Date

Wed - 13.12.2017


May 2012

Good news for royalists and for fans of free content. Press Gazette reports that The Times and Sunday Times of London will be dropping their paywalls this weekend in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Sunday Times app will also be available for free trial period over the weekend, notes the article.

Will Bunch from Poynter weighs the arguments about the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s decision to cut print publication to just three days a week and go digital first. In this thoughtful article, Bunch suggests ways to move beyond the conflict between print-first and digital-first advocates, and create better and more inclusive news reporting in New Orleans.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-31 15:57

Newsrooms from Montreal to Denver are editing out their copy desks to keep up with digital’s dual imperative: tight deadlines and tighter budgets.

Monday’s announcement by Postmedia Network means that dozens of copy editing jobs will be axed across Canada in coming weeks; Twitter speculation has it that 23 editors will be let go at the Montreal Gazette alone, reports the Huffington Post Canada.

Yesterday, Postmedia's the National Post offered a warning of the perils of doing away with copy editors when it mistakenly published a crossword puzzle that had already been filled in, revealed Poynter.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-30 17:20

Journalists at Fairfax, Australia’s second largest newspaper company, have voted in favour of a 36-hour strike to protest against the outsourcing of 66 sub-editing jobs to New Zealand. The Australian Broadcast Corporation and the Wall Street Journal report.

Also from Australia, Best Practices, a new blog launched today, intends to follow the development of digital publishing mores, from authentication to transparency. Read more at Journalism.co.uk.

And because it's important to have two sources, AP has released its 2012 Stylebook, with new sections on broadcast and social media, writes Mallary Jean Tenore of Poynter.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-30 17:14

“Citizen Media is the new form of a newswire, often quicker than anything else,” said Riyaad Minty, Al Jazeera’s head of social media, in an email exchange with WAN-IFRA earlier this year.

This may be true, but dealing with content from the Internet requires high standards of authentication, and sometimes even big players mess up. During the past week, the BBC has become a case in point. It has made two mistakes with sourcing its images – one serious, one merely embarrassing.

The major error came when the BBC mistakenly used an image taken in Iraq in 2003 to accompany an online story about the recent massacre in Houla, Syria. As Poynter reports, the caption to the photo, shown on the BBC’s website, read, “this image – which cannot be independently verified – is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.” The picture was credited to an anonymous “Activist.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-29 17:54

The Russian radio presenter Sergei Aslanyan has been hospitalised, after being lured out of his house and stabbed 20 times in the arms, neck and chest, says the Guardian. The article reports that Izvestiya newspaper has suggested the attack may be linked to a recent radio appearance made by Aslanyan, in which he said disparaging things about the prophet Mohammed. However, it also notes that the attack may be connected with reporting that Aslanyan has done on the Russian car industry and corruption among traffic police.

The Guardian’s Datablog and Datastore celebrated their third birthday last April, at the same time as clocking up an an average of more that 1 million monthly users during the past year, writes Journalism.co.uk. The article quotes Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian’s data content, who says, “For us, what started off as an exercise for developers has proved really successful with the general readership too.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-29 17:40

Sympathy mingled with ire on Twitter yesterday as Canadians reacted to a fresh set of cuts announced by Postmedia Network, the country’s largest newspaper chain.

In a memo from CEO Paul Godfrey to employees released Monday afternoon, the company declared plans to shut down the Sunday editions of three urban dailies — the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald — to stop printing its country-wide title, the National Post, on Mondays for the fourth summer in a row (a tactic that Godfrey hinted in an interview with rival national daily The Globe and Mail might be extended throughout the year) and to cease publication on public holidays.

Journalists across the country are grimly waiting to be hit by a renewed surge of layoffs, coming less than a month after the company slashed 25 of 58 posts in its Postmedia News division. “Some roles across our operations will be eliminated,” confirmed Monday’s memo. The Globe and Mail reported that internal memos from the company's Ottawa and Montreal newsrooms indicated that each would lose approximately around 20% of their journalists, but that the total number was yet unknown.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-29 16:48

Fresh off the media gossip mill, New York magazine has delved into the "whodunnit” surrounding the firing of former New York Times CEO Janet Robinson last December. The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade and Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon discuss Joe Hagan’s article.

