WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


June 2011

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A new report has found that the news sites that form Chicago's news ecosystem may be too isolated to keep local communities adequately informed, Knight Digital Media Center reported. Chicago Community Trust found that "almost 80% of the sites studied received few if any links from other sites - so that no matter how good their content, they are unlikely to be found by users unfamiliar with those sites."

News Corporation's efforts on the iPad seem to be paying off, at least in download numbers: according to the Hollywood Reporter, News Corp. news apps were at the top spot of all three categories in Apple's "top charts" of iPad news apps.

The Register Citizen, a newspaper based in Torrington, CT, has started to invite the community to take part in a daily "online story meeting", the paper announced. Readers are able to join a real-time discussion with editors and reporters about the stories the newspaper is pursuing. The paper will also continue to hold its afternoon meetings that the public is invited to attend.

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

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Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2011-06-30 16:56

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The Associated Press has covered a few events in North Korea over the course of the past year, but it has not delved into the darker side of life in the authoritarian regime. It sticks to softer topics, including a huge magic show and a parade that revealed Kim Jong II's son, Kim Jong Un, would be the country's next successor. Other AP news coming out of North Korea has stressed the country's nuclear capacities.

That may change. After signing agreements with North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, the AP announced that it will open an office in Pyongyang. It will be the first permanent Western text and photo bureau in the country. It will also be the exclusive distributor of video from KCNA's archive.

The news bureau is not the first step the AP has taken into the country. Five years ago, the AP Television News established an office in North Korea.

The AP prides itself on unbiased, international coverage, but in a country ranked so low on the Reporters without Borders' Press Freedom Index, how can it deliver? North Korea was ranked second-to-last (177 out of 178, beating only Eritrea) in last year's index.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-30 16:48

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StumbleUpon, a "discovery engine", has released a new tool for news sites and blogs to help readers recommend stories.

The site's tagline is "Discover the Best of the Web". Users use a StumbleUpon toolbar to be sent to recommended sites at random. The search can be honed by describing specific interests.

A site like StumbleUpon could prolong the shelf life of good journalism. Users pick interests, and StumbleUpon redirects them to relevant articles or websites. After a news site's initial readers move to newer content, StumbleUpon users would continue being sent to the recommended article.

The widget has definite potential to up page views for publishers. According to ReadWriteWeb, as of April 2010 StumbleUpon referred more readers than Twitter. The site claims to be the biggest referrer of social media traffic after Facebook.

The new tool is similar to a Facebook or Twitter button. It allows StumbleUpon readers to recommend the site for other users. With enough recommendations, StumbleUpon would automatically send "stumblers" to the story through the company's index.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-30 13:28

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Hervé Guesquière and Stéphane Taponier, the two journalists of France 3, were freed today together with their interpreter, Le Point reported. The three men had been held as hostage in Afghanistan since December 2009. According to Prime Minister François Fillon, Guesquière and Taponier are expected to arrive in France later today.

Compared to the first quarter of 2010, De Pers, a Dutch free daily, has increased its circulation by 34 percent, Newspaper Innovation reported. Metro and Spits, two other free papers, saw slight cuts in circulation, but overall Dutch free circulation remained at 1.2 million copies in the first three months of 2011.

Newspaper Association of America has named Caroline Little as its president and CEO, Poynter reported. Little, who served most recently as CEO/North America of Guardian News and Media, will succeed John Sturm, who is retiring from NAA after 16 years as president.

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Author

Teemu Henriksson

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2011-06-29 18:55

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Google has finally revealed Google+, its new social media site, and it has the potential to change social media interaction.

Although many have already likened the new social network to Facebook, it has its own distinct attractions. The site is meant to add nuance into online socializing. Friends are organized into groups with the Circles feature. Circles organizes contacts so users can interact differently with parents, friends, and coworkers, rather than broadcasting one tweet or status to all. Another feature, Hangouts, allows users to drop into group video chats with members of their circles.

For publishers, Spark may be the most interesting new feature. Users add interests, like music or fashion, and Google sends relevant content to read, watch, or share. Users can then share those links with friends in certain circles with similar interests. Relevant interests would make it more likely that contacts actually follow the recommended link.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-29 18:20

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The media landscape has fundamentally changed, said Philip Trippenbach, editor-in-chief of the citizen journalism photo agency Citizenside, at WAN-IFRA's Summer University held this week in Paris.

