Date

Thu - 25.05.2017


February 2012

Bizcommunity.com reported yesterday that South African Sunday tabloid Scoop! is set to close down after being launched just four months ago. The website also announces that Cape Argus, another South African paper, is being reduced in size from broadsheet to compact.

Journalists at the FT, who have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay, have told the company's chief executive that disagreement could be "extremely damaging to the FT brand and to relations in the newsroom." FT management has called the vote in favour of industrial action "unwarranted and unreasonable," writes Press Gazette.

The Guardian announces that its reporter Nick Davies has been named as the winner of the Paul Foot award for investigative journalism for his work in uncovering phone hacking at the News of the World.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-29 18:25

As Gannett announced last week that it is launching paywalls around its 80 American publications (with the exception of USA Today), it feels like consumers may be getting used to the idea of being charged for some sorts of content.

But while paywalls have been tried and tested on mainstream news publications, could they ever work in the blogosphere? We're about to find out, as Australian-based fashion blog Frockwriter has announced that it will become the first blog to charge its readers for content through the Press+ revenue platform.

Frockwriter is about to collaborate with Press+ to launch a metered paywall, which will allow readers to view eight free posts per month, before charging them US$1.99 for a monthly subscription or US$19.99 for a yearly one.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-29 17:55

News organisations that wish to expand and improve their social media presence might want to take a page from the Google playbook.

Speaking at WAN-IFRA's 7th Middle East Conference in Dubai, Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications for Google in the Middle East, had some advice for news organisations, based on Google's experience. Here are some of Google's insights:

- Focus on the user. "Google builds the products, but users decide what is successful and what is not," says Ms Abouelenein.

- Empower others. "Everyone has a mobile phone with a camera on it, so people expect to view things now, live. The truth is at their fingertips to broadcast news to the world."

- Ideas come from everywhere. "We have a policy of spending 20 per cent of our time - one day a week - outside of the core job. I challenge you to spend 20 per cent of your time thinking about the newsroom of the future."

- Think big, but start small.

- Never fail to fail. "Google fails a lot. How we take these failures and learn and grow makes us better, more friendly for our readers."

- Launch early and iterate often. "A lot of times, companies want to polish a product before they launch it. We don't do that at Google. We launch early, put it in the hands of users, update it. Users are the best to tell us how to make it more relevant."

Author

Larry Kilman

Date

2012-02-29 13:05

WikiLeaks' latest leak, which is calls 'The Global Intelligence Files' is not as yet particularly interesting because of the content of the files, but because of the fact that WikiLeaks is back, and because of the partnerships that the episode reveals.

WikiLeaks claims to have created an online database of more than five million emails from Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin, Texas, sent between July 2004 and December 2011. Stratfor provides its subscribers with geopolitical analysis via emails and explains on its site how it differentiates itself from news organisations.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-28 18:42

French journalist Edith Bouvier and UK photographer Paul Conroy have both been smuggled out of the besieged Syrian city of Homs into Lebanon, the BBC reports.

Stephen Farrell discusses conflict reporting in the 'post-embed era' in the New York Times blog At War.

The Knight News Challenge has opened, inviting entries via Tumblr on the theme of 'Networks.' The first round application, which consists of seven questions, will close on 17 March.

The Leveson Inquiry continues: see the Guardian's extensive coverage here as the paper's star investigative reporter Nick Davies gives evidence.

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


Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-28 18:38

Germany may have a strong female figure at the head of its government, but when it comes to the newsroom, the balance of power is heavily tipped in favour of men

This is the complaint or Pro Quote, a new campaign in Germany, which calls for a quota to be imposed on newsrooms to ensure that at least 30% of executive positions are held by women.

"At Germany's roughly 360 daily and weekly newspapers, only 2% of the editors-in-chief are women," states the petition, which also points out that of the country's 12 public radio directors, only three are female.

The petition calls for 30% of top positions "at every level of the hierarchy" to be filled by women within five years.

