Date

Wed - 29.03.2017


January 2012

Jim Romenesko has published an interview with Tom Curley, the departing CEO of the Associated Press, on his blog. "The Internet has ushered in a world where there is more chaos, but that's good for us because our values are strong and we have earned a reputation for getting it right," says Curley.

The BBC's Community Reporters Scheme, which was launched in London last year, is set to be rolled out in Salford and Glasgow too, reports Journalism.co.uk. The scheme aims to give training to budding journalists at the same time as highlighting local stories in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Nieman Lab has published a write-up of Weave, a piece of data visualisation software that has "a lot of potential for journalists".

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-31 18:48

"So... What are you working on?"

Now some Guardian journalists are prepared to give us the answer to that question, as yesterday the paper unrolled Newsdesk live, a blog that promises to "bring you the news as we break it, explain how we choose what we report and why - and ask you to get involved."

This new blog from The Guardian's national news team puts the audience at the heart of the news-writing process, asking them to get in touch via comments, emails or Tweets to provide editors with ideas and information to help create stories.

The blog builds on The Guardian's Open Newslist, launched last October, which published a selection of the stories that journalists were working on, and allowed readers to Tweet at those journalists in real time.

According to a blogpost introducing Newsdesk live, the Open Newslist project "attracted a lot of interest and produced several good ideas within days of starting." Still, the old format was too limited; it was no easy task "using a simple grid and 140 characters to communicate all the complexities of the day's news with an outside audience."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-31 18:00

"No comment".

Business executives had become more and more adept at hiding behind this phrase, argues David Carr of The New York Times in an article published on Sunday. Not only that, but major figures in business are often obscured by "communications" teams that are anything but communicative. But now, suggests Carr, "Twitter has the potential to cut past all that clutter".

Carr writes that thanks to Twitter "there's a chance to get a glimpse into the thinking of otherwise unapproachable executives, and sometimes even have a real dialogue with them".

He uses Rupert Murdoch as an example. The News Corp executive joined the microblogging platform at the very end of last year, and has since made the headlines several times with Tweets that Carr calls "devoid of nuance, partisan in the extreme and prone to crankiness, all consistent with the Rupert Murdoch we have come to know".

Murdoch has used the platform to take sides on divisive issues. He voiced his strong support of SOPA and attacked President Obama for not supporting it, tweeting: "So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-31 15:37

On November 23 last year the Finnish parliament approved a government proposal to apply 9% VAT to newspaper and magazine subscriptions, which were previously exempt from the tax.

Today the European Journalism Centre has published an article about how the new tax, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, has affected Finnish newspapers.

In a nutshell, it's been tough for journalists. The EJC magazine reports that 100 media workers have already been laid off as a direct consequence of the new tax. 200 more jobs are on the line.

The tax has been controversial, partly because of the way Finnish politician Kimmo Sasi, who argued for the imposition of the new tax, spoke out against the media: "The members of the press tend to be a bit arrogant. They think: "We can write whatever we want about politicians, and they will have to dance to our music. Luckily the majority of the Parliament is not going to accept this," quotes the EJC.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-30 18:44

The Washington Post announced last Friday that it was launching campaignreads.com, a new section of its site "completely powered by our readers" where it shares a curated selection of Tweets with links to coverage of the US presidential election.

Post Politics wrote that, for the past few weeks, it had been asking readers to share links to their favourite election coverage by tweeting @PostPolitics or with the hashtag #campaignreads. The Post's political team now curates these Tweets using Storify, and publishes them on its new page.

The initiative has potential benefits for Post journalists and their readers. Firstly it helps the Post "filter the deluge of campaign coverage" by asking its users for selection of the articles they enjoyed the most. Secondly it gives readers prominence by crediting them on the campaignreads.com if the Post uses articles that they've shared.

So far, the new section does not seem to be receiving a deluge of Tweets; as of 2.30pm (GMT +1) on Monday 30th January, the last link that had been shared was from Thursday 26th January. What's more, a Twitter search for #campaignreads doesn't bring up a huge return.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-30 14:58

The Washington Post has launched a new section on its website titled to publish links to the best coverage of the US election. The Post gathers links shared by Twitter users tweeting with its hashtag #campaignreads.

Facebook hires Bloomberg's Dan Fletcher as its new managing editor, reports Forbes.

