WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


August 2006

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Reviews and advertisers of Associated Newspapers' new freesheet London Lite are not particularly impressed with the product. Launched this week London Lite was described as not being designed well enough to reach the young audience at which it is being marketed.

Associated had plans to release a freesheet in 2007, but pushed the release up in order to compete with an upcoming evening free paper from News International.

Perhaps because of its haste,pictures in the new paper were blurry and critics said it looked too much like its sister morning freesheet, Standard Lite.

Changes in the paper's design are expected over the following months, modifications that may be necessary to compete with NI's thelondonpaper, due to hit the streets on September 4.

Source: Brand Republic

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-08-31 16:05

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Google is to offer users copies of novels past copyright such as Dante's Inferno for free download and printing. Google's plan to scan the world's books has been in the works for some time and includes partners such as Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library.

It has received criticism from several publishers whom will have a more difficult time arguing against Google's right to digitally distribute works no longer under legal protection.

Google will not provide books still under copyright for free, but will offer bibliographies and extracts.

Source: BBC

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-08-31 11:13

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Following up on a study about "The Use of the Internet by America's Newspapers," Internet communications firm The Bivings Report has followed up with some suggestions don how to make newspaper websites better.

  1. Start using tags
  2. Provide full text RSS feeds
  3. Work with external "social" websites
  4. Link to relevant blog entries
  5. Get rid of all registration
  6. Partner with local bloggers
  7. Offer alternative views of your content
  8. Modernize your site's graphic design
  9. Learn from Craigslist

And for good measure, number 10: Make your content work on cell phones and PDAs

Source: The Bivings Report through Buzzmachine

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-08-31 10:40

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Credit Suisse has recommended that Dow Jones invest heavily in its digital operations to make the company's offerings half print and half digital. Having been looking to sell six of its smaller print publications of subsidiary Ottaway Newspapers, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal could soon have some money to invest in such a venture.

Source:Forbes

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-31 10:32

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Newswatch quotes the Korea Times which reports that Internet advertising on the southern half of the Peninsula accounts for almost 10% of the entire advertising market, coming after TV and newspapers at 33.5 and 26.4% respectively. Online ads are expected to grow 30% a year through 2008 whereas TV, newspapers and radio lost 5 to 8% of their share over the 2003-04 period.

Source: Newswatch

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Author

John Burke

Date

2006-08-30 17:00

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The summer waiting period is over. The London freesheet war has begun as Associated Newspapers launches its afternoon cover price-less paper, London Lite, days ahead of News International's planned thelondonpaper. On the same day, Associated has spiked the price of its long-running Evening Standard by 25%, bringing it up to 50%. What does this mean for the future of a bastion of London evenings?

The Guardian reports that the price rise is an "attempt to offset declining income resulting from falling readership." But there is the distant possibility that it is preparation for the folding of the paper. Two reasons why:

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-30 15:41

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In response to this week’s cover story about the decline of newspapers from the best weekly in the world, The Economist, BBC Radio 4 chatted with Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and his equal at the Independent, Simon Kelner to hear what they think about the future of the newspaper.

Their respective papers have followed divergent paths over the past couple of years. Kelner’s Independent was the first British broadsheet to trim itself down to compact format in the fall of 2003. At the same time, it began focusing on the “views”, taking stronger positions and turning itself into something that Kelner called a “viewspaper.”

At the same time, the Guardian remained in broadsheet format (only switching to a Berliner size in September 2005, a design that won several awards) while simultaneously eliminating its traditionally left-leaning stance, opting for a more neutral paper.

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-30 13:31

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Glasgow PM and Manchester Evening News are the latest additions to the United Kingdom’s mounting pile of free papers. Glasgow PM (including a bar of chocolate) is offered in the afternoon for 15 pence while the Manchester Evening News is given away for free in the city center.

Peter Cole of the Independent muses on the curiosity of the freesheet wars: Critics are constantly predicting the death of print while an endless stream of free papers is developed. Cole downplays the drama in London (between London Lite and Thelondonpaper), explaining that conclusions are drawn too easily in the media world where “hysteria dominates.”

Steve Auckland, managing director of the Associated NewspapersMetro papers as well as London Lite, is an authority on the freesheet. He has helped to build an empire that takes in £10m a year. According to Auckland, one must distribute papers to a prime advertising public. In Metro’s case this public was comprised of young professionals on their way to work.