Pro Quote already has 700 signatories, many of whom already work for well-know media outlets such as Spiegel, Die Zeit and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The first 210 names are accompanied by pictures and comments on the campaigns website. An article in the Guardian names Anne Will, one of Germany's most well-know political TV presenters, Sandra Maischberger, another prominent TV host, and Dagmar Engel, editor in chief of Deutsche Welle, as supporters of the campaign.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-28 18:17

Several media commentators have been contributing to a discussion about whether including external links is important for journalism, and what the best practices are for linking. Steve Buttry of the Journal Register Company lists four reasons why he thinks linking is good for journalism, and two why it's good for business. Felix Salmon at Reuters stresses that linking is important, but that journalists should be more focused on linking to primary sources rather than to other news organizations.

The BBC has released its new social media strategy for England in 2012, writes the BBC College of Journalism. The new strategy includes a commitment to a minimum level of social media coverage in each region, and a stipulation that journalists and programme makers in all English regions should have or develop the skills to use social media.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-27 18:16

What do we want? In-depth journalism! When do we want it? Now!

Two reporters have responded to this rallying cry and have announced their intention to launch a new online technology magazine dedicated to long-form, quality journalism.

Jim Giles, who has written for Nature, The Atlantic, The Economist and New Scientist, and Bobbie Johnson, European editor for GigaOm and a previous tech reporter for The Guardian, created the project, which has been named Matter.

So why does Matter matter? According to a blog post by the new team, the idea is to foster thorough, long-form journalism rather than the "fast and cheap" reporting the web has encouraged so far. In a video introducing the project, Giles spells out the problem bluntly: "The thing about long-form, in-depth journalism is that it's expensive. There used to be many more newspapers and magazines that produced that kind of content, but journalism is in financial trouble and those outlets have cut back."

Johnson says when it comes to long-form journalism "we all know how important it is, but yet we're not able to support it, we haven't built ways to do it. Frankly, if nobody sticks their neck out then it's going to die away."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-27 17:43

Pearson has just published its end-of-year results, and in a tough economic climate they're impressively strong. The company, which counts the FT Group, Penguin, Pearson Education and a 50% stake in the Economist Group among its many holdings, has reported a 12% increase in its adjusted operating profit, with a 27% growth in profits for the FT Group.

Part of this success is due to the FT Group reducing its dependence on volatile advertising markets, and relying more heavily on digital, subscription and content revenues.

Overall, the FT Group is now making more money from its content, and less from advertising. In 2007, the group drew 41% of its total revenues from content, 59% from ads. Now the balance is 58% from content, 42% from ads.

What's more, according to the report, money from digital and services now account for 47% of the FT Group's revenues, compared to just 25% in 2007.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-27 13:07

By Emma Heald

The Huffington Post UK has launched a new 'Inspiration' section on its site which will enable brands "to communicate directly with prospective consumers via video, blogs and social media," announced a press release from AOL.

Its first focus is a cross-platform package in conjunction with other AOL properties to promote Iceland as a year-round tourist destination. As the press release says, the 'Inspired by Iceland' campaign, sponsored by Promote Iceland and Iceland's government, is "the first Europe- wide marketing campaign that fully integrates a comprehensive suite of AOL advertising products, content and platforms."

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-27 11:02

Fact-checking initiatives have been emerging in France in advance of the presidential elections this spring, reports France24. Inspired by Politifact in the US, French news site OWNI has launched Véritomètre, in conjunction with itele, and daily Le Monde has launched Décodeurs.

Ten Latin American newspapers have published the column that led to a libel suit by Ecuadorian Present Rafael Correa against the daily El Universo, reported the Knight Center for the Americas.

The Washington Post has launched 'Personal Post,' which allows users to provide their preferences and receive a personalised stream of headlines, according to TechCrunch.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-24 18:00

Following the bankruptcy of its publisher Mediapubli, Spanish daily Público has announced that it will put out its final print edition this Sunday. Although the paper's website público.es will continue to operate, Cadena SER estimates that 130 of Público's 160 staff will lose their jobs.

Mediapubli declared bankruptcy at the beginning of January, and was given around a month to come up with enough funds to make Público economically viable. But although majority shareholder Jaume Roures sought investors in Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador, the company was unable to come up with the necessary sum of around 9 million euros.

The announcement in Público said that the paper's financial difficulties were due to a worsening advertising crisis, profound changes in the newspaper industry and problems with finding new investors.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-24 17:25

Tough times call for tough measures... And as News International continues to go through a hard period, the Times and Sunday Times of London have announced a steep hike in the amount they charge users for a digital subscription package.