The Guardian has published a map, based on the research project How Africa Tweets, showing Twitter usage across the African continent.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-27 18:44

Twitter announced yesterday that it would begin selectively blocking Tweets in some countries.

"Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country -- while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why."

Twitter writes that it will withhold access to Tweets in certain countries "if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity". As an example of illegal material it names pro-Nazi content, which is outlawed in France and Germany.

The micro-blogging platform implies that it will not comply with all government requests to remove content. It states that, in some countries, the ideas about freedom of expression "differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there".

Until now, Twitter had to remove content from its entire network if it received a valid legal order to take it down in one country. This change in policy means that Twitter can block Tweets region by region.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-27 17:58

By Federica Cherubini

Six countries, six leading newspapers, a huge audience and one common theme: Europe, how to explain it better, how to understand it better, how to build it better. This is the aim of an editorial project which saw six papers joining forces to produce a joint special edition on the situation of the European Union.

"The state of the Union", echoing the State of the union speech US President Obama gave on 24 January, is the angle of the first issue of Europa (more will be expected in future) produced by El Pais, the Guardian, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Gazeta Wyborcza and La Stampa.

This joint special editorial supplement aims to give a "more nuanced picture of the EU and explore what Europe does well and what not so well", as the Guardian explained.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-27 15:21

Last July Johnston Press appointed Ashley Highfield, previously head of technology at the BBC and then director of Microsoft's UK consumer and online business, as its new CEO.

The appointment raised two questions. One: why did Johnston Press hire a boss with no newspaper experience? Two: Why would Highfield want to head Johnston Press, which has seen its share price drop from 480p to 5p over the last five years?

Both of these points have been raised by Raymond Snoddy who has published a long interview with Highfield in In Publishing's bi-monthly magazine.

The answer to the first question seems obvious: Johnston Press was investing in a Digital First Future. Other news publishers have done the same; in November Time Warner Inc. hired Laura Lang, formerly of the digital advertising company Digitas, as its CEO.

In his interview with Snoddy, Highfield is clear that Johnston's future is as a diversified media company: "yes I have absolutely no previous newspaper experience but the board had already made the decision that the future of Johnston Press lay in moving the organisation beyond print and that was explained to me in the first sentence".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-26 18:20

The Daily Mail has overtaken The New York Times to become the world's biggest newspaper site, according to data from comScore.

Buzzfeed reports that in December 2011 Mail Online reached 45.3 million users, compared to 44.8 million reached by the The New York Times.

Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke told Buzzfeed in an interview that growing US audiences and the hiring of deputy editor Katherine Thompson, formerly of the Huffington Post, have helped fuel the Mail's boom in readers. The site has a strong presence in America, with permanent staff in New York and Los Angeles.

Most importantly, he says, "we just do news that people want to read." Clarke credits the Mail's roots in Fleet Street for its "entertaining, engaging way with clear, concise, straightforward copy and lots of good pictures."

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy criticized the The Daily Mail's claims to the top spot, saying that Mail Online only became number one by including its personal finance site ThisIsMoney in the total. She told BuzzFeed that if the Times counted readers of its other properties, such as the Boston Globe, it would still be on top.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-26 12:45

Should reporters be aiming for print bylines? The Columbia Journalism Review reflects on why journalists still care about seeing their name in print.

The Knight Center's Journalism in the Americas Blog shares a list of crowd-sourcing websites from across Latin America. One example is the Mapa Delictivo, created by El Universal, which tracks crimes in Mexico City.

Poynter has published a discussion with Knight News Challenge winner Christina Xu about how microgrants can help fuel innovative journalism.

Nieman Lab reports that the Public Insight Network, American Public Media's network of sources, is hiring its own reporting team to turn more of the information that its members produce into stories.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 18:51

Sometimes a story's too long to be an article, too short to be a book. What can publishers do? Increasingly, the answer has been to publish e-singles.

The concept has been around for a while. Almost a year ago, the New York Times published an article about the Atavist, an app launched in January 2011 as a platform for long-form stories, enhanced with high-quality photography, videos and audio features.

Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff described the gap his project filled in the market: "in the digital realm, there is infinite space, but somehow this hasn't resulted in a flowering of long-form content." Fellow founder Nicholas Thompson added, "the Web is good at creating short and snappy bits of information, but not so much when it comes to long-form, edited, fact-and-spell-checked work"

Other publishers had also been trying to appeal to the same niche. Amazon is credited with starting the trend, with the release of Kindle singles in January 2011. Byliner launched in April as a publisher and social network for producing and selling long articles/non-fiction stories. Traditional publishers including Penguin and Random House are also in on the trend.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 17:42

by Emma Heald

The future of the newspaper is in magazines, believes Jacek Utko, design director for Bonnier Business Press, which publishes newspapers in eight Central European countries. This is a trend that news organisations should embrace rather than fight, he added, speaking at the 5th Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis.

Print is still a highly relevant medium, Utko said, and publishers are increasingly realizing this as they have been disappointed by tablets as audience- and revenue-generators.

However, the print model at many news organisations - publishing website content the following day and charging for it - does not make sense, Utko claims. It is necessary to offer more than that if you want people to willingly pay for the product.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 15:22

Are international editions a luxury that newspapers with declining circulation can't afford?

In this digital age, increasingly it looks like international print editions are under threat. An article in The Guardian last Sunday speculated that the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, might be about to shut up shop. Author Peter Preston writes that after selling its stake in the Boston Red Sox and its regional newspaper group, getting rid of the Tribune might be the logical next step for the New York Times.

Preston calls the Tribune "very vulnerable" as senior editors are being called back from the IHT headquarters in Paris to other jobs in New York. He notes that the paper "doesn't make money. It struggles to keep circulation over 200,000 worldwide. And, crucially, it doesn't have a website of its own".

The article is based on conjecture (and it should be pointed out, The Guardian's own circulation was 230,108 in December and it has been losing money for some time) but perhaps Preston raises an important point about the cost of printing international editions. When print production everywhere is under threat, it's no surprise that they're the first to go.


Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 12:54

Public concern has been raised over media laws restricting freedom of the press in Hungary and South Africa, but less attention has been devoted to the worsening situation in Ecuador, where the news media are now under attack, writes George Brock, Professor and Head of Journalism at City University London, on his blog.

On January 24, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) published a report that illustrates how the government of Ecuador is carrying out "a sophisticated strategy of marginalising all voices independent of state power".
Download the full report in English and Spanish here.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-24 18:47

by Larry Kilman

With repression of Arab media lifted in some countries following the 'Arab Spring' revolutions and reforms, what needs to be done to develop a professional independent press in the region?

That was the question posed during a panel discussion Monday at the Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis, and the answer is - quite a lot of things.

Of course there is journalism training, but the needs go far beyond reporting. The challenge is how to turn media into commercial ventures.

"Journalists often don't have proper management experience or marketing experience," said Hafez al-Bukhari, President of the Yemen Polling Centre.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-24 18:28

The Chicago Tribune has announced that it will be offering subscribers a new Sunday books section as a piece of premium paid content.

Printers Row, as the section will be called, will cost Tribune subscribers an additional $99 a year. Those who sign up will get a 24-page book supplement every Sunday, featuring reviews, interviews with authors and news from Chicago's literary scene as well as a free book of short stories each week.

The Chicago Tribune describes the launch in its own business section as "a means to bolster revenue beyond the traditional subscription and advertising model" by offering readers with niche interests a high-quality targeted product that they will be willing to pay for. Gerould Kern, senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune states that "audiences want very specialized information, and we are going to give them that".

The Tribune compares its model to cable TV subscriptions, which encourage users to sign up to a basic package and then pay for extra premium channels.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-24 18:07

NBCUniversal is getting into the eBook market. Digital Book World announced today that the media company is launching a publishing unit to make the most of the boom in tablet and eReader ownership.

The New York Times is working on a project called Deep Dive to allow readers to follow specific topics through the news. Nieman Lab reports that the Deep Dive uses meta data to find connections between articles and bring users the most relevant results.

Newspapers in Kentucky have launched a scheme to allow state radio to use their content, writes Kentucky.com.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-23 18:38

In mid December last year, 10% of adults in the US owned a tablet computer and 10% owned an ebook reader. According to a report published by PEW today, by early January this year both of these figures had jumped to 19%.

The same report estimated that the number of American adults who owned at least one tablet or eReader leapt from 18% in December to 29% in January.

Father Christmas's generosity seems likely to have a big impact on publishers. According to a poll by IDG Connect, 72% of 210 surveyed worldwide professionals say that they bought fewer newspapers after getting an iPad. According to the same research, as Paid Content reports, 70% of participants also said that they bought fewer books.

