WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


editorial quality

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Before the Internet, if newspapers wanted to know who was reading what, they had to rely on intuition and unreliable reader surveys, reports the New York Times. This ignorance of consumers' taste allowed newspapers to blissfully cover the stories that were important without an afterthought of who would be actually reading the content: once a reader had bought the paper, who knows what they actually read. Now, with technologies that track what people actually consume, editors are more aware of which articles get the most hits and what content sparks the interest of readers. These new methods of surveying readers befits the economics of the newspaper industry, but will papers become too self conscious of their readers' judgements and stop covering important stories?

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/09/digital_selection_a_threat_or_an_attribu.php

Author

Stefanie Chernow

Date

2010-09-06 14:12

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Labour MPs plan to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal and the Metropolitan police is considering reopening its investigation, the Guardian reported. The affair, which emerged last summer, has resurfaced following a New York Times article which once again claimed that hacking had been common at the Murdoch-owned paper and that Scotland Yard had restricted its investigations. Several Labour MPs have apparently been victims of phone hacking.

The MPs push for a new inquiry could be referred to the House of Commons standards and privileges committee. Assistant Metropolitan police commissioner John Yates said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that detectives will consider whether there is enough new evidence to reopen the case. He specified that NOTW reporter Sean Hoare who was quoted in the NYT's piece as saying that hacking was widespread had not come up on police radar before.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/09/latest_on_the_news_of_the_world_phone-ha.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-09-06 13:25

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Women are still underrepresented in many domains, but the tides are slowly turning. And indeed, women are steadily becoming a significant portion of news readers. In politics, many more women are running campaigns to level the gender ratio. When Hillary Clinton lost her presidential campaign in 2008, she stated "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it." Despite significant gains, that glass ceiling is still largely intact, partially supported by the media.

The Washington Post reports the media is making sexist comments directed at women running in the 2010 US midterm elections, which could significantly affect women's ability to compete against men. In response to slanderous yet culturally accepted talk, several women's groups launched NameItChangeIt.org this past week, which will rely on crowdsourcing to alert the public when derogatory remarks appear in the media.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/09/nameitchangeit_when_you_attack_one_woman.php

Author

Stefanie Chernow

Date

2010-09-02 13:34

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A survey of 500 Spot.Us users carried out recently confirmed assumptions that objectivity has gradually taken on a new meaning in journalism. "The Internet has bypassed the once highly regarded norms of gatekeepers at a news desk, and it now it seems to be challenging the long held model of objectivity in journalism," the report posits.

The 500 people surveyed were 52% female and 48% male, and about 60% identified themselves as liberals. When asked if objectivity is even possible, only 60 respondents felt objectivity is the mainstay of journalism. 199 people however, agreed that "Objectivity is possible but difficult. It separates wheat from chaff." 123 Spot.Us members believed that "transparency is the new objectivity." 12.3% thought objectivity is impossible, and 2% (9 people) went with the statement that objectivity "is a crutch to prop old media up."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/09/spotus_community_explains_the_new_meanin.php

Author

Dawn Osakue

Date

2010-09-01 18:50

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As the drama surrounding the Gulf oil spill incident starts to die down, the news industry is taking the time to reflect on the quality of reporting during the crisis. Both multimedia and crowdsourcing technologies are becoming more popular as a method of gathering news, and the Gulf oil crisis offers a kind of case study as to how reporting with technology was conducted and what can be improved upon in the future. Pew Research recently released its analysis on the coverage, claiming the news industry did an excellent overall job covering the Gulf story. Conversely, Al Tompkins from PoynterOnline claims that lessons on reporting can still be learned from this experience, specifically how to handle a crisis reporting and how to improve crowdsourcing techniques.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/08/after_the_drama_of_the.php

Author

Stefanie Chernow

Date

2010-08-26 16:05

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When Patch announced it was expanding its series of hyperlocal websites, the benefits seemed obvious. The business model could continue to engage local communities while taking in revenue on a national scale. Patch is currently the largest employer of journalists in the US, so has been well received in the industry. Yet some might have been excessively enthusiastic about the perks of Patch while overlooking some of the drawbacks. The Columbia Journalism Review provided a critical analysis on Patch's new design.

While Patch is praised for its design appeal, CJR criticizes the organizational structure of the updated site. "Under the old design, the News and Announcement items were in separate columns. Practical, if a bit clunky-looking," writes Lauren Kirchner. "As of Wednesday,(sic) all Patch sites are rumored to have their News and Announcements combined into one section. Announcements will have bylines, just like the other articles written by Patch editors and paid writers." This lack of organization makes it difficult to discern the difference between citizen journalists and professionals.

