Date

Wed - 13.12.2017


November 2010

After seven years of searching, Tony Elliott, the founder of UK publishing group Time Out, announced last week that he sold half the company to private equity group Oakley Capital Investments in order to fund online and digital expansion, Press Association informed.

The equity firm was thought to value the publisher at £20 (€24) million. According to Elliott, Oakley Capital will help the initiative because of "its entrepreneurial operational focus" and assist Time Out in embarking on a "hugely successful worldwide digital journey." He let slip that the publisher would not be putting up a paywall since it deals with information that was "built to last forever," The Independent wrote.

Image: Knomo

Elliott explained that the publishing house never had enough capital to correspond to its expansion plans, The Independent reported. In January, the founder had to donate £3 (€3.6) million from his own pocket to ameliorate the £8.3 (€9.9) million debt. However, last week Elliott declared that Time Out had never been under threat, according to The Independent.

Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2010-11-30 20:43

All newspapers, television channels and radio stations owned by members of the Russian government will be put up for sale, according to presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich, Polit.ru reported today.

The announcement comes following a speech given by President Dmitry Medvedev at the Federal Assembly of Russia, during which he outlined that public figures as such should not be the owners of "factories, newspapers, steamships," Trud.ru wrote. He said official bodies should only be involved with fields that encourage quality performance of duties, suggesting that all other industries should be privatised.

Dvorovich: Image via Popnano

"Right now, it's a pointless waste of time. They are to be sold, but the date hasn't been established yet," Dvorkovich said, Interfax.ru informed.

Trud.ru pointed out that around 80 percent of regional press is currently owned by the corresponding local authorities. Dvorkovich said he believes it is necessary to focus on nurturing the concept of the Russian media as an independent source of information, News.Bcm notified.

Another possible reason for wanting to sell? Running media companies is an expensive undertaking.

Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2010-11-30 19:39

As the holidays approach, gift giving - and online buying - are in full swing. Publishers selling products, from subscriptions to travel packages to household items, can only better their businesses by making their sites easier and safer to use.

Scott Smigler, founder and president of Internet marketing company Exclusive Concepts, Inc., which specialises in small to mid-sized online retailers, wrote a checklist of advice for those selling online. His advice, featured on Mashable.com, states that one of the most important things retailers can do is make sure quality control is utmost. This includes making sure customers understand the site is secure, easy to use, is error-free, and loads quickly on all types of browsers.

For the full list, visit his article on Mashable.com.

Image: onlineshopsblog.com

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-30 18:57

News Corp.'s COO may be getting frustrated with the financial performance of MySpace - so much so that he admitted Monday at the Reuters Global Media Summit that he is open to selling or partnering with another company, paidContent reported. In fact, revamping MySpace could be the first step towards successfully selling the social networking site, Reuters pointed out.

"There are opportunities here to do 20 things (with MySpace) but that doesn't mean you're going to do any of the 20. If there's something there that makes sense you ought to think about it," said COO Chase Carey, according to Reuters. However, merging MySpace with another company before revamping it could be difficult, and "would have undervalued it against what we think it could be."

News Corp. COO Chase Carey: Photo, Getty Images via CBSNews.com
Less than a month ago, Carey said in an earnings call that the social networking site's losses were "not acceptable or sustainable" and that the company must "make real headway in the coming quarters to get this business to a sustainable level," according to Wall Street Journal Blogs.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-30 18:06

A bill that would create harsher punishments for those who attack journalists has been submitted to the lower house of the country's parliament, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported. However, the legislation is "not enough," said lawmaker Irina Yarovaya.

Earlier this month, two journalists were violently attacked in Moscow. Oleg Kashin was beaten outside of his home and had to be put into an induced coma, and Anatoly Adamchuk was attacked two days later, according to Journalism.co.uk.

Photo via RIA Novosti: Oleg Kashin, a reporter for Kommersant, was beaten outside his home earlier this month.
Russia has one of the worst safety records for journalists in the world, ranked fifth, behind Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico, according tot he International Press Institute. At least 35 journalists were murdered in Russia between 2000 and 2009, RIA Novosti noted.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-30 16:57

The ease and low cost of publishing content on the web has meant firstly that anyone can do it, and secondly that companies have taken advantage of this ease coupled with people's desire to publish their writing to generate income. These 'content farms' - such as Demand Media - churn out large amounts of content a day, which is highly optimized for search and therefore consistently appears high in search results, leading to criticism from newspaper publishers that they are threatening traditional journalism.

One company that offers a similar service to writers is Vancouver-based Suite101. But Suite101 is not a content farm, said its CEO Peter Berger. "We see ourselves as a service for writers and contributors," and "we see the writers as the core of our company, so we look at where they can create value."

