Date

Fri - 24.11.2017


July 2007

The Vancouver-based citizen journalism site NowPublic.com has closed a $10.6 million round of financing with a series of Canadian and U.S. venture funds, the Web site announced Monday.

The deal was led by Rho ventures in New York and Montreal, as well as existing investors Brightspark and GrowthWorks Capital Ltd., both of which were seed investors, the site said in a statement.

The Series A financing is perhaps the largest of any citizen journalism site. OhMyNews.com of South Korea obtained an $11 million deal led by Softbank, but that was a Series B financing.

The citizen journalism site claims to have more than 100,000 contributing reporters in over 140 countries and 3,600 cities by “tapping into the news reporting potential of the hundreds of millions of Internet users, eye witnesses, bloggers and photography enthusiasts,” according to a statement. While NowPublic has a total of 20 staff members, with offices in New York, Vancouver and employees in Germany, Slovenia and Hungary, it does not have any professional editors on staff, except a former CTV reporter serving as “Actual News Guy” in helping to select stories.

The deal somewhat legitimizes not only NowPublic, but also the idea of citizen journalism, or “crowdsourcing,” as the site refers to it.

NowPublic has also expanded its prior content-sharing deal with the Associated Press, the company said in a statement. In the original deal, the AP's foreign bureaus had access to NowPublic photos and news reports, and that deal now includes the AP's U.S. bureaus.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 04:04

The Associated Press is closing down its “asap” service in October, saying the multimedia service failed to gain enough traction with newspaper clients, the AP has announced.

The asap service was launched in September 2005 as a way for the AP to target a younger audience, between the ages of 18 and 34, but has evolved into a venue to feature multimedia packages.

The 24 staffers were notified Friday that the service would no longer stand alone, and it is not known whether there will be any layoffs. Although asap Editor Ted Anthony declined to tell Editor and Publisher why the service is being disbanded, he did say part of the reason is to take asap's multimedia approach and weave it within other AP services, E&P stated in an article.

Asap has been a “terrific journalism success,” Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the news cooperative told AP staff in an internal memo Friday. “Economic success, however, has proved more elusive,” she wrote. Carroll has declined to comment on how much the AP invested in the unit, or how much losses were.

AP spokesman Paul Colford said in an AP article that the service had about 200 newspaper subscribers.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 04:03

The government in Kenya and media stakeholders have compromised on proposed amendments to the country's controversial media bill.

Media Owners Association Chairman Hannington Gaya and Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya activist and media consultant Tony Gachoka welcomed changes to the bill, but both are apprehensive that a Parliament “deemed hostile to the media may interfere with the passing of what they perceived as a 'healthy' bill,” AllAfrica has reported.

One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is a clause defining a journalist as one who “holds a diploma or degree in mass communication from a recognised institution of higher learning and is recognised by the council as such.” The bill also defines journalism, the meaning of a media enterprise and a publication.

Although Gaya is quoted by AllAfrica as saying the clause “makes journalism a respected profession, as it distinguishes who is a journalist and who is not,” the clause also severely restricts freedom of the press by allowing a government hostile to a free and independent press decide who is and who is not a journalist. It also makes criminals out of citizens who happen to be eyewitnesses to a newsworthy event, and then report on that event in some way.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 04:01

Richard Stott, 63, former editor of the Daily Mirror, died early this morning at home of pancreatic cancer, according to an announcement by his family.

Stott wrote columns for the News of the World, and more recently the Sunday Mirror, which he continued writing until shortly before his death. His last column in the Sunday Mirror was published June 3.

Stott worked as editor of several tabloid newspapers in the 1980s and '90s, starting with the Sunday People in 1984.

He took charge of the Daily Mirror twice, from 1985 to 1989, and in 1992. In between, he took on a second stint at the Sunday People. In 1993, he concluded his Fleet Street editing career in charge of Today, until 1995.

Stott started his journalism career in local newspapers and the Ferrari News Agency. He joined Daily Mirror as a reporter in 1968.

