Date

Thu - 17.08.2017


August 2012

The Washington Post says that U.S. freelance journalist Austin Tice, who had not been heard from for over two weeks, "has been captured and is being held in Syrian government custody."

Patrick Thornton on Poynter reports on "How news organizations are taking advantage of the latest iPad’s features."

Twitter has announced "it will allow advertisers to more easily target their Twitter ad messages to people based on their interests," according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.

Laura Hazard Owen on the paidContent website writes that the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s ebook experiment is paying off.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-31 18:05

Every newsroom should have its own seer. Not to predict the next breaking news story (that’s half the fun of being a journalist, surely?) but to foresee how the newspaper model will change and adapt in the future. Keeping a news title abreast of the latest technological and economic challenges is part and parcel of an editor’s role, and is a task that has been rendered all the more urgent over the past two decades as technological advances and a difficult economic climate.

Even without the services of an in-house sibyl, editors have long been second-guessing how content production, publication and delivery will evolve – sometimes with alarming success. The Kaiser memo, written in 1992 by then- managing editor of The Washington Post, Robert Kaiser, is startlingly accurate in many of its predictions. After being told of an impending digital revolution by leading lights in the world of technology, who spoke with certainty of a time when “the PC will be a virtual supercomputer, and the easy transmission and storage of large quantities of text, moving and still pictures, graphics,” Kaiser recommended that the Post get ahead of its competitors by designing “the world’s first electronic newspaper… with a series of ‘front pages’ and other devices that would guide readers the way our traditional cues do -- headlines, captions, story placement, etc.”

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-31 17:17

Just 10 weeks after start-up incubator Betaworks acquired its brand name and URL, the new-look Digg is celebrating its one-month anniversary.

Sporting a pared-down, picture-heavy, ad-free homepage, the site has been dubbed “a Pinterest for news links.” The voting algorithm that was a defining feature of Digg’s previous incarnation remains (though human editors also play a role in curating the site) and articles like "The Five Coolest (and 5 Strangest) Marvel Comics Foodstuffs" prove that its audience has lost none of its interest in the more bizarre elements of the news.

There are however clear signs that not everyone is diggin’ the new format. Initial reaction to the re-launched website lamented the loss of key Digg functions, and four weeks have done little to assuage such concerns. Despite being a central reason for Digg’s initial popularity, the old commenting system has disappeared and users are required to sign in via their Facebook account should they want to interact with articles.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-30 18:14

In a post on Nieman LabKen Doctor considers whether "newspapers have a shot at stepping ahead of their broadcast rivals as web video evolves."

On PoynterMallary Jean Tenore discusses "What Twitter teaches us about writing short & well"

The UK's Press Gazette reports that The Wall Street Journal is hosting a series of events with a tech theme in Shoreditch, East London, for three days from 12 September.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-30 17:48

This is a guest post from Garrett Goodman, an American living and working in Paris for a French collaborative journalism startup called Citizenside. He writes on innovations in journalism and social media on The Huffington Post, and is a technology enthusiast, gadget fanatic, and avid amateur photographer. Follow Garrett on Twitter for a regular flow of interesting articles on all of the above: @garrettgoodman.

In a time of acute financial struggle for most media houses, weekly newspaper The Economist announced record profits and record circulation for last year. In the group's 2012 annual report, editorial events was cited by numerous managing directors as an important part of the publication's strategy.

This is a closer look at The Economist Group's event strategy: how it fosters audience engagement, generates millions in revenue, and attracts new readers.

An Award-Winning, Multi-Million Dollar Business

Author

Guest

Date

2012-08-30 16:10

The Newspaper Association for America (NAA) is said to be preparing a legal challenge to a “sweetheart deal” established between the postal service and Valassis Communications.

Having received approval from the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, the agreement will see Valassis receive a substantial rate-cut from the post office, thereby allowing the direct-marketing company to send the kind of preprint advertisements usually carried by newspapers straight to the customer. The mailing system will cost 42 percent less than the service now provided by newspapers.

