WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Wed - 23.04.2014


World Newspaper Congress

The Ukrainian press faces many challenges, said Oksana Bogdanova, Editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev last week. Her paper is a major Ukrainian daily with a readership of a million a day.

Professional standards and ethics are not always valued, and subsequently trust in the press has fallen and therefore so has the audience. The press also has to fend off competition from television, and faces further complexity because the country has both Ukrainian- and Russian-language media.

A significant problem is that the majority of media are owned by larger corporations, who do not rely on their media properties for income, she explained. Oligarchs invest in media not for profit, but to advertise and lobby for their other businesses. They are therefore not interested in developing their publications.

The few companies whose media business provides their basic income are much more interested in developing their products,  and “providing new technologies, defending the authority of media, independence of the press and professional standards,” said Bogdanova.

She questions whether, as the influence of new technologies becomes more and more apparent and anyone can express their opinion, the role of the journalist will become less necessary. She believes it will not, but stressed the need for higher journalistic standards.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-14 17:30

In line with the Guardian’s open journalism philosophy, features writer Jon Henley decided to see what open principles could do for foreign reporting, and set out to harness the power of social media in Greece’s economic crisis in March this year. He was speaking at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev last week.

He went to Greece to look for the “stories behind the headlines,” using Twitter as his first port of call. It was a “very Twitter-driven initiative,” he said. Of course, not everybody is on Twitter, but it is always possible get in does with those who aren’t via those who are if necessary.

He sent a first Tweet before flying out of London: ‘‘In Athens, Thessaloniki next week for stories of hardship and self-help in #Greece. Can you help? Ideas/contribs welcome #EuroDebtTales”.

By the time he landed in Athens, he had a couple of hundred tweets awaiting him and a ballooning number of Twitter followers. He was retweeted by the Guardian, and in the days before leaving he had identified big tweeters in Greece and the issues that concerned them, and asked them to retweet him. This preparation was extremely important, he said, so that by the time he got of the plane “the ball was already rolling” and people were sending him ideas and even phone numbers.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-12 18:38

Forget the myth of the good old days. To Mark Little, we’re living in a golden age.

Little was once a foreign correspondent tied to a satellite dish. He says what he’s seeing now from Syria, from people on the ground, is “much more authentic.”

Little embraces social media. He has a three-pronged approach: discover, validate and deliver.

But it’s not enough to rely on technology and algorithms. Little says journalists are needed to sort through the noise.

“We don’t want to replace journalists, we want to help them and empower them,” Little says.

With Storyful, Little has worked with a number of media companies, including The Economist and The New York Times. His company helps them harness the power of social media.

The key, he says, is to ensure they have content they can trust.

Little says it’s not necessary to have a technical background. But it does require a big shift in what journalists do and how they approach it.

“We’re going to have to become far more humble,” he says.

Journalists need to engage with their audience and realize they don’t own the content, he says.

Mark Little spoke at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev, Ukraine. For more reports from the event visit the Kiev 2012 blog.

Author

Terra Tailleur

Date

2012-09-05 15:57

Partal was accustomed to change. But when social media came along, he needed to rethink everything, from how to approach news to how to interact with readers.

The new approach puts social media first. Partal says it’s about talking and interacting with the audience, about inviting the readers in.

For example, readers can find out what stories the staff is working on, then offer feedback. Sometimes they offer suggestions for possible interviewees.

There’s also a shop and a plan to open a café in the newsroom. Partal says people like to watch how the staff works and get to know who writes the stories.

Membership is a key strategy. There are different levels, starting at 60 euros a year.

Partal says one year later, they have 2,000 paying customers. But it’s 11 percent of the budget.

“They are not just a reader,” Partal says, describing how people feel that as members they have rights.

He says the goal is to have 5,000 people pay, which would cover 50 percent of the budget.

So Partal knows he needs to expand his reach. Google may have been the biggest driver at one point, but that’s no longer the case. He has his eye on Facebook and Twitter.

Vicent Partal spoke at the World Editors Forum in Kiev, Ukraine. For live reporting on the event, follow the Kiev 2012 blog.

Photo courtesy of gravity_grave via Flickr Creative Commons


Author

Terra Tailleur

Date

2012-09-04 17:29

Relations with the local community are just as important as subscriptions, Arne Bore continues. Dialogue with readers is one of the most important tasks of the paper.

A lot of the paper’s most valuable content comes from its relationship with its readers, he says, such as:

  1. Updates on community news: what’s going on, births, deaths and marriages
  2. Unique stories contributed by readers as part of crowd-sourcing efforts
  3. Enriched stories that have a "longer tail" as reader contributions allow for updates, and are higher quality when readers supply corrections

What is essential, however, when you open up a channel of communication, is to both listen and respond to readers. “If you are not responding to criticism, it will stand there unanswered,” Arne Bore warns.

It is also necessary to prevent the publication of offensive reader comments, Arne Bore says. “At the start we didn’t have the tools and resources to monitor reader participation,” he says, “and the good stuff wasn’t able to shine through.” Now, Drammens Tidende has introduced a two-tiered commenting system, whereby users must identify themselves, or their comments will be pre-moderated.

