Study finds college-educated Americans fail at digital literacy 6/25/19

While 88 percent of respondents reported they are confident in their critical thinking skills, only 9 percent received an "A" on a digital literacy test, according to a new national study from edtech firm MindEdge Learning. The third annual State of Critical Thinking study, commissioned by MindEdge and conducted by Qualtrics, found that a large majority of college-educated Americans could not pass a basic, nine-question digital literacy and fake news identification, and critical thinking skills test. Fully 69 percent of survey respondents failed to answer more than five of the questions correctly.

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GateHouse Media launches national investigative reporting team 6/25/19

GateHouse Media has announced a powerful investment in journalism: a national investigative and data-driven reporting team of more than 30 award-winning editors and reporters. The team will be embedded in local newsrooms, adding to local coverage efforts.

The team will be headed by Managing Editor Emily Le Coz, an award-winning journalist and GateHouse Media's first national digital projects editor. The team will report on high-impact national projects, elevate local news and experiment with innovative ways to shape the future of the industry.

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PAGE Cooperative's membership now open to more newspapers, commercial printers 6/25/19

The PAGE Cooperative voted last week to expand its membership eligibility beyond the association's long-standing, independently-owned, newspaper-only requirement to now permit newspapers of all ownership categories, as well as commercial printers, to become members of the buying cooperative.

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Twilight Broadcasting to acquire WEEU license 6/25/19

Reading Eagle Company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, had solicited bids for the WEEU license when it was not included in the sale of the rest of the Reading Eagle Company to MediaNews Group, which is expected to close no later than July 31.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., is representing the Reading Eagle Company in the sale.

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A commitment to better print 6/18/19

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

In the digital age, the Sun Newspapers in southwest Florida are betting on the future of print.

Under the new ownership of Adams Publishing Group and after nine months of planning, the Port Charlotte Sun and its new sister paper, the Punta Gorda Sun, roll out Wednesday with a new look, new sections and new approaches to news coverage intended to expand what readers are getting for their subscriptions.

"Overall, we wanted to create a much better newspaper for our readers, and we wanted to grow our circulation, to modernize and give it a new exciting look and feel," said Publisher Glen Nickerson. But it isn't just one newspaper, it's several.

The biggest change is that the Charlotte Sun will be split into two editions. "It will become the Punta Gorda Sun and the Port Charlotte Sun," Nickerson said.

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'The Last Man To Let You Down' finally rolls off press 6/17/19

By Dink NeSmith, chairman, The Press-Sentinel

As sure as principal Tom James would ring the bell at Orange Street Elementary School, I knew I was going to get teased about my father's undertaking profession. I heard a thousand times: "Your daddy is the last man to let you down." Another favorite was "Your daddy is a Southern planter. He plants 'em six feet deep."

As a third- or fourth-grader, that teasing bothered me. In time, I laughed with them. But I didn't laugh at Big Dink because I knew there was a deeper meaning to "the last man to let you down."

Other than in graves, my daddy didn't let people down. To him, a promise made was a debt unpaid.

When he died in 1998, Dink NeSmith Sr. went to Heaven debt-free – financially or otherwise.

Soon after I delivered his eulogy, I made a promise to put his life's story in a book. I am embarrassed that it took so long. For two decades, I wrote and collected stories and photographs. I kept saying, "I'll need to get this done." And one morning, I looked in the mirror and said, "No more procrastinating. This is the 20th anniversary of his death. Get it done!" And with that figurative slap in the face, I got moving.

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UFCJC to provide $100,000 in 2019 and 2020 to support student-run newspaper 6/17/19

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications has announced that it is providing $100,000 to The Independent Florida Alligator, the student-run newspaper and website at the University of Florida, to help support the newspaper as a significant immersion experience for students and provider of vital news and information to the UF community.

The College will provide $100,000 for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years. Unlike most college newspapers, The Alligator has not received any direct financial support from the University since it became independent in 1973. This support will not affect The Alligator's journalistic independence going forward.

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New study finds Google receives an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue from news publishers' content 6/11/19

The News Media Alliance has published findings from a new study that analyzes how Google uses and benefits from news. Among the major findings of the study is that news is a key source on which Google has increasingly relied to drive consumer engagement with its products. The amount of news in Google search results ranges from 16 to 40 percent, and the platform received an estimated $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from crawling and scraping news publishers' content – without paying the publishers for that use.

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Rural teens seek (but rarely find) themselves in local news coverage 6/11/19

There is a heightened interest in what goes on in the heads and hearts of modern teenagers – dubbed "Generation Z" (Gen Z) – particularly by legacy media. But teenagers from rural communities, especially in the Midwest, are not often factored into mainstream Gen Z coverage. This can be attributed to a number of factors, such as living in a news desert, living in the middle of the country, and-or unpredictable Wi-Fi access that hampers engagement with news and information sources.

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TownNews and Stringr partner to provide video content for local news outlets 6/11/19

TownNews and Stringr have announced a strategic partnership that will enable clients using TownNews' content management systems to easily expand their video inventories with high-resolution pre-packaged videos from Stringr's vast video marketplace.

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