WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 18.12.2014


online-only

Woo Hee Chang believes she has the solution to a troubling paradox at the heart of the online news industry. As journalist Tyler Falk discusses in an article (in French) for business and technology website, smartplanet.fr, media businesses want their content to go viral and, of course, they want to monetise it, but more and more have made their content largely inaccessible by putting up paywalls. Some choose to keep a minority of their articles freely accessible, whilst others choose to provide a title and short summary for every article.

But blocking content to non-paying customers, seen now as a financial necessity for many newspapers such as the New York Times, can lead to the "stagnation" of a newspaper's readership. When a paper starts charging for content, many potential new readers steer clear, especially in the case of a brand new publication which has no established reputation or faithful readership willing to pay for continued access to trusted content. This paywall strategy constitutes a "wall" in the very literal sense of the word – it erects a barrier between the newspaper and its potential audience.

Author

Emily Moore

Date

2013-04-18 17:37

Reporters Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemyer’s seven-month investigation into the 2010 Kalamazoo oil spill revealed details that preceded national reports by weeks, despite InsideClimate News’ limited funding. Founder and Publisher David Sassoon estimated, salaries included, InsideClimate News spent only 10 percent of what a major newsroom would have budgeted for a similar investigation, according to Forbes.

With reporters and contributors now scattered across the globe, in Istanbul, New Delhi, Boston and San Diego, the startup has come a long way from its original two-person staff. But this recognition could thrust it even further forward: Sassoon told Forbes he envisions a staff of around 25 and a newsroom in New York.

“I think it’s a game changer,” Sassoon said of the award. “I think the Pulitzer Committee probably knew that. We earned the award. ... But I think they would understand how validation from them, the top honor in journalism, would make a big difference to us as a tiny startup.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-17 13:42

With this trend in mind, author-specific paywalls are becoming an increasingly attractive option for news organizations.

“Many readers — particularly younger ones — consume media based not on corporate brands but on individual writers that they feel a connection to, and I would argue that is becoming the norm,” paidContent’s Mathew Ingram recently wrote. “We read the New York Times as much for Tom Friedman or Nick Kristof as we do because it is the NYT.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-09 15:29

Creator Rob Wijnberg told The Editor's Weblog he originally thought De Correspondent had a 50 percent chance of meeting its goal of 15,000 members. But as of Thursday, more than 17,000 people have shelled out €60 for an annual subscription to the news site, set to launch in September. According to the site, 48 members have additionally donated €1,000 or more to fund the project.

“We were overwhelmed, especially by how fast it was and especially by how much enthusiasm people showed for the initiative,” Wijnberg said. “People really mailed us lots of letters and tweets and everything saying that ‘I’m so glad you started this.’ We didn’t expect that.”

While this sort of drive is unusual, it is not unprecedented. Several years ago Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano similarly preemptively fundraised, and collected €5 million from 30,000 advance subscribers in 3 months.

De Correspondent has been in the works since Wijnberg quit his job as editor of Dutch national newspaper NRC Next in September. He said he noticed how people are “hounded by news” — often “struck by the same news from all different directions.”

Author

Kira Witkin's picture

Kira Witkin

Date

2013-04-04 17:48

After 80 years in print, the venerable US magazine Newsweek will adopt an entirely digital format from the beginning of 2013, publishing its final print edition on December 31. In an announcement this morning, posted on the website of partner site The Daily Beast, Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown explained:

‘In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in years ahead.’

According to Newsweek’s most recent publishers statement filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, print circulation of the magazine has dropped 51 percent since 2007. Such a decline contrasts with the relative success of its online component, again highlighted in Brown’s statement:

The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone – a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism’.

The new digital publication will be called Newsweek Global and will be supported by a paid subscription model. The Daily Beast will remain a separate site.

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-18 17:36

A study by author Nicola Bruno and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen published this year by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the Oxford University analysed the situation of the Western Europe emerging pure player journalistic start-ups.

“Survival is Success. Journalistic Online Start-Ups in Werstern Europe”, as the study is called, was also the basis of a panel discussion held in Perugia at the International Journalism Festival with Nicola Bruno, Thierry Chervel, co-founder of the German site Perlantaucher, Yann Guegan, deputy editor of the French Rue89, Turi Munthe, CEO and founder of the UK-based Demotix and Johanna Vehkoo, part of the team behind SuBMoJour.net.

The Reuters Institute study analysed case studies from Germany, France and Italy to try to assess “what are the prospects for sustainable forms of journalistic content creation and curation amongst the current wave of online start-ups” which has hit Europe.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-07-10 10:30

ITV News has launched a new website with a focus on real time breaking news and analysis, the TV network announced. It has been rolled out in beta just in time for the UK Budget 2012 announcement on Wednesday, a press release said, and is part of an effort to put digital “at the heart of ITV’s news operation.”

A stream of rolling stories, updated to the minute, dominates the homepage. This offers ‘the very latest developments,’ said a video about the new design, and features short updates, text stories, photos, videos, and blogs. It echoes the traditional reverse-chronological order of a blog in its appearance.

Although ITV has consequently turned a way from a homepage structure dictated by what the editors feel is most important, there is a list of major stories along the left side of the page. Clicking on one of these filters the stream to offer just news about that story.

At the very top of the page you can switch to news filtered by region or topic and a top news section just below this shows you the ‘best’ on the site right now. Users can share everything on Facebook or Twitter, and the new site is optimized for use on mobiles and tablets as well as websites.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-20 18:04

French news site Rue89 is giving up its monthly print magazine.

As Les Echos reported, the site is returning to its original identity of a pure online player and ceasing the printed issue, which launched in June 2010.

Pierre Haski, the site's co-founder, confirmed the news on Twitter, underlining that the return to an  online-only reality is more coherent with the original identity of Rue89.

Rue89 has followed an uncommon path: after being launched online-only in 2007, it started publishing a selection of the site's content in a print monthly edition with the aim of creating a new revenue stream both from sales and advertising in print.

The print magazine for Rue89 was an experiment, not a core activity, Pierre Haski explained in an interview with Editors Weblog.

The idea was to find a new audience, trying to reach people who were not usually online readers by offering them a selection of the best online content of the previous month. At the same time, the magazine hoped to find also a second revenue source from advertising in print.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-03-14 19:21

Slate likes big books and it cannot lie... The all-digital publication will be launching a new monthly book review, which will appear on its homepage on the first weekend of every month.

The first issue will be out in full tomorrow, but two sample book reviews by Allison Benedikt and Wesley Morris have already been published today. The new section will review both fiction and non-fiction and will be produced by a mixture of staffers and freelancers.

In an blog post announcing the launch, Slate writes "Over the past few years, newspapers, magazines, and media organizations have shrunk book coverage substantially, shuttering standalone book review sections and lowering the budget and editorial energy devoted to books. Well, here at Slate, we pride ourselves on going against the conventional wisdom."

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-03-05 14:11

Following the bankruptcy of its publisher Mediapubli, Spanish daily Público announced that it would put out its final print edition yesterday, Sunday. Although the paper's website público.es will continue to operate, Cadena SER estimates that 130 of Público's 160 staff will lose their jobs.

Mediapubli declared bankruptcy at the beginning of January, and was given around a month to come up with enough funds to make Público economically viable. But although majority shareholder Jaume Roures sought investors in Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador, the company was unable to come up with the necessary sum of around 9 million euros.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-27 10:51

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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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