There is a fine line to be drawn, however, between filtering out the offensive and setting the bar too high, Arne Bore believes. “We don’t want to become an elitist media platform,” he stresses.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-04 16:45

Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism. Since the ravaging war on drugs began in 2006, journalists have lived with a twofold threat: from the drug cartels, who want to control the flow of information, and from the authorities, who attempt to silence journalists who might reveal the corruption and complicity of the powerful in dealing with organized crime, which has infiltrated every aspect of public life.

Thirty-nine journalists have been killed since the start of Felipe Calderón’s presidency in December 2006, including five this year, and many of the perpetrators go unpunished, as the mechanisms to resolve cases are ineffective. A further ten have been forced into exile. However, this does not mean that those journalists who remain have all lost the determination to do their jobs.

“We don’t want to just be part of a death toll: we want to keep working and keep living, to keep Mexican journalism alive,” says investigative journalist Anabel Hernández, who was driven to investigative work following the kidnapping and murder of her father in Mexico City in 2000. “I am scared for my life and for my children, but one of my greatest concerns is to lose the ability to do journalism, because if I couldn’t do journalism it would be another way to die.”

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-03 10:46

Former CEO of PPF Media and founder of the Nase Adresa project Roman Gallo told the World Editors Forum the hyperlocal news project covering four regions in the Czech Republic, which, before its recent closure, had been intended to expand to cover the whole country.

Nase Adresa, or 'our address,' consisted of three main directions of development including weekly newspapers, websites and coffeeshop-newsrooms, where journalists were entirely accessible to their audience. Community content collected there was a "basic building block" of the project, Gallo said.

According to Gallo's speech, there were three main motivations behind the news cafes: a place for the creation for community content, a marketing tool and a financial contribution to the project. "We planned 30 percent of content to be created by various communities or in cooperation with communities."

"After the unexpected closure of the project, of course I don't feel very positive, but I've learned a lot," Gallo noted. He emphasized the fact that some expectations, such as the idea that only local content will work, were proven right. "Our mistake was underestimating the complexity," he said, and they only partially reached their goal of having one local team with no walls between them.

Author

Kirill Artemenko

Date

2010-10-10 11:13

"Certificates really matter", Tarek Atia, media training manager of the Media Development Programme in Egypt told participants of the 17th World Editors Forum in Hamburg, referring to IT training programmes operated in organisations including Egypt's largest paper Al Ahram. "When people get them they feel as if they have won the election" he said.

He emphasized that the USAid funded MDP has substantially changed Egypt's media. More than 4000 journalists have taken part in it since it started four years ago, 1986 in 2010 alone. Atia shared with the audience the lessons learned on institutional, individual and inspirational level.

The Media Development Programme focuses mostly on new media. Atia added that the majority of participants are between 20 and 30 years old. "It's more difficult to teach older people" said Atia. The programme operates six training centres in Egypt, and journalists are taught by foreign trainers and by graduates of the programme.

Author

Anna Tulskaya

Date

2010-10-08 14:01

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers CEO Christoph Riess discussed the future of newspapers and challenges for advertising in a keynote speech of the morning at the World Editor's Forum in Hamburg. "Whatever form the newspaper takes, it will remain the dominant media force in the world," Riess assured the audience.

Although the future tendency of the audience often seems to be towards the Internet and online publications, Riess pointed out that 61% of countries surveyed reported increased or stable print circulation over the past year, according to World Press Trends, the annual worldwide industry survey collecting data 2010. He stated that based on this information, "newspapers reach more audience than the Internet".

In the digital realm, however, paid content is a necessity, Riess said. "Will paid content generate revenue? It's not a question of yes or no. It's question of how. In order to survive, we have to do it," he emphasised.

The business model must be tailored to the situation and needs of each newspaper, Riess said. He added that the situation is different for each country, but "clearly, daily titles grow". Asian countries, including India, boast 67 of the top 100 paid daily newspaper titles of the report. In terms of free daily newspapers, Russia has 41 free newspapers, the biggest number. He said that the stress should be on the print, as "the contribution of our paid content model is and will be much more important".

Author

Naiara Arteaga Taberna

Date

2010-10-08 10:38

Thomson Reuters President of Media Chris Ahearn said that the appearance of new tablet computers and mobile devices is a reason to find out a new ways for providing news. "We live in a publishing world that's so dramatically different. The old business model is dead, it's kaput. We have to move faster, we have to move more boldly," Ahearn said.

Reuters is developing "something for you to distribute your content," he said, which will be built around news organisations' preferences. It will encourage more original reporting rather than regurgitating, he said, and will allow organisations to save money and resources.

Ahearn was speaking at the 17th World Editors Forum in Hamburg.

During his presentation he emphasized the most important characteristics of the "app world". They are loyalty, convenience, access and discovery. User engagement is 5 to 10 times higher on apps than on the web, Ahearn noticed, but the industry still has to have more subscribers than it has today.

Author

Kirill Artemenko

Date

2010-10-07 19:32

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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.


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