WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 24.10.2014


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The University of Missouri's Reynolds Journalism Institute has recently announced the inauguration of WellCommons, a site designed to improve community communication about health issues. Jane Stevens, Director of Media Strategies at the Institute, hopes that WellCommons will connect health reporters to the public to more effectively communicate health reports. Moreover, she believes that WellCommons is a good example of successful journalism in a social media world. In describing her new site, she says "some people say it's a touch of WordPress, a little bit of Ning, some Facebook and Twitter, all embedded in a safe place and a trusted source, which is what journalism is supposed to be for a community."

Stevens writes that the site is unique in 5 ways. To begin, it integrates social media with journalism. Both reporters and community members post on the website and communicate with one another via messages. Moreover, Stevens maintains that the site allows for users to determine the credibility of the article they are reading by looking at the sources section. Stevens' approach appears to be like a sort of checks-and-balances system where the format itself will hopefully ensure that the majority of posts on the site are coming from legitimate sources. Also, she argues that WellCommons' approach to health reporting is community-based and solution-oriented.

Author

Carole Wurzelbacher

Date

2010-06-17 17:04

In a video released on Friday the 28th, Digg founder Kevin Rose announced details for the social news site's upcoming launch of version 4, due "very soon". The details that have been released so far indicate a major shift in functionality and integration/competition with social networking services.
Gigaom reports on the new Digg, the result of over one-year of programming:

[It will] extend the site's current social features (which are pretty minimal) to allow for both friending and following other users and publishers. So if you friend a user, you see what they Digg and comment on; if you follow a publisher, you see everything they publish. The result is a personalized news page that seems like a combination of Google Reader, the Facebook news feed and Twitter.

Author

Colin Heilbut

Date

2010-06-01 18:19

Jeff Reifman isn't a media exec and he doesn't work for a struggling newspaper. He has written freelance pieces for various magazines, but isn't a career journalist. But Reifman sees the importance of strong journalism provided by robust newspapers and magazines, and that's why he's using his skills to help newspapers across the US figure out how to monetize their content and survive through such unstable times.

"I've been a freelance writer and I've learned a lot about the values of journalism and its importance to democracy," he told the Editors Weblog in an interview.

This belief in journalism and democracy has led Reifman, a former Microsoft group program manager, to create NewsCloud. The open-source software was developed by Reifman in 2006 as a Facebook community based around online news and information where users could interact with each other and the important issues of the day.

With a 2008 Knight Foundation grant, Reifman expanded NewsCloud to offer a customizable platform to the student newspaper at the University of Minnesota, MnDaily, and to environmental activist newsmagazine Grist.org. The two publications created Facebook applications and offered Reifman a real-world lab to research youth interactions with news and Facebook.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-05-06 19:38

While some news media outlets erect paywalls on their websites and others implement Facebook apps, The Nation magazine has entirely revamped theirs in hopes that the new content outside of the paywall will draw users in.

"Our form of journalism requires real financial support," admits The Nation's editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, "but it's our belief that if we continue to produce high-quality journalism while facilitating a vibrant community online, you will continue to support us."

The magazine offers content behind a paywall but does not plan to expand this section, opting instead to add features to the free site. It's launching an arrangement with GRIT TV, a progressive video hosting platform, to offer each Monday a show with "video commentaries, conversations and field reports about Nation articles." And two new bloggers, Greg Mitchell and Jeremy Scahill, will offer coverage of media and politics and national security issues in Iraq and Afghanistan. The site has also added new sections specifically geared towards students, educators, and members of its donor group, in hopes to expand their network to a wider range of readers.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-05-06 16:36

The Media Consortium, a collaborative project joining small progressive news outlets in pursuit of a common goal, is currently accepting applications to be a part of their upcoming project. The Consortium will offer participating media outlets $5,000 to $10,000 to offer their experiences for research in an attempt to find new business models for small independent news outlets.

Members can get involved in two of three collaborative experiments organized by the Consortium, which involve "experimenting with new revenue-generating opportunities," "moving into mobile," and "integrating journalism with community engagement," says its website.

Because all of the media outlets are small, these experiments will pool knowledge and experiences from a wide range of different outlets and will offer a nuanced view of what methods work and why.

