Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


September 2009

About two out of three Americans object to advertisers' tracking their behaviours online, according to a new survey from professors at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley. The number is even higher when they learn the different ways marketers use to follow their online movements, The New York Times reported.

The privacy topic has become a hot issue. Advocates claim that online usage tracking by Web sites and advertisers has gone too far, while marketers are arguing that advertising supports free online content. In July, major advertising trade groups proposed some measures they hoped would fend off regulation, such as a clear notice to Web users stating they were being tracked.

The survey conduct interviews with 1,000 adult online users. Sixty-six percent said they are averse to tailored ads. When informed that they were tracked on the site, another 7 percent said it was "not OK." An additional 18 percent of the original 66 percent said so when they were tracked via other Web sites, and an additional 20 percent said so when they were tracked offline, according to The New York Times article.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-09-30 19:46

Subscriber churn - that is, the number of people who cancel their subscriptions - has fallen drastically, Editor & Publisher reported today. In 2008, churn fell to 31.8 percent from 54.5 percent in 2000, according to the Newspaper Association of America, which just released its 2009 Circulation Facts, Figures and Logic study.

"As the fall in subscriber churn indicates, publishers have focused their efforts on retaining subscribers in key market segments that translate into maximum advertiser value," said John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, according to E&P.
The new report from the NAA found that 32 percent of newspapers priced their daily edition at 75 cents at the end of 2008 compared to 2 percent in 2006. The seven-day, home-delivered weekday rate also rose to US$3.66 in 2008 from $3.37 in 2006.

That said, newspapers are also extending discounts to hang on to subscribers. In 2008, 92 percent of newspapers offered a discount with a recurring payment plan. Additionally, 15 percent of newspapers outsource home delivery while 40 percent deliver other publications, according to the study.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-30 17:53

Throughout 2005, the year after Google went public on the NASDAQ, the company commissioned multiple research agencies to run analysis on the importance of Internet search and search advertising in purchasing decisions across a variety of verticals, TechCrunch reported Wednesday.

Part of this research eventually found its way to the Google AdWords product page, which permits newspaper publishers to gain insight into consumer behavior important to advertisers.

For the Beauty vertical, the survey yielded insightful data on which influential information sources [besides Google's search engine] respondents indicated as important to them when purchasing beauty products on the Web.

Topping the list were Print (49%) and TV (46%), closely followed by search engines searches and POS displays in stores (both 43%). Sponsored links in search results was surprisingly low in the list, with 12% of respondents saying it's an important resource for them when buying skin care products, fragrances etc. In February, Google tabled a test project through which it had published print ads for newspapers.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-30 17:29

The much anticipated Apple tablet is expected to have a 10.7 inch s creen and follow after the iPhone aesthetically, Mirror.co.uk reported today.

According to an unnamed source, the screen will have 5 to 6 times higher resolution than the iPhone. The tablet is expected to be announced in January, and out in May or June 2010.

Michael Tchao, who previously worked on Apple's Newton, a failed personal digital assistant, was rehired by Apple Monday, The New York Times reported.

"No one knows what Tchao's actual duties are, but considering his previous experience with the tablet format, some are speculating Tchao may be back to help Apple figure out a way to market its mythical tablet," a PC World article stated.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-30 16:12

A consumer advocacy columnist terminated by Connecticut newspaper The Hartford Courant this summer has sued his former employer in state court, alleging the newspaper violated his right to free speech when it fired him in order to appease advertisers, Editor & Publisher reported Wednesday.

The Courant blames the current economic downturn for the separation, further noting that the columnist, George Gombossy, never had a contract and, so, was an at-will employee who could be fired at any time for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-30 16:07

Online social networking advertising spending worldwide reached US$2 billion in 2008, and is expected to grow to $3.49 billion in 2013, according to eMarketer.

The spending increased with a growth of 46 percent in 2008. In the following years, although the rise is predicted to slow, it is still expected to maintain a double digit growth rate until 2013, when it is forecast to see a 9.6 percent annual increase, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported.

In 2008, MySpace accounted for the majority of the overall online social networking ad spending, with 54 percent, or $850 million. Facebook came next with 20 percent, or $305 million. Other general or niche social networking sites made up the rest.

In Western Europe, online social networking ad spending reached $170 million in 2007, and is expected to rise to $970 million in 2012, according to eMarketer. The United Kingdom is the key market in the region, contributing $130 million in 2007, and expected to increase to $533 million in 2012.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-09-29 18:16

The British government is seeking public input on the multiple-publication rule - currently in force - under which each publication of defamatory material can form the basis of a new defamation claim.