He later became the features editor and an assistant editor at the Daily Mirror, and then got his first editor's job at the Sunday People.
- Guardian Unlimited

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Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-31 03:59

A new free daily Hebrew newspaper has launched Sunday.

Israel Hayom distributed 150,000 copies in train and bus stations, with a goal of reaching a daily circulation of 300,000. For its first month, the paper will sell advertisements only to non-profit organisations, and distribution will include placing copies in private mailboxes, as well as being distributed in transportation hubs.

According to Editor and Publisher via the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom is being bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, an American casino mogul with close ties to former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The newspaper's editor-in-chief, Amos Regev, is also a close associate of the former prime minister, Editor and Publisher stated.

A free daily “bankrolled by one person with connections to a political figure” is cause for concern, Professor Eli Pollack, chairman of the non-profit watchdog group Media Watch, told the Post.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 03:57

After obtaining newspapers in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine, Mecom wants to expand into France too.

The European publisher bid for regional assets of the Le Monde Group and Lagardere, including free daily titles Monpellier Plus and Marseille Plus.

Newspaper Innovation reported Mecom's initial bid of 300 million euro has been rejected by the owners.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 03:55

European B2C e-commerce sales will grow threefold by 2011 to $407 billion, with a 25 percent annual growth rate over the next four years.

The United Kingdom, Germany and France are currently the market dominants, making up 72 percent of total online sales, according to eMarketer's new report, European B2C E-Commerce: Spotlight on the UK, Germany and France.

"By 2011, the combined market share of the three major B2C e-commerce markets — the UK, Germany and France — will drop slightly as smaller, second-tier markets provide a new wave of growth," said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer Senior Analyst. "Further out on the horizon, a third wave of growth will center on Eastern European countries as they begin embracing e-commerce."

Meanwhile, in the rest of Europe, Internet penetration varies by country. According to comScore World Metrix, the Netherlands and Nordic countries are the highest Internet-penetrated in Europe.

"Of course, it must be remembered that in terms of total Internet users, those countries are dwarfed by Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain," Grau said.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-31 03:53

The Bancroft family has until 5 p.m. today to present voting agreements on whether to sell Dow Jones & Co. to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which has offered $5 billion, or $60 a share, for the company.

The family, which controls 64 percent of Dow Jones's voting shares, headed into final deliberations over the company's fate yesterday, but a decision is still too close to call. Michael Elefante, the family's lead trustee, indicated to some on the board last night he has slightly less than 30 percent of the overall vote, according to The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear whether News Corp. would proceed with less than that.

News Corp. likely needs family votes representing about 30 percent of the overall vote to succeed, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. While some members of the Bancroft family have said they will vote in favour of the sale, others say that Murdoch's style would damage the journalistic integrity of Dow Jones's publications, especially The Wall Street Journal, its flagship newspaper.

When Elefante receives the signed voting agreements, he must inform the Dow Jones board of the results.

The Dow Jones board voted earlier this month in favour of Murdoch's takeover bid.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-31 02:42

DoubleClick, the Internet ad serving services developer and provider, launched a new video feature this week, which allows developers to create teaser ads with short flashes of video.

The new technology provide more options to advertisers, such as Universal Pictures, which DoubleClick had signed on as the partner to promote the film “The Bourne Ultimatum” coming in August, according to Media Post.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-28 05:38

Microsoft executives said they will response the threat to its software posed by competitors such as Google, who offer Web-based applications to users. They will add some similar online services to its most-famous PC application, such as Office or Excel.

At an annual meeting with financial analysts participating, Microsoft pointed out its plan at this stage is to compete with companies offering free or lower-cost “software as a service”.

“We're not moving toward a world of thin computing,” Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive said. “We're moving toward a world of software plus services.”

Ballmer also indicated that every Microsoft software application will be transformed with a Web-services component added within three to ten years.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-28 05:36

AOL has continued its Web remodeling, this week for its Money & Finance site. With the launch of the new-look site, AOL hopes to engage current users and eventually gain some attention while competing with Yahoo Finance, MSN Money and also Google Finance.

