WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 23.10.2014


The New York Times

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

David Carr, The New York Times’ culture and media columnist, had some choice words about print media when he spoke with friend and MinnPost Editor Brian Lambert.

They spoke about the decline of alt-weeklies, most notably the Boston Phoenix, which closed after nearly 50 years in March. Carr, who began his career writing for the now-defunct weekly Twin Cities Reader, implied that alt-weeklies aren’t dead; they’re just experiencing hard times.

“The point is how do you deliver 'usefulness.' [He pulls out his rubber-encased, hard-traveled iPhone]. How do you end up as a button on this phone? That is where we’re going. I pay for a lot of things on this phone. I have Spotify. I have Pandora. I have an app that’ll make the phone spin around by itself.”

Carr had previously discussed the state of alt-weeklies with A.O. Scott. The two reminisced about the hard-hitting journalism of the past, which Carr described as “ferociously local.” Carr jokingly remarked that if you’re under 30, “you have no idea what we’re talking about.”

Author

Briana Seftel

Date

2013-04-18 17:33

Kathleen Carroll, AP Senior Vice President, announced on Tuesday that the term ‘illegal immigrant’ would not be used anymore, calling it a "label." She noted that the AP prefers to label "behavior" rather than "people," writing that instead of using the term "schizophrenic," the AP now prefers saying that one is "diagnosed with schizophrenia." The new AP entry still categorizes illegal immigration, but recommends to avoid using "undocumented immigrant" or an alternative descriptor like "unauthorized" in place of "illegal immigrant."

"Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission," the AP's StyleBook suggests.

The San Antonio Express-News stopped using the term five years ago, and in 2010, the paper stopped using “immigrant” with a modifier altogether, Poynter reported. Rather, the paper would state that somebody had entered the US illegally, and cite a source.

Author

Briana Seftel

Date

2013-04-04 15:06

In his new book Fighting For The Press, author James Goodale, former chief counsel for The New York Times during the Pentagon Papers trial, looks back on the occasion of the trial's 40th anniversary at the press freedom issues that still exist in the US today.

In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review, Goodale blasts the Obama Administration, calling it the worst for press freedom in history. He compares the Pentagon papers trial to the current Wikileaks battle, saying:

“The biggest challenge today is the threatened prosecution of WikiLeaks… [Assange will] go to jail for doing what every journalist does.” 

Julian Assange was charged with leaking national documents along with Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of having leaked a massive number of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Goodale argues that if Assange is indicted for conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act, Obama would be violating the First Amendment.

Author

Briana Seftel

Date

2013-03-22 16:43

The most obvious is advertising, of course: “you rent an audience, you gain an adjacency,” but other forms of subsidy as political parties and “rich guys” for whom news organisations are “intellectual jewelry." Government subsidies are even more significant.

The Internet is, in a way, the largest subsidy, Carr said: it has created “the biggest distribution network you have ever seen.” He contrasted the first article he published in a newspaper as a young journalist with one of his daughter’s first articles online – he had about 30,000 readers, she had 10.5m.

The problem is that content, and advertising, are almost infinite and when anything is infinite, the value gradually tends towards zero. What’s still expensive, is attention, Carr continued.

Some kind of paid model is the way forward, Carr believes. “People have a spiritual belief in the power of free. But it hasn’t worked,” he said. He pointed out that there are organisations such as BuzzFeed that are making money, but they have to rack up a vast number of page views to succeed.

At The New York Times “we haven’t lost uniques” since the introduction of the paywall, he said. “And there are 640,000 people who were giving us nothing; now they are giving us around $200 a year,” he remarked.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-03-11 21:39

The New York Times' voluntary buyout deadline came and went yesterday, and although several veteran editors have taken up the offer, it is unlikely that it is a sufficient number to meet the paper’s target of 30 managers. This means that layoffs are almost definitely on the way.

The buyouts are part of an effort to reduce costs for the paper’s extensive newsroom. As reported in the NYT’s Media Decoder blog in December, “the hiring The Times has done in recent years to help make it more competitive online has restored the newsroom to the same size it was in 2003 — about 1,150 people.”

Among high profile staff to accept the buyout is Jim Roberts, an assistant managing editor who, as it was widely noted, will be taking his 75,000+ Twitter followers with him. He announced his decision on Twitter:

"After 26 years at the New York Times, it's time for @nytjim to move on and find a new handle... I've been so privileged to work with true giants of journalism - fearless correspondents, wise analysts & masters of visual expression... I'm particularly grateful to my digital friends, who've schooled me in potential of multimedia, interactive, mobile & social journalism... It's been a long awesome trip. Another will follow. Stay tuned."

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-25 17:46

The latest dramatic twist in the BBC saga has seen the new director general resign and other senior staff step aside. What might be surprising is that it was not the now notorious Jimmy Savile case that actually brought them down, but the misidentification of a child abuser as a former prominent conservative politician.

BBC DG George Entwistle resigned on Saturday after it was confirmed that the BBC’s flagship news programme Newsnight had incorrectly implicated Lord McAlpine, a former Tory treasurer, in a story about paedophilia. 

There has been considerable criticism of Entwistle's £450,000 pay off (a year’s salary) from members of parliament and the National Audit Office is due to look into the justification for the sum.

Tim Davie, who was director of audio and music, has stepped in as acting director general and has pledged to “get a grip” on the news operation and its journalism. It seems clear that Davie is a temporary solution, as BBC chairman Lord Patten is actively seeking candidates, the Guardian reported yesterday.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-11-12 20:12

The New York Times is planning to further extend its international reach and tap into the promising Brazilian advertising market by launching a Portuguese-language website in the second half of next year.

The revelation follows a similar move by the Financial Times, which opened a newspaper printing plant in São Paulo earlier this month, and is taking strides to expand its Latin American web presence with a tailored homepage and mobile app.

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

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-10-17 15:51

Just before a networking coffee break in the Chicago Ballroom Foyer this afternoon, Brian Brett, Executive Director of Customer Research for The New York Times, will present the results of a “News Eco-System Study” to attendees of the INMA Audience Summit.

Commissioned by The New York Times, the study was an online survey conducted in the spring by the Knowledge Network, reaching over 3,000 U.S. residents aged 18 to 65 (of whom 85 percent are regular news consumers). Its purpose was to find out how people are consuming news, across platforms and between generations.

Thanks to a preview from Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman, here are four early points from the study’s findings:

1. Facebook is the dominant social network for news, especially for young people and mobile users

Fifteen percent of digital news consumers find news through social media, and Facebook is the place they are most likely to look.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-10-05 15:42

Since the death of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger on Saturday, many have expressed their tributes to and memories of the man nicknamed Punch, who brought the US paper of record from “the heyday of postwar America to the twilight of the 20th century, from the era of hot lead and Linotype machines to the birth of the digital world,” as the impressive 7000+ word obituary by Clyde Haberman in The New York Times itself puts it.

As a publisher he is most celebrated for his decision to go forward with the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, historian Alex S. Jones noted in Time. Sulzberger “helped change the face of American journalism” says The Washington Post, “by broadening his newspaper’s coverage, standing up to government pressure and making the Times a newspaper of national scope, with distribution throughout the country.” He was a “forceful visionary,” said the Los Angeles Times.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-10-03 18:13

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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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