WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 21.08.2014


The Economist

In the age of social media, scoops can last just a matter of seconds. As New York Times interactive editor Aron Pilhofer noted in a session on moving towards smarter, better online content, gone are the days when competitors would have to wait 24 hours to take your scoop. Now, he said, it’s almost irrelevant to be first, and the value of being right outweighs the value of being first by magnitudes.

It’s not just traditional news organizations who feel this way. Adam Baker, founder of citizen journalism site Blottr, said that his team can’t afford to get anything wrong, because they don’t have the reputation of an established brand.

Most normal people don’t even know who broke a story, said Anthony De Rosa, Reuters’ social media editor, in a session on citizen journalism. Eric Carvin, social media editor at the Associated Press, suggested that scoops are becoming less relevant, with great investigative pieces becoming more important. Pilhofer made a similar point, commenting that any blog could cut and summarise a breaking news article, but a piece like Snowfall will always be unique to The Times.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-04-29 18:26

The Economist, the shining star among weekly news magazines, sells more than 1.5m print copies but fully expects this figure to decline, said Tom Standage, the publication’s digital editor in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session on Reddit. So far print circulation hasn’t started to fall, even as digital-only subscriptions grow, “but it will,” Standage asserts.

“The important thing for us is to deliver distinctive content that readers will pay for; whether it's on paper or a screen, or in audio format, is not really the point,” Standage said. “Our aim is to deliver our content in whatever form our readers want it; we are not wedded to print.”

So far, The Economist has 150,000 digital-only subscribers, and a total of 600,000 people use the paper’s mobile apps each week. Seventeen per cent of traffic comes from mobile, and The Economist is “retooling” its site to make it more mobile-friendly, Standage wrote, mentioning that “we will be doing some slightly more daring stuff shortly.”

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-10 19:48

Following up on its 2006 report on newspapers' troubles, The Economist published a new 14-page special report on the future of news today.

"Who killed the news?" dominated The Economist's cover five years ago, and the following report was about as bleak as the headline. The report chronicled the industry's loss of advertising revenue, declining circulation, and competition with citizen journalists and bloggers. One article went so far as to claim, "Newspapers have not yet started to shut down in large numbers, but is only a matter of time."

Things seem to be looking up this time around. In this week's special edition, titled "Back to the coffee house", The Economist admits that its last report may have jumped the gun. American and European newspapers still face the same problems, but little by little they are adapting to current circumstances. Reinvention is key to survival.

Larry Kilman, the executive director of Communications and Public affairs for WAN-IFRA, was quoted as saying, "The [news] audience is bigger than ever, if you include all platforms. It's not an audience problem - it's a revenue problem."

Author

Florence Pichon

Date

2011-07-08 17:50

According to the last UK Audit Bureau Circulation figures published on Thursday February 17, the circulation of the Economist, hit, in the last six months, its top average in its 167-year history.

As the Guardian reported, weekly circulation topped 200,000 in the UK for the second half of last year, up 7,7% on the previous six months and up 11,1% year on year. The Economist's global circulation now totals 1,473,939, a year-on-year growth of 3,7%, the bulk of the copies being sold in North America.

The steady growth the Economist has experienced (publisher Yvonne Ossman underlined it was the 59th consecutive six-monthly increase in circulation, with continental Europe sales up 0.9% year on year and 0.3% on the period to 240,743) fits in with a positive general bent of the current affairs magazine sector, according to the Guardian.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-02-18 13:53

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.

Author

Paul Hoffman

Date

2011-02-16 16:07

The Economist is in hot water over the cover of their June 19th issue, reports the New York Times. The cover, which features a despondent-looking President Obama standing alone on a beach, was meant to communicate the politically difficult times the President faces in light of the BP oil spill near the Gulf coast. However, the New York Times report shows that the original picture featured two other people standing next to the President that The Economist edited out for dramatic effect.

The first figure, that of coast guard admiral Thad Allen, was removed by the cop of the photo, claims the Economist. The other figure, local parish president Charlotte Randolph, was removed "not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers."

Author

Carole Wurzelbacher

Date

2010-07-06 18:40

The Economist will launch a new ad campaign that challenges the public to take a stance on controversial issues, reports The Guardian. The issues that the ad campaign will address include the legalization of drugs, the exchange of human organs, and prisoner voting rights. Yvonne Ossman, publisher of UK Economist, said she hopes that the new ad campaign will "create a connection between our magazine and this new audience" by "sparking engagement and debate" though the posters.

Indeed, The Economist's new ad campaign is a clever way to draw in more readers. In addressing controversial topics, The Economist can hit on subjects that readers will most likely be inclined to respond to. Moreover, the campaign, which will primarily be communicated in the London tube, will be supplemented with newspaper inserts and mail campaigns, thus going directly into the homes of potential consumers. While the public advertisements may create an initial buzz around the publication, the in-home advertisements could allow for potential consumers to immediately engage their thoughts through the Economist's online media (and who knows, maybe even subscribe to get past The Economist's paywall) and perhaps also ultimately subscribe to the print format.

Author

Carole Wurzelbacher

Date

2010-06-03 13:17

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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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