For more on this story, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-30 16:23

Swedish media group Bonnier last week launched its News+ system for the iPad, a product that aims to start from scratch, fresh for the tablet, minonline.com reported today.

The concept for the News+ product is an answer to the question, "What if the newspaper had only been invented in the age of tablets?" and creates a tablet-specific experience that is completely different from print and the Web, minonline's Steve Smith explained.

Bonnier, which owns titles including Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Borsen, Dagens Industri and Sydesvenskan, previewed a magazine design platform for tablets and touchscreens in 2009, called Mag+. It has since been used for multiple magazine platforms, News & Tech reported.

Previously, Bonnier also worked on the Popular Science iPad app, according to touchreviews.net.

"Reading News+ means taking part in a conversation. You can connect with your social networks, and share the articles that you want to talk about with your friends," a video created by Bonnier explains. It also details its plans for the future of advertising, and how ads can be more helpful and interactive.

Here is the video that shows what Bonnier envisions to be the future of newspapers:

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-30 00:06

Wikileaks has struck again, this time releasing a quarter of a million confidential US diplomatic cables to select news organisations. After several days of anticipation following the US state department's warning to Congress on 24 November, The Guardian, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El Pais published their first stories yesterday.

Wikileaks itself is publishing the cables in batches over the next few months. "The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice," said the organisation's dedicated site for this leak. It is the largest classified information release so far. The site allows users to browse the cables by date or by origin.

For more on this story, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-29 22:43

The oldest newspaper in Indiana will begin delivering in the mornings instead of later in the day, and will also close its Monday edition in order to publish on Saturdays instead, The Associated Press reported today.

The changes at the Vincennes Sun-Commercial will begin Dec. 11, and were implemented because readers and advertisers prefer getting their news earlier in the day, as well as having an edition on Saturday, publisher Rob Eilts said.

The newspaper already publishes a Sunday edition, and will be able to offer readers coverage of Friday night sports the first thing Saturday morning, Editor Gayle Robbins told the AP in an article published by the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper's online edition has a closed paywall. When readers click on a headline, they are directed to a login page or asked to select a subscription service: US$1 per day, $5.70 per month, $17.10 for three months, $34.20 for six months and $68.40 for a year.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-29 21:22

The first issue of the Catalan-language daily Ara was published on Sunday with a circulation of 120,000 copies, El Mundo reported. Its website went live early in the morning, with special coverage of Parliament elections in Catalonia.

The Sunday edition included a 150-page supplement that featured 83 interviews with prominent Catalans like singer Joan Manuel Serrat and writer Jaume Cabre. According to a note posted on its website, the online version received up to 23,000 page views per hour. "We have exceeded all possible expectations for a project in Catalan."

Ara will have three supplements each week dedicated to education, business and culture, ABC.es pointed out. Thanks to an agreement with the International Herald Tribune, the newspaper will also include columns written by economist Paul Krugman, Italian writer Umberto Eco and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The newsroom of the Catalan-language daily, which has an initial budget of €70 million, has more than 80 journalists and is directed by Carles Capdevilla.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-29 16:25

The time audiences spend with mainstream media coverage of elections is declining in Australia, The Australian reported today.

When looking at newspaper, television, radio and online, political scientist Sally Young found that some television and newspaper audiences may be migrating online, but the percentage of people saying they use the Internet "many times" for election news rose from 0 percent in 1987 to just 5 percent 20 years later. Specifically in print, the research shows that the number of hard political stories is down, in proportion of total print content; however, some newspapers are doing "much more" online, she said.

Image: Sally Young's book, "How Australia Decides: Election Reporting and the Media" will be published in December

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-29 16:07

Greek newspaper To Vima published its last daily print edition on Saturday and will only be available online from now on, other than a weekly Sunday print edition, greekreporter.com revealed.

The decision was taken due to the newspaper's declining circulation. Three years ago, the Sunday print edition had a circulation of 199,364 copies, according to the data from the Association of Owners of Athens Daily Newspapers.

To Vima explained in an editorial published on its website that "online visitors had far outnumbered newsstand buyers--selling 8,000 print issues Thursday, while receiving 82,000 online visitors," Business Week quoted.

The newspaper, which was founded in 1922 and it's owned by Lambrakis Press group, will offer "a completely new electronic" version in January.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-29 15:52

Apple and News Corp may be ready to launch The Daily on December 9, according to John Gruber, of Daring Fireball. Apple may also announce subscriptions through iTunes, enabling consumers to receive automatically delivered newspapers and magazines directly to their iPads.

Rupert Murdoch's first tablet-only publication will be launched exclusively as an app for the iPad, and appear later on Android tablets. Its budget is believed to be US$30 million, with a staff of about 100.

Currently, iPad users download and pay for digital issues of a publication one issue at a time, Digital Trends pointed out.