Newspapers could see advertising revenue diminish by $2.5 billion as a result of the agreement, of which $1 billion could be businesses turning away from the newspaper advertising model altogether.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-30 14:36

"2011 had the most incidents of violence against journalists in Afghanistan yet," according to a report by David Cole on the MediaShift Idea Lab website, which has also mapped the incidents.

Huffington Post launched "Huff Post labs" today. Its first project, called Highlights, is "a collection of the most popular sentences from articles and blog posts across the Huffington Post empire," writes Klint Finley on the TechCrunch website.

Allowing the public access to your reporting process, and accepting more and different contributors than you’d find through traditional means," is really what social is all about, according to Daniel Victor, Social Media Producer at The New York Times in an interview with Muck Rack.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-29 19:13

Three and a half years after the bosses of Michigan’s Ann Arbor Newsinformed a shocked roomful of newspaper staffers that the paper would be rebranded as a web site” with a reduced-frequency print edition, its parent company Advance Publications has made similar changes at several more of its local titles throughout the United States.

This spring brought cutbacks to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and three Alabama dailies. Now, Advance newspapers in Syracyse, New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are the latest to follow suit.

“It seems like they are doing this in regional clusters,” said Paul Pohlman, a Poynter faculty member with knowledge of Advance, according to a report by Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon.

As of January 2013, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, whose 24 year-old reporter Sara Ganim won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for her work on the scandal at Penn State University, will appear in print only three days a week. The newspaper will merge with the website Pennlive.com to form PA Media Group.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-29 17:25

The Newsblaster project was developed by the Columbia NLP (natural language processing) Group and has been running since September 2001. Under the direction of Professor Kathleen McKeown, the site processes news stories through the application of natural language processing techniques and artificial intelligence, to produce summaries of the day’s top news stories. After 11 years at the helm, Professor McKeown spoke to the SFN blog to discuss the development of Newsblaster, and what the future holds for the aggregation site.

SFN: In the 11 years that Newsblaster has been running, what types of changes has the site undergone?

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-29 09:53

Which GOP governor is the weakest link? Which democrat senator wants to marry a multi-millionaire? The New York TimesDavid Carr consults top authorities in the world of reality television about how the U.S. Republican and Democratic National Conventions could spice up their images.

"At one point, when he was about 24, he took off into the Tasmanian wilderness with just a knife and pitted himself against nature to see if he could survive out there," says Julian Assange’s mother of her son in the Guardian’s compilation of testimonies from the whistleblower’s nearest and dearest.

Pasadena publisher James Macpherson claims to have received death threats five years ago when he began hiring workers in India to write local news stories. Now he has launched Journtent, a system for helping other publishers outsource local reporting. CJR reports.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 18:11

British newspapers experienced a sporting spike in digital traffic during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

To take an example, the Guardian saw a 23 percent increase in average daily unique browsers, a 21 percent rise in average daily visits, and a 15 percent jump in average daily page views during the Olympics, as compared with figures from 17 days before the Opening Ceremonies. Not including mobile traffic, the site attracted a total of 39.9 million page views – 2.3 million per day, on average – between July 27 and August 12 for Olympic content alone.

These numbers tell a heartening story: the readers are out there.

As print circulation continues its long luge ride – the Guardian’s dropped by another 15.85 percent between July 2011 and July 2012 to 209,354, a rate of decline outpaced only by the Independent, which dropped by 54.28 percent to reach below 83,619 – such news is particularly welcome.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 17:16

As Google announces that Hangouts, its most successful Google+ feature, will be making its fist external appearance on NFL.com, The Next Web asks: Could broadcast journalism see a revival in online media? Joel Falconer makes the case for online broadcasters to “use tools such as Hangouts to deliver news as it comes in.”

