WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


editorial quality

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The New York Times is to undertake a "reinvention" of its Week in Review, a memo to staff explained. It will be the "creation of an entirely new section," rather than just a new look or new layout for the paper's well-known Sunday analysis and opinion section, the memo from executive editor Bill Keller and editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal.

The planned overhauled section was described by the memo as, "a Sunday commentary section that will feature the rich menu of the best Op-Ed columnists around; our Editorials; some fine analysis and observation from our best writers in the newsroom; the best outside opinion writing (more like the classical Op-Ed pieces); a much expanded and enhanced readers' section (Letters to the Editor on steroids in the 21st century), as well as new kinds of features and new voices and ideas."

The project will involve staff from both the newsroom and the editorial department, but the memo stressed that the new section will not "relax the important distinction between news and opinion." Some reporters and correspondents will write rich analytical pieces on their beats, but these pieces will not be confused with pure opinion articles.

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newspaper/2011/02/new_york_times_week_in_review_in_line_fo.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-02-21 12:37

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Richard Addis, former Daily Express editor and Daily Mail executive, recently conducted a study that examines the scarcity of analytical articles* among the UK's top daily newspapers. Of the seven dailies involved in his research (Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Daily Express), the average percentage of their articles considered 'analytical' was only 6.5%, compared to 22.3% of 'opinion' and 71.1% of 'news'. Although there is no comparable data set from ten years ago that Addis could have referenced to show the change in the proportion of 'analysis' within UK dailies, his "hunch is that this percentage would have been higher" in the past.

Addis explains that during his time at The Express, he "used to commission two or three 'experts' per day to explain what was going on. It was hard and expensive but satisfying to get a Nobel prize-winner or at least a university lecturer" to analyze a wide range of topics.

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newspaper/2011/02/test_study_examines_lack_of_analysis_in.php

Author

Paul Hoffman

Date

2011-02-16 16:07

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The Daily's editor in chief Jesse Angelo is trying to push his staff to up the calibre of their stories, according to an internal memo published in The New York Magazine and reproduced by The Guardian's Roy Greenslade.

"Folks, Egypt is over - time for us to get focused on covering America", the editor of the first tablet-only newspaper wrote.

"We need to get out there and start finding more compelling stories from around the country - not just scraping the web and the wires, but getting out on the ground and reporting".

He urges reporters to find stories other newspapers haven't found, to go where other media haven't been: "Find me something new, different, exclusive and awesome", he wrote.

Greenslade noted that this memo could be nothing more than a normal motivation spur from en editor to his staff, but it's interesting that it arrives just 14 days after the paper was launched.

Angelo doesn't call on staff to simply attract an audience, he asks his journalists to show the world The Daily can count within the papers that set the country's agenda: "Force the new White House press secretary to download The Daily for the first time because everyone at the gaggle is asking about a story we broke. (...) Force the rest of the media to follow us".
He wants news, he wants scoops.

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newspaper/2011/02/motivational_problems_at_the_daily.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-02-16 13:41

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Should the ethics of giving sources their due credit be different online compared to in print?
Arguably, they should not. Nevertheless, two stories seem to indicate that bad habits might be spreading.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/02/why_policy_in_giving_credits_to_sources.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-02-10 18:21

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Traditionally journalism has two types of writers, those who report the news, and those who craft opinion pieces and columns. According to NewsTrust, the three main drivers of a news reporter are factuality, fairness, and valid sourcing. That which drives the opinion writer is being informative, insightful, and writing well. There is overlap between the two, most obviously in being informative and writing well, but NewsTrust still draws a clear distinction in priorities of purpose--something currently up for debate with today's report in the American Journalism Review that new editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, Larry Platt, is generally wanting more news writing with a point of view.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/02/news_reporting_with_a_point_of_view_wher.php

Author

Ashley Stepanek

Date

2011-02-10 17:09

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Third-party journalistic content producers: newspapers' partnerships, outsourcing of news production, the use of newswire news, news aggregators... Is it getting too complicated?

Readers want newspapers to be an authoritative source of news, as well as providers of original content. The Internet allows everyone to find news everywhere, from any sources available. Newspapers' strong point is their ability to provide more in-depth coverage and to put a sort of a "quality label" on content, as a result of the history and the trustworthiness behind the newspaper's brand.

