Popup Newsrooms and Limited-Edition News Products

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Popup Newsrooms and Limited-Edition News Products

Limited-run podcasts, newsletters and event series identify engaged readers and help test new ideas.

Key Insight

News organizations are using pop-up newsrooms and limited-edition products to achieve strategic goals. Collaborative newsrooms can focus on a single topic or project, boosting reach and helping uncover deeper stories.

Why It Matters

Limited-run podcasts, newsletters and event series identify engaged readers and help test new ideas.

Examples

During the 2016 and 2018 elections, the Electionland coalition brought together more than 1,000 journalists across the United States to cover problems that prevent eligible voters from casting a ballot. The project provided a structure for seeking out stories on social media and ensuring those stories were covered. More regularly, groups like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists work together to build scoops across borders.

In March 2019, BuzzFeed distributed a single day print edition in New York. The move was a stunt, but it generated a stream of engagement online. At subscription-driven publications, limited-run projects can be an opportunity to deliver additional subscriber benefits or to develop a new audience.

The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project was a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institute that included a limited-run podcast, special issue of the magazine, reader interaction and live events on the history and legacy of slavery in the United States.

What’s Next

We expect to see a flurry of collaboration surrounding the 2020 presidential primary and general election, building on initiatives like the Electionland coalition.

The Impact

News organizations that launch limited-run news products will increasingly have specific subscriber engagement goals; these tools could also be used to collect first-party data for targeted ad sales.

Watchlist

News organizations everywhere.