WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Fri - 18.04.2014


September 2009

The inevitable layoffs at various Condé Nast properties depend on who is running the particular publication, the New York Observer reports.

"The general consensus is, 'Let's get it over with,'" claims an Observer insider in a Condé Nast editorial staff. But a business staffer was quoted as claiming that each decision to announce layoffs depends essentially on the person responsible, saying some could start within weeks or in a few months.

Technically those in charge could wait until the end of January to announce cuts,
and the 'entrepreneurial spirit' of Condé Nast allows each publication to balance its own budget and make its own calls. This could mean that a spate of layoffs could begin very soon and continue for some time.

In general the Observer found that on the editorial side the intention is to begin immediately, citing "not much appetite" for delaying job cuts, while the business side is seems more inclined to wait, "depending on where they (staffers) are on projects."

Source: New York Observer

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-30 15:12

MediaGuardian reports its BBC sources claim various BBC sites will re-launch by March with a new look and emphasis on social media.

Anthony Rose, the BBC controller of Vision and Online, has not commented on any details for the new sites, besides confirming the big role of social networking media and redesigning the BBC homepage. However some new features were outlined, "Among them for example, is the plan to enable users to comment on particular moments while watching and see what other users said about the same moment or simply rate moments with 'Boo!', 'Good!' or 'Gosh!'" says Rose.

Integration with sites like Myspace and Facebook will allow users to create customized news and sharing feeds, while the overall navigation of the BBC news sites will be overhauled to emphasize that their 500+ stories a day are breaking news.

Source: MediaGuardian

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-30 14:39

Guardian.co.uk is the latest in a series of news publications to reveal that it will launch an iPhone application in the near future, and paidContent reports that they will probably charge for it.

The move comes just after both CNN and The Spectator annouced their paid-for iPhone applications. Whilst specific details have not yet been made public, including those of a suspected release date, Guardian News & Media have confirmed that an application is "in the pipeline".

Emily Bell, digital director for GNM, told Mediaguardian that getting applications into the app store is an "unpredictable business", quite reasonably making a launch date difficult to give. The Spectator's paid-for iPhone app took three months to get clearance from Apple.

However, despite plans to charge for the mobile application, Bell insists that the main Guardian.co.uk website will remain free.

Source: Guardian

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-30 14:10

Princeton's "Toward Print-Less and Paper-Less Courses: Pilot Amazon Kindle Program" has failed to woo students and professor over to the e-reading device, the Daily Princetonian reports.

The program was announced last may to mild fanfare and tepid optimism, intended to reduce paper waste. Sponsored by the University Library and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and funded by the High Meadows Foundation, the pilot program provided Kindle DXs to students in three select classes free of charge. All of the required readings for these courses had been loaded on the Kindles.

But after only 2 weeks, many of the 50 students who received the devices are reportedly uncomfortable and unhappy with them as a replacement for paper. Complaints centered around the ironically slow performance, inability to quickly highlight or add personal marks, the necessity to charge and general poor performance as an academic tool.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-30 13:51

Democratic state Rep. Marlin Schneider, a 39-year Wisconsin state lawmaker, has announced a plan to make any building associated with a news publication exempt from property taxes, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

The plan was announced by Schneider on Tuesday, following the appearance of John Sturm, of the Newspaper Association of America, at a Congress hearing into the 'Furture of Newspapers,' earlier this month. Whilst Sturm rejected the idea of a government bailout, he did suggest that some 'targeted tax breaks' could be helpful.

In response to major staff cutbacks, mergers and multiple bankruptcies of news publications, Schneider has said he aims to preserve newspapers- noting that in Wisconsin alone, two newspapers in Milwaukee have merged into one, the daily afternoon newspaper in Madison now publishes only twice weekly, and other papers in smaller communities across the state have shrunk both in size and staff.

Until now only printing presses have been exempt from the tax and Schneider fears that "this bill may be too little, too late for many papers".

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-30 13:30

The Guardian and the Observer are not the only newspapers currently forced to open up voluntary rounds of redundancy: At the Daily Mail, four sports subs -Bob Maclean, Dave Shaw, Kelvyn Lee and Joe Rigby- have also all opted to take the package offered to them. There are no plans to refill their vacant positions, the Guardian has reported.
The news comes after General Trust, the newspaper's parent company, revealed it had axed 200 jobs since 30 June, reducing its total staff by more than 1,500 over the 11-month period, owing to tumbling advertising revenue - down 16% in the 11 months so far this financial year, while regional advertising fell 31%.