Comments for and against adopting a single-publication rule are being collected via Internet through December 16, 2009, due to the proliferation of online archives. TechCrunch suggests that the multi-publication rule promotes "libel tourism," or forum shopping, in which parties and actions with virtually no ties to the United Kingdom bring suit in that jurisdiction on the basis of Internet access there.

In the single versus multiple debate, UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said: "Existing defamation law needs to be updated so that it is fit for the modern age."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 17:41

Some U.S. newspaper plans are under-funded by hundreds of millions of dollars, and a law is kicking in that will force companies to become fully funded in the next seven years, Editor & Publisher reported today.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 applies to all companies that offer the traditional "defined benefit" pension plan that accumulates money and pays it out in set amounts when an employee retires.
These are different from the "defined contribution" 401(k) plans that have largely replaced them. The pension act does not apply to 401(k) plans.

An updated status of newspaper pension funds was recently published in the second edition of Credit Encyclo-Media, an annual report by Fitch Ratings.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 16:57

The Associated Press is making its AP Stylebook available on an iPhone application for the first time, the news service announced Monday.

Developed by the team that created the AP Mobile multimedia news portal, the application will allow journalists to access the 2009 Stylebook on their iPhones, and features searchable listings for main, business, sports and punctuation sections.

"As we continue to develop new AP Mobile products, we are focused squarely on delivering information on demand that's highly relevant to our users - be it breaking local news stories or guidance for anyone who cares about good writing," Jeff Litvack, AP's general manager of mobile and emerging products, stated in a press release.

The application will cost US$28.99, whereas list price for the print copy of the book is $18.95, mediabistro.com reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 16:52

Total newsprint consumption in the United States plummeted 27.1 percent year-over-year in August, exceeding the decline year-to-date low of 25.6 percent, according to data released by the Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC), Editor & Publisher reported today. Also, after improving in July, mill operating rates again fell in August.

At least one newspaper has felt a positive impact from the consequential price decrease. Gannett Chief Financial Officer Gracia Martore said in a statement that although Gannett's newspaper advertising revenue was down 32 percent from the year before in the second quarter, the significantly lower newsprint expense resulted in a substantial decline in its operating expenses.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 16:18

Three newspaper companies have come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection: American Community Newspapers LLC, Journal Register Co. and Star Tribune Holdings Corp., The Associated Press reported Monday.

American Community Newspapers first filed for Chapter 11 protection in April because it was running out of cash "without any prospect of obtaining additional funding." The company was sold to senior creditors after judge approval in June, clearing most of the group's debt. The company publishes three daily newspapers.

The Journal Register Co., which publishes 22 daily papers and more than 300 weeklies, sought bankruptcy protection in August with $692 million worth of debt. This was cut to $225 million in exchange for creditor ownership.

Star Tribune Holding Corp. was forced to seek Chapter 11 protection in January with a $480 million debt load. The company's reorganisation plan, approved on Monday, saw debt reduced to $100 million as the senior lenders, led by investment group Angelo, Gordon & Co., become the new owners of the company. The company will now be called Star Tribune Media Co. with 95 percent of its stock owned by its senior secured creditors and Michael Sweeny, the newly appointed chairman, the Minneapolis Business Journal reported Monday.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 13:39

Media giant Virgin Media confirmed it will soon be listed on the London Stock Exchange, Guardian.co.uk reported Monday. The company plans to make its first appearance on the London market when trading opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

However, Virgin's primary listing will remain on New York's Nasdaq exchange. The move recognises that the company is both commercially and physically focused in the United Kingdom and will facilitate British and European investment in the company as shares can now be purchased in pounds sterling.
Virgin is worth more than US$4 billion on the Nasdaq, however this primary listing precludes the company's almost certain inclusion in the FTSE 100 index of the UK's top listed companies.

The Nasdaq listing was carried over from the merger of cable firm NTL, and two further companies that became Virgin Media, Reuters explained on Monday. The new listing will not see any new shares issued but allow current shares to be bought and sold on the London market through depository interest notes.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 13:34

Chinese online media company Sina Corp. has dropped its planned US$1.66 billion merger with Focus Media Holding Ltd. afflicted by a laborious regulatory approval process, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Alternatively, internal investment will occur, with Sina's chief executive leading a $180 million purchase of a 10 percent equity stake in the company.

Sina, who owns China's largest Internet portal, had planned to acquire Focus Media's advertising assets but the expansion into offline advertising was seen as risky. The deal would have seen Sina exchange stock for Focus Media's bulletin boards and flat panel display products.