The traditional one-way vertical relationship from the mass media to the audience does not exist anymore. Indeed, the whole notion of audience does not exist anymore, as users are now taking an active role in the creating and distribution of media.

Trippenbach pointed out that this is a change in the perspective of the news media. The new medium of citizen media in fact is not the Internet, as it could be easy to think. The new medium in the renewed news landscape is the users themselves, he said.

This innovation implies that journalism has to rethink the relationship putting the users at the centre. "Our users are our community and our users are our biggest asset - this is the core of our business," Trippenbach said.

The creation of Citizenside, which is a network of citizen reporters active in many different countries, was inspired by UGC (user-generated content) photos during 2005 London underground bombings.

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Federica Cherubini

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2011-06-29 15:43

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Berlin University for Professional Studies and the City of Vienna are launching a new master's program geared towards media mastery in the digital age. The program is called International Media Innovation Management and is a post-graduate part-time programme for working professionals from the media industry and related sectors and innovation. The curriculum will take part in four different countries (Austria, Germany, Spain, USA).

The curriculum covers media economics, international media law, quality in journalism, innovative management, digitalization, and management skills, amongst other topics.

The deadline to apply for the applications is July 15th, 2011. Scholarships are available, funded by the City of Vienna and "Wiener Zeitung". The program starts October 4th, 2011 in Vienna.

For more information see here.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-29 15:38

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Detroit has braved huge economic and social difficulties in the past decade. With the collapse of its industry and a dramatic decline in population, newspapers have struggled to keep up with the rapidly changing city. Its two major papers, Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News have had to layoff employees and increase the price of their papers. All is not lost, however- a news venture is looking to reinvigorate the Detroit journalism scene, and transform the city while doing it.

The new project, Detroit 143, plans to investigate into what the audience "really needs" to know to inspire civic engagement. Bill Mitchell explains that the project was prompted by Kirk Cheyfitz, his former colleague at the Detroit Free Press, who tracked him down after a Time Magazine cover story blaming many of Detroit's current problems on Coleman Young, the city's first black mayor in the 1970s.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-29 13:30

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According to Pew Internet, e-reader usage has doubled since last November. Now 12% of American adults own an e-book reader. Their growth has outstripped that of tablets, which still hovers around 8% of American adults.

Centaur Media is scapping the print editions of New Media Age and Design Week, according to Journalism.co.uk. Both titles are going online-only after next week.

A recent Gallup poll suggested that Americans are regaining confidence in newspapers and television news. In spite of the general upward trend, confidence in newspapers dropped amongst 18 to 29 year olds.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-28 18:29

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Last week Gene Weingarten wrote a scathing piece about the integrity of "branding", a new media phenomenon in which journalists create personal brands to stand out. Branding involves Facebook pages, personalized domain names, Twitter accounts, and sometimes even sharing personal details. In the Project for Excellence in Journalism's 2009 State of the Media Report for 2009, the shift "towards the individual and away from journalistic institutions" was identified as a major trend in the industry.

Weingarten's criticism is based on the idea that branding oneself is selling out, akin to journalists "marketing themselves like Cheez Doodles". In his Washington Post article, he claims that branding is redefining journalism "from a calling to a commodity". His remarks were triggered by a journalism student's letter, in which she asked about how he has managed to brand himself so successfully.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-28 17:51

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How do you keep a regional newspaper afloat in a competitive, often cash-strapped world? Anette Novak, editor-in-chief of Norran in northern Sweden, uses three elements to keep readers interested in her paper: co-creation with the readers, transparency with the community and newspaper credibility. These factors keep Norran successful and valuable in the eyes of the community it serves, she said at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris.

Norran has a philosophy of high reader involvement. The paper has a live chat box called eEditor on its site that operates during newsroom hours, allowing readers to suggest ideas and discuss ongoing stories with journalists. The newspaper regularly uses community experts for news articles, and gives them bylines and credit. Novak stressed the importance of involving the audience to effectively cover the region: "you don't have to let them write, but you do have to listen to them."

