LINA Member Update SEPTEMBER 2023

News for newsrooms.

LINA member update

Hi there!

In this update you’ll find news on:

  • PS Media’s local news forum discussing the progression of their Port Phillip pilot.
  • Jacky Barker on why getting multimedia insurance was the first thing she did when she started In The Cove.
  • Some upcoming opportunities from Google focused on increasing advertising revenue and reader revenue models.
  • Some new resources from the LINA team, including Complaints Policy, Risk Management Program and Privacy Policy templates and discussion of revenue ideas.
  • A new self-paced CMTO training resource: Media Law Essentials on demand for your team
  • Two recent policy submissions: Murdoch Inquiry Bill response; and ACMA Powers.
  • Book some time with our new Chief Technical Officer, Kris Morris for help with your tech stack strategy
  • LINA Annual Member Survey – Help us, help you!

Plus some dates for your calendar on upcoming events. Read on…

New Resources

Policy Templates

There are three new downloadable templates designed to use as guides for your own customisation. Find them in the Members Area under Useful Templates.

  • The Privacy Policy template can give you guidance on the key concepts and principals for your site users.
  • The Risk Management Program is a template for publishers to assess and mitigate risk.
  • The Complaints Handling Policy template can help with devising your own complaint management protocol.

Inspiration

Want some ideas for new revenue sources? This list provides some very broad explanation for the different means by which digital news publishers can make money. We also discuss (primarily anecdotal) feedback on the effort to outcome ratio associated with some of the less common sources of income. It is intended to spark ideas and can be found here.

Tech Support

Our Chief Technical Officer, Kristen Morris is now available to support members with website bugs or issues, training support on digital tools and advice around your tech strategy. Kris brings a 20-year history in the management of digital teams, including working as a developer supporting journalists at The First Post (London) and more recently as Platform Manager at Medicins Sans Frontieres.

Book a time to chat with Kris about any of your tech questions here, or email. He’s on deck with us Wednesday to Friday between 9am-2pm.

Training

We’re excited to share a new self-paced training resource, developed in partnership with the Community Media Training Organisation. It’s an introduction to the most common and relevant areas of media law for journalists and news producers, and is tailored to digital publishers! This 4-5 hour course (which you can leave and return to as needed) is priced at $50 +GST for members, and non-members can also access for $100 +GST.

Member Survey

We want your feedback! Our annual member survey helps us find out what you like, would like changed and what you’d like to see. It also helps us collate data to best advocate for your needs and track industry sustainability. Your feedback strongly shapes the programs and projects we roll out, so we’d love it if you could set aside some time for this once a year. We’re looking forward to your responses!

Thoughts on PS Media’s Local News Forum

This month I attended PS Media’s local news forums and I want to applaud the PS Media team for the way they’re trialling new models, sharing outcomes and engaging with community around news that serves them. For those who don’t know, PS Media operates on a co-operative business model. PS Media brings the back-end business support and tools to deliver a news service, then local community members chip in for co-ownership. Broadly the idea is if 1,000 people in an area commit $125 per year for four years, they can fund a local journalist. Then that journalist can focus their time on reporting with the support of the PS Media collective for the business side. So far, PS Media have piloted the concept in Logan, Brimbank and Port Phillip with mixed results. 

The sessions on Wednesday 30th August were focused on the Port Phillip pilot, that’s the St Kilda/Port Melbourne area of Melbourne for our interstate friends. PS Media brought together three groups:

1. A Local Leadership forum who workshopped what they would like to see from the news service and showing broad support for its continuation. This was a fantastic way to get influential people in the area to think more deeply about their local media service and how much they want it to exist – which turned out to be a lot! There were some useful suggestions shared and some offers of support, both financial and through local promotion, from participants, commenting “let the community put you on your feet.” Something I imagine the PS Media would like to have heard 6 months ago, so I encourage all members to hold these types of forum conversations with the people in your area as a great way to galvanise your community behind you. I felt like that was the outcome of this part of the day. 

2. A Funders Circle conversation where 18 individual funders who had contributed $1,000 to the establishment of the news start-up discussed the outcomes and how their money had been spent. This was a frank and effective way of reporting to funders, hearing their feedback and sharing learnings. While it’s not particularly comfortable to share those learnings in a semi-public setting like a group discussion of 20 or so people, it demonstrated a real commitment to the ethics of transparency. And sure, who doesn’t look back at their first year of business and think of things they could or should have done differently? Being open about challenges actually lead to a very supportive conversation with funders and an opportunity to highlight the impact of stories, set expectations about how much a single journalist can realistically produce (ballpark 3-4 stories) and re-engage funders in supporting the continuation of the project. 

