SODP Dispatch - 16 February 2024

The way forward for news media, how publishers can use and benefit from LinkedIn, global principles on AI + more

Hello, SODP readers!

In today’s issue:

  • From SODP: The future of news media + new episode in the WordPress teardown series

  • Resources: Global Principles on AI + The WP Weekly

  • Tip of the week: Nurturing the potential of LinkedIn for publishers

  • News: Google stops notifying publishers of ‘right to be forgotten’ removals, Independent in talks to take control of BuzzFeed in the UK + more


Saving the News Media Means Moving Beyond the Benevolence of Billionaires

By Rodney Benson and Victor Pickard

For the journalism industry, 2024 is off to a brutal start.

Most spectacularly, the Los Angeles Times recently slashed more than 20% of its newsroom.

This carnage is part of a longer story: Ongoing research on news deserts shows that the U.S. has lost almost one-third of its newspapers and nearly two-thirds of its newspaper journalists since 2005.

It’s become clear that this downturn isn’t temporary. Rather, it’s a systemic market failure with no signs of reversal.

Time Magazine’s Timeless Premium Magazine Publishing and Distribution Strategies

By Vahe Arabian and Jeremy Fremont

💡 What we cover:

  • Time Magazine’s clear traffic recovery after removing their paywall last year – a paywall that had been in place since 2011.

  • The magazine’s focus on growing its newsletter subscription.

  • Time’s shift from a hard paywall subscription model to an open access model with increased ad placements.

  • The publication’s strategy of leveraging their website as a traffic funnel for their premium offerings.


WP Week


By Vahe Arabian

🤝 Nurturing the potential of LinkedIn for publishers

LinkedIn has untapped potential for publisher brand partnership/sponsorship revenue if you nurture and build your community.

Last week, I joined a LinkedIn content creator workshop led by Brendan Wong, where we heard from two incredible Top Voices: Eric Sim and Cherie Giles.

Eric, in particular, mentioned how he could attain a brand partnership deal with Citibank by writing on LinkedIn. Some of the lessons he shared include:

  • Building your community as you write - I resonate with this as well, but with family and going into business owner mode, I can do more to provide value along the journey to our community as I write. 

  • Providing tips and industry analysis in response to trending news - and getting featured on LinkedIn News Wrap. I haven't done enough of this.

  • Creating a group outing during an event if you find it awkward to interact socially with people. I've seen Dominick Miserandino suggest beach runs while he is in Miami. This makes creating memorable moments, discussions, and pictures easier to share as resonating content. 

  • Creating your own hashtag is a variation of a key topic name to attract more followers than your profile on topics you write so that your followers can use it to encourage your followers to benefit your followers. 

  • Consistency is key - one business, one reactionary (trend), and one personal post as your content pillars. It doesn't matter what number you do on each and which of them you start with as you build up, so long as it is consistent across the board.

Is this happening enough on LI in the B2B Publishing space?

Besides AdTechGod (the man of mystery, I wonder who it is), no; this is still event or outbound-driven. Wendy Daoud El-Khoury does a fantastic job for the wedding industry.

Are B2B content creators earning sponsorship deals by simply writing LinkedIn a possible reality?


🤖 Global Principles on Artificial Intelligence

This document by FIPP sets out principles that the undersigned publisher organizations believe should govern the development, deployment, and regulation of Artificial Intelligence systems and applications.

✉️ Recommended newsletter

Check out The WP Weekly - a weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals. WordPress Community is vast, and there is a lot of things to stay updated. The WP Weekly brings the best bits in a short and concise newsletter that should not take more than 10 minutes of reading time.


Google stops notifying publishers of ‘right to be forgotten’ removals from search results | The Guardian

Previously, when an individual applied to have records about them expunged under EU data protection laws, Google would notify the publisher of the original articles. Now Google only informs publishers of the fact that a URL has been removed, without elaborating on what or why.
Read more ▸

Here are 7 reasons digital news subscriptions are stagnating | INMA Blog

Apart from the low news cycle, the slow subscriber growth likely stems from not addressing core reader needs, lack of habitual use, low visibility of offers, value perception issues, sign-up friction, subscriber churn, and lack of impact on readers’ lives. This is based on the INMA analysis of publishers’ proprietary data, surveys, and industry research.
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Independent in talks to take control of BuzzFeed and HuffPost in UK | Financial Times

The multiyear strategic partnership is a symbolic moment for the sector, with the almost 40-year-old British media group taking charge of the local operations of a start-up once seen as the future of the industry and known for its combination of easily shared listicles and candy-coloured emojis.
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The most civilized place to look at news online? It might be Reddit | Columbia Journalism Review

How Reddit, after the catastrophic online manhunt to find the Boston Marathon bomber, quietly became a civilized place to discuss news, due to strong moderation.
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Google hits back at report criticizing the Privacy Sandbox Search Engine Land

The IAB Tech Lab report claims that Privacy Sandbox could make it harder for brands to serve effective ads – particularly smaller businesses.
Read more ▸