In a statement released by General Trust, the company are said to be "confident" that they will meet market expectations for adjusted profits for the full year due to "decisive actions taken on costs, with £150m of savings delivered."

Source: Guardian

Author

Helena Humphrey

Date

2009-09-30 12:48

Billowing blue smoke from The Sun Headquarters' chimney yesterday, marked the end of newspaper's support for Gordon Brown and Labour party, in favour of opposition David Cameron and the Conservative party. With current circulation at approximately three million a day and a readership of double that, The Sun has long been Britain's top-selling selling daily newspaper - and prides itself on being politically influential. Today's headline; "Labour's Lost It" was the death knell from a publication which has been reigning in its support for a party over recent months, which it describes as "having lost its way."

Author

Helena Humphrey

Date

2009-09-30 11:46

The IABUK reports internet ad spending grew 4.6% in the first half of 2009, totaling £1.79 billion and overtaking television for the first time. Surprising news given the recent downturn in advertising across all sectors and Huffington's CEO announcing that CPM ad revenue is nearing zero.

The internet now contains 23.5% of all advertising spending while television comes in at 21.9%, making the UK the first major economy where the internet has become the leading advertising sector. While this is in line with the general trend over the past years of the internet's increasing share in the advertising market, this growth is still in the context of a general downturn in media advertising of 16.6% since last year.

More specifically, online classified adverts grew by 10.6% to comprise 22% of all internet ad spending, while online display ads fell by 5.2% to 18%. However, within the display ad sector, video advert spending has grown by nearly 300% to £12 million.
Guy Phillipson, the chief executive of the IAB, reckoned that there is still significant growth potential left in the internet ad market: "We could absolutely see it grow to being a 30% medium [of share of ad spent], to go past £4bn to even £5bn annually," he said. "Online display advertising has plenty of room for growth."

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-30 11:36

It appears that more and more journalists are warming up to the idea of writing for non-profit publications, as Emily Bradshaw, Matt Stiles and Elise Hu, three award-winning journalists, quit their full time jobs to take up positions with the Texas Tribune.

The Texas Tribune, 'a non-profit nonpartisan public media organization', is expected to officially launch on November 3 this year, having raised enough funds ($3.5m and counting) to sustain itself for the next three years.

In a phone interview with Mallary Jean Tenore for Poynter Online, Bradshaw, Stiles and Hu explained their reasoning in leaving their previous publications.

"I feel, and still feel, that the newspaper business is in serious crisis. I'm not content to cling to a deck chair and go down with a sinking ship," said Ramshaw, 28, who worked for The Dallas Morning News for six years, the last three of which she was state investigative reporter. "We're trying to prepare for the next incarnation of journalism. If this venture is going to work, it's going to work because serious, talented journalists were brave enough to take the risk."

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-30 11:24

The Daily Mail and its owner, General Trust, announced today that national newspaper advertising revenue have fallen 16% in the past 11 months while regional advertising fell 31%, guardian.co.uk reports. DMGT has recently cut 200 jobs, part of "decisive actions taken on costs, with £150m of savings delivered." While revenue is reported to have dropped 9% in the last 11 months, analysts are expecting profit before tax of £182m and earnings per share of 35.7 pence.

DMGT exudes confidence however, claiming to have reacted early to the downturn with staff reductions and other cost-cuts that leave it in a good position for a fall recovery and an expected rise in the advertising market.

"Industry observers will be keen to see more evidence of DMGT's digital strategy at the full-year results, which will be an important factor in the next few years as the newspaper industry continues to face structural decline," says Andy Viner, head of media at BDO Stoy Hayward.

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Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-29 15:08

Speaking at the World Young Reader Conference in Prague on Tuesday, Jeanne-Emmanuelle Hutin, a member of the Directors Committee at Ouest France and Co-chair of the French Presidential Youth-Press Commission, spoke of the merits of free disribution of newspapers to youths aged 18-24.

Back in January, President Sarkozy announced that the government would be offering all 18 year olds a free daily newspaper of their choice, as part of scheme to help the floundering press industry and encourage youths to read the newspaper. While critics have spoken against the plan as superficial and demagogic, 41 different French newspapers have been experimenting and implementing similar concepts since 2006, Ms Hutin's Ouest France included.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-29 14:07

CNN and The Spectator have announced this week that they will both charge for the use of their new iPhone applications. With news organisations far and wide scratching their heads over how to generate revenue in the new digital age, both publications have taken different approaches in setting up their paid app subscriptions.

The Spectator, which paved the way for it's application by restricting some of the free content available on the magazine's website- is charging 59p for access to it's weekly issue as well as a searchable archive of 200 older editions, the BBC is reporting. Users can choose to pay 59p each week, or subscribe for thirty days for £2.36.