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Author

Elena Perotti

Date

2006-08-30 11:17

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Torstar, publisher of the Toronto Star, will soon begin publishing an 8-page electronic evening afternoon edition that readers can download, print out, and take home with them. The paper will be available daily at 3:30 p.m. and include breaking news, puzzles, features and entertainment.

Other publishers, notably the Guardian and El Pais, have launched similar initiatives in part to compete with freesheets which have a healthy market in Canada.

Source: Reuters

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-30 10:19

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Newspapers are experiencing an upsurge in South Africa, with most daily newspapers increasing readership. The publisher Media 24 has two English-language star papers to its name: the Sunday Sun and the Daily Sun. The Sunday Sun is up 10% in the past 3 months, and the Daily Sun 4%.

Both Media 24 papers are relatively new: the Sunday Sun was founded 5 years ago and the Daily Sun came about just 3 years back.

Media 24 chalks up the success of its papers to its aggressive distribution to lower-income readers, heretofore ignored by newspaper marketers.

Isolezwe, a Zulu paper based out of Durban, has also shown encouraging numbers. The paper’s readership has grown to 644,000 in just 4 years, making it the most-read Zulu paper. The paper boasts an impressive 41% female readership.

There is one cloud on the horizon for the South African press. New legislation threatens to allow censorship through the Film and Publications Board, on such fronts as sexual material, war propaganda, incitement of violence or advocacy of hatred. The National Editor’s Forum and Freedom of Expression Institute are working against this possibility.

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Author

Elena Perotti

Date

2006-08-29 19:22

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The free newspaper war that has been looming over London's evening newspaper market is ready to begin. On August 30, Associated Newspapers is hitting the newsstands first with London Lite, its answer to News Corps' thelondonpaper, a freesheet which will employ a mere 20 journalists and begin distribution on the September 4.

Associated Press' paid-for Evening Standard, a staple of the London afternoon market, has lost 20% this year and is down to 300,100 copies.

Thelondonpaper will begin with a distribution of 400,000 copies and is aimed at the younger urban crowd.

Source: The Guardian

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-29 18:22

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Keeping readers on their sites is perhaps the biggest problem for individual newspapers on the Web. If readers have the print product in hand, it is likely it will be the only publication they will read. But online, choice is abundant and interests are fleeting.

Much online news is found through news aggregators that direct readers to one article of a publication. Their browser’s ‘back button’ means that there is a good chance readers will ignore the rest of the paper’s content and return to the compilation of news from numerous sources.

The principle problem with this is that advertisers don’t pay as much online because it is expected that readers will not spend as much time seeing their banner ads.

Solution? Newspapers need to make their websites stickier.

The real puzzle is how.

Online readers find their general news through aggregators because they know they’ll find what they’re looking for. They are not necessarily dedicated to one site or another; they just want to know what’s going on. So if you’re a provider of general news, you have your work cut out for you.

But if you cater to niche or local interests, you have a better chance at making your site sticky. Readers who visit your site probably didn’t find it through Google or Yahoo News. They’re probably looking for something very specific be it news about a particular topic or news about their area that they can’t find anywhere else.

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-29 18:01

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London Lite is inching ahead of Thelondonpaper in London’s freesheet battle. London Lite is reporting its distribution at 400,000, whereas Thelondonpaper has hit only 360,000.

Brand Republic reports that both papers are expected to release ABC data for September. Thelondonpaper’s figure may end up even lower than 360,000, as the freesheet experienced some tracking problems in its first two weeks.

Although London Lite is emerging a victor in terms of freesheets, its success may be hitting Associated Newspapers associate Evening Standard harder than hoped. A few weeks ago the company reported that circulation of the Standard was down only 7,000. Sources put that figure closer to 48,000.

Thelondonpaper is not showing any signs of backing down. General manager Ian Clark said: "Associated has been ring-fencing Tube stations, so our learnings from the first couple of weeks have seen us move towards trying to get the right sort of people."

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Author

Elena Perotti

Date

2006-08-29 17:58

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The New York Times Company has acquired Baseline StudioSystems, a subscription TV and film database service used by Hollywood and video production companies. The site will be used to add depth to the company's entertainment reporting and blogs through biographies and other features that Baseline provides.

Vivian Schiller, SVP and General Manager of nytimes.com, reacted favorably to the news, commenting, "The Baseline data, in terms of film and TV credits and biographies together with our movie and TV criticism, is a home run. The more traffic we have, the more visibility we have, and the happier our advertisers will be."

The acquisition could help boost Hollywood advertising for NYT.com as Tinseltown strays increasingly from print to announcing its upcoming releases on the Internet.

