WAN-IFRA

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Federica Cherubini

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The crucial marriage between print and digital and the path to integration does not involve just news organizations and brands. It is also a question of attitude, and therefore people.

Nicholas Kristof, well-known reporter for the New York Times, provides an example of an experienced journalist who is embracing new digital opportunities.

David D. Burnstein of Fast Company spoke to him about how print and traditional journalism (and journalists) can jump into the digital world and social networks.

Kristof's background would stand the most traditional test of trustworthy journalism: his coverage on the genocide in Darfur won him a Pulitzer Prize, as did his reporting on protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 which he wrote with his wife. He teaches young journalists how to report from developing countries through his Win a Trip contest project.

But, as the article underlines, he was also the first journalist to have a blog on the New York Times website back in 2003 and he's an active user of Facebook and Twitter, with more than 314,000 Facebook fans and 1,215,000 Twitter followers.

What's more, his plans for 2012 involve venturing into news games.

The new multimedia world gives journalists the chance to start a real dialogue with readers. Readers want to participate and get involved.

Social media at their very early stages immediately seemed to be part of where the future was going, he said. Twitter has been a valuable source during the Arab uprisings he claimed. "I wouldn't necessarily trust that information, but it gave me ideas about questions to ask", he told Fast Company.

This new approach is not going to be a controversial Kristof stressed in the article as "in some ways, it's just an adaptation of traditional journalistic approaches". "I used to call a bunch of experts about who I should interview in Haiti. I still do that, but now I also send inquires through social media. That change feels incremental. We're moving from a format where we "proclaimed the news" to the world on a fixed schedule to one where we converse with the world on a 24/7 basis", he said.

However what Kristof thinks could be the next big platform for news organization is gaming. The problems of games is that they are not always taken seriously, and they are banished to a teenager-y activity. However, sometimes they can prove to be very powerful to news organizations.

Burnstein reported that Kristof and his wife are doing a TV documentary of their book Half the Sky, which will include a Facebook game as part of it. It will be "vaguely analogous to FarmVille," he said.

Video, social media, new platforms, games: there's a whole world to experiment with out of the traditional ways to report and doing journalism. It is up to news organizations to discover it.

Sources: FastCompany


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-12 18:41

2012 is presidential election year in the US and election fever has already started.
Starting with the caucases, continuing with the primaries and with their eyes already on the presidential race ending in November 2012, newspapers are getting ready.

"Election coverage is bigger than any one newsroom" so the right approach should be teaming up to be able to assure the coverage is as wide and accurate as possible, some believe. Or at least this is what NBC News and Newsweek/Daily Beast have decided to do in view of the upcoming presidential battle. Shared content will appear on the Newsweek pages and online on The Daily Beast.

The decision isn't surprising in itself, Justin Ellis wrote on NiemanLab. Double the resources, double the coverage, double the audience. Also, he explains, looking back to past electoral experience, this is not even new, quoting as examples the Times and CBS News or ABC News and The Washington Post partnering on polls.

Public debates, polls, endorsements, declarations to fact-check, skeletons in the cupboards to disclose, released on blogs, newspapers, social networks, TV shows: there is an increasing tide of news and potential scoops and these need extraordinary resources devoted to them. Collaborations amongst newsrooms could be therefore a good solution.

What Ellis argues that is interesting regarding upcoming collaboration is that they involve cross-media competitors, as nowadays everyone is publishing on the same multimedia platforms.

It will be interesting to see which form these partnerships will take after the electoral period. Also, the underlying tension between the journalist's desire for exclusivity and the brand's desire to aggregate content will be something to keep watching from here to election day, Ellis concludes.

Not just partnerships are on the agenda as multimedia technologies offer new possibilities to develop special elections packaging delivered on new devices. First and foremost: tablets.

The Economist Group has announced the launch of Electionism, a free HTML5 application for tablets only focused on the US election, a press release reported.
The web app will combine content from The Economist and the niche sister publication Roll Call and through the aggregation of content shared on Facebook and Twitter - paidContent described it as a "Flipboard-like app" - will allow readers to interact and engage in conversations around the elections.

Electionism, which has been created by the internal product innovation group The Economist Group Media Lab, runs on the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy and the Kindle Fire and it will be soon available on the Blackberry Playbook, the company said.

New technologies and new journalistic approaches make also possible innovative ways to cover the complexities behind electoral systems.

The Guardian, for example developed a map on its datajournalism website to display how the UK would have looked if the 2010 election had been fought with the new constituencies and last year ProPublica released a music video to tell the investigative story about how secret interests and money influenced the redistricting having as a result that "instead of voters choosing politicians, redistricting at its worst lets politicians choose voters".