The brand new Money & Finance site, and AOL Sports and AOL News, which the remodeling were finished, reflect AOL's intention to switch traditional Web pages into a blog-style, interactive websites.

Marty Moe, SVP-Money & Finance said, “This is a huge, huge deal, a huge, huge effort of sustained proportion to lead in finance. ... The spoils will go to the property that is going to have the most dedicated sustained and focused inv*stm*nt.”

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-28 05:35

Microsoft yesterday announced an agreement to acquire AdECN, Inc., a California-based advertising exchange platform firm. Financial terms have not yet been disclosed.

AdECN provides technology serving as a hub for advertisers to buy and sell display advertising in a real-time auction setting. This deal will help also Microsoft develop itws search and display advertising platform, and advertisers and publishers achieve greatest ROI on their digital ad investments.

Kevin Johnson, president of Platforms and Services Division at Microsoft, said, “Both Microsoft and AdECN have a deep commitment to creating the technologies and platforms that enable advertisers and publishers to maximize their ROI in the digital marketplace. We believe the addition of AdECN to the Microsoft portfolio is a perfect fit and will create more efficiency for the industry by forming a more robust marketplace between advertisers and publishers, aggregating more supply and demand. This is good for the whole advertising industry.”

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Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-28 05:33

U.K. newspaper publisher DMGT and its subsidiary, Associated Northcliffe Digital, have signed with Tomorrow Focus, a German digital content company, to sell advertising on the Internet across a European advertising network.

The network calls itself Premium Publishers Online, and connects Spain's El Mundo, France's 01net and 01men, Holland's Telegraaf Media Groep, Agora Group and Poland's Gazeta. They will offer advertisers campaigns spanning the continent to reach up to 40.2 million users in eight European countries.

Associated Northcliffe Digital, which operates sites including DailyMail.co.uk and ThisIsLondon.co.uk, will have sales staff selling ad inventory into the network from London, paidContent reported.

As newspapers begin to realise they can profit from their editorial clout, more are creating their own ad networks.

Last week, The Guardian announced it would partner with Adify, which also partners Time Warner, The Washington Post Company, Reed Business Information, NBC Universal, MediaNews Group, RP Online and Comcast Corporation, among others, according to the company's Web site.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-27 05:34

Timesonline.co.uk is the only UK national newspaper Web site reporting a significant gain in readers and increased monthly traffic, according to figures released Thursday by ABC Electronic.

The Guardian and Telegraph both posted month-on-month unique users down, while the Sun saw the number of unique users barely up versus the prior month.

The Times overtook the Sun in previous market position, moving into the position as the United Kingdom's second most popular newspaper Web site, according to ABCe numbers. Although unique user numbers dropped to 14.5 million in June from 16.1 in May, a 9.6 percent drop, the Guardian Unlimited is still the most read UK newspaper site.

The Times unique users grew 10.5 percent, from 8.7 million in May to 9.7 in June. The Sun dropped to third place, with an increase of .2 percent to just over 9 million users in June. The Telegraph's site also saw slowing figures, with 7.1 million unique users in June, down from 7.3 million in May.

Due to its £10 million re-launch in March, Times online has been building traffic. Before the redesigned site, the original Times online had attracted 10 million unique users in January 2007.

Via
Journalism.co.uk
The Guardian

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Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-27 05:32

Print media such as newspapers and magazines are not being pushed aside due to the growing popularity of digital publishing, the Magazine Association of Thailand announced.

“The claim that consumers have gradually stopped reading magazines is a myth,” said Wiluck Lohtong, the association's secretary-general, who is also the CEO of Inspire Entertainment Co., at a seminar on the magazine industry's trends on Monday. He said the myth that young people do not read print media anymore is false.

Thanachai Theerapattanavong, the association's president, indicated that it was difficult for digital publishing to cannibalise ad spending from traditional printed publishing since the Internet penetration in Thailand was only 12.5 percent, way behind 68.2 percent in Hong Kong and 69.2 percent in North America.

"Audiences in countries that have high Internet penetration rates are likely to shift to reading online, but I do not think that it will happen in Thailand soon," he said.