PaidContent reports that the deal will bring the Times Co. more subscription revenue which it expects to reach $6 million this year.

The information in Baseline could also tie in nicely with the Times feature TimesTopics which highlights names and events in an article that when clicked on deliver the reader to a page containing relevant information as well as all Times articles concerning the subject.

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John Burke

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2006-08-29 13:50

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Despite a $50 million campaign by the Newspaper Association of America to attract advertisers to print (because print is a "destination, not a distraction"), a couple of new breakthroughs in digital advertising could keep the already stagnant print ad industry in its rut.

  • In its cover story about the seemingly inevitable decline of newspapers, the Economist pointed out that the Wall Street Journal, one of the world's largest papers in print and online, already charges advertisers a mere three times less for an online ad than a print ad, distinct from the industry standard of 6 or 7 times. And Richard Zannino, CEO of WSJ publisher Dow Jones only expects the price of online ads to rise as more people get their news online.
  • The incredibly popular video-sharing website YouTube (and probably one of the fastest growing phenoms ever), announced last week that it is to begin offering advertisers "brand channels" as well as "participatory video ads."

Brand channels will allow advertisers to create their own programming in which they can use their products and logos to attract an audience. One liquor company has already done something similar to hawk a new product and the mock music video it created has already been viewed well over a million times.

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-29 11:47

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E-consultancy reports that the latest study by Outsell analysts has determined that a "perfect storm" of falling circulations, waning print advertising and the increasing popularity of online news will plunge American newspapers into a $20 billion hole by 2010.

Circulation will accelerate over the next few years and by 2010 could fall as much as 19.5%. Growing online revenues will not compensate for this loss.

Analyst Ken Doctor said, "The estimated shortfall is even larger than newspaper executives have acknowledged. The business of news faces an unprecedented transformation as these trends likely accelerate over the next five years.”

Source: e-consultancy

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John Burke

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2006-08-29 10:14

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After prolonged delays, Sony is set to launch its portable E-book reader this week. Sony Reader is smaller than most paperbacks and features enough memory to hold up to 7,500 pages at a time.

The reader costs $350, with an initial $50 credit at the Sony Connect book store. The book store offers 10,000 digital books from the top 6 publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins. The books are 25% less than paper books, much in the style of mp3s from iTunes.

In fact, the reader has been described by such publications as Forbes and the Telegraph as a bookish version of the iPod. The comparison has yet to be proven. Although the reader is lightweight and fun, it lacks the affordable price and hipness of the iPod. "It's going to have a hard time making the same kind of impact that Steve Jobs made five years ago," admits Peter Kafka at Forbes.

Sony Reader uses a new screen that simulates the look of real paper.

The reader supports RSS feeds from Sony-approved websites. It does not yet support free RSS feeds.

The device also stores and displays personal documents, blogs, newsfeeds, and JPEGs. It plays unsecured audio files.

The exact launch date is unclear. Paid Content reports it as October 1, but the reader seems to be shipping from the official Sony site "on or about" October 31.

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Author

Elena Perotti

Date

2006-08-28 19:46

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Seemingly attacked on all sides from traditional publishers, search engine giant Google declared that its principal functions will remain just that: search. A representative from the Mountainview-based dotcom said Tuesday that Google has no intentions of producing original content, preferring to continue "getting users where they want to go."

Source: Reuters

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Elena Perotti

Date

2006-08-28 17:59

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India's second largest English-language paper, the Hindustan Times, will soon launch a business paper which will include content from the Wall Street Journal. The conditions of the content sharing agreement are still being worked out and could mean a Wall Street Journal masthead on the new Indian business daily.

CEO of HT Media, Rajiv Verma, commented, "This unique content partnership between HT Media and The Wall Street Journal emphasizes our desire to offer a business newspaper to Indian readers at a time when India has become a global player in myriad industries. The Wall Street Journal is the best content partner in this endeavour because of its unmatched journalism and insights into global businesses, markets and economies and its unrivalled journalistic standards worldwide."

Dow Jones (publisher of WSJ) CEO L. Gordon Crovitz echoed Verma: ""We're excited that the Journal will soon offer Indian business readers, access to the incomparable global business information that readers across the globe have come to expect. India has emerged as a vibrant and expanding part of the global economy that we have sought better to serve with the right partner and we look forward to a role in helping spur those global connections between India and rest of the business world."

