NiemanLab: As of December, publishers will no longer be allowed to send out newsletters on WhatsApp. “In an effort to crack down on ‘automated or bulk messaging, or non-personal use’ on the platform, WhatsApp will no longer allow publishers to send out newsletters through the app as of December 7, 2019.”
Journalism In the Americas: Use of Instagram and WhatsApp for online news consumption grows in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico: Reuters Institute. “In the past year, the use of Instagram and WhatsApp for consuming news online has grown significantly in at least four Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. In Brazil alone, 53 percent of these consumers use WhatsApp for this purpose, the highest among 38 countries.”
NiemanLab: Meet TikTok: How The Washington Post, NBC News, and The Dallas Morning News are using the of-the-moment platform. “Tired of the trolls and infinite screaming on Twitter? Try the infinite video memes on TikTok — perhaps the most successful new social platform among American young people since Snapchat more than a half-decade ago.”
Ars Technica: Researchers discover “Fishwrap” influence campaign recycling old terror news. “Researchers at Recorded Future have uncovered what appears to be a new, growing social media-based influence operation involving more than 215 social media accounts. While relatively small in comparison to influence and disinformation operations run by the Russia-affiliated Internet Research Agency (IRA), the campaign is notable because of its systematic method of recycling images and reports from past terrorist attacks and other events and presenting them as breaking news—an approach that prompted researchers to call the campaign ‘Fishwrap.'”
NiemanLab: The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it. “It’s unlikely a city hall reporter will ever have occasion to build an iPhone app in Swift, or construct a machine learning model on deadline. But there is definitely a more basic and straightforward set of technical skills — around data analysis — that can be of use to nearly anyone in a newsroom. It ain’t coding, but it’s also not a skillset every reporter has. The New York Times wants more of its journalists to have those basic data skills, and now it’s releasing the curriculum they’ve built in-house out into the world, where it can be of use to reporters, newsrooms, and lots of other people too.”
Tow Center for Digital Journalism: A Guide to Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). “Every time we go online, we give up part of our identity. Sometimes, it comes in the form of an email used to make a Twitter account. Other times, it’s a phone number for two-factor authentication, or days’ and weeks’ worth of timestamps suggesting when a user is awake and asleep. Journalists can piece together clues like this and use them to tell stories which are of interest to the public. The following guide is written to provide a basic foundation not only for doing that work, but also for verifying the information, archiving findings, and interacting with hostile communities online.” If this dive was any deeper it’d be coming to you from the Mariana Trench. So much to explore here.
First Draft: Boolean basics: How to write a search query for newsgathering that works. “When searching for newsworthy content online, you’ve got to know exactly what you’re looking for and have the skills to find it. This is where Boolean search queries help. These strings of words allow you to cut through the usual social media chatter by upgrading a default search to a multifaceted, specific search to find more precise snippets of information.” The librarians out there — I see you, Mary Ellen and Joyce and Martha and all the rest of you! — might sneer at this article, but it seems to me like Boolean is being talked about less and less, and it’s still important. Good article covering the basics.