WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


January 2007

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At the Magazine Publishers of America’s annual digital conference, much talk pointed towards magazines’ websites evolving towards user-driven content and video. As newspapers become magazine-ish, perhaps there’s something in it for them.

Marthastewart.com will begin introducing tools for users to share content with each other, starting this summer.

Dennis Publishing is also experimenting with user-driven content. It is planning to launch sometime soon MyMaxim.com, a website that will let users customize text, images and video live.

Betsy Frank, chief research and insights officer at Time Inc.’s Media Group, spoke about Time Inc.’s recent creation of a video content production studio. This move is representative of magazines’ (and newspapers) move towards new platforms.

“Doing video will not be a ‘nice-to-have’, it’ll be a ‘must-have,” she said.

As the Web becomes more of a primordial aspect for magazines and newspapers, the online editions will gradually begin to influence the print editions.

For more details on the conference, click below.

Source: Media Week

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 18:41

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Yahoo News generated 50% more ad revenue last year than it did in 2005. Apart from increased reliance on online news, this is explained by the inclusion of new video content. Something for newspapers to think about.

Scott Moore, Yahoo's head of news and information, said he expected ad sales to increase just as much this year.

Yahoo users watch about 60 million videos a month nowadays, compared to a mere three million in October 2005.

“The advertiser response to this has been phenomenal,'' Moore said. And Yahoo is now about to launch a redesigned version of Yahoo Sports, as well as its health site within the next two months.

“This is going to be a more graphical, suck you in experience,'' said Moore.

It’s not surprising that video content has energized Yahoo News’ revenues. Isn’t this the YouTube generation?

Meanwhile, most newspapers’ online editions still cruelly lack video content. Although it is the most common form of multimedia on a newspaper website, these still have efforts to make in that direction.

Source: Bloomberg.com

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Author

Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 18:02

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Poynter Institute writer Monique Van Dusseldorp reports on the words of John Naisbitt, author of the 1988 bestseller Megatrends. At the Digital Life Design conference, Naisbitt insisted that newspapers aren’t visual enough for the standards of modern day culture.

"On the word side, you can see that this is going down. Newspapers and magazines have to reinvent themselves, as people are reading less, especially young people,” said Naisbitt.

The role of words is going down, while that of visuals is going up?

“Then again, you have all the visual images coming up. Today, architecture is the most important art form in the world. Political movements identify with a color. People wear bracelets that indicate certain affiliations.”

Things aren’t so bad though, according to Naisbitt. It seems he is pointing out a specific aspect of a widely accepted knowledge: that this is a time of transition for newspapers and their well-being will depend on their capacity to adapt.

"When we talk about the death of newspapers, we are talking about the death of a certain culture -- not of newspapers necessarily."

Naisbitt simply looks at a more specific factor in this adaptation. According to him, newspapers will have to adapt to the visual culture we’re in – which they have to a great extent through more colors, infographics, pictures, cartoons and more.

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Author

Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 16:45

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A reader’s letter to the U.S. Times Argus gives some advice to editors who tend to privilege incision over context, edge over content, and in the end, misleading information rather than valuable insight.

“Frequently in news reports facts are presented without their full context and perspective, and these stories result in serious misunderstanding and even misrepresentation.”

True. The reader proceeds to give an example from the Times Argus, but this is a widespread practice in journalism. Not all articles are unique, not all stories are amazing. In fact, some of them can be rather bland and uninteresting, and writers and editors can be tempted to omit context or emphasize trivial details in order to bolster a story.

“Editors need to do their job and make certain those who read or listen to the news are not misled. There is enough intentional spin and misrepresentation in the media these days, without such sloppy reporting and editing.”

Follow your reader’s advice: he pointed out the problem, now it’s the editors’ job to make sure it’s resolved.

The full letter below.

Source: Times Argus

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Author

Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 16:27

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E-paper has long been in the mouths of newspaper industry analysts and editors. It has failed to materialize and be produced efficiently so far, but now it’s just around the corner.

UK-based Plastic Logic is specialized in e-paper introduction. It revealed that its new plant in Germany, the first factor to manufacture plastic electronics for massive consumption, should be able to produce a million sheets of e-paper.

This could mark the beginning of widespread e-paper production and consumption throughout the world.

The e-paper can download a newspaper or book wirelessly, and its battery autonomy is expected to last more than a thousand pages. Plastic Logic claims it will offer a similar reading experience to that of paper, and be as portable as a newspaper sheet.

