WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


editorial direction

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When does an event become newsworthy? Does media coverage in itself make an event newsworthy? Can news organizations and journalism be blamed for giving a made-for-media event the attention it was looking for?

These and other similar questions arose from the coverage (or the non-coverage) of evangelical pastor Reverend Terry Jones, who runs a small church in Gainesville, Florida, burning a copy of the Quran on March 20.

The story is well summed up by Poynter's Steve Myers, who wrote an article analysing the media's ability to shape the news.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/media_blackouts_or_media_coverage_how_mu.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-11 14:32

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The pop star Lady Gaga is going to guest-edit the free-paper Metro, one of the world's largest newspapers, Poynter reported.

International pop superstar Lady Gaga will be global guest-editor-in-chief for all May 17 editions of Metro, announced the paper. "In her role as global guest-editor-in-chief, Lady Gaga will highlight issues surrounding equality and individuality, select stories and provide her comments on the breaking news of the day. Lady Gaga will edit Metro's editions in 20 countries from the London office of Metro World News, Metro's central news desk".

Lady Gaga has famous predecessors as guest editor. Poynter's article recalled that U2's Bono edited Britain's The Independent in 2006, and the following year he edited Vanity Fair's Africa issue. In 2007, actor and activist George Clooney guest-edited The Independent. In 2008, singer James Blunt edited an edition of Metro International and Arianna Huffington was a guest editor for the newspaper in 2009.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/04/the_guest-editing_moment.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-08 18:38

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Big Lead Sports started a rumor that USA Today's decision to pay its workers bonuses based on page views had been taken yesterday, April 7th. Poynter's Jim Romenesko received a statement from Today's Vice President of Communications & Event Marketing Ed Cassidy saying this decision had not yet been made.

Before Cassidy could release his statement, other publications like Mashable and Business Insider had also reported on the event. The event sparked a dialogue on what these bonuses could mean in terms of reporting.

Big Lead didn't state outright that Today had made a final decision. It said, "USA Today had a conference call last night and according to a source, the paper outlined a plan in which it will pay annual bonuses to writers based on page views."

Less that three hours later, Romenesko posted Cassidy's response: "Jim, USA TODAY has and continues to consider bonuses based on page views but nothing has been decided at this time."

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Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-08 16:32

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Newspapers won't save the news industry in Italy, according to an analysis published by the Italian online paper Linkiesta.

For some newspapers 2010 was a depressing year: out of 56 papers analysed by Ads (Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa), there was an overall drop in readership of 5,1%, or 250 000 copies. Looking at the 26 newspapers with circulation above 50,000 copies, the drop is higher: - 6,2%, the article reported.

Bad news come also from the biggest names: Corriere della Sera lost 8,7% of its readership in a year, La Repubblica lost 8%, and il Sole 24 Ore 8,6%.

The Italian press hasn't only experienced a drop in circulation, but also in advertising. Citing Nielsen data, the article reported that after very negative results in 2009, advertising has started to grow in 2010 but the increase hasn't affected the printed press. Ad revenues had a 6% increase in the TV market and went up 20,1% online, while regarding the press they steadily decreased by 4,3%.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-06 15:49

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Examiner.com has released a plan to become more quality-focused, reported Social Times. The site has been called a "content farm" in the past, and has been noted for giving journalists and bloggers the opportunity to develop a following, but not necessarily for paying them well. One contributor reportedly received $35 for twenty-five posts. The site also doesn't put the most important stories first on local sites, making top stories difficult to receive without the aid of a search engine.

The site now seems to be worried that its former way of running things has hurt its credibility. As part of a change of direction, it posted a white paper April 5th discussing how to assess quality.

Written by Mitch Gelman, Examiner.com's vice president of quality, the white paper tries to find a commonality and consistency in judging story quality. Gelman puts forth 8 criteria to reach this end: appropriateness, credibility, being on topic, geographically correct for the area, timeliness or timelessness, well-told and engaging, proper formatting, and distinctiveness.

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Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-06 13:40

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It seems "paywall" will be the word of 2011.

