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Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

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sfnblog.org Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

"The collective intelligence of the newsroom is something we rarely exploit efficiently," writes Gavin Sheridan, Innovation Director of Storyful in a blog post where he discusses the concept of newsrooms as intelligence agencies.

On the Ebyline BlogSusan Johnston reports on the acceleration of paywalls at US newspapers based on the latest data from the Newspaper Association of America.

The Guardian reports that Twitter has suspended the account of Guy Adams, a journalist for the UK's Independent, who was critical of Olympics coverage by NBC.

"At the Financial Times, we recognized early on that the continued success of our business depended on our ability to adapt to changing reader habits," writes Rob Grimshaw of the FT in an article about "publishing in the age of social media" on The Economist Group's website.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-31 17:21

Comments made by Conrad Black, one time head of Hollinger International Inc., on the untapped potential of Canadian news titles have prompted speculation that the former media magnate may be considering a return to the newspaper industry.

During a meeting of the editorial board at Huffington Post Canada, Black remarked that “[t]here is a great premium to be placed on the editorial function and on the goodwill of a famous trademark like a respected newspaper.” He went on to add that he could be interested by a “good title that’s grossly under-priced.” The current state of Canada’s news press could see Black presented with just such a low-cost opportunity in the near future. One of Canada’s largest news companies, Postmedia Network Canada Corp. has been forced to respond to declining ad revenue and debts of $516 million (CAD) with radical efficiency restructuring, involving job cuts and the cancellation of Sunday print editions in certain areas.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-31 16:50

Over the weekend The New York Times former executive editor and current columnist Bill Keller fell victim to an elaborate Internet hoax. An opinion piece titled “WikiLeaks, A Post Postscript,” supposedly a follow-up to an article written by Keller in February of this year, was shared through a Twitter account that appeared to belong to Keller and swiftly re-tweeted by journalists, including The Guardian’s Dan Gilmore and the NYT’s own technology correspondent Nick Bilton. Readers were initially fooled by the visual similarities between the fake article and Keller’s regular column. In addition, the advertisements featured on the page were genuine, and all links connected to nytimes.com. On closer inspection, the lack of The New York Times favicon next to the web page’s URL, and the fact that the domain name differs from that used for real NYT op-ed pieces indicated that the article was a fake.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-30 17:41

"The biggest media event in history," might well be shaping up into "the biggest circulation war for decades," according to a report from the Guardian, which highlights the extensive efforts by the British press regarding Olympics coverage.

Offices of the Mexican newspaper El Norte near Monterrey have been attacked three times in less than a month. In the most recent attack, on Sunday, armed and masked men broke into the offices and started a fire using gasoline, according to a report on The Telegraph's website.

Brazilian newspapers are reporting growth in average daily circulation as well as advertising revenue, based on data from the Circulation Verification Institute (IVC) and published on news.com.au.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-30 16:54

Digital subscribers to the Financial Times have surpassed the number of print subscribers and the company says digital revenue now makes up half of the group's overall revenue, reports Ingrid Lunden on TechCrunch.

The Guardian is offering its website readers the opportunity to hide Olympics coverage on the site with the click of a "show Olympics/hide Olympics" button, writes Rachel McAthy on journalism.co.uk. The website used a similar button for readers to opt out of Royal Wedding coverage last year, McAthy notes.

The owner of the New Orleans Saints football team, Tom Benson, is part of a group that is expressing interest in buying the New Orleans Times-Picayune, writes Andrew Beaujon on Poynter. In a separate development, Beaujon notes that a US Senator from Louisana, David Vitter, is urging Advance Publications and its owner, Steven Newhouse, to sell the paper.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-27 17:11

Back when WAN-IFRA was still FIEJ (the Fédération Internationale des Editeurs de Journaux et Publications), the organisation’s 1962 News Bulletin carried an article that showed that the vast majority of British newspapers relied on advertising, not reader-generated revenue, to cover production and distribution costs. "Quality" newspapers garnered 73 percent of their income from advertising, as opposed to sales and circulation revenue at weekly titles. It is a trend that dates from well before the 1960s and continues to the present day, in both the UK and the United States.

At least, it was a trend that continued until very recently. Now there are growing signs that the tide is at last turning. This week, the New York Times co., publisher of The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe released second quarter figures showing that its titles’ circulation-generated revenue was higher than advertising revenue. Although dwindling income from print and digital advertising (which shrank by 6.6 percent and stands at $220 million) undoubtedly contributed to the shift, the Times’ famous paywall and an increase in price for print subscriptions saw circulation revenue at the NYT company’s news titles rise by 8.3 percent, to $233 million.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-27 16:49

Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform for creative projects, is fast becoming the go-to site for journalists and publishers searching alternative ways of financing projects. Originally conceived in 2009 as a means of financing new and innovative technology, the site has since branched out to become the biggest crowdfunding site in the world with more than 6300 projects and over $250 million raised in pledges. As news titles continue cutting staffing budgets and editorial budgets, an increasing number of writers and reporters are presenting their ideas directly to the Kickstarter public.

Of course, the use of crowdfunding in journalism is old news by now. Spot.Us has been allowing journalists to appeal to the goodwill and largesse of like-minded people since 2008 and is still going strong with more than 1500 contributors and 110 publishing partners, including The New York Times. Meanwhile Emphas.is continues to provide a platform for photojournalists and is even developing a photography book project for later this year. Neither however has scaled the heights of fame in the same way as Kickstarter.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-27 10:31

The New York Times was in the news on several fronts today. First, Peter Kafka on AllThingsD.com, reports that the newspaper has seen an increase in circulation revenue, but that both print and digital advertising figures are down. Kafka also notes the number of digital subscribers has climbed to 532,000. According to a report on FishbowlNY, the company might announce a new CEO as soon as September (former CEO Janet Robinson left late last year).

In other NYT news, Reuters reports that as of this past Monday, the Times has pulled the plug on its BlackBerry app. And, in yet another report, former Executive Editor Bill Keller tells GigaOM's Mathew Ingram why we should defend WikiLeaks.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-26 18:07

The first blow came on Monday, when the estate of the late billionaire Sidney Harman, which co-owns the Newsweek Daily Beast Co with IAC/Interactive Corp, officially announced that it would no longer be investing in the loss-making venture.

The second landed yesterday, when IAC’s Chairman Barry Diller let slip during a quarterly earnings call that “the transition to online from hard print will take place,” ostensibly giving this fall or sometime next year as the point by which the company would have come up with a plan to bury the 79-year-old weekly print magazine, transforming it into a web-only presence.

Naturally, this drove the Twittisphere into a frenzy, with some commentators more bereaved by the alleged news than others:

In the wake of Diller’s comments, Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek and its digital bedfellow The Daily Beast, conducted damage control in the form of an email to all Newsweek Daily Beast Employees yesterday with the subject line “Scaremongering.” The email, obtained by Politico, begins: 

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-26 17:15

Though the temperature is soaring in Paris the sun has set for France-Soir, the embattled title that had been serving the French public since 1944. The Tribunal de commerce de Paris, the city’s commercial court, announced on Tuesday, 23 July that the paper’s assets were to be liquidated, after several buyout attempts failed to fully materialise. France-Soir’s archives, domain name, brand, and production rights will subsequently be auctioned off  and all 49 members of staff, 42 of whom are journalists, now find themselves unemployed.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-26 16:13

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