The opportunity offered by the Media Consortium is invaluable for small operations--some of the Consortium's member organizations have only 10 people on staff--to get a bit of breathing room to experiment, and also a bit of cash to help implement these experiments.

"This structure will provide lab members with the opportunity and space for self-education, peer knowledge sharing, connection to outside experts/tools, and collaborations that can scale up to improve the long-term sustainability of their outlets," says the website.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-05-05 18:33

In February of this year, Google announced plans to open-source its Living Stories code, offering the program for development for news sources and blogs worldwide. Though there hasn't since been a large influx of news organizations using the Living Stories software, Google announced last Thursday that it has developed a plugin for WordPress-based blogs and websites, a move that will likely open up the tool for use in a wide array of news sites.

Living Stories allows publishers to gather all their reporting on one topic under a single URL, so that readers can follow a story as it develops. In previous manifestations of the Living Stories project, the top of the screen offers a summary of the history of the topic, the left side offers a toolbar of filters, the right side offers a timeline of events pertaining to the topic, and the center showcases articles pulled from news outlets and blogs across the web.

The Living Stories system logs what posts readers have read and offers returning users new posts based on this information. Google previously launched the project in conjunction with the Washington Post and the New York Times, and 75 percent of users who gave feedback to the site said they preferred this form of exploring the news to traditional news websites.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-05-04 13:50

Few are as successful as the Huffington Post by their fifth birthday.

In five short years of existence, the web publication doubled its staff to 100, expanded its site to include a number of local and niche news pages, and most recently received 13 million unique visitors during the month of March. In honor of its May 9 birthday, Newsonomics media blogger Ken Doctor wrote a post for the Nieman Journalism Lab outlining exactly what it is that makes the Huffington Post so successful.

His six points all highlight what's unique about HuffPo, starting with its brand--the Huffington Post stands for "a high-pitched way of thinking about the world," he writes, and Arianna Huffington has never backed down from her feisty liberal assertions. The website is known for liberally partisan news, but Huffington is not apologetic about this fact, and it still manages to increase viewership year after year--up 94% in just the last 12 months.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-04-23 14:07

Although entrepreneurial blog sites are old hat in the United States, they are just hitting the scene in the UK and are quickly gaining momentum, reports the Independent.

The trend towards professional online news sites unrelated to established print papers started in the US and has since seen the foundation of multimillion dollar sites like the Huffington Post or the Gawker media sites. The Independent's Ian Burrell calls the UK versions of sites like these "expertly written websites that cater for the specialist audiences that are arguably no longer being served as they once were by more traditional media organisations."

Burrell cites recently founded niche website The Arts Desk as an example of this trend. The Arts Desk offers readers professional arts criticism from journalists formerly or currently employed by well-established papers, and aims to have the site updated by 2 am after opening performances--much quicker than most newspapers publish.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-04-22 19:11

Facebook is indeed a force to be reckoned with, as it proved at yesterday's f8 conference by launching a number of wide-reaching additions to the social networking site. The additions, including something they've named the Open Graph and various tools called Social Plugins for third-party websites, will integrate Facebook into the fabric of the web "so people can have instantly social experiences wherever they go," said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

What are the changes?

The Social Plugins and the Open Graph Facebook has created support each other. Now, sites will be able to offer plugins on their pages to allow users to "like" the content, and this content will be instantly published on their Facebook news feeds.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-04-22 17:44

Not fifteen years ago, if a news consumer wanted to get in touch with a reporter or the rest of the community concerning an article in the paper, he or she would put pen to paper and send off a letter to the editor's desk. That letter would be screened by the editor of the newspaper and, most likely, thrown into a trash bin never to find a place on the op-ed page. But with the advent and increasing popularity of newspaper websites, any person can comment on just about any article, and many can do it with little thought, moderation or the need to identify themselves.

Such unfettered commenting has led to what William Grueskin, dean of academic affairs at Columbia University's journalism school, called a "brawl."

"A lot of comment boards turn into the equivalent of a barroom brawl, with most of the participants having blood-alcohol levels of 0.10 or higher," he said to the New York Times.

Author

Alexandra Jaffe

Date

2010-04-20 16:01

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Editors Weblog

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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