The investors are serious too, this time around. Equity firms Oak Investment Partners and Tudor Investment Corporation led a first investment closing of $100 million. Amadeus, Intel Capital, Bank of America, BASF Venture Capital, Quest for Growth and Merifin Capital: all are among the big names who have invested in the now-realistic project.

According to James Forsyth, writer for The Business, “the financing is one of the largest in the history of European venture capital”.

2008 could give birth to the e-paper revolution.

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 12:25

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The Sacramento Bee just released an online feature meant for political junkies – with deep pockets. Capitol Alert provides an in-depth resource about California’s governor and legislature, for a mere $499 a year.

Capitol Alert will offer political news, blogs, expanded columns, e-mail updates, and will allow views as early as 8 pm, three hours earlier than traditional sources.

Many publications have recognized the necessity of targeting niche audiences, in order to attract readers who have fled the general news landscape. And, arguably, California holds an array of political news clients.

Still, what was the Sac Bee thinking when it decided the price range?

“We’re also practicing, so we could kind of figure out through the course of the day what’s niche,” said Joyce Terhaar, The Bee’s managing editor.

Practice is the word, and failure may be the result: apart from a few consulting firms and political lobbyists, the Sac Bee risks getting few subscriptions. Unless the website kicks off successfully, and becomes a popular, high-revenue, asset…

“We’re in a point in time where newspapers will have to be creative and innovative with how they’re going to use their online content to generate revenue,” said Terhaar.

At least that’s the right spirit, and the Bee’s initiative might be a first step towards efficient online models. It just might need a few adjustments.

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 12:07

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Editor of the London Evening Standard Veronica Wadley says that readers are returning to the paid paper, after a period during which they read and evaluated London’s other freesheets.

"People are coming back to the Standard after looking at free papers, trying them and realising that the Standard has a lot more to offer," said Wadley.

The Standard positions itself as “London’s quality newspaper,” a strategy it adopted at the same time it rose its price to 50 pence.

"It really reflects the confidence that we have in the Evening Standard being a paper that's worth paying 50p for," said Wadley, speaking of the company’s slogan.

"There are papers. Then there are Standards.”

Wadley’s confidence may be a little exaggerated though, as the Standard’s circulation dipped 18% year-on-year last December, as a direct result of the freesheet war.

And its circulation (263,000 daily copies in December) is still far below that of its competitors, London Lite above 400,000 and London Paper up at 410,000.

Yet the newspaper remains confident its emphasis on quality will bring back its readers.

"We have more stories, we have greater depth, we have comment, we have more information, and we have a later edition,” said Wadley.

The question is: are people still ready to pay 50 pence and go buy a newspaper, ‘just for’ more stories, depth, comments and information?

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-31 11:39

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The New York Times announced that Dean Baquet has been named chief of its Washington bureau. Baquet left his position as editor of the Los Angeles Times last year, after disputes over job cuts with management.

“The Washington bureau is one of the crown jewels of The New York Times,” said Bill Keller, executive editor. “At the moment the bureau is as rich in talent and accomplishment as any time in its storied history.”

Rumors had been saying Baquet might join the ranks of the New York Times, where he first worked as a metropolitan reporter in 1990. He was promoted to national editor in 1995 before moving to the LA Times in 2000.

"Back in 2005 when Dean moved into the top job in Los Angeles I described him as 'a world-class investigator, an inspiring editor and a barrel of fun.' Since then he has demonstrated that, in addition to being all of those things, he is a charismatic leader, an unflinching advocate of the value and values of journalism,” said Keller.

Philip Taubman, current chief of the Washington bureau, will be promoted to associate editor of the Times.

“Phil presided over a period of ambitious rebuilding and still more ambitious journalism. He leaves behind a great editing team. And he leaves behind a bureau that has taken to heart a mandate for incisive, original and hard-hitting coverage,” said Keller.

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-30 18:40

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On Jan. 31 Russian President Vladimir Putin will stand in front of hundreds of journalists for an annual face-off, one of the rare occasions during which reporters can pose direct questions and interview him.

Nearly 1,000 reporters have been accredited for this unusual press conference, to be held within the Kremlin complex and aired live on state-owned TV station Vesti 24.

Previous conferences have lasted up to three hours and 26 minutes in 2006, and Putin had answered a wide range of political and personal questions.

This conference will be a keystone in the Kremlin’s media strategy, especially since Putin and his government have belatedly been criticized by press freedom organizations and journalists. The mysterious killings of prominent Russian journalists, critical of their government, has sparked international debate as to the realities and corruption of Russian’s free press.

While this is a unique occasion for journalists to directly inquire Putin, it is likely many of the controversial debates will be avoided. Putin is an agile speaker in these situations, and the format of the conference allows little room for follow-up questions.

