WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 22.12.2014


digital press

Television news broadcaster Ted Koppel prompted an interesting discussion at the Zeitgeist Google conference in LA - should Google manipulate the news content readers see?

A senior editor of The New Yorker, Nicholas Thompson, then posed the question: should Google alter its algorithms to show people the news the serious news they 'should' see instead of the entertainment news they might want to read?

Actually, in a sense they are already doing so: Larry Page, Google CEO, told the conference that Google had a responsibility to improve the media. Something which, many would argue, they already do.

Although the company clearly states that its algorithms do not exercise editorial control, Google's algorithms do edit some of the content readers see. Tagged content is placed differently within the search results, usually prioritised by labels such as the new 'standout' tag.

Google also makes an effort to reduce the content its readers see from content farms and other sites that simply recycle press releases, as GigaOm explains. So, in many ways, Google already manipulates the selection content its users will view.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-30 14:09

The whole world is talking about the new Kindle tablet as if it were the greatest thing since the discovery of... well, fire.

The television ad certainly tries to sell the Kindle Fire as if it were the most revolutionary object since the printing press - there's even a Voltaire reference thrown in there for good measure. Despite the wealth of press attention heaped upon the release of the Kindle Fire, journalists and publishers still have some questions that need answering: primarily, how will the Kindle Fire change the way we do business?

Poynter offers a great run down of the grey areas and speculation that come when considering a new tablet format, but for many commentators and analysts, there is no doubt: the Kindle Fire is going to shake up the tablet market.

Why so sure? Why will Amazon succeed where the likes of the RIM and its BlackBerry PlayBook have not (yet)?

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-29 13:50

The Seattle Times has completed a major restructuring of its newsroom, aiming to shift the focus from the print cycle to the paper's digital content, as The Knight Digital Media Center reports. The paper joins other publications, like the Witchita Eagle, that have recently reorganised their newsroom to prioritise digital content.

At the heart of the move are three essential principles: Creation, Curation and Community. What does that actually mean for the newsroom in real terms?

The function of each member of staff at The Seattle Times is accounted for in these three stages of development. Creation refers to the journalists themselves, those who gather news, write news or document it in images or video. Curation is the process of presenting the news, designing the digital (or print) format in which selected news stories appear, a task that is handled by the production staff.

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-09-22 14:51

The Pearson group released official sales figures for The Financial Times today, showing a 34% rise in digital circulation in the first six months of this year, as Journalism.com reports.

This boost in digital sales comes primarily from iPad app downloads, which have apparently drawn in 230,000 new users.

However, it is not merely the iPad that has caused the FT's digital sector to grow. Access to online content via the free website registration process has also grown, having reached a total of 3.7 million subscribers, an increase of 49%.

Although Pearson's main source of income is from its educational publications and Penguin publishing, The Financial Times saw its operating profit reach £132 million for the first half of the year.

The Press Gazette reports that, according to the Pearson group, these results are proof that the paper can survive in an increasingly challenging market: "At the FT Group, the changes we have made to the business model and mix mean we are well placed to grow even in tough markets for print circulation and advertising. We expect digital subscriptions, now the engine of the FT Group's growth, to continue to build steadily".

Author

Katherine Travers

Date

2011-07-29 16:50

Celebrity news gets high page view impact. High culture wins credibility. Some newspapers deliver one in order to fund the other, and online news sources are on the same track. The Huffington Post announced that it is expanding in both domains, while USA Today is taking on The New York Times with the launch a book site earlier this week.

The HuffPo Celebrity section is already live, taking over content from AOL's PopEater, a celebrity gossip site. While the PopEater site is still running, it has a huge banner across the top linking to its new home at The Huffington Post. This "new home" is the HuffPo's first official section dedicated to celebrity gossip, although it has always covered fluffy entertainment news. The difference is that now the news will be churned out with more focus and frequency.

Balancing the first announcement, The Huffington Post will also be introducing HuffPo Culture. The new section has not gone live yet, but is promised to fill the space between "the arts and its society", according to the new culture editor, Gazelle Emami. In typical interactive Huffington Post style, the Culture section hopes to extend beyond a news source and become a vibrant forum for debate on highbrow films, books, and art.

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-13 15:40

In yet another development in the ongoing struggle to convince readers to pay for content, the Philadelphia Media Network has decided to sell discounted Android tablets loaded with it's two papers.

The Philadelphia Media Network will begin selling the tablets at about half the market price to new subscribers this August. According to Poynter, this digital push hopes to convert tech savvy young professionals to mobile reading. The tablets' homescreen will have direct links to digital versions of the Philadelphia papers, and the tablets come equipped with four apps - The Inquirer, The Daily News, Philly.com for breaking news and another unspecified app for interactive features. Pop up advertisements would show up on the homescreen.

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-12 18:49

Newspapers straddle an awkward position in these days of instantaneous digital press. To stay relevant, they need to update top stories relentlessly, responding to readers' thirst for new details. At the same time, newspapers need to retain the quality of information diffused. Untrue statements and details undermine their worth.

Legal investigations are a long, slow process. Testimony must be verified, prosecutors must collaborate with police, and the entire procedure must be done carefully to avoid missteps that might compromise a case. To keep up with readers' impatience, the digital press finds ways to keep an unfolding story interesting, always moving quickly to new page-view optimizing revelations.

The sensational Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) case is a perfect example of the tension between the media and the legal system. The case is currently at an unsure juncture (the victim's credibility is in question) and the media is back-pedaling to accommodate new details. Gilles Bridier of Slate.fr examines the press' treatment of the case, and draws a lesson for journalists.

Noting that the freedom of the press' right does not trump the legal system's independence, Bridier reflected on how the press seemed to flaunt DSK's presumption of innocence. According to him, commentators and journalists assumed speculation was true to justify or plump up their stories.

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-07 15:59

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