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multimedia/2010/08/patch_needs_quality_control.php

Author

Stefanie Chernow

Date

2010-08-25 18:27

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Controversy over the proposed New York Islamic centre (commonly being referred to as a mosque) seems to have dominated the US media between August 16 and 22, taking up a whooping 15% of total newshole. Newspapers however, were relatively unfazed by this popularity, as the PEJ News Coverage Index for the week shows that the issue was not among the top five newspaper stories.

While Howard Kurtz has already written a piece in which he warned the media to keep away from 'stampedes,' and described the mosque issue as a 'symbolic slugfest,' it would appear newspapers needed no such warning in the first place. They were writing about the economy, with 11% coverage, closely followed by the 2010 elections and the educational system, both at 8%. Events in Iraq and Afghanistan at 6% each came fourth and fifth place. Older news events, the oil spill and healthcare debate with 4% each were still more covered by newspapers than the mosque controversy which took up a mere 3% of coverage. The baseball steroids scandal and Blagojevich Trial also had 3% each.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/08/newspapers_were_not_distracted_by_mosque.php

Author

Dawn Osakue

Date

2010-08-25 12:56

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Content farms have come under more criticism for their lower quality articles that are tailored to what people are searching for and produced by low-paid freelancers, as they continue to produce vast amounts of content and dominate online search results with their advanced use of SEO.

Scott Rosenburg, cofounder of Salon, lamented the appearance of an Associated Content article as the top recommendation following one of his Google searches. Looking to find out more about the resignation of Dr Laura Schlessinger from her radio show over a racial slur, he entered 'dr. laura n-word' into Google. The Associated Content story came up first in the Google News results, followed by one from the Washington Post and then one from Media Matters for America, a blog.

Rosenburg was "amazed" to find it there because he had assumed that Google would have started to filter out non-quality content and therefore checked the article to establish whether or not it was worthy of its position. He was unimpressed, writing that it showed "no care beyond an effortful -- and, I guess, successful -- determination to catch Google's eye by repeating the phrase "Dr. Laura n-word" as many times as possible."

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/08/content_farms_enjoying_google_news.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-08-23 17:03

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Women are underrepresented in both the creation and consumption of newspapers, but this trend is changing fast. The statistics are slowly rising of news consumption by women, especially concerning electronic media. A recent study by ComScore released data suggesting that women stay online longer than men and spend their time chatting and purchasing goods and services. "They're embracing the internet in a way that men are not," says a spokesperson from ComScore.

InPublishing electronic magazine has also seen a trend of women accounting for a larger portion of their readership. In 1999, 62% of American men read a newspaper, while only 44% of women accounted for the American newspapers' readership. Ten years later in 2009, the number of men who read newspaper decreased to 47%, while the percentage of women who reader newspapers remained the same at 44%. This gender gap is decreasing globally, with Japan's gender difference shrinking from 25% to 2% within the same ten year period. Germany is the only country in the developed markets which has a widening of this gap between the genders. Yet Japan has only had a 7% drop in newspaper revenue in the last decade, while Germany's sales have taken a major drop in revenue at 20%.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2010/08/women_readerships_trends_require_trainin.php

Author

Stefanie Chernow

Date

2010-08-23 12:57

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Agreeing that the Internet is nothing short of a miracle for those who genuinely want to pass information across, veteran reporter and editor Lawrence Meyer has identified some ways news can be swamped by its size and speed.

"The Internet facilitates instantaneous reporting. Even if old-line news organizations, like newspapers, still put stories through their standard editing and vetting process, plenty of new news organizations truncate the process." This, in addition to the fact that nobody likes to be beaten to a story has sometimes led to accuracy being ignored.

Accuracy however, is not the only victim: "Almost by definition, speed and depth can't coexist... in-depth reporting takes time, and time is exactly what a reporter doesn't have if speed is the priority." Although the recent Shirley Sherrod incident brought about a lot of discussion on accuracy, speed and the internet, Meyer raises a less prominent issue, that of space, or the "infinite capacity of the Internet." Newspapers, television, and radio are limited by space, time, or capacity. The Internet, on the other hand, is basically unlimited.

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multimedia/2010/07/agreeing_that_the_internet_is.php

Author

Dawn Osakue

Date

2010-07-28 18:00

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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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