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-28 11:24

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The leader of this week's Economist presents yet another doomsday prediction for our beloved print medium: "Newspapers have not yet started to shut down in large numbers, but it is only a matter of time. Over the next few decades, half the rich world's general papers may fold."

SOME MAIN POINTS:

- Classifieds, once referred to as a "river of gold" by Rupert Murdoch are seeing their "river dry up" - according to one estimate, 25% of print classifieds will be lost to the Web over the next ten years.

- Most newspaper companies still aren't sure how to adapt to the changing media landscape, for example, they haven't decided wether it is better to meld print and online newsrooms into one or keep them separate.

- There are some online success stories - Norwegian publisher Schibsted brings in 35% of its operating profits from the Web; the Guardian has effectively spread its readership, half of which now comes from the US, and the paper's online revenue is growing at 50% a year

- Online has become important enough that a paper's top journalists are now reserved for or implicated in Web publishing, unlike before where Web assignments were reserved for lower journalists.

- Newspaper companies need to experiment with new business models online as well as extend themselves into other services to create more revenue.

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John Burke

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2006-08-28 10:59

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The American broadcaster ABC has announced that it will begin offering video news features through iTunes. The company, which already sells its television programs on the world's most popular online music store, hopes to attract more revenue by selling footage from events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the wedding of Lady Di and Prince Charles at $1.99 a pop. What does this mean for the value of newspaper online archives?

Granted, ABC news' three iTunes features "ABC News Specials," "The Day it Happened" and "Celebrity Flashback" won't include the in-depth reporting and investigation that a newspaper archive reader might crave. But at $1.99 for a video versus, for example, $3.95 for an individual New York Times archived article, which would you buy?

Of course, you could always purchase TimesSelect for $50 dollars a year which will give you access to 100 Times' archived articles per month. Maybe the subscription service has legs after all. We'll find out gradually over the fall as the first annual TimesSelect stats come in.

Source: AdWeek

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John Burke

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2006-08-28 09:41

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The Los Angeles Times is a prime example of a major American metro newspaper whose national and international news is trumped by news agencies and larger papers like the New York Times while its regional coverage remains inferior to local publications. Currently faced with huge losses in circulation coupled with pressure from shareholders, LAT is struggling to redefine itself in order to maintain its relevancy. A two-pronged approach is necessary: exploit local resources and diversity while overhauling the substandard website.

LAT’s recent announcement that it would launch an investigation into its own future has set the media blogosphere afire. The ambitiously named “Manhattan Project” has charged nine of the paper’s own reporters and editors with determining how to re-engage readers in these challenging times.

Although comparing the project to the United States’ efforts to create an A-bomb during WWII is overly superlative, there is some apocalyptic frenzy to the speculation that has erupted on blogs and in newspapers. Jeff Jarvis called the endless theorizing a “parlor game.” Perhaps a parlor game, but one with grave consequences for the newspaper industry.

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Author

Bertrand Pecquerie

Date

2006-08-25 17:53

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Having started one of the world’s largest online classified websites, Monster.com, which struck at the heart of newspaper revenues, Jeff Taylor is taking another indirect swing at the print industry by launching an online obituary site. The site, called Eons, is described by Taylor as “unrestricted space for the celebration of life.”

But whereas the newspaper industry dropped the ball on online classifieds, it is well prepared to battle Eons. For the past eight years, Legacy.com has been organizing a comprehensive obituary site for the newspaper industry for which most of the big American papers have signed up.

Both services charge users and have similar features such as allowing for photos and comments from friends and family, both features next to impossible to capture in the limited columns of print.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-07 15:10

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Confirming suspicions, News International, the newspaper wing of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire, will launch a free newspaper entitled thelondonpaper in September. The 48-page full-color paper will be mostly focused on entertainment and will include content created by readers.

NI is one of several publishers bidding for the rights to London Underground and Network Rail contracts but could effectively bypass the need for these contracts by distributing outside of public transportation stops. It hopes to create a loyal readership before its competitors are able to launch their own free papers inside train and Tube stations.

The paper is aimed at young professionals within Zone 1 of the London Tube and plans to distribute 400,000 copies between 4:30 and 7:30 pm, putting it in competition with the ailing 40p Evening Standard.

A team of 700 distributors will also gauge the effectiveness of thelondonpaper's penetration by communicating with one another through PDAs in order to determine the best spots to hand out the paper tot he desired demographic.

If the freesheet is successful in London, NI plans on expanding into other cities in the UK.

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John Burke

Date

2006-08-02 16:55


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