However the deal expired on Wednesday after it failed to receive approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which has pushed back its review of the deal several times since the purchase of Focus Media's core assets was announced in December 2008.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-29 08:55

A new poll conducted by paidContent:UK and Harris Interactive showed most consumers are resistant to paying for online newspapers, the Guardian reported.

However, the study also found one possible hope for publishers: print and online may work in tandem. Only 5 percent of respondents who read a news site at least once a month would pay for online access. However, if a free or discounted printed paper subscription is provided, that number was up to a combined 48 percent.

Although the proportion of people who are not willing to pay still remains a majority, it's only a slight win - "it seems the printed edition could leverage online subscriptions; not just among existing readers of the paper, but also among those who don't already buy it," paidContent:UK reported.

This data shows most people think physical products should have tangible economic value, while digital content is expected to be cheaper.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-09-28 17:23

The Washington Post issued strict guidelines for off-duty publication by staffers late Friday in response to an editor's recent activity on social networking site Twitter.

The Washington Post calls all personal posts by employees property of the paper and made the editor delete her account because it revealed an opinion on an issue, techcrunch.com reported Monday.

A blogger at Mediaite questioned the move, saying "in this age of self-branded journalists, where power and readership loyalty is often the result of an audience's personal connection with the writer, is it really a good idea to remove all evidence of personality from the reporter's product? There is an argument to be made that readers are savvy enough to separate the personal from the reported." The article asked whether The Post wasn't signing its own death sentence by drawing such distinct lines.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:41

Harbinger Capital sold five million shares of New York Times Co. (NYT) stock Sept. 17 at US$8.25 a share, according to an SEC filing, alleyinsider.com reported last week.

Harbinger said it still considers its stake in the Times Co. a core asset, but the hedge fund has nonetheless taken a beating on its investment in the newspaper publisher, The Deal section of The New York Times reported.

Between 2007 and 2008, the hedge fund spent $500 million building its stake in the company. Its remaining 16 percent stake is now worth around $192 million. Harbinger had taken heavy paper losses on the stock when the share price collapsed along with all other publicly-traded newspaper companies in late 2008, Editor & Publisher also reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:24

Two weeks ahead of Sudan's first elections in more than 20 years, President Omar al-Bashir ordered an immediate stop to any practices of state censorship of media, Reuters reported Monday.

The announcement, carried by the official Suna news agency, was cautiously welcomed by editors who have received similar to promises from the government in the past. However, they said they still believe they will be pressured when it comes to "sensitive stories," according to an Al Jazeera report.
Sudan has around 30 newspapers in both English and Arabic, representing a broad range of political views. However, a number of these titles have been subjected to broad state intervention when looking to print difficult issues.

In June the government had guaranteed the "freedom of the press" in a new law, but newspapers have continued to be subjected to restrictions on their abilities, Al Jazeera reported. These included nightly visits from state security officers to oversee and often alter or remove stories before they reached the public.

The editors Reuters spoke to said titles have been forced to close after having entire print-runs seized by authorities, especially when the articles addressed difficult issues within Sudan.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:19

The rise of digital around the world won't hurt print in China, where press freedom is scarce, but state-run newspapers have continued to succeed, due to government ownership and media monopolies, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported today.

The largest newspaper in China, the government owned People's Daily, prints 2.8 million copies per day. The newspaper derives its main revenue from subscriptions and big business advertising, many of which are also state owned.

In a country where the press and many advertisers are run by the government, it's not hard to see why the state is keeping itself in business. Editors at People's Daily in Beijing told visiting Filipino journalists that the paper does not fear the growth of online sources of news. The editors stressed that financially, the newspapers are self-supporting and ideologically, the Chinese people are reliant on the government papers for news.

The editors said they believe their monopolized sources have readers committed to newspapers and cautious of blogs and online news, according to the Inquirer.

The People's Daily publishing group has 30 branches across the country as well as bureaux overseas. The group also publishes two English-language newspapers, China Daily and the Global Times. Each of the English language papers publishes three pages of international news, drawn from Hsinhua, the national news agency, and The Associated Press.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 16:14

Because so many people use mobile phones, and because mobiles can receive so many types of information, from text to multimedia, the mobile platform is positioned to both reach fragmented audiences and increase interaction between users and brands, according to Havas Digital's report, Mobext Insight Global Mobile: A Worldview.

Each day, the mass-reach of text and picture messaging on mobile grows in Asia, Europe and America, making it an increasingly important multimedia communications channel, according to report. Yet, mobile marketing is in its infancy.

"Given high SMS penetration in the US and Western europe, Mobext believes SMS should be offered as a consumer response channel wherever possible, especially for non-interactive media like traditional television, print and outdoor. As targeting becomes available, for example, through location-based services like mobile search that are still in an experimental stage, marketers willing to innovate can break through the clutter of marketing messages," the report states.

The report recommends agencies adopt consumer guidelines for planning mobile initiatives, such as those developed by the Mobile Marketing Association.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 14:06

Philadelphia Newspapers LLC's road out of bankruptcy protection has been slowed as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. voiced objections to the publisher's planned reorganisation. The PBGC said the proposal does not adequately address how the company will honour its pension obligations, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

Court documents filed by PBGC on Thursday object to the publishing company's suggestion that the pension plan can be kept or terminated due to bankruptcy proceedings. Philadelphia Newspapers owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, and the plan covers 250 present and retired employees, according to Editor & Publisher.
The federal corporation that guarantees 44 million Americans their pension payments disagreed that the pension programme was free to be scrapped, arguing the publisher must follow specific laws relating to the termination of pension contracts. The PBGC said so far the publisher's pension fund had missed around $10.3 million in payments, according to the WSJ.

The newspaper publisher last month announced a proposal that would see the company exit bankruptcy under the ownership of a group of investors who would put $35 million in the company as well as a $17 million letter of credit.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-28 14:00

The telecom market worldwide was worth US$1.18 trillion in 2006, and surged to $1.25 trillion in 2007, with more than half coming from mobile services, and more than 30 percent from developing countries, according to IDATE.

Numbers of fixed lines totalled 1.25 billion in 2006 and climbed to 1.26 billion in 2007, reaching 20 percent of the global population, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported.

The number of mobile subscribers grew from 2.67 billion worldwide in 2006 to 3.18 billion in 2007, with penetration of more than 50 percent of the total population.

Broadband subscribers, meanwhile, grew from 279 million to 348 million. However, the penetration was still low, at 5.5 percent in 2007, according to IDATE.

Numbers of fixed lines globally totalled 1.13 billion in 2003, with an approximate 50-50 split from industrialised and developing countries.

The numbers were up to 1.26 billion in 2007, in which growth was seen in developing countries, but the numbers declined in industrialised nations, according to the report, World Digital Media Trends 2009, released by SFN and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-09-25 21:21

A representative for the newspaper industry on Thursday appealed to Congress to give newspapers an opportunity to recoup taxes paid on profits over the last decade as the industry struggles to cope with declines in advertising revenue, The Associated Press reported Friday.

John Strum, the Newspaper Association of America's president and CEO, said newspapers do not want a government handout, but rather he believes the industry would better benefit from a tax break and relaxed pension contributions. His proposal would see newspapers receive tax refunds from the past 5 years to offset current losses.
Current law allows losses within two years of a recorded profit to be covered by tax refunds. However many newspapers have not see profit during the last two years.

"Newspapers need cash now to preserve jobs next year," he said, according to the AP. "It's really that simple."

Strum said a bailout from the government would create a conflict of interests for an industry "whose core mission is news gathering, analysis and dissemination often involving that very same government."

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, said she thinks the government should be able to provide a solution that would aid newspapers financially without treading on their independence, according to the AP.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-25 19:05

Future news markets, or the "New News Organisation," will be made up of hyperlocal, local news networks and publicly supported journalism, Jeff Jarvis and Steve Shepard, of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, told the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communication and Society earlier this year.

Judy Sims, who most recently worked as the Toronto Star Media Group's vice president of digital media, agrees, pointing out that "it's local newspapers that are best positioned" to form the New News Organisation.

"Why? Two words: local advertisers. For small businesses, advertising is, was and always will be about return on investment. If the cash register doesn't ring, the model won't work. And metro newspapers know, understand and are trusted by local advertisers more than anyone else in their markets. For now anyway," Sims wrote in an article for paidContent today.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-25 18:39

The Washington Post Magazine, published as an insert of The Washington Post's Sunday edition, will unveil a new look and new features for its readers beginning this weekend. The redesigned magazine retains the Date Lab feature, restaurant reviews, "Below the Beltway" political gossip column, autobiographical sketches of local personalities, and several types of puzzles, the Post announced in a press release.

New features include updates on previously reported stories as well as "The Breakdown," which explains little-known facts about often-seen objects. Shares of WPO did not show a change on the news.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-25 18:30


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