The New York Times has agreed to sell the struggling About group, including search site About.com, to Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive for $300 million in cash, reports the Media Decoder blog.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-27 16:20

When the Editors Weblog first reported on Forbes’s acquisition of True/Slant, an online-only news source that published the work of hundreds of expert contributors, it was rather unclear how the start-up would fare as part of Forbes’s vast media empire. Many saw the sale as a means for Forbes to re-employ True/Slant’s creator Lewis Dvorkin, who resigned as an executive editor at the business publication in 2008. After the sale, Dvorkin rejoined Forbes as chief product officer, charged with increasing audience engagement and re-working Forbes’s titles.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-27 15:24

At leading media companies, like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the majority of traffic now bypasses the homepage, writes Neiman Lab's Adrienne LaFrance. Newsrooms are increasingly finding that visitors to their sites are "coming in through the sidedoor" meaning homepages are perhaps less important than they once were. 

Media Network Carat is predicting that digital ad spending will surpass newspaper ad spending this year. Btobonline reports that "digital ad spending will garner a 15.3 percent share of the global ad market this year, up from a March projection of 14.5 percent."

Meanwhile time is of the essence for Time Inc.'s digital overhaul, according to the New York Post's Keith J. Kelly, who writes: "after operating profit tumbled more than 40 percent in the most recent quarter, there’s a new sense of urgency surrounding Time Inc. and its push to capture digital dollars."

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-24 17:37

After three years as chief digital officer at News Corporation, Chris Miller has announced his departure from the company, effective as of next month. Miller seems to be parting on good terms and will, according to a News Corp. press release, continue to work “as an outside advisor [to the company] on digital issues through fall 2013.”

Having been drafted into the company in 2009 to reinvigorate News Corp.’s diverse (and struggling) digital assets, a key part of Miller’s role was making digital a priority across the company’s numerous news divisions. During his tenure, Miller oversaw the introduction of a paywall at the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal and was a leading force behind the initiative to incorporate the use of video in News Corp.’s traditional news publications. As a result, reporters at the WSJ are now trained in using video functions on their smartphones.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-24 13:27

Fairfax News and Media Company has posted losses of A$2.732 billion for the financial year 2011/12, after writing down its media businesses and plants and equipment (including printing presses in Tullamarine and Chullora that are to be shut down in 2014) by almost A$3 billion. The losses announced on Thursday for the year to June were seven times higher than those for the same period in 2010-11, which stood at $390.9 million. Fairfax is Australia’s oldest news publisher, and its titles include the country’s oldest paper, The Sydney Morning Herald

The company’s write-down of mastheads and goodwill comes in light of the woeful financial forecasts predicted for the next three years. In a statement following the release of the company’s full-year financial results, Fairfax Chief Executive Greg Hywood said: "The assessment of the carrying value of our intangible assets - mastheads, goodwill and customer relationships - is based on the three-year outlook for each of our business units. That outlook worsened considerably over the course of the second half of the year as the cyclical downturn became more pronounced, and our confidence in a sustained improvement in market conditions reduced."

Commenting on the present state of the advertising market, Hywood expressed his belief that never in his 30-year career had it been in such a bad condition, but he also added that the present drop in advertising revenue was part of a “cycle” and would “inevitably pass.”

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-23 17:00

A new long-form journalism websitecalled Mampoer, and based in South Africa, is preparing to launch in the near future, according to journalism.co.uk's Rachel McAthy. Mampoer, "will invite writers to submit pieces of long-form journalism to be downloadable on digital devices," McAthy writes.

Every daily and Sunday title in Northern Ireland suffered circulation declinesin the latest ABC report according to an article posted on PressGazette.co.uk. Northern Ireland’s largest-selling daily, The Belfast Telegraph, fell 9.2 percent to 53,847, the article states.

The UK's Independent says prosecutors involved in the phone hacking scandal will reveal a list of the names of up to 600 victims"within weeks."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-23 16:54

In an article on Adweek's website, Lucia Moses looks at the hugely successful but low-budget approach that US-based publisher Condé Nast has taken in expanding its empire overseas.

In the UK, Robert Andrews on the paidContent website writes that Johnston Press, which publishes some 230 regional newspapers, is gaining ground with its new digital strategy and its use of online outsourcing.

AFP is reporting that the Foreign Correspondents' Clubs of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have expressed alarm over recent reports of intimidation against foreign journalists working in China.

