Media Insider: NYT Tests Audio App, Facebook Launches Audio Hub, New Network to Help Media Cover the Climate Crisis

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

Two people sitting on either side of a microphone with an open laptop in the background 

BLOOMBERG | GERRY SMITH
New York Times Tests New App as a Home for Audio Journalism

The New York Times Co. is testing an app that brings together the company’s audio journalism, creating a single destination for listeners of its podcasts and other products. The Times will begin recruiting users to test a beta version of the app, called “New York Times Audio.” The company’s current offerings will still be available on platforms like Apple and Spotify. The app features curated Times podcasts, audio versions of articles, and the archive of “This American Life,” which the newspaper publisher licenses. It also has audio stories from other publications, such as New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones.

The Times also unveiled Eclipse, a video app developed in the newspaper’s 5G Journalism Lab.

TECHCRUNCH | SARAH PEREZ
Facebook Launches ‘Audio’ Hub in the U.S. for Podcasts, Live Audio and Short-form Clips

Facebook is expanding its investment in audio initiatives with the launch of a new “Audio” destination in its mobile app in the U.S. Users will be able to discover all the audio formats Facebook now hosts, including podcasts, Live Audio Rooms, and short-form audio, in one place. The company says it’s also making its Clubhouse rival, Live Audio Rooms, more broadly available to global users, and is beginning to roll out a new product called Soundbites, a sort of TikTok for audio. An early version of the new Audio destination has been in the process of rolling out to all Facebook users (18 and up) in the U.S. across both iOS and Android.

ICYMI: Facebook will now count journalists as “involuntary” public figures, increasing protections against harassment and bullying.

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE | DAVID SHARMAN
New Network Launched to Help Journalists Cover Climate Crisis

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has launched a new network aimed at helping both regional and national journalists better cover the climate crisis. The Oxford Climate Journalism Network will provide members with unique access to leading experts, professional forums, and original research. The project aims to help journalists think through the specific national and local dimensions of the crisis in their coverage. The network is being funded by a grant from the European Climate Foundation.

Read next: The Independent promises ‘more climate-focused news’ as it targets net zero by 2030.

VOX | PETER KAFKA
The Atlantic Wants to Hire Newsletter Writers – and It Wants Their Subscribers Too

The Atlantic is launching a newsletter offering that wants to bring writers under the Atlantic’s umbrella (and paywall) while letting them stay semi-independent. The idea, according to sources, is for the magazine to unveil a roster of newsletter writers in the coming weeks that’ll only be available to Atlantic subscribers. The Atlantic isn’t hiring the writers as full-time employees, but will offer them some sort of base payment with the ability to make additional money if they hit certain subscriber goals. Newsletter writers who join the Atlantic’s program get to keep their existing list of subscribers. So if they decide to leave the Atlantic, they could start up their business again.

ICYMI: Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

THE NEW YORK TIMES | KATIE ROBERTSON
Mic Reboots Itself, With More Pop Culture Coverage and Less Politics

Mic, an online magazine that was known for an earnest mix of political news and opinion essays aimed at millennial readers on the left, has rebooted under new ownership as a more varied publication. “We are a place you can read a review of Lil Nas X’s new album and also a column about the existential feelings around climate change,” Shanté Cosme, Mic’s editor in chief, said in an interview. Bustle Digital Group, the media company that revived Gawker this year, rolled out the revamped Mic last week. The makeover was led by Cosme and Joshua Topolsky, a chief content officer at Bustle Digital Group, and carried out by a team of seven editors and 13 writers, many of them recently hired.

Also relaunching: The Objective, a nonprofit newsroom “written by and for those underrepresented in journalism.

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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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