The package, which includes access to the Times and Sunday Times website, mobile and tablet editions, will be raised from £2 a week (£8.88 a month) to £4 a week, writes paidContent. However, author of the article Robert Andrews notes that web-only customers will continue to be charged £2 for access. What's more, existing subscribers will not have to pay the new, higher rate until 2013.

Andrews quotes a spokesperson from the Times, who insists: "we're not 'doubling' our price. We're introducing a new pack that includes all digital products. Previously, we were offering iPad access as complementary offer."

But Andrews is not convinced. "The difference may effectively be semantic," he writes.

Despite controversy when the Times introduced its impenetrable paywall in July 2010, figures released by News International last week show that its numbers of digital subscribers have been rising steadily. News International states that the Times now has 119,255 digital subscriptions, while the Sunday Times has 113,818.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-24 13:29

It's up and up for Mail Online. The Guardian reports that, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the site boasted just under 100 million monthly browsers in January. Mail Online was named as the world's biggest newspaper site by comScore last month.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has noted that a police investigation into the killing of Brazilian editor Paulo Rocaro has found stronger evidence that he was murdered because of his journalistic work. Rocaro covered stories about drug trafficking on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

The New York Times reported two days ago that Google plans to launch a pair of high-tech glasses "that will be able to stream information to the wearer's eyeballs in real time." Forbes ponders the ways that the new technology could revolutionise virtual advertising.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-23 18:41

Last month it may have seemed that Ashley Highfield, appointed CEO of Johnston Press last July, wasn't moving forward with plans to restructure the company particularly quickly.

But now it appears that changes are taking place at the publisher. The Scotsman, one of the biggest papers owned by the group, reported yesterday that three Johnston Press executives were "in consultation over their future with the publishing company".

One of these is Michael Johnston, divisional managing director for Scotland and North-East, who is the last member of the company's founding family to still work with the group. 

Were Johnston to leave the company, his departure would mark the end of a long history; Johnston Press was founded as a printing business in Falkirk 1767 and bought its first newspaper, the Falkirk Herald, in 1846. 

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-23 17:37

By Teemu Henriksson


Storify, one of the best-known tools for creating narratives based on social media, announced the launch of its iPad application today, Mediabistro reported. The new app, which is available free on iTunes, is aimed at making on-the-go social media curation even easier than before.

Storify opened to the public less than a year ago, and it has since become well-used way for reporters to organise and present information drawn from social media. As online readers and social media users are faced with a constant flood of information, the need for curation - creating accessible narratives out of the social media content - is becoming increasingly acute.

The new iPad app offers the same basic functionalities as the Storify web app, with two major differences: the touch-enabled, "iPad-like" interface and the ability to send tweets from within the app.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-23 10:19

Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik were killed by shelling in the Syrian city of Homs today, reports the New York Times. The Guardian notes that David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Rupert Murdoch, among others, have paid tribute to Colvin, a veteran war reporter.

Mozilla has announced that it will be launching a cross-platform app store later this year. Submissions should be open next week at the Mobile World Congress, TechCrunch reports

The Washington Post has published a graph, which it says shows the future both of advertising and of media. The graph compares the amount of time consumers spend on different platforms with the ad spend per media and demonstrates that ad spending on web and mobile is small in proportion to customer interest.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-22 18:51


As everyone from businesses to governments to individuals go digital, the amount of raw data being recorded and stored is growing at a dizzying rate. Often this data contains useful information that it is in the public interest to analyse, but it exists in a format that very few people can understand. The solution to the problem? Find experts who can convert large amounts of data into easily accessible stories. In other words, find data journalists.



These are some of the ideas fuelling Danish daily Dagbladet Information's new initiative, Nordisk Nyhedshacker 2012 ("Nordic News Hacker 2012"). The project, run in collaboration with The Guardian, Google and Syddansk Universitet's Center for Journalism, invites journalists or data experts to create a piece of data journalism - which could be anything from a data mash-up to a new mobile app - and submit it to a panel of judges. The creator of the winning entry will be given a $20,000 scholarship by Google and will be invited to work with the Guardian Data Blog in London for one month. The Center for Journalism contributes by advertising the competition and incorporating elements of data journalism into its curriculum.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-22 18:07

The New York Times announced in a press release today that it has teamed up with Chinese publisher Shanghai Zhenwen Advertising Co., Ltd. to launch a monthly science magazine. Science Times China, as the magazine is called, is written in Chinese and sold in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and other large Chinese cities.