On the MediaShift Idea Lab website, Heather Ford discusses how Wikipedia manages sources for breaking news.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-22 17:41

What do you do when you’ve already launched two incredibly successful publishing platforms? If you’re Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the answer is simple: work on another one.

Just over a week ago Obvious Corporation, the company that developed Blogger and Twitter, unveiled Medium, a collaborative publishing tool designed as a simple way for users to express themselves online with images and text. At first glance this basic premise suggests that Medium has little to offer that is not already provided by other blogging sites. Indeed, GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram commentedthat Medium “feels like a cross between Tumblr and Pinterest.” The site’s format is agreeably simple, with both text and photos organised on a grid-based layout. Medium, like Tumblr, provides a simple article template for each post, and a lack of superfluous visual elements and advertisements contribute to an overall sense of elegance and efficiency.  

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-22 16:22

The New York Times reports that while "most Western broadcasting and newspaper companies are retrenching, China’s state-run news media giants are rapidly expanding in Africaand across the developing world." The article states the efforts are aimed at improving China’s image and influence around the globe.

Rappler, a news startup in the Philippines, is taking a social media approach to news and using a "mood meter" with its stories in an attempt to understand the role of emotion in newsaccording to an article from Adrienne LaFrance on theNieman Lab website.

Twitter could face legal action in India if the website fails to comply with the government's demand to censor objectionable contentposted by users, according to a report from The Times of India.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-21 17:57

Curation, aggregation, 140 characters, constant updates, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: despite being easier than ever to access, reading the news online can be exhausting. In this digital age we can follow a story from its birth, watch it grow, develop and fade away. The problem is that this process frequently takes place in one quick burst – over the course of a day, maybe two – infusing online news sites like the Huffington Post with a wearying frenetic quality. It’s no secret that the rush to be the first to report breaking news means that concerns such as narrative depth, context and analysis are frequently marginalised, but fortunately for those searching for respite from the onslaught of breaking news, long-form journalism is undergoing a revival.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-21 17:22

The government of Burma has taken a major step towards freedom of expression according to a report from The Associated Press and published on the Guardian's website. The country has stopped the practice of requiring reporters to submit their articles to state censors before they can be published.

Rachel McAthy on the journalism.co.uk website offers an interesting look at eight examples of long-form digital content projects.

Recovering Journalist Mark Potts highlights a vision for the future of newspaperwritten 20 years ago by Robert G. Kaiser, the then-newly appointed Managing Editor of The Washington Post, which as Potts points out, remains "a striking document, even today."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-20 18:19

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre for the People & the Press has revealed rising mistrust of the press in the USA. For the second time since 2002, public faith in the credibility of US news outlets has diminished: the ‘positive believability ratings’ for nine out of the thirteen news organisations included in the poll have experienced a sharp decline, recalling a similar downturn experienced between 2002 and 2004.

The survey covered both television and radio broadcasters and newspaper companies and asked 1001 people to rank the believability of individual news organisations on a 4-point scale. A rating of 4 meant that someone accepted “all or most of what the news organisations say” to be true and 1 indicates that an individual believed “almost nothing”. On average 56% of individuals who contributed to the study gave news titles, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, a rating of 3-4 points. This figure stood at 62% only two years ago, and demonstrates a considerable drop in public trust in the news media since 2002 when the average positive rating stood at 71%.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-20 17:30

Big data is 2012’s big buzzword, as many predicted it would be.

The catchy term does not simply denote vast amounts of information, but refers to the emerging technologies developed and employed to gather, process and analyse the tidal wave of new data. “Big Data is really about new uses and new insights, not so much the data itself,” says Rod A. Smith, IBM’s vice president for emerging Internet technologies, in an interview with The New York Times. Human beings have produced more data information in the last two years than at any other time in history: according to IBM’s calculations, 90% of the data currently in existence was created between 2010-2012, thanks to social media posts and interactions, online-browsing history, web-purchase receipts, GPS systems, and sensor and surveillance data. The revolutionary aspect of ‘Big Data’ lies in the way in which it forms links and associations between seemingly disparate facts, leading to new perspectives and revelations.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-20 10:50


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