A publication of the World Editors Forum


Fri - 22.09.2017

Newspaper executives meet in Chicago to discuss monetising online content

Newspaper executives meet in Chicago to discuss monetising online content

Newspaper industry executives met yesterday in Chicago to discuss monetising online news and how they can protect their online content. The meeting was organised by the Newspaper Association of America and according to an agenda obtained by the Associated Press, was called "Models to Lawfully Monetize Content."

A statement from NAA president John F. Sturm appearing on Nieman Lab said that the group "discussed business topics such as protection of intellectual property rights and approaches to the Congress and Administration to address these and other issues." Apparently those present "listened to executives from companies representing various new models for obtaining value from newspaper content online" and "shared success stories in driving new revenue to their newspapers products."

James Warren, a former managing editor at the Chicago Tribune, reported in The Atlantic yesterday that the first session of the meeting was to be on the Fair Syndication Consortium. This is a coalition of newspaper publishers who, in conjunction with start-up company Attributor, have come together to address how to track content on the web and extract payments from third parties who have appropriated it. Attributor gave a presentation, reported the AP.

The following session, according to Warren, featured a presentation on Journalism Online, the new venture founded by Steve Brill, Gordon Crovitz and Leo Hindery to facilitate charging for online content. A later session was entitled "Aggregating User Data: Collecting enhanced online newspaper user data across newspaper properties and mining that data to aggressively sell target content to specific audience segments across the network (e.g. golf enthusiasts)," then a discussion about content models, a session on classified advertising and a lastly, talk of "Next steps."

The NAA said that representatives from most major US newspaper publishers attended the meeting, and Warren mentioned that top executives from Gannett, Scripps, Hearst and MediaNews Group would be there as well as Michael Golden of the New York Times and Gary Pruitt of McClatchy. The AP confirmed that its CEO Tom Curley was present. The Associated Press said that an antitrust lawyer also attended the meeting "to caution the participants about laws prohibiting collusion or other anticompetitive measures."

Warren believes that "It's now safe to wager that most attendees" will start charging for at least some online content, but that this might well be "because they don't know what else to do." MediaNews Group has already made clear its intention to charge for premium online content, as has News Corp. As well as Journalism Online, a new start-up called CircLabs, which is planning to develop a service that will help papers charge for premium content, announced its creation on May 27.

It is impossible to say whether charging for online content will be able to halt newspapers' falling revenue or whether it will be shortly pushed aside as another failed experiment. The fact that newspapers are talking to each other and sharing experiences is surely a good sign, and gives hope that any steps taken towards changing newspapers' business models will be taken with care.

Source: Associated Press, The Atlantic, Nieman Journalism Lab



Emma Goodman


2009-05-29 12:22

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

© 2015 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation