WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


October 2006

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Friday 24th of November, a good 80 Dutch and Flemish editors and researchers gathered in the European Journalism Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands, to assess and discuss several prototypes of novel newspaper products or services. All are web-based one way or another, and ready for the Web 2.0 publishing environments. The in total six demonstrators feature remote reporting tools, video content based on strategic alliances with non-journalistic partners, e-paper trials and online reader communities. Most were developed in close cooperation with specialised R&D centres. Together, the prototypes reveal the contours of the future electronic newspaper.
Al least half of the demonstrators will make it to real applications, the other are subject to further testing in living lab conditions.
General conclusion of the event: we need further experimentation to capture the essence of digital presence. In the conference report, the applications as well as the editors’ appraisal are described more in detail.

Conference takes stock of future newspaper features

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Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-31 18:15

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Popular social networking site MySpace.com may no longer be keeping teen interest. The site that has been running for 2 1/2 years was bought last year by News Corp for $580 million dollars and recently signed a $900 million dollar advertising deal with Google Inc. Both of these moves may have been premature; Nielsen/Net-Ratings just released a study saying MySpace participation has dropped 4%.

The decline in Myspace usage and other like sites is based on a number of factors but the main cause is the audience. Teenage viewers are rarely loyal and tend to jump to the next big thing. This can be a problem when companies are investing millions of dollars in sites that teens are abandoning.

Other reasons for the decline include the networking factor. Kids are beginning to have some negative experiences with these sites and no longer want to participate.

MySpace doesn't seeme to be phased by the numbers. Currently the site is launching software that will keep copyrighted material off the site, which may lead to future deals between the MySpace and the music industry. This announcement follows YouTube's initiative to clean out copyrighted material from their site.

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Author

Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-31 16:30

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The Audit Bureau of Circulations has released their fourth consecutive semi-annual report registering a steep decline in newspaper circulation numbers. The circulation numbers form the recently completed quarter shows a 2.8% drop for daily circulation. Larger newspapers are feeling harsh effects especially when specifically looking at the Sunday Edition which is recorded to have a 3.4% drop. Many attribute the circulation decline to the increase of readers getting their news from other media outlets.
Top newspapers across the nation are feeling the effects of the drop.

  • USA Today down 1.3%
  • Chicago Tribune down 1.7% Washington Post down 3.3%
  • New York Times down 3.5%
  • Los Angeles Times down 8%
  • Miami Herald down 8.8%

Although most papers shared in the drop, The New York Post actually saw a 5% incline and The Daily News was also up 1%. While print new has dropped, website journals have increased readership by 8%.

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Author

Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-31 14:10

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As more Middle Eastern Journalists look to enter Europe for training and research programs, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) complain that European authorities are creating stricter restrictions to keep them out.

At a mid-October conference between IFJ and FAJ both groups complained of European governmental restrictions regarding entry and travel visas causing delayed entry and restriction of movement. Both groups believe bureaucratic tactics like these are what is creating and pro-longing the misunderstanding between Europe and the Middle East. The groups are now asking for a speedier visa process for journalist so not to limit the journalist’s work.

“Traveling reporters are a threat to no-one,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, “but they do provide an opportunity for more informed and better quality journalism in an age when prejudice, stereotype and ignorance tend to dominate the headlines.”

Source: International Federation of Journalists

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Author

Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-31 12:44

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It's no secret that the Internet is rapidly and radically changing the traditional news landscape of top-down journalism. For over a century, the pipes through which information is distributed have generally been one-way. Now that everyone has a voice on the Internet, the pipes have been siphoned and the flow has become reciprocal, causing a monumental change in news production and consumption. Having tracked these transformations, New York University professor Jay Rosen and PressThink blogger has embarked on an ambitious project to mold a new form of journalism adjusted for the digital media world.

Rosen, who began teaching at NYU in 1986 after completing his doctorate in media studies at the same institution, is the brains behind New Assignment, an Internet-based project that strives to combine the best qualities of professional and citizen journalism.

Several labels have been tagged to Rosen's vision; pro-am (professional-amateur) journalism, open source journalism, smart-mob journalism, a middle path and journalism without the media.

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John Burke

Date

2006-10-31 10:21

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Daily children's newspapers seem to be popping up across the globe, most recently in Bolivia and soon in Mexico, Panama, and Ecuador. Now, Play Bac Presse, the French publisher of the most successful children's dailies to date, plan to launch a new kids paper directed at 8-10-year-olds in the United States.

Play Bac is working with 5W Mignon-Media, based in New York City, to create My Daily 10 e-newspaper in November of this year. The paper focuses on the 8-10-year-old market because by that age children are interested in reading and are beginning to read well. Because advertising is often touchy in children's markets, My Daily 10 will be dependent on subscriptions and may open the paper up to sponsors in the future.

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Author

Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-30 16:30

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Nearly two months after the launch of Internet Explorer 7 including an RSS feed feature, Microsoft publicly announced it’s trying to register two RSS-related patents. Not to everybody’s contentment. Microsoft made the patent proposals over a year ago, on June 21st 2005.

Dave Winer, one of the RSS technology’s developers, wrote on his website that “anybody who had contributed more or less to RSS’ success should denounce this.” Other contributors simply desire clarifications, as Microsoft has no true paternity over the RSS technology.

Whether the patents are accepted or suits arise over their legality, RSS feeds have become an integral part of online news, for the industry as well as for readers.

Source: Clubic.com

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Allie Judson

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2006-10-30 13:54

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Dow Jones & Co recently announced the future sale of 6 local newspapers. The papers are a part of the Ottaway community newspapers group, which owns a dozen local newspapers around the North Eastern United States, and are being sold to Community Newspaper Holdings, a private publisher located in Birmingham, Alabama. The sale is expected to cost $US282.5 million and will go towards the Dow Jones' purchase of Reuters Group's stake in the Factiva news archive service.

The Dow Jones is looking to sell because of dropping numbers in circulation due to increased Internet readership. While bigger companies serving larger papers seem to be struggling, more locally managed newspapers are getting larger. The Community Newspaper Holdings and other like companies seem to better manage local papers because of the smaller budget and market.

Currently the Community Newspaper Holdings runs 90 daily and 200 non-daily newspapers and after the sale will be adding: the News-Times in Danbury, Connecticut; The Daily Star in Oneonta, New York; the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, New York; The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pennsylvania; and the Traverse City Record-Eagle in Michigan, all with a combined annual revenue of $93 million.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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Author

Allie Judson

Date

2006-10-30 12:58

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The selection process of the 15th edition of the Lorenzo Natali Prize, a journalism award sponsored by the European Commission, has begun. It was created by the EU Commission in 1992 to promote the right to information, a prerequisite to freedom of expression.

Participants – print and paper journalists, from nearly all regions of the world – submit only one piece focusing on the issue of democracy or human rights, written between September 2005 and December 2006.

All prize nominees will be special guests of the European Commission in Brussels. Each prize winner will receive a Trophy and a financial award, a piece of the 50.000€ of total prize money.

Source: Lorenzo Natali Prize

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Author

Elena Perotti

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2006-10-30 12:33

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The BBC is often cited as one of the traditional organizations that has taken advantage of the Internet to expand its already monumental influence. The company’s head of News Interactive, Pete Clifton, detailed his employer’s strategy when it came to developing its internationally acclaimed website at the World Digital Publishing Conference.

Readers want to be involved and to have more control in news 2.0, said Clifton. “They want greater involvement, the news they want when they want it, to recommend content, they want to hold us to account but at the same time they still expect the same quality journalism. In that, news organizations need to be more flexible in how they present the news.

The BBC began by redesigning the front page to include more video and audio. Today, text reporting still beats video on the site by 20 to 1, but Clifton is sure that will change. In the UK, the Beeb now allows readers to customize their own site and has implemented a live stat box which delivers realtime info about what the most looked at stories are around the world. This helps the public trust to understand what the audience really wants before it undertakes any radical changes.

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John Burke

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2006-10-30 12:13

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The Bakersfield Californian is regularly used as the example of a local paper that has embraced and succeeded in the world of new media. Dan Pacheco, Senior Manager of Digital Products for the paper addressed the audience at the first World Digital Publishing Conference in London.

The Californian is an independently owned paper, a status that more papers are beginning to envy because of the lack of corporate pressures for large profits. The paper’s publisher is able to look at the big picture, the long view, instead of being concerned by quarterly and yearly revenues.

For innovation purposes, the Californian started a New Products Group in early 2004. Pacheco sees the newspaper as increasingly complex and wonders how most companies are still thinking old school. It’s time to move into new markets. As an example, he used the increasingly popular virtual world, Second Life, where users create avatars and interact with other users. He showed a digital kiosk in Second Life which when he started had only one paper. Now it has eight. Most are produced by individual reporters telling stories about the latest occurrences in the growing Second Life community. But Reuters has just embedded a reporter in the alternative world and more traditional news organizations could follow suit.

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John Burke

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2006-10-30 12:10

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Head of the Continuous Newsdesk at the New York Times, Neil Chase, joined the speakers at the first World Digital Publishing Conference to talk about the latest innovations at what is becoming the world’s paper of record thanks to its website.

The building in which the New York Times’ newsroom is situated has been seven blocks from that of the online team since its website’s inception. This will eventually change when the paper moves into its new building in early 2007, but the time apart has allowed the Web to grow and innovate in ways that would not have been possible had it been more closely tied to the print newsroom. Still, the site has reflected not only the physical appearance of the print flagship, but also the quality journalism that readers expect.

Chase went through the nytimes.com’s most recent developments that have been well documented in the media world. He described 2006’s quiet redesign:

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John Burke

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2006-10-30 12:03

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The Moroccan government took serious action by banning the weekly Nichane, due to “offense against Islam.” A highly unusual procedure in an Islamic State that’s usually on the moderate side of religious governments. Nichane had published a story on Dec. 9th called ‘How religion, sex and politics make Moroccans laugh’. The featured jokes involved Mohammed, King Hassan II, as well as Moroccans in quest of good sex.

The State filed a legal suit against Driss Ksikès, Nichane’s editor-in-chief, and journalist Sanaa Al Aji, for “offense against the Islamic religion” and “publication and distribution of written material opposed to moral values.”

Ksikès claimed the jokes were traditional Moroccan street jokes, and thus the suit was one of the “State against society.”

The magazine was launched in Sep. 2006 and sold about 14 000 copies a week.

While the unilateral ban of the magazine is unusual, several other newspapers were fined and tried this year for similar offenses.

In a communiqué, Nichane’s staff offered apologies to those who were offended, but insisted that it wasn’t their intent, as they are Muslims too.

From the local point of view in Morocco, it seems Nichane’s offense is accepted as such, with little criticism of the government’s decision.

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Allie Judson

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2006-10-30 11:39

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A recent study by Microsoft's MSN and Windows Live Online Services Business has determined that Asian blog use is rapidly growing. Though not all businesses have adapted to the Internet blogs countries such as Korea and India have integrated blogs in to most areas of everyday life.

The report found that most blogs are created as a way to express themselves and to stay better connected with family and friends. Also according to the survey information appearing on blogs is as trusted as mainstream media news.

Source:Vnunet.com

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Bertrand Pecquerie

Date

2006-10-29 20:45

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Robb Montgomery

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2006-10-29 03:07

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Robb Montgomery reports from London in this video blog for the World Editors Forum.

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Robb Montgomery

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2006-10-28 18:14

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Two Boston businessmen have been working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. to prepare a bid for The Boston Globe. Retired General Electric chief exec Jack Welch and advertising exec Jack Connors would make no comment on the potential bid for their beleaguered hometown paper, which is owned by The New York Times Company. Despite the paper’s increasingly poor performance, the NYT Co. has repeatedly denied that the Globe is for sale.

Welch and Connor have denied to comment on the negotiations, but insiders have placed JPMorgan’s evaluation of the Globe at $550-600 million, nearly half the $1.1 billion the Times paid for the paper in 1993.

Executives close to the deal say that Welch, Connor, and Boston concessionaire Joseph O’Donnell have each pledged $25 million to the purchase. The rest of the bid will be assembled from local business people with allowances for debt and equity.

Source: The Boston Globe

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Author

Rory Satran

Date

2006-10-27 12:07

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Looking at both Google and Yahoo’s recent connections with traditional print media leaves some questions. Google’s move is understandable since executives have always expressed interest in expanding into print media, but in the wake of Yahoo’s downsizing rumors and low quarterly performance the recent expansion to create partnerships with 176 papers is a bit of a shocking business move. The unexpected alliance created by Yahoo has caught the business world off guard. But MediaPost journalist Bill Wise believes that it the deal is “Far from being a dangerous expansion, that's smart business.”

  • Yahoo’s strength is local markets. In general searches Google takes 50% of all searches where Yahoo takes 25%. But in local searches Google has about 29.8% compared to Yahoo’s 29.2%.
  • Yahoo has the tools to expand their local network by offering lots of local information in contrast to Google’s global goals.
  • Now using the papers that Yahoo has teamed up with, the company will be able to access more local content and ads than before, helping increase the success of local Yahoo searches.
  • Yahoo can either uses its resources and create their own local workforce, or combine efforts with local papers to get the best content from across the country.

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Rory Satran

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2006-10-27 11:38

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InterActiveCorp (IAC) plans to release a new interactive search tool December 4. According to executives, the tool should include web search, city maps, and event listings. The company also hopes to revamp their regular search site Ask.com who hopes to stay on the cutting edge ahead of rival engines like Google and Yahoo.
"We are coming out with AskCity, which is our local service," said IAC chairman and CEO Barry Diller. "It is just wildly better than anything else because we are able to bring in all of our assets." Working as a combination of Ask.com, CitySearch, Evite and TicketMaster, and other IAC properties the new search will give users all the tools they need during a local search.

"We are coming out with the beginnings of, I think, a whole new geography of search itself, of how the front page looks -- the home page, of how you use search," Diller said. "I have not seen anything that anyone is doing that is anywhere near it."

Source:Reuters

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Elena Perotti

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2006-10-27 11:08

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Newspapers’ transition to the online world – which has been reportedly slow apart from a few exceptions – has been graded a disappointing ‘B-‘ by Steve Outing, interactive media reporter for Editor & Publisher. But he also digs out a few solutions. The challenge, as he puts it, is to transform the traditional newspaper into modern media while keeping a sufficient cash-flow to provide quality journalism. Outing criticized the persistent lack of video and audio on most newspaper websites, citing as a reverse example the Washington Post, which has won several awards for its video journalism. According to Outing, the seemingly heretical audio and video media – heretical because they are not writing – are a necessary means for newspapers to remain competitive and appealing. “I think newspapers should be wise to offer a better mix of content formats – and cease being so word-dominated,” Outing wrote. A strong believer in the convergence of media – well, it’s happening and it’s undeniable.

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Rory Satran

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2006-10-27 11:05

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After buying the social networking site last July, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is rumored to be in acquisition talks with the social news site Digg.com. The MySpace purchase is generally viewed as a triumph as the sites traffic has quickly exploded, reaching the status of most viewed site in America in the summer of 2006. Digg currently ranks in the

According to Alexa.com, Digg currently ranks in the top 100 most viewed websites and attracts between 8 and 10 million unique visitors per day. This is a substantial amount less than the 20 million users that Digg claims it has.

Digg is looking to sell for a minimum of $150 million but has not yet received a satisfactory offer.

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John Burke

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2006-10-27 09:31

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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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Rory Satran

Date

2006-10-26 19:31

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Merrill Lynch newspaper industry analyst Lauren Rich Fine's latest report finds that it could take newspapers' digital revenues 30 years to make up half of company revenues. "Even if the rapid [online] growth continues for the next few years, we don’t see online representing over 50% of newspaper ad revenues for at least a couple of decades, suggesting that industry profit could stay flat for the foreseeable future," Fine estimated.

Although she parenthesized that if print revenues decline even faster than predicted, online income will rise faster, her biggest worry for the industry lies in the significant loss of all revenues from classified advertising which is moving to the Web at alarming rates, siphoning money that newspapers use to monopolize.

Within the timeframe that Fine gives, it is not unfathomable that print may well disappear. A column in Editor & Publisher by online editor David S. Hirschman hopes that the printed word will still be around by 2020, but rather doubts it:

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John Burke

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2006-10-26 15:51

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Chief Executive of the Guardian Media Group, Carolyn McCall kicked off the World Digital Publishing Conference and Expo in London by saying that there have never been so many opportunities for strong media brands as there are in the digital age. She highlighted 3 major changes causing an upheaval for newspapers:

1. Newspapers have previously been restricted to text, but original audio and video must now be produced
2. Traditional geographic limits are no longer relevant. The Guardian is aspiring to be the world’s leading liberal voice which is only possible because of the Internet
3. Communities are more easily created. Passive audiences can be transformed into active ones. Newspapers need greater levels of engagement to remain relevant

McCall continued to cite 5 key challenges in achieving a successful digital transition:

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John Burke

Date

2006-10-26 14:38


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