After the long-awaited and extensively-covered New York Times' metered paywall, two more newspapers announced their plans to introduce digital subscriptions.

The Hearst Corporation is considering a paywall for sfgate.com, the online portal of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bay Citizen reported, citing Chronicle staffers who have been briefed on the company's plans.

No details are available about when the digital subscription will be introduced (possibly at the end of the month) neither about what will be the monthly subscription fee. However "newsroom employees said the paper would likely establish a "hard" paywall, rather than a metered plan that lets readers click on a certain number of articles before cutting off access", the article said.

The article also reported one staffer said that over half of the stories now available for free on sfgate.com could be cordoned off by the new paywall, especially longer, investigative stories that appear on Sundays and many of the paper's popular columns. The paper currently embargoes such stories, printing them in the newspaper before publishing them on the site two days later. Shorts, daily news and breaking stories instead, would likely remain free of charge.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-05 18:32

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In the age of an over-abundance of online information available more or less everywhere, why should readers still rely on newspapers as their news source?

Amongst other reasons, because they are trustworthy and still provide accurate, reliable, and thorough information. And, of course, because they recognize themselves in them.

In the effort to keep readers engaged with the paper, some newspapers are trying to improve their quality of information and underscore their commitment to accuracy and accountability.
That is what The Washington Post and the Register Citizen have done through giving a new way for readers to point out errors and submit correction requests.

As sometimes isn't easy for readers to submit correction requests, The Washington Post recently launched a report-an-error form, with the intention of making the process easier and more efficient, Poynter's Mallary Jean Tenore reported.

The form - the article said - which is displayed on every article page, asks readers to identify the type of error they've spotted and the section it appeared in. It also asks readers, "How can we fix it?" and "What do we need to know to improve future stories on this topic?"

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-05 14:08

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Every day media outlets take decisions about what is newsworthy and what is not. Some news is necessarily left out. But what about when this news is quite major and is left out by just one news organization? It may well appear that that news was ignored voluntarily.

Such suspicions were raised by NBC News not reporting the story of General Electric Co. earned $14.2 billion in worldwide profits last year, including $5.1 billion in the United States, and paid exactly zero dollars in federal taxes, as the Washington Post reported.

The story got the front pages of many news sites but, surprisingly, wasn't even cited by any NBC's top-rated nightly newscasts or its leading Sunday public-affairs program, "Meet the Press".

Did NBC's silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?, wondered the Post.

"This was a straightforward editorial decision, the kind we make daily around here," said Lauren Kapp, spokeswoman for NBC News, quoted in the article.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-01 16:42

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People who think to have been publicly misrepresented or wrongly and inaccurately represented have the right to ask for a correction and to re-establish the truth about them. There is no doubt about it.

Accuracy and fair reporting are the fundamental pillars of journalism. It's the basis of professional ethics.

The need to maintain true accountability demands that the press publishes a correction whenever it is found to be necessary.

That's why many news media not only have correction pages but have also established internal watchdog system such as an ombudsman or have subscribed to self-regulation bodies as news (or press) councils.

Anyone has the right to see incorrect information rectified, celebrities as well as common people and every untruth must be corrected, no matter if it's about high ideals or simply common facts.

Money shouldn't count in this process then. That's the point raised by The Observer readers' editor, Stephen Pritchard in his last article.

"What price the truth now?", he wonders.

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Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-31 13:52

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The Washington Post launched the redesign of its website during the weekend of March 11, which included a new Tumblr, according to Mediabistro.com. Now, only two weeks later, its new ombudsman, Patrick B. Pexton, has already had to issue a letter explaining the website's $7million changes.

This letter is in response to an actively angry reader response to the site. Pexton claims he was "deluged... with reader emails," and that they "ran about 8 to 1 negative." All emails, he promised, were sent to the tech team.

What exactly did readers have to complain about? After all, that same system is currently used by the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Seattle Times, to name a few. EidosMedia's Méthode has become the platform for many major news corporations.

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Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-03-28 18:21

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