On the latest “What Works” podcast, Ellen Clegg and I talk with Brant Houston, who is hard to describe in one sentence: he’s an author, an educator, an investigative journalist, an expert in data-based reporting, and a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Institute for Nonprofit News.
His new book, “Changing Models for Journalism,” chronicles the history of change, disruption and reinvention in our industry over the past two decades. These are themes we explore on this podcast, and in our own forthcoming book, “What Works in Community News.” Brant takes us back to the early days of digital and recounts the early optimism, and the early misconceptions, about the promise and the peril of the internet.
I’ve got a Quick Take on Pink Slime Journalism 3.0. We’ve seen an explosion of websites that might be called Pink Slime 2.0 as political operatives have sought to take advantage of the decline in real local news. That followed Pink Slime 1.0 — an outbreak about a decade ago of local news being produced by low-paid workers in distant locales, including the Philippines. Now, NewsGuard reports that dubious online content powered by artificial intelligence is spreading.
Ellen looks at the numbers in the 2023 impact report on local news by the INN. And there’s some good news: As the nonprofit journalism field expands, the resources to sustain these newsrooms are expanding, too.
You can listen to our conversation here and subscribe through your favorite podcast app.