"In addition to this being moderately inconvenient, it also keeps consumer information out of publishers' hands. Which is why, up to this point, publishers haven't warmed to the idea of rolling subscriptions through the App Store. Apple's refusal to share subscriber data limits publishers' ability to target their audiences for advertising and marketing purposes."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-26 17:28

Global sales of "street" papers, which includes magazines and newspapers sold by homeless vendors, increased 10 percent in the last year, according to the latest data provided by the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), Journalism.co.uk reported Monday.

Readership of the 155 publications, which are sold in 40 countries and offered in 24 languages, also increased from 4.8 million in 2009 to 5.3 million in 2010. The INSP stated in a press release that the major growths were reported in North America, Europe and Asia.

Photo source: International Network of Street Papers

"Any increases in paid-for circulation--and certainly on this scale--are counter to current trends in the magazine market, across nearly all mature economies," said media analyst Douglas McCabe, who described the figures as "impressive."

Furthermore, the INSP reminded that 10 new titles were added in the last year, allmediascotland.com reported. According to Journalism.co.uk, the network sells homeless the publications for a cost price allowing them to resale them at the cover price and to keep the profit.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-26 17:08

Online videos, including that from YouTube, Netflix and other sites with Flash video, takes up 37 percent of Internet traffic during peak television-watching hours in the United States, TechCrunch reported.

When broken down by top Web video players, 10 percent comes from YouTube, 21 percent comes from Netflix and 6 percent comes from Flash Video. Meanwhile, all HTTP Web traffic is just 23 percent of the total.

Image: Shaping the Future of the Newspaper's World Digital Media Trends report 2009, (c) WAN-IFRA
But that doesn't mean the main activity on the Web is watching videos. Traffic is measured by bandwidth used and how many bits are transferred, TechCrunch explains. Streaming video requires more bits than just loading a Web page; thus, "video is hogging up the bandwidth."

However, North American Internet users are behind other regions in terms of consumption, Multichannel explained. In the Asia-Pacific region, the median is 12 gigabytes. The global average last year was three gigabytes.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-26 16:08

The position of chief digital officer looks like it's making a comeback.

Recently, Time Inc. began the search for its first CDO. Gannett Co., Inc. and Clear Channel, meanwhile, have been trying to fill the same position after months of searching. Wenner Media, which hired its first CDO two years ago, is also rumoured to be recruiting for the role, AdAge reported.

Image: cs4fn.org
The CDO position first began making headlines five years ago, when content companies began to create the role, which "involved a lot of hand-holding as media attempted to adapt to interactive platforms."

Today the role is changing, and is now more about managing standalone digital businesses, Michael Wolf, former COO of MTV Networks and founder of Activate, told AdAge.

However, titles can "actually hinder progress," Kendall Allen wrote in MediaPost blogs, commenting on the AdAge report. "If you've ever taken a good look at the company context around a 'digital strategist,' 'vice president of digital,' 'senior vice president of innovation,' or any number of associated divisions or special forces, you'll usually find a lack of operational grounding."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-25 18:04

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp bought on Monday 90 percent of Wireless Generation, a U.S. company that develops mobile and Internet educational software for teachers, Bloomberg revealed. The media group paid US$360 million in cash for the acquisition.

"We see a $500bn sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching," said Murdoch, The Telegraph quoted.

According to the Financial Times, the deal will allow News Corp compete other media groups that have invested in software and education services like Pearson, which owns the FT Group.

This is the first time in almost 20 years that News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, will "foray into the for-profit world of education since its book publishing arm, Harper Collins, got out of the textbook business in the mid-1990s," The New York Times reminded.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-25 16:48

Beginning this week ProPublica began using the Press+ e-commerce online platform from Journalism Online in hopes of increasing reader donations.

When users click on a ProPublica page, they may see a Press+ message asking them to consider making a donation to help fund the organisation's investigative journalism. At the same time, Press+ isn't the only way to donate. Users can also contribute directly to the organisation.

Journalism Online was launched in April 2009 by Steven Brill, Gordon Crovitz and Leo Hindery. It aims to create an online payment system that many publishing companies could use to make paying for online content simpler for both readers and publishers. The James S. and James L. Knight Foundation began using the Press+ system for 10 non-profit journalism sites in September

In an interview with Shaping the Future of the Newspaper last summer, Brill said that as a lecturer of a journalism course at Yale University, he suddenly became conscious of the talented young people he was sending into a profession ready to implode "because a bunch of publishers made a crazy decision to give everything away for free."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-25 16:37

There is a saying in French, "Le Hasard Fait Bien les Choses," which can be translated as "Fate is a Good Provider."

No other expression best applies to what happened to me while I was reading one of this week's class readings: "Social Media Can Open Door to Philantropy's Future," by Larry Blumenthal.