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Thomasina Johnson

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2011-06-28 17:17

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Twitter launched a guide for journalists yesterday. Twitter for Newsrooms (TfN#) is a basic explanation of how Twitter works and how it can be useful for journalists. It walks users through a range of Twitter's functions, such as searching, following, Tweeting, and applications like Tweetdeck. The guide seems like more of a retrospective step, designed for the last print-only stalwarts that have not adapted to social media.

Some social media sites have chimed in on the guide. Mediagazer's founding editor Megan McCarthy told TechCrunch, "Twitter for Newsrooms is a bit redundant for me because Twitter IS my newsroom." For most publications Twitter is not quite that integrated, but it certainly works as a newswire. In France, the news of DSK's arrest was initially broken through Twitter. In Los Angeles in 2008, an earthquake was reported on Twitter nine minutes before the Associated Press posted the story. Twitter can be an undeniably good newswire.

The flip side of Twitter as a newsroom is that it has no filter or fact checker. If Twitter is a newsroom, it's an uncurated one- and what's a newsroom without an editor?

You can find Twitter's guide here.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-28 13:01

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Where exactly does data journalism fit in a traditional press organization? Sylvain Parasie from Paris-Est University conducted research on this question, taking the case of the Chicago Tribune. At WAN-IFRA's Summer University 2011, he explained that he had spent three weeks at the Tribune last September following four self-proclaimed programmer/journalists to understand where they fit and how they contributed to the journalism process.

The Chicago Tribune expected the new programmer/journalists to treat data, present it in an innovative manner, and to add value to their journalism, but with no other specifications. The Tribune already had some data journalism tools on its website which were meant to serve "watch dog" functions. The tools interpreted data to map toxic air, crime, and track political campaign contributions. These tools set the precedent for what the data journalists were expected to do.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-28 11:48

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Jungfrau Zeitung covers local news, and only local news - it focuses solely on stories about the Jungfrau area in central Switzerland, which has a population of about 50,000.

CEO Urs Gossweiler, speaking at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris, said that his family have been in the publishing business for over 100 years, and since the beginning, they have focused on local news. "We have no Olympic games news, no war in Libya...," he emphasised.

All articles go online as soon as they are ready. In the region, the paper's website is number one. The physical newspaper is printed and delivered twice a week- on Tuesday and Friday. This method of only publishing two editions a week allows the paper to save money, while still reaching readers who may not like to read news online or prefer physical copies of the newspaper.

The traditional newspaper is similar to the website, mobile and tablet editions in that it contains every article written by the newspaper staff, but more photos and multimedia elements are found in the online edition and this is indicated in the paper. "The paper is like a program guide for the website," said Gossweiler.

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Thomasina Johnson

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2011-06-27 19:43

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Most news publishers focus on news that is quite important to a large audience, but Everyblock focuses on the news which is very important to a small audience. As founder Adrian Holovaty explained at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris, Everyblock's goal is to cover news on the smallest scale: a neighborhood block.

Holovaty started the as a side project to inform Chicagoans of crime activity. After receiving a grant from the Knight Foundation in 2007, Everyblock took off. It now covers 16 U.S cities.

'People's definitions of neighbourhoods are very personal,' said Holovaty, so Everyblock allows users to identify their own, by drawing on a map.

After users select their area or neighborhood, a news feed will appear. The news will include crime data, media mentions, real estate listings, new businesses and photos from Flickr. Users can follow local businesses and neighbors. Everyblock has partnerships with locally-targeted businesses like Groupon, Yelp, Valpack, Meetup and Teachstreet.

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Thomasina Johnson

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2011-06-27 17:32

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François-Xavier Lefranc, director of the regional and local newspaper Ouest-France spoke at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris about the paper's new strategy in developing and multiplying local coverage in order to increase circulation.

As the name implies, Ouest-France, with 47 local editions, covers three regions in the west of France: Normandie, Bretagne and Pays de la Loire, which represent a mosaic of territories with 12 departments and 4800 towns.

According to French circulation bureau OJD's figures, it is the best selling French newspaper and, after Le Parisien, its website is second in the ranking of French regional newspapers' websites with 8.7 millions unique users.
In recent years, the paper's strategy has been to multiply the number of edition for a same geographical area, creating new local pages. Since Ouest France started to introduce new editions 3 years ago, circulation has gone up, Lefranc said.

