be able to access it. We are also exploring the possibility of working with content creators to increase access to the tool via their social media platforms.

We are currently in the process of discussing how we can get this information out to those who most need it or people who are not familiar with the brand. We will be rolling out a lot [those distribution strategies] over the course this year, as we wait until many of these things happen in the summer. This decision could also take place in June.

Pausing the paywall is not always an easy decision for publishers. Did you get any resistance to this decision?

I was passionate about this particular instance. Editors are people who feel equity and equality. This is why I am passionate about editing. This felt right for the package, and we will do it when it makes sense. It made perfect sense in terms of service journalism.

And no, [we didn’t get pushback]. Everyone is happy to be doing meaningful work. I don’t want work to be just noise or made just for the sake. It’s something we all feel proud to do in this moment.

What we’ve heard

“Google is really intensifying its own shopping areas on its search engine as opposed to pushing up more [publisher-produced commerce] articles because they want more revenue.”

Publishing executive

Recurrent Ventures buys its fourth military publisher

North Equity-owned Recurrent Ventures has acquired We Are The Mighty, a media company targeting the military community, according to the company. Recurrent declined to disclose the amount of money it is paying for We Are The Mighty.

We Are The Mighty is the latest addition to Recurrent’s three other military titles including Task & Purpose and The War Zone. Recurrent CEO Lance Johnson stated that WATM’s content and sales partnerships are attractive to him. He said, “The way this team celebrates our country’s military communities and provides thoughtful perspectives on them is as inspiring and informative as it is inspirational. We are proud to have that work in our portfolio.”

We Are The Mighty manages its website, social media channels, and events businesses. It also works as a media agency with clients such as Craftsman, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Roku. Eight full-time employees make up the eight-year-old business, which is run by veterans of the military. All staff members will remain onboard.

Mark Harper is We Are The Mighty’s CEO. He is also a veteran of the Air Force and will continue to manage operations for the WATM team within Recurrent’s military and auto verticals. Recurrent will continue to manage WATM’s flagship event, “Military Influencer Conference”, which was founded by Curtez Riggs (Army veteran).

Harper told Digiday a big reason the company was interested in selling to Recurrent was to be under the same owner as Task & Purpose and The War Zone. He said, “It was very similar-minded publishers who were joining the Recurrent portfolio. They started to build up an amazing military audience segment.”

Recurrent’s modus operandi of acquiring small, enthusiast media brands and centralizing non-edit resources while preserving editorial departments was another big draw for WATM. Harper stated that the acquisition will give the team access to “a lot of shared services behind-the scenes”, which will allow them to concentrate on content creation and working with advertisers. Harper cited the resources such as SEO, legal, and engineering support.

Recurrent now owns 24 digital media brands, including Popular Science, Domino, JancisRobinson.com, Field & Stream and Donut Media. Recurrent purchased Interior Design and Furniture Business of Home in March. This was its first B2B title.

Last month, Recurrent Ventures announced $300 million in new funding led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, bringing its total amount raised to more than $400 million. — Sara Guaglione

Numbers to know

PS4.2 million ($5.3 million): How much audio revenue 12 publishers generated in the first quarter of 2022, a 500% increase year over year.

5%: Percentage share of NPR employees who leave the company each year, up from 2% in the past.

What we’ve covered

How Front Office Sports is leveling up its branded content business through educational courses:

  • Front Office Sports expects to generate at least $10 million in revenue this year, CEO Adam White said in the latest Digiday Podcast episode.
  • The sports business publication relies on advertising for 99% of its revenue.

Listen to the latest Digiday Podcast episode here.

Why eFuse is acquiring esports media business Esports.GG:

  • The esports tournament and infrastructure platform has acquired a media outlet to roll into its existing editorial operation.
  • Esports.GG launched in February 2021.

Read more about eFuse’s acquisition here.

Platform stocks swing, hiring in flux, purchasing personalized tech and more:

  • Digiday has started publishing a weekly rundown of company deals and executive hires.
  • The first edition touches on Twitter-Musk, Taboola-Gravity R&D and SiriusXM-Team Coco.

Read more about the latest deals and hires here.

Bloomberg Media will debut five new podcasts with iHeartMedia this year:

  • iHeartMedia will market and distribute the shows for Bloomberg.
  • Both Bloomberg and iHeart will sell the shows’ ad inventory.

Read more about Bloomberg’s podcast slate here.

What we’re reading

Forbes’ SPAC IPO falls apart:

The special purpose acquisition company that Forbes had set to merge with in order to go public – Magnum Opus – missed its May 31 deadline to file the paperwork necessary to complete the merger, according to Axios. As of this writing, Magnum Opus had still yet to file for an extension with the U.S.’s Securities and Exchange Commission, and following Axios’ report, The New York Times reported that Forbes canceled its plan to go public.

Substack scuttles funding round:

Newsletter platform Substack had been looking to raise up to $100 million in funding but has decided not to go forward with the raise, yet another sign that the media investment wave has ebbed, according to The New York Times.

Google’s latest antitrust investigation:

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority – which is overseeing Google’s third-party cookie-replacing Privacy Sandbox program – is investigating whether Google has used its ad tech dominance to bolster its own ad tech products over competitors, according to Bloomberg.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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