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Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

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sfnblog.org Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

We are experimenting with replacing our "Media links" post with a feed of "Recommended reading," where we will not only suggest to you what we think are some of the most interesting articles around today, but we will highlight why we think they are worth reading. Do let us know what you think - either in the comments section below this post or send an email to emma.goodman@wan-ifra.org

How journalists can turn their stories into conversations, Poynter.org

Everyone agrees engagement with readers is important and this article offers several suggestions for increasing that engagement. Likewise, it points out some reasons that current engagement might be low and what can be done about them.

Building a better sports bar: SB Nation redesigns its blog network, NiemanLab.org 

This sports blog network has just finished a redesign and tackled a number of issues that large news publishing companies face: how to modernise the site while “also unifying the look of more than 300 distinct sites. And they had to do it in a way that balances the needs of the fan communities of each site while giving the entire network a universal consistency,” writes Justin Ellis.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-09-27 09:53

Disappointed Parisian newspaper readers are yet again scowling in the direction of Presstalis today, as the distribution company’s striking workers have blocked a third title this week from appearing in the kiosks that dot the city’s sidewalks.

This afternoon, it is French newspaper Le Monde that can’t be found among the shelves; yesterday it was business daily Les Echos, and on the weekend Sunday title Le Journal de Dimanche was similarly absent.

Far from ruining breakfast, these repeated disruptions strike at the heart of the news distribution industry, and pose a grave threat to the country’s print newspapers.

Presstalis, the primary player in the distribution sector, is in charge of the delivery of 90 French and international dailies and 3,300 magazines to over 29,000 points of sale across France, with a high concentration in Paris, reports Newsring.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-09-26 16:50

If reports in this morning’s Daily Telegraph are accurate, News International’s frosty relationship with Google may be thawing.

After two self-imposed years in the wilderness, quality news titles owned by Rupert Murdoch’s British publishing division could find themselves re-included in Google search results as soon as next month.

The Times and The Sunday Times websites were originally removed from Google’s search index at the same time that paywalls were introduced at the thetimes.co.uk (then timesonline.co.uk), as part of News Int.’s attempts to stop users accessing content for free. Murdoch’s objection to consumers viewing premium content free of charge is no secret, and the media mogul hasn’t pulled any punches in his criticisms of Google’s operating policies.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-09-26 14:19

Hotly anticipated by the news media industry since it was first proposed as a rival for The Economist and The Financial Times, Atlantic Media’s new online business magazine Quartz finally went live yesterday. The launch was always going to be a closely scrutinised affair thanks to Quartz’s mobile-first, digital-only direction, and journalists have been quick to highlight the publication’s decision to shun native apps in favour of an app-like site.

A simple, uncluttered homepage greets visitors to qz.com. Rejecting the much-adhered-to practice of producing news website layouts that resemble newspaper front pages, Quartz features a single story on its main page with a bar on the left side of the screen that leads readers to "top," "latest" and "popular" stories. The navigation bar at the top of the screen is, as promised, categorised according to "phenomena," "not beats."

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-09-25 17:21

Driving reader engagement and loyalty is a bigger motivator for increased use of user-generated content than gathering additional content, WAN-IFRA and Finnish crowdsourcing service Scoopshot found, in a survey of editors of regional and national dailies, local papers and online-only sites that use UGC.

All respondents rated reader engagement and loyalty as a primary driver for increased editorial use of UGC, ahead of 71% who said that the uniqueness of the content provided was a driver. Just 14% said that the lower cost of the content was a motivating factor.

Photos are the most commonly used content, according to the survey, with all respondents using them. Nearly all (87%) use story tips and half use videos. About one third cited comments as a way readers contribute which they see as UGC.

UGC is most relevant on a local level, the survey found. Three-quarters of respondents see UGC as particularly suitable for local or hyperlocal news, and just over half believe it is particularly suited to community events. Other coverage areas which more than one third of editors cited were ‘sports’ and ‘accidents’.

All believed that UGC can add value to a publication, and 81.3% said that they see the importance of UGC increasing at their publication. One participant commented that although it is seldom “very” valuable, there are times when it is. 