However Theerapattanavong suggests that magazine and newspaper publishers should also have digital publishing, which maintains ad spending and offers readers brand new multimedia experiences.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-27 05:29

Baidu.com, the most popular Chinese search engine, said its second quarter revenue and profits more than doubled compared to the same period in 2006, although its growth rate is expected to slow down.

This Wednesday, Baidu announced its second quarter revenue achieved 401.3 million renminbi, representing a 109 percent growth, while net income grew 143 percent to 141.9 million renminbi. Both increases are obviously lower than last year, which indicates the Chinese Internet market and Baidu's business size are near maturity.

During the second quarter of 2006, Baidu's revenue rose by 175 percent, and its net income grew by 385 percent. In the second quarter of 2005, the company had tremendous growth in both revenue and net income, at 187 and 626 percent, respectively.

As Baidu's business grows, it is more difficult for executives to keep up with the big gains in the previous year. However, the company has said its future business growth will remain strong.

"During the second quarter, we saw robust revenue growth and a healthy increase in online marketing customers," Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-27 05:27

In a letter published in Thursday's Le Monde, journalists at the French financial daily Les Echos appealed to Bernard Arnault to quit talks to buy the newspaper because they say he does not know anything about the newspaper business.

“The newspaper business is a profession. It's not yours. We do not want you to send Les Echos into an infernal cycle of deficits. It would guarantee for certain that we lose our independence,” the letter stated.

Les Echos journalists also criticised Arnault's management of the French financial daily La Tribune, which he already owns, Guardian Unlimited has reported. Billionaire Arnault also owns the world's largest luxury goods maker, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

“You have been injecting massive amounts of cash in La Tribune, our competitor, a daily that we respect but has neither been able to increase its readership nor to earn any money,” wrote Vincent de Feligonde, the president of the Les Echos' journalists' society - the group representing journalists' interests over editorial questions. “If you manage to grab Les Echos without the support of its editorial team and of a great number of its readers, how do you think you will create the climate of trust that is indispensable (for its development)? To each his profession.”

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-27 05:05

The number of help-wanted advertisements in U.S. newspapers in June spiraled to a 49-year low, a research group announced Thursday.

The Conference Board, a global business research and membership organisation, stated that its Help-Wanted Advertising Index, which measures job offerings in major newspapers across the United States, dropped one point in June, to reach the index number of 26. That number was 32 a year ago.

In the past three months, help-wanted ads declined in all U.S. regions, with the biggest drops in the Pacific (down 24.6 percent), East South Central (down 16.4 percent) and Mountain (down 15.4 percent), the board said in a statement posted to its Web site.

The research also found the total number of job ads posted online was 4,280,400 in June, a drop of two percent, or 94,000, from May. For every 100 people in the labor force in June, there were 2.8 advertised vacancies online, according to the statement.

“Already, there are signs that job advertising volume is edging a little lower — with very slight decreases in each of the past two months,” said Ken Goldstein, a labour economist at The Conference Board. “Other forward indicators of labor market activity are not much stronger than the measure based on print advertising. Online volume showed a little loss in momentum in recent months. Initial unemployment claims also have turned more flat.”

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-27 05:03

A department editor at Azerbaijani newspaper Bizim Yol (Our Way) has been sentenced to three months in prison in a closed court hearing Thursday for taking $35,000 in bribes from a Labour and Social Protection Ministry employee.

Mushvig Huseynov was detained Tuesday by Azerbaijani National Security Ministry officials and was sentenced at Narimanov District Court by Judge Gulnara Tagizade. Huseynov is expected to make an appeal within three days, and has not admitted guilt.

Huseynov has been charged with bribery and told Trend News Agency he “disagrees with the accusation and considers it provocation.”

Emin Huseynov, the chief of Journalists' Freedom and Security Institute, told APA that Mushfig Huseynov has tuberculosis, as well as two children, one of whom is handicapped. Mushfig is being detained in Bayil, he said.

“The court did not take all this into consideration. We monitored the process. Mushfig Huseynov does not admit his guilt,” Emin Huseynov said.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-27 05:01

The chairman of Lambrakis Press has sold 830,000 shares in the Greek publishing company.