Still, perhaps reporters can pry into some sensitive issues, including press freedom, war in Chechnya, Iran’s nuclear program and the controversial Russian energy policy.

Source: AFP Mail

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-30 15:04

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Malaysian media tycoon Tiong Hiew King is making a bid to merge his three Chinese-language publishing groups in Malaysia and Hong Kong, to form one of the world’s largest Chinese media groups.

Tiong's Sin Chew Media Corp. and Nanyang Press Holdings, based in Malaysia, will be merged with Hong Kong-based Ming Pao Enterprise Corp.

The merger will "create a global Chinese language media group which the directors believe will emerge as one of the largest Chinese language print media platforms," said a representative from Sin Chew in an announcement to Malaysia's bourse.

It will also enable the group to effectively expand into the Chinese and global markets. By April 30, the individual companies will all be placed under the Ming Pao name on the stock market.

Sin Chew publishes Malaysia’s most widely circulated daily, Sin Chew Daily, and Nanyang publishes the country’s oldest Chinese-language daily, Nanyang Siang Pau.
Ming Pao’s titles include the Ming Pao Daily News, which is distributed in Hong Kong, Toronto, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco.

Source: AFP mail

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-30 14:37

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Slate writer Daniel Gross hatched up a general outline that would allow for publicly held The New York Times Co. to go private, while remaining in the hands of the Sulzberger family, who won’t let go of it.

“Is it doable? Definitely. The New York Times Co. is an excellent target for a management-led buyout,” wrote Gross.

Gross cites the examples of newspaper companies that have ‘successfully’ been bought by private investors recently – although not always for the better arguably – such as Brian Tierney with the Philadelphia Inquirer or Avista Partners with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

According to him, the secret for Times would be to take the company private without the assistance of other buyers.

Gross argues that to buy the company back from private shareholders (for about $3.5 billion), and including the price of debt ($1.3 billion), the total cost would be around $4.8 billion.

So that in a “reasonably aggressive management-led buyout,” buyers would need a rough $1.2 billion in cash and borrow $2.3 billion more.

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-30 13:36

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The Canadian Community Newspapers Association has released its report, Snapshot 2007, which provides a quick glance at the latest figures and statistics of Canada’s community papers.

The preview gives figures and a brief timeline of main events and trends that have affected Canadian community papers, which are still a prominent medium for information.

For example, 74% of adults read a community paper. As opposed to 57% who read a daily newspaper.

29% of adults exclusively read community newspapers,

The total of weekly paid circulations amounts to 1,134,645, compared to 13,906,554 for the total weekly circulations of all editions.

Report preview available below.

Source: Canadian Community Newspapers Association

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-30 13:00

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Tribune Co. and news aggregator Topix.net are partnering to co-brand merchandise classified pages on Tribune’s newspaper websites. This is already the case for baltimoresun.com, and should extend to 11 others by May.

The merchandise ads will also appear on the Topix site. And vice-versa, ads placed on Topix will be available on the Tribune site relevant to a geographic area. Both companies will share revenues from the paid ads on the co-branded sites.

Consumers will be able to upload merchandise ads and photos for free, as well as pay for a ‘feature’ ad, which is emphasized at the top of a search category.

Tribune’s new partnership comes in an attempt to counter competition from free listing sites such as Craigslist. Tribune Co. has already started to offer sets of free online merchandise listings in seven of its 12 markets.

Tribune also partners with other specialized online sites for other types of classifieds, such as cars, jobs or house needs.

Along with McClatchy and Gannett, Tribune is one of the three newspaper groups that own a majority stake in Topix.

Topix is also discussing possible projects with other newspaper companies.

Source: Media Post

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-30 12:02

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Stephen G. Smith, former head of the Houston Chronicle’s Washington Bureau, is leaving in order to become editor for the Washington Examiner, a two-year-old freesheet. Just why?

"I think the Examiner represents a new model of newspapering that really reflects how people want their papers organized, what sort of content they want and how they want [the papers] delivered," Smith said.

Smith also added that he “looked at life as an adventure,” implying that the new venture is far from being risk-free.

Many dailies nowadays, as symbolized by the Boston Globe shutting down its foreign bureaus, are cutting down costs on their foreign and Washington bureaus, in order to focus more on online editions and hyper-local coverage. They believe they can get general international and White House information through newswires.

While this strategy may be more economically viable, it does differ with the initial ambitions of many journalists, who enrolled for active reporting.

"He was very candid about feeling somewhat uncomfortable with the new directions we're going in," said Chronicle blogger and columnist Julie Mason. "He's more of a traditional newsman."