Wasting no time on such frivolities, The New York Times updated its iPad and iPhone apps last week, reported the Nieman Journalism Lab. The new app will download content automatically overnight to save readers time and bandwidth and allow them to better customize their reading experience.

Apparently the Times is on the right track, because Wired publisher Howard Mittman has told paidContent’s Jeff John Roberts that apps, as opposed to HTML5, really are the way of the future.

Tags

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-28 17:15

New Orleans is about to become the most prominent American city without a daily printed newspaper.

This fall, the Times-Picayune, a 175-year-old New Orleans institution known for its Pulitzer-decorated coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will begin printing its paper edition only three times a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The plan, which is to be accompanied by staff cuts and a stronger emphasis on online coverage, was announced yesterday by Advance Publications, the company behind the Times-Picayune, which is owned by the Newhouse family. Reasons for the restructuring include “tremendous challenges in terms of both revenue and the 24-hour news cycle,” Steven Newhouse, Chairman of advance.net, Advance Publication’s digital arm, told The New York Times.

The Newhouse family's is the last major newspaper company to have kept its digital business separate from its print business, noted news industry analyst Ken Doctor on Newsonomics. As part of the planned online expansion, the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, its website, will be remodeled into a new company, the NOLA Media Group.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-25 17:10

Remember the days before Craigslist, when newspapers made money from classified advertising?

In the year 2000, the U.S. newspaper industry brought in a high of nearly $20 billion dollars in classified revenue; by 2009, this figure had plummeted to under $10 billion. Meanwhile, the number of adult Internet users who visited online classified sites jumped from 22% in 2005 to 49% in 2009, according to findings from the Pew Research Centre’s Internet & American Life Project.

Since last fall, the Guardian Media Group has worked to recapture some of that lost revenue with n0tice.com, the digital answer to a community centre corkboard, which asks users, “what’s happening near you?” To post is free, but as with promoted Tweets, n0tice-ers can bump their bulletins to a privileged spot on the board for a fee.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-25 16:14

Argentina’s La Nación has stepped up its data strategy, pairing its reporters with programmers to mine for original stories in mountains of raw information, and to create unique data visualizations. Antonio Jiménez from the Nieman Journalism Labdescribes how the Buenos Aires-based daily built up its data squad.

A “radically simplified” version of WordPress is in the works, revealed the platform’s founder Matt Mullenweg at yesterday's paidContent conference. WordPress's flexibility is such that its system is reported to be used for one in eight websites. The new interface promises to be less complicated, and better-suited to smartphones.

Bittersweet news in Daily Mail & General Trust’s latest financial results: overall profits are down, as are print revenues, but digital earnings have seen a heartening jump. Mark Sweney reports and Roy Greenslade comments.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-05-24 17:11

The UK Supreme Court is preparing to decide next Wednesday whether Julian Assange should be deported to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault, reports the Guardian. The paper writes that the verdict is likely to hinge on the judges’ decision over whether the European Arrest Warrant issued for Assange is valid.

El Pais has posted a video interview with John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media, who explains the “digital first” philosophy that underpins his company. “Technology is 100% of the future,” he says.

Press Gazette reports that the Sun’s Fabulous magazine is re-launching its website in a new, blog-style format. The article notes that stories used to be posted on the website just once a week, but now, according to editor Rachel Richardson, it will be edited “literally minute by minute.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-23 15:34

Magazine publisher Future PLC, which puts out publications such as Total Film, Classic Rock, released its interim financial results yesterday, and revealed that it has seen a 48% rise in digital revenues in the UK in the six months leading up to March 31, partly thanks to the boost it has received from Apple’s Newsstand. But although its digital income was up 37% over this period, losses in print meant that the company’s overall revenue still dropped 4%.

In its financial report, Future strongly pushes its success on the iPad. Since the Newsstand was launched in October last year Future has made sales on the platform with more that £3 million. It has sold more than 830,000 copies of its magazines through Newsstand, with 45% of those sales coming being subscriptions. Encouragingly, the Future writes that 90% of subscribers are new customers.

Future’s CEO Mark Wood comments in the report that “Future is seizing the opportunities offered by new platforms and channels to reach new audiences and grow a global digital business.” He states that, “on Apple's iPad, Future is one of the world's leading digital publishers in sales volumes and number of titles. That is a sign of how far we have come in a very short time."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-23 13:10

Capital New York writes that the Huffington Post is pushing ahead with its plans to launch a live video streaming network. The new product, which has been named HuffPost Live, aims to feature 12 hours of original programming every weekday, produced by a staff of around 100, says the article.