In his opinion column, Blumenthal describes a workshop he led for staff from a variety of foundations to convince them that there were no such thing as social media. To him, engaging with social media is tantamount to fostering collaboration, openness, transparency, timeliness, sharing work in progress, embracing and learning from failure. In this respect, the author believes, any person claiming that social media does not seem relevant to his or her work is - to say the least - totally wrong!

Little by little, Blumenthal's arguments started to convince me...I was seduced. Actually, I believe i wanted to be convinced.

Such an easy thing: all I had to do was to keep reading his piece to the end and say to myself "He is so right! I should not be concerned anymore with spending hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube while studying at the same time, that is actually good for me! This is a better way to stay informed! This is a tool that can help me do what I am already doing, only more effectively."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-25 16:31

Poynter's Damon Kiesow has decided that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was right to comment that the iPad was "not mobile." Using his recent interaction with the 60 Minutes iPad app as an example, Kiesow explained why the experience was leisurely, but definitely not mobile.

"If you were so inclined, it would be easy to spend an hour just browsing through old interviews with a current or former president," Kiesow said. The content you find on the iPad app would not work on a smart phone, he believes, but "is a much better fit" with the "more relaxed pace of a tablet session."

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.editorsweblog.org

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-11-25 10:01

Australia's Fairfax Media Ltd. will combine the print, online and classified divisions of its metropolitan newspapers under a single unit, called Australian Metropolitan Media division, in an effort to increase efficiency and cut cots in the company, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer Brian McCarthy said the strategy aims to increase news offerings across platforms and content-sharing between its newspapers, which include The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times.

"Such that the print product isn't as predictable if you've gone on to smh.com already the night before, so that'll be one of the things I'll be trying to achieve - a better balance of content," said McCarthy, ABC News quoted.

However, no one has been appointed yet to run the new unit, which reduced Fairfax's divisions from eleven to nine and is expected to save $9.9 million. According to The Australian, the new position will "be fiercely contested," pointing out that some of the candidates include editor-in-chief of The Sidney Morning Herald Peter Fray, The Sun-Herald director Greg Hywood and Jack Matthews, head of former Fairfax Digital.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-24 18:10

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has become a much used word in the online publishing world, and it has also been something most news publishers aim for. In fact, for many publishers, SEO has become too important - more so than even the content itself, according to Ben Elowitz, co-founder of online luxury goods retailer Blue Nile, co-founder and CEO of Web publisher Wetpaint and author of the Digital Quarters blog.

"But this movement toward SEO has been dangerous, as it's moved publishers' eye off their most important job of creating great content, and onto the false goals of keywords, hacks, paid links, and technical engineering that their audience doesn't know or care about," he wrote in a column for paidContent.

He continued:

"But the recent announcement of the Facebook/Bing partnership to integrate social and search results clearly marks the beginning of the end of SEO, and the smartest digital publishers will drop everything to rethink their distribution strategy entirely.

"With the rise of Facebook, we've entered a new era of digital media: personalized discovery. The balance of power is shifting: Already sites at Wetpaint and other publishers are seeing more audience coming from Facebook than from search...

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-24 17:05

Just as News Corp announced it would block Google from indexing its content last year, so, too has U.S. television entertainment company Viacom.

Earlier this year Viacom also took its content out of Hulu.com, a site where television programmes can be watched online, because the two could not agree on payment. In response to the situation with Google TV, Viacom told paidContent in a statement: "We're blocking access to our full episode content from Google TV's Web browser. We continue to evaluate Google TV to identify opportunities where it may make sense to optimize our Web content for the platform."

U.S. television networks NBC and CBS, ABC and Fox have also treated Google TV as a new form of distribution and are working on blocking their programming from the platform, AdWeek noted. This is likely because the networks don't want to damage relationships with cable and affiliate partners.

"The ecosystem in TV pays for the content," one media executive told MediaWeek earlier this month. "I'm not sure Google gets that. They are approaching this as if it's an academic MBA project."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-11-24 16:16

People in Spain like to read newspapers, and the growing tendency is to read them online rather than their print version, according to the 2010 Report of the Digital Content Industry published by Spain's National Observatory of Telecomunications and Information Society.

In fact, 49.7 percent of the population reads newspapers online mostly through computers. The study showed that only 7.1 percent of the users access daily publications with mobile devices.

Photo source: re-nest.com
The report also revealed that the economic crisis has reduced newspapers' advertising revenue from €1,461 million in 2007 to €883.7 million in 2009, leaving the newspaper sales as the main source of revenue with €1.215 million.

In 2009, newspapers represented 41.1 percent of the publishing sector overall income, calculated in €7.128 million, PRNoticias.com pointed out. This means that newspapers brought €2.929 million into Spain's publishing industry.

Author

Clara Mart

Date

2010-11-24 16:01


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