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-30 11:32

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The Editor-in-Chief, Online, Mike van Niekerk, splits his time between Sydney and Melbourne. Here he writes about a day in the life of an integrated newsroom and what it can achieve, but first a little more background.

This is the second in a three-part series on one of this year's main newspaper trends: the integration of newsrooms. We'll study how three major newspaper companies around the world are implementing their own versions of the integrated newsroom - Telegraph Media group in the UK, Fairfax Media in Australia, and Gannett Co. in the US.

The Sydney Morning Herald is a major Australian broadsheet newspaper published in Sydney, Australia. The Age is a broadsheet daily newspaper published in Melbourne, Australia. Both belong to Fairfax Media. The online versions of the newspaper have established a kind of ‘brand extension’ by being younger and cheekier than the print product. There is currently an integrated news-desk (i.e. print and online work together) but they are waiting until their office move in Sydney at the end of the year for their fully integrated newsroom.

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Jodie Hopperton

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2007-01-30 11:17

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Sud Ouest, France’s third regional press title, is revamping its whole arsenal and focusing on digital, in an attempt to cope with the current challenges of the press industry.

“I am convinced that the decrease in circulation isn’t in any case a fatality,” says Jean-Claude Bonnaud, president of the Sapeso branch, which publishes the daily.

Sud Ouest has resisted to sharply declining circulations so far: it distributed 313,000 copies through 2005-2006 (314,000 in 2005) and its Sunday edition, Sud Ouest dimanche, still sold 288,416 copies.

Yet Sud Ouest has changed its hierarchical organization and proposed services to stay ahead.

The daily started publishing a weekly business 12-page supplement, distributed in the Gironde region. It could be distributed nationally if the test is successful.

“When we propose appropriate editorial content, we get results,” said Bonnaud. Management and editors also plan to grow investigations, analysis, and public debates.

Management is also working on a new design for 2008, six years after it switched to tabloid format. It could also review the efficiency of its multiple regional editions (divided into 23 separate editions including four that focus on urban areas).

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-30 11:08

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A study revealed that newspapers are losing ground in schools and education - even their online editions - as teachers prefer to study using international online news sites.

The study was based on a survey of 1262 teachers from grades five through 12, and was released by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism Education.

57% of teachers use online based news somewhat frequently, compared to 31% who use national television news and 28% who use daily newspapers.

Apart from the bad implications for newspaper readership, the finding is worsened by the fact that psychological studies led by Aric Sigman revealded use of TV in schools could lead students to under-perform academically.

"Students do not relate to newspapers at all, any more than they would to vinyl records," said one of teachers in the study.

75% of teachers placed ‘newspapers’ at the bottom of a list for students’ favorite information sources.

The study seemed to find that newspapers were the own cause for their diminishing role in classrooms. Many local newspapers have made no efforts to promote their online editions in schools.

Instead, many U.S. dailies are part of the ‘Newspapers in Education’ (NIE) national program, which makes print papers available at cheaper rates for schools. But 87% of NIE local paper directors admit they encourage students to read their print newspaper, while only 2% try to direct students towards their online edition.

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Jean Yves Chainon

Date

2007-01-29 16:21

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Trinity Mirror has launched five citizen journalism micro-sites, as a test launch of what could become a widespread feature on the group’s newspaper websites.

Michael Hill, Trinity's head of multimedia, announced that five micro-sites had been launched on the Teesside Gazette at the beginning of the year.

"The idea is that it will be totally run by local people and it will just be overseen by the content team,” said Hill.

News for the people, by the people.

"We're also hosting lots of local content that there was not room for in the print edition, everything you can imagine that is going on in that local area; meetings, news, anything and everything.”

The group has been sending leaflets to all local communities within or around Teesside (libraries, community centers, neighborhood watch and more) to ask for their participation in the local news.

"This is something that could play quite well in lots of other communities. I think this is the sort of idea that we can take anywhere."

Day-by-day, more evidence and cases come up indicating the movement of newspapers towards local and community journalism. Could this be a new trend for an industry in search for its fleeing readers?

18 more micro-sites will be launched by July, and if the idea continues to pick up, it could be extended to all of the Trinity’s newspapers.

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 15:46

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The Bangladeshi government has warned that anyone who breaks restrictions on new media or political rallies – imposed during a state of emergency – risks up to five years in jail. Earlier this month, the government had restricted freedoms of speech and assembly.

"Any person who breaks these rules can face a maximum five years and a minimum two years of rigorous imprisonment along with fines," said the home ministry.