Sources: paidContent, NiemanLab, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, ProPublica (1), (2)


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-11 18:32

The Wall Street Journal launched today its German edition.

The 1st International Workshop on Open Data (WOD) will be held in Nantes, France, on May 25, 2012. It aims to facilitate new trends and ideas from a broad range of topics concerned within the widely-spread Open Data movement.

Spying on journalists is easy, a CJR article says. Journalists Ben Elgin and Vernon Silver produced a series for Bloomberg News called "Wired for Repression," reporting that western technology companies like Nokia, Ericsson, and Hewlett Packard, to name just a few, are selling surveillance technologies to countries with very poor human rights records, who then use these tools to spy on dissidents, the article reported.

For more industry news please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-10 19:10

Whether or not regulatory reform of the press is necessary has been on the agenda today at the Leveson inquiry, the public inquiry on the role of the press and the police in the wave of the phone-hacking scandal.

The future of press regulation, including the role of the Press Complaint Commission, has been at the centre of the Financial Times editor Lionel Barber's participation.

Responding to Barber's evidence, Lord Justice Leveson has signalled that he expects the newspaper industry to undertake substantial regulatory reform, the Guardian wrote. The reforms will need to be recognized as credible by readers if they want to be effective, he added.

Press Gazette reported however that the presiding judge declared that he is against state controls on journalism and that he is keen that any new regulator remains "independent".

The effectiveness of the Press Complaint Commission has been under the microscope.
The PCC was created in the aftermath of a previous inquiry - the Calcutta inquiry - in 1990.
As reported by the Guardian, Leveson intervened during Barber's speech to query if the PCC was "really a regulator at all. It's a complaints mechanism" - prompting Barber to say the body was in part effective because "you don't want to devote a large portion of your newspaper to explain why you get something wrong. That's a deterrent. Don't underestimate the significance of that."

Despite this, Barber also said the way the PCC misstepped badly in the way it handled the phone-hacking scandal led to a lost in credibility. "I think we need a new body, we need a new composition... and we need new powers," he said, as quoted by the Press Gazette.

Barber described the Financial Times' code of conduct as a model for journalism: the paper aims to set a "gold standard" in journalism by adhering to "the highest practices and standards", Journalism.co.uk reported. He told the court: "I would argue that the Financial Times code of conduct is a model for self-regulation ... because the penalties for not getting it right are severe."

Independent editor Chris Blackhurst's hearing focused on the "enormous shock" at the paper following the scandal surrounding the Johann Hari plagiarism case. Press Gazette reported that the disgraced reporter would return to The Independent in four to five weeks following four months' unpaid leave during which he attended an ethics course in New York at his own expense.

Witnesses for the afternoon include the CEO of Telegraph Media Group Murdoch MacLennan, William Lewis, formerly from the Daily Telegraph and and Finbarr Ronayne, Finance Director at the Daily Telegraph.

Sources: Guardian (1), (2), Press Gazette (1), (2), (3), Journalism.co.uk


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-10 18:43

Somalia is usually in the limelight for crises: civil war, famine, drought, Somalian pirates attacking international shipping... And when the spotlight turns off it's hard to maintain the international community's attention focused on the country.

This is the aim of Somalia Speaks, a project launched recently by a joint team of partners "to catalyze global media attention on Somalia by letting Somali voices take center stage", as Patrick Meier of Ushahidi, one of the founder organizations, explained - and all this via SMS services.

Somalia Speaks is the result of multiple efforts. It is hosted - and publicised - by Al Jazeera; the SMS messaging service is provided by Souktel, a Palestinian-based organization, while Ushahidi - whose role is well-known in crisis mapping - and Crowdflower - a crowdsourcing platform - translate, categorize and map the incoming responses.

Somali citizens in the country as well as from the Somalian diaspora - thanks to the involvement of the African Diaspora Institute - are asked via text message to answer the following question: "How has the Somalia Conflict affected your life?"

The responses, translated from Somali into English and categorized, are posted to the Somalia Speaks map on Al Jazeera for reaching a wide international audience.

Mobile technology is flourishing in many parts of Africa. Souktel's Jacob Korenblum - quoted by PBS's MediaShift - said that in a five-year period leading up to 2009, mobile phone penetration jumped 1,600% in the Somali region; Souktel has been delivering service in the Horn of Africa since 2008 and has a member SMS subscriber list of over 50,000 people.

