Media Insider: Google Launches Tool for Freelancers, Twitter Debuts Subscription Service, Reuters Postpones Paywall

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week. 

Photo of a newspaper, laptop and camera on a table

MEDIAPOST | RAY SCHULTZ
Google, Okayplayer Partner on Project to Drive Local News 

Google and retailer Okayplayer are set to launch an initiative to help freelance journalists and publishers cover local news. The Byline Project, which debuted June 3, consists of a free digital tool that streamlines the local reporting process. Reporters can use the open-source software to “create a personal widget, allowing the public to financially support them through a digital tipping technology,” a spokesperson says. A video for the project states that nearly 200 counties in the U.S. have no local newspaper, meaning that 3 million people are likely to be unaware of what is happening in their communities, while local stories with national impact go unseen and unheard. 

Also from MediaPost: U.S.-based publishers like Meredith and Bloomberg are branching out overseas. 

ENGADGET | J. FINGAS
Twitter Is Launching a Local Weather Service With a Paid Subscription 

Twitter has launched a local weather service, Tomorrow, in 15 North American cities and the Dominican Republic. Climate journalist Eric Holthaus and 18 local meteorologists will produce a mix of free and paid content to help readers keep tabs on weather events and provide more insights. While it’s not clear exactly what will be provided for free, a $10/month subscription will let subscribers ask the meteorologists an unlimited number of questions with a guaranteed response. They’ll also get a weekly newsletter and early access to podcasts and long-form news. 

Twitter also listed a new subscription service, Twitter Blue, on app stores, an indication the social media giant is preparing to provide a trial for the new offering soon. 

BICYCLE RETAILER
Outside Launches Outside+ Membership Program 

Outside — the parent company of BRAIN and dozens of other active lifestyle and outdoor sports media titles and brands — has relaunched its membership program under a new name: Outside+. The program includes various new features and perks from the publisher’s growing family of media brands, including VeloNews, Peloton, Beta, Outside, Triathlete, and more. Outside+ replaces the Active Pass membership launched last year by Pocket Outdoor Media, which has been renamed Outside. Current Active Pass members will be rolled into the program with more perks 

In other news, Substack is looking to expand its international footprint by selecting journalists to jumpstart local newsletters globally. 

SCOOP BUSINESS
Facebook’s First Video Business Accelerator Launches With 12 Publishers From Across Asia Pacific 

The Facebook Journalism Project, in collaboration with the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and the International Center for Journalists, launched a new tuition-free program aimed at teaching global newsrooms sustainable business strategies around video. The Video Business Accelerator is a cohort-based and expert-led online training program. It aims to empower news organizations to design and implement strategies, build working prototypes, and launch revenue-generating video projects. The program kicks off with a group of 12 newsrooms from the Asia Pacific region that will gather virtually for a six-month training program.

The tech giant also joined Twitter, Amazon, and Google in suing Florida over Gov. DeSantis’ new law banning “deplatforming.” 

TECH XPLORE
Reuters Postpones Website Paywall Over Dispute With Data Provider 

Reuters News said it was delaying the start of its website paywall following a dispute with financial data provider Refinitiv. The agency, one of the largest news organizations in the world, is planning to charge for access to Reuters.com as part of a new digital subscription strategy designed to attract business professionals. According to an article on the Reuters website, the dispute with Refinitiv was over whether the move would breach a news supply agreement between the two companies. “We are still working through our plans,” a Reuters spokesman said in a statement. The website will remain in beta mode until plans are finalized. 

Read next: The Atlantic spins off its agency Atlantic 57, which will be rebranded as Long Dash. 

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox. 

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, baking, and cuddling with her dog Toody.

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