As Erik Wemple at the Washington Post reported yesterday, The New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane will be stepping down at the beginning on September. Now Craig Silverman at Poynter suggests five qualities that The Times should look for as it tries to find a new person to fill the roll.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-22 16:29

NPR announced yesterday that has it hired the Chicago Tribune’s Brian Boyer to direct a new team, dedicated to building news applications. NPR has produced news apps previously, such as this interactive look at the science of “Fracking” to extract gas, and this map of air-polluting facilities in the US. However, the staff who have worked on these types of projects haven’t been coordinated in a single department, and Boyer’s appointment will bring them together.

Mark Stencel, NPR’s Managing Editor for digital news, who will be in charge of Boyer and his team, tells Poynter; “what I’m hoping is that, by taking these positions and putting them together as a team, we’ll be able to do a higher level of [work] than we’ve been able to do with scattered design, database and development resources.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-22 15:01

We don’t need any further proof that the digital publishing age is upon us. But if we did, two recent news stories highlight the trend.

Last week The Next Web reported on a talk given by the managing director of the FT.com Rob Grishaw, who predicted that by the end of 2012, the Financial Times will have more digital subscribers than it sells print copies. The article notes that the FT currently has 285,000 online subscribers, compared to a print circulation of 310,000.

The Next Web also notes the money that the FT makes from digital subscriptions is set to overtake its ad income this year. The article credits the FT’s digital success to its early commitment to online news: “Not only did the newspaper venture earlier than others into online content, but it also took a bold approach by betting on subscriptions, rather than free content,” writes The Next Web.

The Financial Times is not the only company showing a full commitment to multimedia publishing. Roy Greenslade at the Guardian reports that The Newspaper Marketing Agency, an organisation dedicated to promoting newspaper advertising, has rebranded itself as “Newsworks”.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-21 17:01

Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at Knight Foundation, has criticised the state of journalism education in the US, reports Steve Myers at Poynter. Newton argues that most journalism teaching centers had been slow to adapt to changes in the news industry and he suggests that, it should be reformed to allow more input from journalism professionals as well as academics.

The New York Times reports that Pakistani authorities blocked access to Twitter on Sunday, after accusing the social network of promoting a cartoon contest on Facebook to post images of the prophet Mohammed. Twitter access was restored around 10pm Sunday evening, notes the article, at which time “It remained unclear — and unlikely — that Twitter had agreed to the demands of the Pakistani government”.

WikiLeaks Tweeted today that the organisation is preparing to file suit against the US military over the case of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of having leaked a massive number of classified documents to the whistleblowing organisation.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-21 16:09

Big changes are taking place at Johnston Press, after the publisher’s CEO Ashley Highfield promised last March to make the company a “digital first” entity. “We’re going to flip the model from newspaper-first every day to digital-first, and you take the best and produce a bumper weekly in print. By 2020, that will be the model,” he told paidContent at the time.

In April, Johnston Press announced plans to re-launch all of its 170 paid-for titles – with the exception of The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The News Letter and The Yorkshire Post – as “platform neutral” publications. As previously reported, the changes began with the decision to re-launch five Johnston Press daily papers - Northants Evening Telegraph, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Halifax Courier, The Scarborough Evening News and Peterborough Evening Telegraph - as online publications with a weekly printed edition by the end of May.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-21 15:36

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reports that a journalist has been kidnapped by three armed men in the northeastern Mexican state of Sonora. Marcos Ávila covers crime for the paper El Regional de Sonora.

The European Journalism Centre has posted a video interview with Dimitri Muratov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, about social media’s role in investigative journalism.

Paul Egglestone, digital coordinator at the University of Central Lancashire's School of Journalism, writes in a blog post for the BBC College of Journalism that his department is developing a new platform for community news, which fuses newsprint and digital technology.

Press Gazette reports that Johnston Press is preparing to switch two of its broadsheet weeklies to tabloid format later this month.

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

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-18 17:55

Yesterday, billionaire Warren Buffett, revealed that his company Berkshire Hathaway is buying up 63 Media General newspapers for a total of $142m. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, a $400m loan and $45m in credit to help Media General pay off its debts are also part of the deal.