As MediaShift underlined, Somalia Speaks is a pilot project. The responses help bring attention to unheard voices of the community and on a wider level the project also provides editorial insight as to where Al Jazeera, which has already received story tips and leads from Somalia Speaks participants, should focus in going forward with its citizen reporting efforts.

"We are also looking at how to streamline news gathering workflows to get news directly from the people," Al Jazeera's Soud Hyder said, accordingly to MediaShift. "It's like taking citizen journalism to the next level."

Hyder also stressed the important role of the Somalian diaspora which is actively participating. The involvement of the diaspora and of the international audience reached through Al Jazeera reflects the desire to structure the project as a two-way conversation, as Ushahidi's Patrick Meier explained.

"I wanted this project to serve as a two-way conversation, however, not just a one-way information flow from Somalia to the world. Every report that gets mapped on an Ushahidi platform is linked to public discussion forum where readers can respond and share their views on said report."

In our networked world, the geography of knowledge is still uneven, an article on the Guardian titled on January 9.

Despite the fact that the Internet can potentially level out the barriers of knowledge and information, its geographical disposition remains uneven and firmly weighted towards the global north. A profound digital divide is still a reality as the "Geographies of the World's Knowledge" by the Oxford Internet Institute shows.

Meier quoted what Anand Giridharadas of the New York Times wrote last year about Ushahidi:
"They used to say that history is written by the victors. But today, before the victors win, if they win, there is a chance to scream out with a text message, a text message that will not vanish, a text message that will remain immortalized on a map for the world to bear witness. What would we know about what passed between Turks and Armenians, Germans and Jews, Hutus and Tutsis, if every one of them had had the chance, before the darkness, to declare for all time: I was here, and this is what happened to me ?"

Technologies and their effective use can help to raise attention in less-covered places of the world and spread unheard voices. As Somalia Speaks shows, the positive partnership between mainstream media, crowdsourcing platforms and user-generated content could definitely lead the way.

Sources: the Ushahidi Blog, PBS's MediaShift, Guardian, Oxford Internet Institute, NYT


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-10 12:30

Twenty-nine US news organizations launched yesterday, January 5, NewsRight, a digital content licensing organization. Amongst the affiliates are the Associated Press, the New York Times Co, Hearst Newspapers and the Washington Post Co.

The aim is to keep track of newspapers' content as it moves around the web in order to license and profit from it. It "will measure the unpaid online use of their original reporting and seek to convert unauthorized websites, blogs and other newsgathering services into paying customers", AP (via the Washington Post) reported.

NewsRight is an evolution of the News Registry, a project started in October 2010 by AP and some partners.

As Mashable reported, the company provides publishers with an HTML code to insert in their stories' headlines and text, so they can track the spread of each piece of their content. The encoded stories report to the registry, showing where and when a story is reblogged and read, the article said.

NewsRight in fact not only lets news organizations to license content but also getting data about how the news is being consumed across digital platforms.

The technology even allows the location of pieces of articles which have been cut and pasted.

Newspaper's expert Ken Doctor, quoted in AP's article, said the first year of operation for NewsRight will test how much of a market there is for the service. A key selling point is the data on story usage, which could help advertisers measure the audience they want to reach more effectively.

Even though it will affect aggregation websites, it "is not a program to halt aggregation practiced by the likes of the Huffington Post or many other news organizations. If effort is put in to rewrite the work, NewsRight will let you be (at least for now). Those that just "scrape" stories are the target, the Wrap reported.

Newspapers are struggling to find a way to thrive in the digital world and to monetize their content finding the suitable digital business model. In this struggle the risk is that the ones who are not investing in producing original quality content will benefit from the work others do, David Westin, the president of NewsRight and former head of ABC News said, as reported by Nieman Lab.

Sources: AP via Washington Post, Mashable, the Wrap, NiemanLab


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-06 18:58

Former News of the World editor Colin Myler - the paper's last edtior, in charge during the fallout after the phone-hacking scandal - is to become editor-in-chief at the New York Daily News, where his key rival will be Murdoch's New York Daily Post the Guardian reported.
More coverage from the Guardian can be found here and here.

Also in the wake of the hacking scandal, Metropolitan police have been warned against a "cosy relationship with the press". The report, by former parliamentary commissioner Elizabeth Filkin, calls for tighter controls over how the Met Police service deals with journalists to prevent erosion of trust in police not just among the public, but among police ranks, the Guardian says.

If your New Year's resolution is learning to program, you should sign up for Code Year, a new project that aims to teach neophytes the basics of programming over the course of 2012, Slate reported. Code Year's minimum commitment is one new lesson every week. The company says that it will take a person of average technical skill about five hours to complete a lesson, so you're looking at about an hour of training every weekday, the article says.