Although the sample data is small, the trends are obvious: tablet sales are booming, print is losing out.

The numbers are worrying for news organisations that still rely on print as their main source of revenue. The IDG Connect report notes that "for advertising- funded media (newspapers and magazines), the challenges are particularly substantial. Readers who can afford iPads tend to be more demographically desirable than those who cannot."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-23 17:58

Le Huffington Post, a French edition of AOL's popular news, blogging and aggregation site, The Huffington Post, was launched today in collaboration with Le Monde and Les Nouvelles Editions Independantes.

At a press conference held at Le Monde's headquarters in Paris this morning, Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, promised that the new edition would offer the HuffPo's trademark mix of original reporting, aggregation, bloggers and commentators.

However, Huffington stated that although the "architecture" of Le Huffington Post would be imported, the site would be "rooted in French culture" and that it was "absolutely essential" that the local journalists set the agenda.

There will still be some connections between Le Huffington Post and its American cousin. Huffington stated that her media group had already employed a "couple dozen" translators so that stories could be converted into English and French and shared on both sides of the Atlantic. But despite this exchange, Huffington stressed that "the editorial teams are completely different".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-23 14:57

British-based Pearson, whose holdings include the Penguin Group and the Financial Times Group made $3 billion (£2 billion) in digital revenues last year, reports Paid Content.

As newspaper circulation continues to decline in Britain, Press Gazette reports a survey by The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, which suggests that 59% of newspaper readers have been put off by the price.

Digiday interviews the global managing director and publisher of The Economist Online, Nick Blunden, to gain insight into the magazine's successful digital strategy.

Allfacebook.com has announced that USA Today is launching 'USA Today + Me', an open graph application for Facebook that personalizes news content based on users' previous activity and on stories their friends have shared.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-20 16:04

When News International properties The Times and The Sunday Times of London put up hard paywalls in July 2010 it seemed like their digital strategy had been decided in favour of paying users and against sharing on the web. But now an interview with News International's digital product director Nick Bell, which appeared in Paid Content earlier this week, suggests that The Times is considering making its paywall ever-so-slightly leakier by allowing subscribers to share articles with their direct friends.

Bell is quoted in the article saying that sharing has been "a hotly-debated topic" at the Times headquarters.

He promises that, "over the next six months, you will see us rewarding our paying subscribers with the ability to share amongst their network.... If they want to share content with their direct friends, then we're going to enable that."

However, the author of the Paid Content article, Robert Andrews, stresses that this is not a guarantee that Times content will be free for friends of subscribers. Bell is clear that The Times is not about to switch to a metered paywall like that of the New York Times, but is only interested in giving ""more value to our paying customers."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-20 15:10

Under house arrest in England, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave a long interview to Rolling Stone, talking about the future of journalism and the "battle" he engaged in against the New York Times.

"Will fact-checking go the way of blogs?". Felix Salmon on his Reuters' blog reflects on the debate that was sparked by the New York Times's public editor Arthur Brisbane.

The Guardian reports that News International has agreed to make payments to 37 victims of phone hacking including actor Jude Law, footballer Ashley Cole and ex deputy-prime minister John Prescott. Details of 15 of the settlements, amounting to £645,000, have already been disclosed.

Guardian News and Media has hired Steve Wing, formerly head of digital marketing, as its mobile business director. Press Gazette writes that Wing will be charged with increasing the company's mobile and tablet growth.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-19 18:46

As Eastman Kodak files for bankruptcy protection today, the once-powerful company's demise has been largely blamed on its failure to adapt to the digital era.

With this warning ringing in their ears, it seems more urgent than ever now for publishers to make sure that they are doing everything possible to gain digital expertise.

The Hearst Corporation has already made a move in this direction by hiring Philip R. Wiser as its first-ever chief technology officer. Wiser, who will start his new role on February 1, was CTO of Sony Corporation of America from 2004 to 2006 and co-founded Sezmi Corporation, a company that offers broadband, mobile and cable providers with a platform for delivering personalized video content. Wiser served as chairman and president of Sezmi, before its recent sale to KIT digital for $27 million.

Earlier in his career Wiser founded Liquid Audio, an early music distribution platform and served as CTO before Microsoft bought up several of its digital rights management patents for $7 million.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-19 17:44


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