The press release suggests that the bulk of the magazine will consist of articles already published by the Times in English. Material will be take from the weekly science section of the Times, as well as from other relevant sections published by the Times newspaper and by nytimes.com. However, the Times will also incorporate some local Chinese content, while still retaining full editorial control over the new publication.

Michael Greenspon, general manager of The New York Times News Services Division, is quoted in the release: "New York Times readers in all corners of the world value the news, analysis and information that our journalists offer," he states. Greenspon adds that, "with the launch of Science Times China, we welcome a new group of like-minded readers to our loyal audience who are curious about seeing the world through the lens of science and technology."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-22 17:48

Reuters writes that Twitter has formed a partnership with Russian search engine Yandex, which has a 60% share of the Russian internet market, to create a real-time search. As part of the deal, Twitter will give Yandex access to its "firehose" of public Tweets.

Robert Fisk reports for The Independent on continued press freedom issues - and other social problems - in Tunisia after the revolution.

Bill Keller of the New York Times has published an editorial about WikiLeaks explaining that, in his view, "the most palpable legacy of the WikiLeaks campaign for transparency is that the U.S. government is more secretive than ever."

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a report on "Attacks on the Press in 2011."

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

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-21 18:35

The Chicago News Cooperative announced officially today that it will be suspending its contributions to The New York Times. As of next Sunday, the Chicago organisation will no longer submit articles to The New York Times Midwest pages or to its website.

In a blog post announcing the change, CNC's CEO and editor James O'Shea writes that he takes "full responsibility for this situation". He laments that "unlike similar start-up efforts like the Texas Tribune in Austin, the Bay Citizen in San Francisco and ProPublica in New York, we never recruited the kind of seven figure donations from people of means concerned about the declining quality of news coverage around the country."

Rather than saying that the CNC will close down entirely, O'Shea writes that "in the coming days and weeks, we will be examining our potential to see if we can identify an alternative path and preserve some of the journalistic assets we have developed."

O'Shea writes that the CNC's decision to suspend publication "was motivated by some complex factors and unresolved questions regarding our tax status and a change in circumstances that triggered questions about the economic wisdom of commitments between the CNC and The New York Times."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-21 13:12

Once upon a time, news flows were relatively simple. Information would travel from a source to a news organisation, to the general public. Although that chain might not have been quite as simple as it seemed (a journalist might influence his or her sources, or public reactions might influence a news organisation) for the most part, information flowed one way, and one way only.

Now a new regional SFN report from WAN-IFRA, authored by Professor Christof Seeger and Leander Blumenthal describes the way that social media and digital publishing has turned this news flow upside-down. The report, titled "Communication and gatekeeper research" points out that media organisations are no longer the primary "gatekeepers" of information; an engaged public also plays an important role in curating news by deciding what content to republish, recommend or pass on.

What's more, as every internet user becomes a potential publisher, the old formula in which news professionals would look through sources and select the most relevant for publication has also been turned on its head: sources are now published first on social networks and edited after the fact.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-20 19:03

The Sun has announced that it will be launching a new Sunday edition this weekend.

"The Sun's future can now be reshaped as a unique seven-day proposition in both print and digital," stated Sun editor Dominic Mohan in an article discussing the launch. "Our readers' reaction to the announcement of a seventh-day Sun has been huge and we won't let them down."

The news comes as the paper is still recovering from the arrest on February 11 of five senior Sun journalists, who were later released without charge. The arrests provoked conflict at the Sun, as staff objected to the way the Management and Standards Committee - an independent body set up by News Corp to investigate allegations of illegal activities at News International - handed over large amounts of evidence to the police without consulting journalists.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-20 14:40

"Everybody is a journalist now".

This phrase has been repeated so many times that it's become a cliché, but that's not to say that a consensus has been reached about what it really means for the news industry. How should news organisations approach material from citizen journalists? Should lines be drawn between professional and citizen media? How can the work of citizen journalists be effectively verified?

These were some of the questions raised at the session titled "Professional and "Citizen" Journalism Working Together after WikiLeaks" at the UNESCO conference on The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World, where several panellists suggested that collaboration between citizen and professional reporters was best model.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-20 10:23


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