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You need to calm down. News publishers are here to help

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Confident African American man wearing glasses lying on cozy couch in modern living room, using laptop, chatting in social network, looking at screen, freelancer or student working on online project

Service journalism has long provided reliable traffic for publishers. But news outlets have found it to be a particularly important source of reader engagement and advertiser interest amid the pandemic.

But during a pandemic that has created restlessness, anxiety and insecurity, news outlets like the Post and Bloomberg have seized on this particular source of reader engagement and advertiser interest.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, tens of thousands of people signed up for "Voraciously: Baking Basics. " The Post's newsletter teaches the fundamentals of baking and provides recipes over the course of eight weeks.

He said the pandemic has bolstered people's interest for self-help content, especially from news outlets they already know and trust.

The circumstances of the pandemic — job loss, working from home, homeschooling children — inspired a "pivot" at The New York Times, said Amy Virshup, who has served as travel editor since 2018.

Managing Editor Neal Freyman told CNN Business that his team added a daily planner to its business newsletter, including suggestions for morning workouts, nightly live streams, interesting stories to read and "feel good content. "

The product started out as a team effort, but as of September, it is primarily written by Rachel Cantor, a 2020 graduate from Northwestern University, who Freyman said he recruited after coming across her own recommendations newsletter on Twitter.

"A series is a huge amount of front loaded work, but part of why it works so well is it's a good way to experiment with a topic without investing a permanent reporter to write that newsletter forever," Muggeridge said.

Indeed, all five publishers said service stories can help expand audiences and improve relationships with readers, who, for the case of The New York Times, Bloomberg, Time and the Post, could become paid subscribers.

The Post's Muggeridge said a key reason the company remains committed to service-focused newsletters is because of the consistently high engagement rates.

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