*Updated* 41 Must Read websites and newsletters for journalists interested in social media

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NB: Updated, 20th August 2018. I’ll keep adding to this list, if/when other good sources emerge.

As part of my Social Media for Journalists class in London this summer, students are required to come to the first meeting of the week with two stories charting recent developments in the social field.

This could be:

They then share one of these stories / developments with the class in a rapid roundtable.

The aim of this exercise is to help students:

  1. Develop a habit of reading industry news sources.
  2. Keep abreast of the latest developments (garnering tips and tools for best practice, interesting case studies to drop in interviews etc.)
  3. Realize how quickly this arena is changing.
  4. Give them confidence to share ideas and developments in a quick, concise, fashion, which mimics a newspaper’s Page One meeting.
  5. Manage information overload. You cannot read everything, so this approach enables students (and me!) to learn from their peers. As a group, we can distill the key messages and developments of the week more quickly than on our own.

And hopefully, as well as sharing useful knowledge, we can have some fun and get to know each other a bit better in the process.

To that affect, I’ve pulled together a list of useful resources offering updates on social media news, best practice, business models, analysis and insights.

This list isn’t exhaustive, and sources are listed in no particular order, but I hope that it is a useful starting point for journalists wanting to keep on top of the latest developments in their field.

Most of these sites are not dedicated to social media. However, given the dominance of these platforms and networks in our lives, these sites are understandably full of analysis, news and insights on this topic.

I’ll no doubt keeping adding to this list. Feel free to email additional suggestions: damianr@uoregon.edu

Audiences/User insights

  1. NewsWhip blog— full of great case studies about publications and platforms, usually backed up with their own data. NewsWhip works with over 500 publishers.
  2. GlobalWebIndex blog— another blog using their own data (from over 30 markets around the world) to highlight trends and case studies.
  3. We Are Social — their website has lots of useful round-ups, but come here for the mammoth annual slides decks on digital usage that they produce.

Honorable Mentions: It’s worth keeping in eye on the websites, blogs and social feeds for sporadic publications of research and data from companies like Nielsen, comScore, Ofcom (the UK Communications Regulator), the Pew Research Center’s Internet and Global Attitudes and Trends work, and others.

Specialist sites about social media (mostly marketing, but lots of transferable insights)

  1. HubSpot— a huge site (and business) which offers tools and training, research, and content in Deutsch, 日本語, Español, Português et Français. Over 800,000 people follow them on Twitter.
  2. Social Media Examiner — business orientated site, focussed on “how to best use social media to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate awareness, and increase sales.” Has more than 450,000 subscribers to their daily email.
  3. Social Media Today — social media news and analysis.
  4. Inside Social has a deceptively simple interface, but click on a headline for an expanded — yet short and snappy — summary of recent developments related to social media.
  5. *New* AllTop has a great page aggregating the latest stories from 14 of these specialist sources, which is an excellent way to scan the headlines.

Tech sites often with a strong social media angle

  1. Recode— a tech and tech orientated business site, which includes a specific Social vertical.
  2. The Next Web — “Tech News for Generation T” according to their Twitter bio. Social content is everywhere, especially the Apps tab.
  3. Wired— has a paywall now, so you can’t casually browse it, but always full of lots of great, rich, content.
  4. The Verge — part of the same family as Recode, but with different content.
  5. VentureBeat— been around for over a decade. Dedicated Social vertical.
  6. TechCrunch — another tech site that’s been around for a while, with an Apps section that’s good for news about social media.
  7. *New* Mashable — has several sections (Culture, Entertainment and Tech) which often have a strong social media angle.

Journalism sites / newsletters

  1. Columbia Journalism Review — Based in New York on Columbia University’s campus, CJR’s mission is “to be the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism.”
  2. Nieman Lab — the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, is “trying to figure out the future of news.” Has a dedicated audiences and social tab.
  3. Poynter — provides daily news updates, training, events and a range of free (and paid) for online courses through NewsU.
  4. Journalism.co.uk — don’t let the UK URL fool you, offers tools, tips and news from around the world. (Disclaimer: I often write for them.)
  5. IJNet — the International Journalists’ Network based in Washington D.C. publishes news, analysis, opportunities, tips and more from around the world and in different languages. (Disclaimer: I often write for them too.)
  6. American Press Institute Daily Newsletter — their “Need to Know” round-up is always full of good stuff.
  7. Pew Journalism Daily Email — another daily email round-up (the big sites 1–4 above have these) which is always full of useful links and stories.
  8. *New* LION (Local Independent Online News Publishers) offer a handy weekly industry news recap. Sign up here.

Advertising and PR

  1. AdWeek— news, insight and community for marketers, media and agencies, with a dedicated section Social Pro Daily, for social news.
  2. Ad Age— this busy site is part of a product that’s been around since 1930.
  3. The Drum— media, marketing and advertising. “We believe marketing can change the world,” they proclaim on their website and “on every cover of The Drum magazine.”
  4. Holmes Report — news, insights and global PR intelligence.
  5. Ragan’s PR Daily— aka PRDaily.com, with news, jobs insights etc.
  6. PRSay— the blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
  7. PR Week blog — has sites for the US, UK and Asia, and features breaking news, analysis, and opinion.
  8. Ketchum — research, case studies and insights from Ketchum, a global communications consultancy.
  9. Meltwater — case studies and insights published a couple of times a week by this global media intelligence platform.

Media (cover a bit of everything, including social)

  1. Digital Content Next — trade organization (originally founded as the Online Publishers Association, their members are “some of the most trusted and well-respected media brands.” Excellent weekly newsletter, with content from various sources. (Disclaimer: another source I write for.)
  2. Digiday — news, events, and more looking at digital media and marketing. Lots of new content every day. Offers a valuable daily newsletter.
  3. What’s New in Publishing — another site I write for. Recently revamped. Contains original analysis, aggregated content and a weekly newsletter.
  4. Axios Media Trends— a relative newcomer on the block, weekly analysis of how people are consuming and distributing content. Much of this, of course, is on social.
  5. Idea 57 — weekly newsletter from the Atlantic, with a focus “on everything new and innovative in the media industry.” I always learn lots.
  6. Atlantic 57 — another weekly newsletter from the Atlantic. This one focuses on wider digital trends (and often seems to be shorter).

Honorable Mentions: these tend to be more traditional media news (e.g. what’s happening to movers and shakers), and/or how US politics is playing out in the broadcast and print media, but — for me — these are essential daily “must reads” CNN’s Reliable Sources, Politico Daily Media Briefing and so I can get my media policy fix, Benton Daily Briefing.

Long(er) reads and analysis

  1. Monday Note— as the name suggests, it’s published once a week on Monday. Has dived a lot into Facebook recently. Your boss — or bosses boss — reads this. So you should to.
  2. Stratechery— recommend reading if you want to understand “the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society.” Weekly Articles are free, while three Daily Updates a week are for subscribers only.
  3. Derek Thompson (Atlantic) — I’ll read anything this guy writes. Often places current tech trends in a wider historical context. Love it!