RJI Fellow: Push notifications can help move publishers away from heavy reliance on Facebook

Krystal Knapp plans to create a guide for small, independent publishers to highlight why they should be using push notifications.

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The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute awarded seven fellowships for the 2019-20 academic year with projects to improve gun violence reporting, expand solutions-based journalism by local TV stations, help large and small newsrooms get the most out of push notifications, customize audio documentaries through voice commands, measure the community impact of online stories and preserve digital content that’s being lost.

As she seeks to rely on Facebook less with its algorithms changing and impacting outbound links and referrals, Planet Princeton publisher and editor Krystal Knapp says push notifications have been a way to directly reach readers where they are. They have also allowed the hyperlocal publisher to stay competitive with other local entities also pushing content out.

But many small hyperlocal publishers aren’t taking advantage of this technology, says Knapp. She discovered this after studying 500 of these sites. As a hyperlocal publisher, who has benefitted from this technology, she wants to help other publishers take advantage of push notifications. She plans to create a guide for small, independent publishers that will highlight why they should be using push notifications during a 2019-20 fellowship at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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