For more industry news please see WAN - IFRA's Executive News Service.


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-05 19:00

The Associated Press has gone a step further in its social media strategy: Eric Carvin, an AP Nerve Center news producer and former National Desk editor, has been named the organization's social media editor, a press release announced.

Carvin, who has spent the past two years overseeing social media efforts at the news wire, engaging with readers and gathering user-generated content, "will work to ensure that social media becomes an integral part of every AP journalist's skills".

"This is a crucial role, based within the Nerve Center [the central editorial desk at AP's headquarters,] but one that will depend on daily interaction - strategizing, training and firefighting - with all the regions, verticals and formats", wrote AP deputy managing editor Tamer Fakahany in a memo reported by Jim Romenesko.

(Incidentally, Eric Carvin's brother is NPR social media desk senior strategist Andrew Carvin.)

The involvement of social media in the traditional journalism world is now out of any doubt. The role of a social media editor is becoming increasingly important and it's evolving to include even wider tasks. The growth of social networks as well as the role of an involved community is gradually means these new journalistic jobs are become more and more relevant.

AP attracted a lot of attention last November when it warned the staff against tweeting scoops before the news has been published on the official AP news wire, after staff arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in New York, broke the news on Twitter before it was on the wire.

The event aroused controversy around the "don't scoop the wire" official rules, which feature in the AP social media handbook, as well as in the Reuters' one.

As previously reported, the new social media editor will be expected to enforce the rigorous new social media guidelines AP recently released by ensuring "that branded AP social media accounts are engaging and timely sources of breaking news".

Source: AP press release


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-05 18:15

Repression of uprisings makes the region the world's most dangerous place for journalists.

Sixty-four journalists and other media workers were killed world-wide because of their professional activities in 2011, with nearly half of them killed in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) said Thursday.

Ten journalists were killed in Pakistan for the second consecutive year, making it again the most deadly country for journalists.

The Arab region was the world's most dangerous region for media professionals, with twenty-two journalists killed. The brutal repression that followed widespread popular uprisings in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen cost the lives of sixteen journalists. Journalism in Iraq remains a dangerous profession, as six journalists lost their lives in the country last year.

Mexico remains the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western hemisphere, with six journalists in 2011, as coverage of organised crime and corruption have put journalists in the line of fire.

The 2011 death toll, released after an investigation into all potential media murders, compares with 66 killed in 2010, 99 killed in 2009, 70 killed in 2008, 95 killed in 2007 and 110 killed in 2006. The full lists can be found here.

Though many journalists are killed covering war and conflict, they're also targeted and murdered in many countries for investigating organised crime, drug trafficking, corruption and other crimes. They are often killed with impunity, with nobody brought to justice for the murders in the majority of cases.

"When journalists are attacked and killed merely for doing their jobs, the entire society suffers", said Christoph Riess, CEO of WAN-IFRA. "The right of all citizens to the free flow of information is diminished by these acts. These murders must be prosecuted thoroughly and the perpetrators brought to justice."

Journalists and other media workers were killed in 27 countries in 2011: Afghanistan (2); Azerbaijan (1); Bahrain (1); Brazil (3); Colombia (1); Democratic Republic of Congo (1); Dominican Republic (1); Egypt (2); Honduras (1); India (2); Iraq (6); Libya (5); Mexico (6); Pakistan (10); Panama (1); Paraguay (1); Peru (2); Philippines (2); Russia (1); Sierra Leone (1); Somalia (3); Syria (1); Thailand (1); Tunisia (1); Uganda (1); Vietnam (1); and Yemen (6).

Several press freedom organisations track the number of journalists killed each year. The numbers vary based on the criteria used by different associations. WAN-IFRA's figures include all media workers killed in the line of duty or targeted because of their work. It also includes cases where the motive for the killings is unsure or where official investigations have not been completed.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 07. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: larry.kilman@wan-ifra.org


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-05 16:41

After having gained predominance in the Anglo-Saxon world, data journalism is gaining ground in France too and Liberation looks at what to expect for 2012. Mainstream newspapers are still a bit overcautious as the most active in a regular use of data journalism is the news site Owni, the article noted.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which mantains the online free and open-edited encyclopedia Wikipedia, raised $20 million in donations, Reuters reported, establishing a record after the $16 million raised last year.

News Corp launched online an archive website which offers paying access to the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, paidContent reported. Will this be a first step toward the creation of a paywall for the Sun?

For more industry news please see WAN - IFRA's Executive News Service.


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Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-04 18:24

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