WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Thu - 31.07.2014


USA Today

Tomorrow is the thirtieth birthday of USA Today. The country’s second most widely read newspaper is celebrating by presenting a bold new face to the world, in print and across all digital platforms. This is the first time the paper has been significantly redesigned in its three decades of existence, and commentators are divided. Some view it as a desperate move to escape an inevitable spiral toward a Kodak-like fate, while others welcome a new shake-up by the American newspaper industry’s original change artist.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-09-14 18:21

Big Lead Sports started a rumor that USA Today's decision to pay its workers bonuses based on page views had been taken yesterday, April 7th. Poynter's Jim Romenesko received a statement from Today's Vice President of Communications & Event Marketing Ed Cassidy saying this decision had not yet been made.

Before Cassidy could release his statement, other publications like Mashable and Business Insider had also reported on the event. The event sparked a dialogue on what these bonuses could mean in terms of reporting.

Big Lead didn't state outright that Today had made a final decision. It said, "USA Today had a conference call last night and according to a source, the paper outlined a plan in which it will pay annual bonuses to writers based on page views."

Less that three hours later, Romenesko posted Cassidy's response: "Jim, USA TODAY has and continues to consider bonuses based on page views but nothing has been decided at this time."

Author

Meghan Hartsell

Date

2011-04-08 16:32

USA Today's strategy to fight back against threats from the Internet includes expanding its coverage of advertising-friendly topics and designing content specifically for smartphones and tablets, reported the Associated Press. The US paper with the largest print circulation has been losing advertising pages and cutting jobs.

Advertising-friendly content in practice means lots of travel tips, gadget reviews, sports features, financial advice and lifestyle recommendations, the AP explained. USA Today publisher Dave Hunke has been advised by the paper's VP of business development, 30-year-old Rudd Davis, who convinced him that the newsroom should emphasize topics that specifically attract digital readers, the AP added.

In November, USA Today launched a new website called Your Life, in a first attempt to fill this content need. The paper will launch further websites devoted to personal finance, personal technology and diversions, the AP specified.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-03-24 13:44

USA Today has launched a new version of its Android app for the new Motorola Xoom tablet, the paper announced on Friday. The app has a "fast, friendly" interface, said president and publisher Dave Hunke in a press release, and features USA Today's "signature look and design."

"Users will receive news as it breaks, 24 hours, 7 days a week, as well as photos, weather, stocks and sports scores," Hunke said, suggesting that the app will not provide a main once-a-day package as some tablet offerings do, mimicking the print cycle.

USA Today is already available on Android phones, the iPhone, the iPad, Google TV, the Chrome Web Store and Windows-based slate PCs, the release specified.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2011-02-28 11:35

Last week, USA TODAY launched a new mobile two-dimensional "2D" barcode strategy, one of the first in the U.S., which uses Microsoft Tags to link and, therefore measure, readers from print to the online publication. Currently one tag is being featured in print daily, which readers can scan with their phones--using the free application downloaded from http://gettag.mobi--for direct access to online content, including daily photos, financial news, sports scores, as well as video, to enhance the information experience.

While USA TODAY neither invented this concept nor the technology - it is quite popular in Europe and Asia, and linking from print to digital was also recently attempted with an augmented reality strategy at The Boston Globe -the paper is helping to introduce 2D barcode strategy to the American marketplace. Tags are free but the barcode system is proprietary.

Author

Ashley Stepanek

Date

2011-02-16 12:25

USA Today has announced the appointment of a social media editor and social media analyst, while the New York Times has just folded the social media editor position into the responsibilities of the interactive news team.

Michelle Kessler, formerly a USA Today tech reporter and editor, is now social media editor for the paper and hence responsible for social media initiatives throughout the newsroom. She will help run social.usatoday.com, which provides updates about the paper's social media activities, and @SocialUSAToday, the paper's rebranded Twitter account.

The new social media analyst for USA Today's product development team is Glenna DeRoy, formerly an online editor. Her job will be to "measure and analyze USA TODAY's current social media efforts and look for ways to make all of USA TODAY's products more social media-friendly," USA Today said. Her work will help inform USA Today's social media strategy and best practices.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-12-09 14:09

USA Today has only five reporters covering Congress, but 27 covering entertainment news, the Gannett Blog reported, after its editor Jim Hopkins obtained copies of newsroom flow charts dated October 21-22. Hopkins, a former USA Today reporter, believes that "this is the first time USAT's editorial staffing breakdown has been made public."

The document showing the distribution of staff shows that as well as the five staff allocated to Congress/Politics, there are another six assigned to White House/Legal, another four to Federal and five to Economy/Jobs. This total number covering political issues is still less than the 27 focused on entertainment however, which accounts for by far the largest group.

There are now five Investigations reporters and five Database, six War/Defense, six Science/Energy/Environment , eight Your Life (a newly introduced section in both print and online), ten Travel and 13 Tech/Autos, for example.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-11-16 13:18

Aiming to offer more health and well being content relating to American families, USA Today has launched a new section online and in print called "Your Life," according to a press release posted on PRNewsWire.com today.

This new feature will aim to provide readers with informative tools to care for themselves and their families, nourish their bodies, and address challenges. Your Life will also try to help readers integrate the day's insights into their daily routine, the news publisher reported.

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

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-11-12 11:15

USA Today is "disassembling its universal desk and a five-year effort at newsroom integration," Poynter's Rick Edmonds reported following discussion with the paper's publisher Dave Hunke. This effort will be replaced with "editing hubs by platform."

Staff will be organised around 15 distinct content areas and each will have its own top editor and a dedicated general manager to develop advertising and revenue opportunities, Hunke told Edmonds. Several managing editor jobs have been eliminated.

The changes are intended to allow the paper to expand its mobile and tablet products and fully take advantage of what these new platforms have to offer. The idea will be that offerings are "designed and edited to match the unique characteristics and markets" in both categories rather than just moving material from print and the website.

Hunke told Edmonds that part of the reason for this change was the feeling that the paper's print edition should focus on an older, general news audience, but that as tablet buyers so far seem to skew ten to 15 years younger than the typical print reader, a different approach was needed. He clarified that he did expect the print newspaper to continue to provide the biggest share of revenues for some time.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2010-10-22 10:37

Online Web site PriceofWeed.com tries to find out how much marijuana costs in different areas of the world, according to Poynter. The site used crowdsourcing to get its information, which is basically outsourcing tasks to a large group of people. Online news sites can use this and similar methods to get more information out to readers in the future.

Al-Jazeera's live World Cup coverage has technical glitches that angered viewers, as reported by the Guardian. The glitch was thought to be "sinister" and "for nearly 20 minutes the channel's live transmission of the World Cup's opening match between South Africa and Mexico in June was almost impossible to watch because of blank or frozen screens or commentary in the wrong language," states the article. The Guardian found that as-Salt in Jordan intentionally and illegally jammed the signal for politicial gain.

Author

Heather Holm

Date

2010-09-30 18:04

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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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