Christos Lambrakis reduced his stake by 1 percent, and now controls 7.364 percent of the shares, and 33.242 percent of its voting rights.

Lambrakis donated 1.8 million euro, part of the sale's proceeds, to the Lambrakis Foundation.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-27 04:57

Newspapers' online audiences are growing twice as fast as the Internet's general audience, according to research by Nielsen//NetRatings for the Newspaper Association of America.

This new research is being used to support the NAA's new ad campaign, Newspaper: The Multi-Medium. The campaign aims to attract marketers to newspaper Web sites based on the apparent higher earning power and sophistication of newspaper readers compared to average web surfers.

“With newspapers reaching 70 percent of the adult population each week, advertisers have the opportunity to communicate their message to an audience that views advertising as an integral part of the newspaper package,” said John Sturm, NAA President and CEO, in a statement on the NAA's Web site.

The Nielsen//NetRatings report for the NAA found that:

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2007-07-26 06:22

Due to a drop in ad sales, the Tribune Company has announced its second-quarter profit fell 59 percent.

The company's net income dropped to $36.3 million from $87.8 million. That's a 10 cent drop per share, from 28 cents to 18 cents, Tribune said today in a statement. In the period that ended July 1, sales fell 6.8 percent to $1.31 billion.

Despite the media giant's profit woes, Tribune is on track with its plan to go private in a deal with billionaire Sam Zell in the fourth quarter this year, said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune's chief executive officer.

“Our going-private transaction is on track and the financing for it is fully committed,” FitzSimons said.

Edward Atorino, an analyst at Benchmark Co. in New York, told Bloomberg he rates Tribune's shares “hold,” and said although the company's revenue was “pretty bad,” it wasn't worse than he had expected.

“They said they're going to try to get (the deal with Zell) done, which is all that really counts,” Atorino is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-26 06:19

A police report against Malaysian webmaster Raja Petra Kamaruddin is causing many in cyberspace to believe a crackdown against Web sites and blogs critical of the government looms in the near future.

The United Malays National Organisation's chief information officer, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, filed the report Monday against postings on Kamaruddin's Malaysia Today Web site which he said insulted the king and incited racial hatred.

This move comes 11 days after Nathaniel Tan, a webmaster with an opposition party, was detained by police in connection with a probe under the Official Secrets Act.

“Is the axe finally coming down in Malaysian cyberspace?” opposition leader Lim Kit Siang is quoted as writing on his blog.

Many in the country view the two police acts as the beginning of a crackdown on people attacking the Abdullah administration, in order to muzzle dissent before Malaysia's next general election.

Many see the two events as the start of a crackdown on those who attack the Abdullah administration, with a view to muzzling dissent before the next general election.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was quoted as saying as much in Malaysiakini, the news portal yesterday.

“Yes there is an attempt. But you cannot stop people from using the Internet,” Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister is quoted as saying in Malaysiakini, a news Web site in Malaysia.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-26 06:16

The Daily Mirror Wednesday said that by using the Terrorism Act to arrest two of its staff, the British Transport Police has jeopardised the future of investigative journalism in Britain.

Mirror undercover reporter Tom Parry and photographer Roger Allen were released early Wednesday morning on bail, after the police used the act to arrest them at the Stonebridge Park rail depot in northwest London Tuesday. They are scheduled to reappear in court in September.

The Mirror dismissed reports that the two journalists had attempted to put a fake bomb on a Channel tunnel train, and said that the “tracking device” is part of a series of investigations to test rail freight security.

“To be arrested under the Terrorism Act 2001 is more than alarming, it's completely disproportionate to the alleged crime,” the Daily Mirror head of news, Gary Jones, is quoted by Guardian Unlimited as saying. “Journalists should be fearing for the future of investigative journalism if journalists carrying out legitimate journalistic exercises are arrested under the Terrorism Act.”

Jones also said police had raided the homes of both men, taking a computer hard drive, notebooks and a video cassette from Parry's home.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2007-07-26 06:15


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