Apparently serious about building cars, Apple just hired ex-Chrysler Group executive Doug Betts. “Betts … has spent more than 25 years in the auto industry with companies including Toyota and Nissan,” Reuters reports. “Analysts and investors have been touting car manufacturing as the next growth avenue for Apple.”
Continuing to display their content credentials, new-media leaders like Netflix and Amazon just racked up a record number of Emmy nominations. But the achievement isn't just about boosting corporate self-esteem, The Washington Post writes. Rather, “As Netflix, Hulu and Amazon try to grow their audiences, they see original programming as the key to attract and keep customers who have many choices for online entertainment.”
The Washington Post is testing a new feature that bakes relevant contextual information right into complex news stories. “The feature, which the Post calls a Knowledge Map, appears as highlighted links and buttons within the story, allowing readers to click on and then read a brief overview of relevant topics,” Nieman Lab reports. “The feature works on mobile, too: click on a highlighted link, and a window opens within the page that a reader can then exit out of without leaving the story page.”
Taking a stand against the inanity that is Donald Trump, The Huffington Post’s editorial board has decided henceforth cover his presidential predilections as entertainment. “The Huffington Post won’t give Donald Trump’s campaign for president coverage in its political section,” Poynter reports. As if HuffPo needed to explain its rationale, its top editors write: “Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.”
Another day, another controversy over at Gawker. The latest hullabaloo involves the sexual preferences of one media executive being unnecessarily outed. “The Gawker story claims that a magazine executive … tried to hire a gay porn star for sex at a cost of $2,500,” The Advocate reports. “The backlash from many in media … has been swift.”
Trying to right Reddit’s ship, new CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman has published a new code of conduct for the link-sharing site. Alas, “it's not clear how much it will really help,” The Verge writes. “It sounds like Reddit is putting a little more emphasis on cracking down on things that could hurt other community members, but that's going to require a change in actual admin behavior, not just wording.”
Despite their punch-line status among many analysts -- and broad accusations of “fraud” -- banner ads aren’t going anywhere, according to investor and author Rick Webb. Writing in Medium “on behalf of brand marketers everywhere,” Webb insists: “We like banners.” What’s more, “We’re not buying banners from you [i.e., publishers] because it’s the only thing you can sell us, we’re buying banners from you because they’re cheap and they work.”
A group of veteran California reporters and editors are launching Water Deeply, a news site dedicated to, the “deep-seated problems contributing to the California drought as well as how they relate to the rest of the world's water scarcity issues,” as Fast Company reports. Notes FC: “The site is the third of its kind to originate inside the news platform Setrakian founded in 2012 called News Deeply.”
At a time when consumer have less patience than ever, news Web sites are getting slower, according to digital media expert Frederic Filloux. “When I click on a New York Times article page, it takes about 4 minutes to download 2 megabytes of data through… 192 requests, some to Times’ hosts, most to a flurry of others servers hosting scores of scripts,” he writes. “Websites designers live in a bubble, they’re increasingly disconnected from users.
For Bloomberg, Joshua Topolsky’s recent ouster as its digital news head is a sign of bigger problems at the company, The New York Times suggests. “The dismissal of Mr. Topolsky is a sharp manifestation of what nearly a dozen current and former Bloomberg staff members described as the chaotic environment that has existed at the company since [founder Michael] Bloomberg returned in September 2014,” it writes.