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-29 14:05

In a video interview with Beet.tv, Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau commented on the hiring of Greg Coleman as president and chief revenue officer, who started at the news site yesterday.

With strong growth this year to around 24 million unique monthly visitors, "we firmly believe that we have the opportunity to build the brand that defines news and opinion on digital platforms" claims Hippeau. "This is a very large opportunity from a business point of view, so we are putting business infrastructure in place to allow us to be as big revenue-wise as we are traffic-wise."

Although traffic at Huffington is at an all-time high, greater than during the U.S. Presidential campaign, the site has not been regularly profitable and Hippeau announced earlier this week at the OMMA Conference that revenue from CPM advertising are nearing nil. Presumably the hiring of Coleman is to help HuffPost with just that, as he is an industry expert having headed global sales at Yahoo for seven years, which saw strong ad growth under his direction.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-29 12:12

The Washington Post is the lastest in a series of publications to release a set of guidelines for its journalists to follow in their use of social networking websites. The move comes after a managing editor of the Post, Raju Narisetti, tweeted two messages which questioned his impartiality as a journalist.

Andrew Alexander, ombudsman for the Post, revealed the two messages raising eyebrows in his Omblog:

"We can incur all sorts of federal deficits for wars and what not," read one message. "But we have to promise not to increase it by $1 for healthcare reform? Sad."

Then another from last week: "Sen Byrd (91) in hospital after he falls from 'standing up too quickly." How about term limits. Or retirement age. Or commonsense to prevail."

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-29 11:35

The Associated Press yesterday announced that the 2009 AP Stylebook would be available as an application for iPhone and iPod touch.

The AP Stylebook app, which helps journalists with a range of queries from grammar, punctuation and spelling, to briefings on media law, snippets of information on various topics and specific sport and business terminology- is now available via the App Store.

"AP Stylebook fans have been asking for a mobile application so they can have style guidance wherever they go," said Colleen Newvine, who manages the AP Stylebook product group. "Journalists never know when they will need to run out the door to chase a story, so as long as they have an iPhone in their pockets when they go, the Stylebook can go with them."

The 2009 AP Stylebook app costs $28.99 and annual releases for the application are set to coincide with the release dates for the Stylebook print edition.

Source : Associated Press

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-29 10:16

As the debate on whether or not to charge for online content heats up amongst publishers, Kachingle offers a different kind of solution: keep all content open but give readers the chance to donate. 'Kachinglers' would sign up to donate $5 a month which they could then split between different participating news providers of their choice.

MediaNews Group has expressed interested, as have Der Spiegel, Mother Jones, MinnPost and the Center for Public Integrity, amongst others. Publishers would need to integrate the Kachingle 'medallion' into their site, which their readers can click-on, and then once a month they will receive their share of revenue. (See previous posting for more information.)

Yves Huin recently came on board as European general manager and director. Huin told the EW that Kachingle is currently in an alpha test and the beta version should be released at the end of October. Prior to that, some publishers will have access to the necessary Java script so that they can decide the best way to use it.

The idea is to have Kachingle operating world wide as soon as possible, but work needs to be done on finding appropriate payment systems in each area.

Author

Emma Goodman's picture

Emma Goodman

Date

2009-09-28 15:58

News Corp has decided to stay the course with Murdoch's plan to charge for online news despite the recent paidContent:UK/Harris Interactive poll that found only 5% of people would pay if their favorite online news source started charging. News Corp cites their own research claiming to have found support for paid digital content.

A memo from Richard Freudenstein, CEO of News Digital Media (the online arm of News Corp's Australian subsidiary News Limited), leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the 'second phase' of development for online content in Australia was under way, and that the corporation is confident of their plans. "News has conducted some audience research here in Australia and in the UK and US, which gives us confidence that, if we get the product and delivery system right, people will happily pay for news content online, on their computer, mobile, e-reader or other device," claims Freudenstein, careful to add the nuances of proper delivery and product.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-28 15:04

Guardian News and Media, in an effort to shore up massive losses (around £100,000 daily), may be forced to sell properties and assets including the must-read website for media industry professionals, paidContent.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-28 12:36

A study by The Nielsen Company revealed last week that the time spent on social network and blogging sites accounted for 17% of total time spent on the Internet in August 2009. This figure is three times what people were spending on such sites a year ago.

"This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used," said Jon Gibs, vice president of media and agency insights, in the online division. The rate at which people are uploading photos, updating statuses, and sharing links reveals the "desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share" and "is increasingly driving the medium's growth," says Gibs.