The government now has the power to "restrict publication or broadcast of any anti-government" articles, cartoons, discussions and content both in print and digital media.

Alongside press censorship, political rallies and meetings are banned.

It seems like Bangladesh could be sinking into a renewed period of authoritarian censorship.

Source: AFP

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 14:04

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Since last year, the main road to Jaffna has been closed due to heavy combat. Cut from its print supplies, the press has become anemic, and in response members of the International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission have sent a letter to ambassadors around the world.

The letter was sent the ambassadors of the United States, Norway, and Japan to Sri Lanka, as well as to the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Sri Lanka, and the prime minister.

It explicitly asks for the renewed delivery of supplies to Jaffna, in order for the city’s publications to renew their “vital activity of informing the public.”

Uthayan, Jaffna’s most-sold newspaper, used to print 12 pages with a circulation of 200,000 copies. Since the shortage, it has been reduced to printing 7,500 copies and will soon have to reportedly downgrade to two pages. Uthayan could even shut down within the next month if it doesn’t receive newsprint and ink supplies.

There are neither radio nor TV stations in Jaffna, and newspapers are the only way for people there to get information.

The Tamil Tigers and government in Sri Lanka have been fighting for nearly two decades, and the conflict blew up in April 2006. Since then, the media have often been targeted and subjected to physical threats and violence.

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 13:53

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YouTube founder Chad Hurley said he is working on a ad revenue-sharing mechanism to “reward creativity,” which could be released in the months to come.

Only those users who own the full copyright of the videos they uploaded will be eligible for a share of YouTube’s ad revenue.

The company is working on “audio fingerprinting” technologies to identify copyrighted material, but Hurley declined to give additional information.

Paradoxically, Hurley also said that the lack of a revenue sharing model had helped YouTube become successful, since it allowed for easy unconditional content sharing.

Yet now that it has launched up and away, it seems the strategy is being revised. New media and newspapers alike are exploring new business models, that can efficiently combine user input and ad revenues.

YouTube counts over 70 million monthly users.

Source: BBC

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 12:42

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British journalist Clive Goodman was condemned to four months of prison for hacking into more than 600 messages on the mobile phones of the royal family’s entourage, including Prince William’s.

Royal edior of the News of the World tabloid, Goodman admitted the conspiracy and interception of messages, along with his accomplice Glenn Mulcaire.

The latter was jailed for six months, after his hearings revealed the unsuspected massive scale of these journalistic practices in the UK.

"This case is not about press freedom. It is about grave, inexcusable and illegal invasion of privacy,” said judge Peter Gross.

"Neither journalist or private security consultant are above the law. What you did was plainly on the wrong side of the line," added Gross.

The UK justice system has decided to put an iron-grip end to unethical – and more so, illegal – journalism practices. In fact, the sentences were perhaps even more repressive because of the journalistic aspect of the affair, which played into the motives described by the prosecutor.

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 11:52

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According to Chris Cobler, publisher of greeleytrib.com, all newspaper journalists should blog. Here’s why journalists should blog, and how to avoid ignorant legal entanglements.

“Blogging helps you better understand your audience. The hallmark of any blog is the ability for readers to post comments to what you write. By having this regular conversation with readers, you learn what hits and what misses.”

“For newspapers that are rapidly becoming irrelevant to a growing number of people, this is a huge issue. If you write post after post that garners no response, then it ought to be telling you something.”

“In print, we’ve been able to kid ourselves for decades that every reader is savoring every word of our prose. Online, it’s painfully clear what readers do and don’t care about.”

It’s true that as far as feedback and reader interaction, the blog experience opens a whole new channel for newspaper-reader communication. Yet feedback and blog comments can also be a misleading indicator: those readers who leave comments on blogs are not always representative of those who read news stories, and so forth. And if journalists spend all their time blogging and analyzing comments, they’ll have little time to work on the ‘real’ newspaper content.

Cobler answers back:

“The short answer is how do you find the time not to? Do you really want to become irrelevant?”

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Jean Yves Chainon

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2007-01-29 11:35

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Every day, the San Francisco Chronicle receives dozen of reader or user voicemails, e-mails and letters, most of which don’t make it to the ‘letters’ column. The Chronicle hatched a way to include them at little cost: podcasts.

In a new section, ‘Correct Me If I’m Wrong’, the Chronicle renders phone calls and voicemails public, selecting them for their interesting quality or, simply, their unusualness.

Of course there is the cost of having someone pry through the collection of voicemails and calls to find the unique jewel – but all newspapers should do that anyway.

Source: SF Gate

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