The sale is quite a turn around for the man who famously said in 2009 that he would not consider buying most papers in the US “at any price” because “they have the possibility of going to just unending losses.” And it has certainly raised some eyebrows. “Maybe he something we don’t…” begins the Business Etc article on the deal.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-18 17:25

Financially speaking, this seems to have been a mixed week for the LA Times. On the one hand, Fishbowl LA reported on Tuesday that the LA Times Magazine, which has been running for almost three years in its current form, will shut down next month due to a tough market. On the other, the LA Times announced this Thursday that it has received $1m of funding from the Ford Foundation to strengthen its reporting of beats including immigration, minority communities and Brazil.

First to the bad news. Fishbowl LA quotes the editor of the LA Times Magazine, Nancie Clare, who attributes the closure to a lack of funds. “I think it’s fair to say there were revenue issues,” says Clare, “it’s still a tough economic climate, especially for print. I don’t think they got rid of us because they don’t like us.” Fishbowl LA writes that the monthly magazine’s seven staff will be laid off, and there’s “no indication” that jobs in other parts of the newsroom will be made available to them. “They’re contracting in the newsroom too. There’s nowhere to absorb us,” says Clare, quoted in the article.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-18 15:14

The mobile newsreader app Flipboard announced this week that it is partnering with SoundCloud, NPR and PRI in order to fully integrate audio content into its app. The new feature will allow Flipboard users to listen to music and radio content while flipping through articles.

The BBC points out that Flipboard is the first mobile reading app of its kind to integrate audio in this way. Although other social readers such as Pulse and Zite may include some links to audio elements, Flipboard is the first to make audio content an integral part of its product.

As the company explains in its press release, the new feature allows users to explore audio content, select tracks and listen to them, then continue to flip through text stories. Audio tracks are sorted into sections, and the app will continue to play though all the tracks in the same category as users read articles. "With this latest addition, we're giving our readers a personal soundtrack to their Flipboard," says the company’s founder Mike McCue.

The BBC writes that Flipboard is hoping its new audio content will help boost ad revenue. “Adding audio is an attempt at reeling in users and keeping them around longer in a bid, ultimately, to attract brand advertising,” the article says.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-16 17:45

Gawker Media’s director of editorial operations Scott Kidder was not impressed when Adweek’s website prompted him to share a story before he had read it. Is there anything more desperate a publisher can do? Gross,” he wrote on his blog. But Nieman Lab now explains that this request to share the story was the result of a bug with Google Consumer Surveys, rather than a policy by AdWeek.

Nieman Lab also reports that MTV has partnered with a group of news organisations to create a news game, intended to interest young people in the upcoming US presidential elections. MTV has launched a beta version of the game, named Fantasy Election ’12, with the help of a grant from Knight Foundation, says the article.

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple compares the way that different news outlets retracted a bogus story about a jilted dentist in Poland pulling out her ex-boyfriend’s teeth. He ranks the results from most to least transparent.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-16 16:03

Olympic athletes are not the only ones making ambitions preparations for this summer’s games. The BBC outlined its plans for covering the Olympics in a statement yesterday, promising to provide 2,500 hours of live Olympic coverage, up from the 1,500 hours that the BBC produced at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“We will be bringing live coverage of every Olympic Sport from every venue, both through a combination of BBC One and BBC Three and up to 24 simultaneous streams live online on PC, mobile, tablet or connected TV. These services will be complemented by coverage on Radio 5 live, mobile and tablet, while the majority of cable and satellite viewers will be able to access the 24 channels on their providers’ platform through the BBC Red Button,” said Roger Mosey, BBC director of London 2012.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-16 14:59

Are things looking good for The New York Times?

Peter Kafka writes for All Things D that, according to Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar, the Times’ circulation growth may start balancing out its advertising losses by the middle of 2014.

Venkateshwar’s prediction suggests that the Times’ paywall, which boasts 450,000 subscribers, is starting to pay off. More than that, it may be seen as a vindication of the Times’ digital strategy, which drew criticism after the paper posted a year-on-year decline in digital advertising revenue last month.

When the drop was announced, paidContent noted that, even though Times’ subscription revenue increased by 9.7% from the previous year, the results were “worrisome for a news industry staking its future on digital revenue.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-05-15 16:42


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