However, newspapers do not always have the time and the resources to go in deep in every story that could be worthwhile. Beside the bylines of newspapers' staffers appear then bylines and tags that readers might not always be able to recognise and value.
Writing about content provider partnerships that are unfamiliar to readers, Arthur S. Brisbane, The New York Times' public editor, said: "The Times's inclusion of the new providers, though, makes sense journalistically and economically. Attracting an audience, in print and in the expanding digital universe, requires ever more content and at a manageable cost. But managing this expansion carries risks".

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/02/newspapers_partnerships_news_content_out.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-02-09 15:33

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Mallary Jean Tenore, in Poynter's "How To's" section, analysed why journalists get names wrong and how they should try to solve this.

Quoting Craig Silverman, author of "Regret the Error", she pointed out that academic research shows that misspelled names are the sixth most common newspaper error. The error is so common, Silverman said, because journalists forget to ask for the right spelling; rather they do it from memory, they assume the name is spelled the "normal way," or they're misled by incorrect sources online.

Tenore underlined that misspelling names is something happens frequently, starting with big newspapers. In some cases newspapers have even misspelled their own names, as happened in 2008 at the New Hampshire's Valley News.

Research has shown that inaccuracies cause the public to lose trust in the media.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/01/misspelling_names_in_articles_why_it_mat.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-01-25 13:46

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The Washington Post has brought back its Fact Checker column as a permanent feature to assess statements by political figures, interest groups and the media, Journalism.co.uk reported.

The Fact Checker was started in 2008 during the presidential campaign by Michael Dobbs, but now "will focus on any statement by political figures and government officials - in the United States and abroad - that cry out for fact-checking", the welcome column says. The permanent feature, available online and with an accompanying column in the newspaper, will be hosted by Glenn Kessler.

The purpose is to make the page interactive and to involve readers, who are asked to make suggestions pointing out facts or statements that need to be checked. Readers can even vote on topics they need to have addressed.

"As the 2012 presidential election approaches, we will increasingly focus on statements made in the heat of the presidential contest. But we will not be limited to political charges or countercharges. We will seek to explain difficult issues, provide missing context and provide analysis and explanation of various "code words" used by politicians, diplomats and others to obscure or shade the truth", announced Kessler.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/01/washington_post_to_check_factual_controv.php

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-01-13 13:43

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Poynter's Adam Hochberg has studied StatSheet, a small company that turns sports statistics into articles, just using computers. Having launched in November, StatSheet has created a network of 345 websites (so far), each devoted to a different US university's basketball team. The company's proprietary software takes the statistics and box scores and creates text about each game.

Hochberg spoke to StatSheet founder Robbie Allen, who is confident that there is a niche for the sites to fill. Although the automated writing sometimes leads to slightly odd phrasing and repeated clichés, it makes the raw statistics far more accessible to fans. And the software, with access to hundreds of past statistics, can sometimes draw out interesting facts that a human journalist might overook.

Allen told Hochberg that StatSheet's algorithm takes into account a team's record, the strength of its opponents and its momentum heading into each game. "We do a lot of different computations that will result in a specific type of sentence," he said.

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multimedia/2010/12/statsheet_automated_journalism_for_sport.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-12-21 12:54

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The US government and others will use the latest WikiLeaks release "as reason for secrecy for many years to come," believes Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the Associated Press. It may take some time for the situation to change, but governments will try to plug what leaks they can and "lock things down," she said. She was speaking at the Nieman Lab event "From Watergate to Wikileaks: Secrecy and Journalism in the New Media Age."

All governments want to keep secrets from the public, she said, sometimes for the right reasons, but sometimes not. "Governments too often stretch the national security rationale well beyond reason," she continued, and there is a lot of information that is 'classified' that has little reason to be so. She pointed out that the US government spends $9 billion a year on keeping information secret. The US is far from being alone in this practice, Carroll said: and threats against journalists for reporting on what the government wants to keep secret is "an all too familiar sad story in too many countries."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/12/secrecy_and_journalism_aps_kathleen_carr.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-12-17 15:34

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