Whilst the study was aimed at advertisers- publishers could also find the results useful. In the same way that advertisers use sites such as Facebook to gather information on consumers, decide where to spend their advertising dollars, and "engage in an ongoing dialogue with their target market," publishers can find out what stories are generating interest and what people want to hear more on; see what links people are sharing and even find sources. The fact that Nielsen's study shows that people are spending a good proportion of their time on social networking websites also confirms that the exposure linked articles receive on these websites is substantial.

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-28 11:42

Hardly a week goes by in media news without gloomy forecasts for the future of print from Murdoch's corner, or floundering US titles being forced to go online only or shut up shop altogether - but one publication at least, the French website Bakchich, is going against that grain, the Financial Times has reported.

The launch of Bakchich Hebdo (which takes its name from the Arabic for bribe, and the French meaning 'Weekly',) a paper edition of the popular satirical website, comes in response to the strong French demand for parody in print. The country holds a long-standing tradition of lampooning its leaders publicly and although in economic terms the segment may be small, the appetite for satire remains big.
According to Nicolas Beau, editor of the Bakchich website, the print edition would bring a "qualitative leap" in terms of writing and editing - and with only 20 pages to play with, content will have to be at its pithiest. Beau hopes that a place on the newsstands would validate the publication and more importantly, attract a wider audience.

Author

Helena Humphrey

Date

2009-09-28 11:36

The New York Times and its largest union, the Newspaper Guild, have agreed on voluntary buyouts according to a Guild memo. Details are unavailable as negotiations are at a early phase, but both labor and management are cooperating and actively searching for additional cost-cutting measures.


Times Senior Vice President of Operations and Labor Terry Hayes said the company would agree to offer a voluntary buyout proposed by New York Guild President Bill O'Meara during continuing negotiations, arranged when Guild members accepted voluntary 5% temporary pay reduction last spring. Hayes added that The Times agreed with a buyout "because the Guild and its members 'stepped up' to help the newspaper" by agreeing to the temporary pay reduction, scheduled to end on January 1st, 2010.

However, both Hayes and O'Meara agreed that further negotiations would be needed to settle the parameters and details of the buyout, and to discuss the other cost saving ideas brought up by the Guild committee members. These included reducing the amount of paper used in the NYT building and introducing more flexible compensatory time.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-25 14:35

John Sturm, President of the Newspaper Association of America has announced in a committee hearing on The Future of Newspapers, that: "The newspaper industry is not seeking a financial 'bailout' or any other kind of special subsidy," reports AFP.

The US newspaper industry is feeling the pinch of lost advertising revenue as more and more clients move into Internet-based services. The effects are obvious- seven major companies have gone bankrupt and some 30,000 jobs have been lost since 2007.

Speculation on a potential government bailout arose in May when President Obama declared that: "a government without newspapers, a government without a tough and vibrant media is not an option for the United States of America."

Despite the difficult times, however, Sturm testified that he did not believe that, "direct government financial assistance is appropriate for an industry whose core mission is news gathering, analysis and dissemination."

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-25 14:34

Social networking site, Twitter, is on the verge of receiving a cash injection of $100 million, reports The Guardian.

The San Francisco-based start-up, which allows people to post short 140-character messages via the Internet or SMS, is expected to secure the funding from Insight, a New York venture capital firm, and mutual fund, T. Rowe Price.

The surprise income is expected to see the company's value jump to $1bn, four times what it is currently worth, despite the fact that it does not presently generate any profits.

Earlier this month Biz Stone, Twitter's co-founder, had hinted that the company would be looking into running advertisements on the site to help create revenue. "We leave the door open for advertising. We'd like to keep our options open, as we've said before," he told Reuters.

Not eager to sell out early, however, Twitter executives have stressed their intention to hold off on cashing in and focusing on the 'important work at hand: to create a compelling service and great user experience for millions of people around the world.'

Author

Jennifer Lush

Date

2009-09-25 13:22

Big news for researchers as DocumentCloud, a consortium and repository of primary source documents, announced a partnership with Thomson Reuters' high-volume text identification and tagging program OpenCalais.


DocumentCloud offers accessibility and easy sharing of original source documents from across the web by allowing users to search thousands of documents for nearly any criteria (date, person, location, etc) and facilitates 'document dives,' the collaborative search of a large volume of files by a group of users. Over twenty high-profile news and investigative journalism organizations (listed below) have joined the project, promising to contribute primary source materials enabling the public to explore connections across news reporters' source documents.

Author

Nestor Bailly

Date

2009-09-25 11:29


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