3. A public discussion forum on Why Local Media Matters. This event was attended by roughly 100 locals interested in a facilitated discussion on local media hosted by PS Media Editor, Margaret Simon with panelists Jack Latimore, The Age Indigenous Affairs reporter and local resident, local MP, Josh Burns and Heather Cunsolo, the City of Port Phillip Mayor. I’m loving seeing PS Media use opportunities like this to engage locals with the news service, paired with things like pop-up news desks at local events where people can suggest headlines, this chalkboard (pictured above) outside the Prince of Wales Hotel and flyers featuring a QR code to suggest headlines distributed throughout the area – something any news organisation could make in Canva!

Putting together this series of events is clearly a lot of work, but a great way to re-set on the next steps for the Port Phillip masthead. PS Media will be publishing an outcomes report in October on the pilot series, so more to come on that later. For now, some ideas to think about in your area perhaps? – Claire Stuchbery (Executive Director, LINA)

Dates to note

Shop-talks

The next Shop-talk will be a timely double-feature on 19 September covering: Emergency Reporting; and the Voice Referendum. The first session will talk about resources and guides for covering The Voice discussions in your area – how to approach it and how to localise your reporting on this national conversation. Then, ABC Emergency Broadcasting Coordinator Gianfranco Di Giovanni will share some tips for reporting on emergencies from the inside and share resources to help you keep on top of alerts and information in the lead-up to Summer. Keep an eye on your inbox for a calendar invite, or email Emma for a direct link to join.

Meanwhile, shop-talk recordings including our recent Meet The Team session can be found in the Members Area of our website.

Summit 2024

We’re busy preparing for the 2024 LINA Summit, in partnership with Newsport. The event will be held at the Port Douglas Community Hall and we’re pleased to have locked in some accommodation partners ready to welcome you. Start keeping an eye on flight specials to Cairns for the dates below. We’re working on sponsors to help subsidise travel as much as we possibly can, more news on that soon. In the meantime, check our website for great deals from Star Resorts and Port Douglas Plaza.

Policy Submissions

ACMA Powers Exposure Draft Bill

The Government is considering an expansion of the ACMA’s powers to help address the spread of mis- and disinformation on digital platforms which can include interactive media websites, LINA considered the potential impact the proposed powers could have on its members. Read more

Murdoch Media Inquiry Bill

The Standing Committee on Environment and Communications is considering an Inquiry into the impact of media concentration in Australia and related areas of regulation and policy. LINA’s submission supports the rationale for an Inquiry and encourages the Government to undertake this work in respect to the NewsMAP and other components of policy work currently in development. Read more

Risk Management & Insurance

Coming into news publishing from a background as a lawyer, risk mitigation was a high priority for me in setting up In The Cove. One of the first things I did was take out multimedia insurance to cover me for defamation, particularly when I was so new to reporting.

Over the ten years I’ve been running In The Cove things have changed a lot, including the precedent set by the Dylan Voller case on publishers being responsible for comments posted on our social media pages. As much as I have editorial control of our content,

I can’t be on top of social media all the time. It is particularly important that where you have social media—where readers can comment—you must have insurance.

Multimedia insurance helps me sleep at night because it provides some protection, at least to be able to challenge a case if one came up without it taking up all my time and resources. Dealing with a case can be really expensive, even if you’re in the right. Let the insurers deal with it!

– Jacky Barker, In The Cove


Just a related reminder . . there’s an archived Shop-talk on Insurance with Tyler Spears (KBI) in the Members Area.

Opportunities

Digital Business Models Workshop Series
The Google News Initiative (GNI) is partnering with FT Strategies to deliver a new 8-week programme: the Digital Business Models Workshop Series program. Applications close 15 September.
Digital Business Models Workshop Series
The Google News Initiative (GNI) is partnering with FT Strategies to deliver a new 8-week programme: the Digital Business Models Workshop Series program. Applications close 15 September.
[Lab] Fundamentals – Google News Initiative
LINA Members are invited to attend a new free, 3-month GNI Fundamentals Labprogram focussed on how to grow your audience and reader revenue, andincrease advertising revenue.Apply ASAP before 28 September.
[Lab] Fundamentals – Google News Initiative
LINA Members are invited to attend a new free, 3-month GNI Fundamentals Labprogram focussed on how to grow your audience and reader revenue, andincrease advertising revenue.Apply ASAP before 28 September.

INMA Elevate Scholarships
A scholarship to accelerate learnings for professionals from under-represented groups who are committed to growing the news business and aspire to global best practices. Applications close October 6. Read more.
INMA Elevate Scholarships
A scholarship to accelerate learnings for professionals from under-represented groups who are committed to growing the news business and aspire to global best practices. Applications close October 6. Read more.

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