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-25 09:24

The topic of audience measurements is of great importance to the news publishing industry in a time of multiple channel publishing. Being able to show an accurate figure of the combined reach of print, online and mobile would be most valuable. Also for WAN-IFRA this is an important issue to put on the agenda. One international forum where measurement issues for all medias are discussed soon, is the I-COM Global Summit, taking place in Rome 15-18 October.

The I-COM is an industry backed international forum for exploring Data & Measurement issues facing the Digital Marketing Industry, with the goals of showcasing meaningful innovation and working toward consensus on best practices.

The theme of Global Summit this year is ‘Big Data: Game Changing Strategies that drive your Brand’. The Big Data trend and its particular significance to Digital Marketing will be discussed and the event will also cover key Data & Measurement topics such as Social, Mobile, Multi-Screen, Advertising Effectiveness and Man vs. Machine.

WAN-IFRA members benefit from a special member price of 20% off the regular fee. Read more and register here: http://i-com.org/global-summits-2012-pricing

Author

Kristina Bürén

Date

2012-09-25 09:17

Arthur Brisbane, the former Public Editor of The New York Times, offers his thoughts and impressions on that job in an exit interview with Craig Silverman on Poynter.

On Nieman Lab, Andrew Phelps offers a first look at Spundge, a new "software to help journalists to manage real-time data streams."

The US-based Star-Tribune reports it is launching a new product this week called Radius, which offers "a new array of digital marketing services to small- and medium-sized businesses, many of whom have never advertised with the traditional newspaper."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-09-24 17:40

Two weeks ago when the SFN blog examined the National Readership Survey (NRS)’s report on print and online news consumption, we suggested that encouraging digital figures for quality titles could be of great interest to advertisers. Looking at the same figures, The Guardian’s Investigations Executive Editor, David Leigh, had an altogether more radical idea: a £2 pound levy on broadband services.

Thanks to the BBC’s free-to-access, taxpayer-funded news website, British news consumers will always have access to reliable, up-to-date news reports. This, Leigh argues, means that the paywall model will “never really work in the UK context.” 

The noted investigative journalist reasons, in an article posted to MediaGuardian, that the simplest and most effective means of solving the financial dilemma faced by British news publishers is a “small levy on UK broadband providers [that] could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership.” Brits are not particularly inclined to pay for online news, Leigh continues, but almost 20 million UK households are, and will continue to be, willing to pay for essential broadband subscriptions.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-09-24 16:01

Pubblico, the independent Italian newspaper that launched on Tuesday, is off to a flying start. According to news website Lettera 43, the paper sold 50,000 copies of its first issue. Pubblico’s founder, journalist Luca Telese, has hailed this initial success as a victory over sceptics who thought a print-based venture was destined for failure.

On Poynter, journalism educator Kelly Fincham offers advice on "What every young journalist should know about using Twitter."

"We access news on multiple devices. Shouldn’t those devices be smart enough to connect our actions to their presentation?" Analyst Ken Doctor discusses "all-access delight" in his latest newsonomics post on Nieman Lab.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-09-21 18:07

As Google News prepares to celebrate its tenth birthday on 22 September, the aggregation site could find that it finally has friends in the world of journalism willing to R.S.V.P.

From the moment the search engine giant launched its news service in 2002, Google News has found itself embroiled in bitter feuds with journalists and news outlets concerned that the internet company would siphon-off readers and make money on the back of ‘stolen’ content.

Using a sophisticated algorithm to ‘harvest’ stories from 4,000 international news sites, the original incarnation of Google News produced a constantly updated index of breaking news headlines from around the world. Today the ‘Googlebot’ aggregates stories from over 50,000 news sources and is frequently the first port of call for readers chasing a particular news item or wanting a global news perspective concentrated in one location. Unveiling the Google News project for the first time, then-Google product manager Marissa Meyer announced: “From the reader perspective, this changes news reading habits, because (usually) you pick a source and pick the story that interests you. With this service, you pick the story that interests you and then pick the source.”

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-09-21 17:13

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