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Federica Cherubini

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2011-06-27 17:01

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As people increasingly turn to the internet as their main source of news, TV new stations are grappling with many of the same problems as newspapers. Jacques Natz, director of digital media content at Hearst Television, shared a few tips at WAN-IFRA's Summer University 2011 to help media stay relevant and financially solvent.

Natz explained that the best way to adapt is to deliver news immediately and interact with viewers. Consumers are no longer turning to morning papers or late night news shows to stay informed. 61% of Americans obtain their news online, and the traditional model of reporting a news story received at 10 AM on the news at 6 PM (and posting the story online a half hour after that) makes no sense today.

Natz noted that web usage is highest during work hours. If stories are not immediately posted, the work viewership is lost. Beyond timing, breaking news should always be accompanied with video and photo content as soon as possible in order to monetize the story. Video content is an important component because it makes more advertising money than text, even if it receives less views. Another technique Hearst Media employs to up page views is to add photo slide shows. Natz claims that readers will look at as many pictures as are contained in the slide show, regardless of length.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-27 16:31

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Entrepreneurial thinking and community involvement are crucial to sustaining a hyperlocal site, said Bart Brouwers, managing editor for hyperlocal online Dichtbij of Dutch Telegraaf Media Group.

He was speaking at the 6th WAN-IFRA Summer University in Paris, which focuses on local and hyperlocal content as strategies for newspapers to be successful in the new media world.

Dichtbij, which in English means "close to me", started in 2010 with 4 pilot sites aiming to be a "hyperlocal, hyperpersonal, hypersocial platform for every Dutch citizen". It has gone national over the past year, after having thought about a sustainable business model based upon the above mentioned pilot-learnings sites and passing from 10 to more than 100 staff.
Think niche, as hyperlocal journalism is a niche, get personal, work form where your audience is, be social and act social, publish real-time and be easy-to-use are some of the guidelines Brouwers pointed out from dichtbij's experience.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-27 13:44

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Facebook is experimenting with comment ads, according to Mashable. The format allow users to comment on a question posed by the advertiser. The interactive ad was the winning idea at Facebook's AdExpo last year.

The New York Times' new Sunday Review section will combine objective reporting with opinion, according to Forbes. The publication plans to break down "artificial" barrier between the two columns, as the old section occasionally had opinion and news analysis reporting on the same subjects a few pages apart without referencing each other.

comScore reported that the iPad accounts for 97% of tablet web traffic. Across all markets, the figure is 89%. The number of tablet friendly websites tailored to the iPad are much more common than websites designed for Android devises.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-24 18:26

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The Gothamist, a snarky daily weblog covering New York City's news stories and local events, is branching out into long-form journalism, according to Paid Content.

The experiment hopes to disprove the belief that long-form journalism is not profitable and doesn't pay well. The chosen journalist will receive $5,000 for a 5,000 to 15,000-word piece. On its site, The Gothamist requests that the piece be relevant to its audience of "over one million 20-36 year-old readers in New York, timely but with a shelf-life longer than a week".

The venture is starting small. For the moment, the Gothamist has plans for one piece a month. It plans to publish the piece on the Kindle and Apple products for somewhere between $1 and $3.

If the Gothamist manages to turn a profit on this move, it may be the first. A few other ventures into long form journalism have generated buzz, but business models are still uncertain.

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Florence Pichon

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2011-06-24 17:11

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Luca Conti, Italian, founder and director of the blog Pandemia and technology and media expert, is leaving today as the first Italian blogger embedded with the NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The project pertains to the NATO press tours: journalists and bloggers from the countries which have troops based in Afghanistan are invited to a tour around the country. The aim - Conti reported on his blog - is to show the press the reconstruction process, under the aegis of NATO, within the country so that they can inform the public opinion about the improvements in terms of security and governance the Afghan civil society is making. Journalists will visit the NATO's Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Conti is leaving today for Kabul from Brussels, where he visited the NATO's general headquarters and spoke with the US Ambassador to NATO, Ivo H. Daalder, for a first briefing on the general working of the international organization and on the transition situation Afghanistan is currently facing, which will lead to the definitive withdrawal of the allied troops on 2014.

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Federica Cherubini

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2011-06-24 16:25

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Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, spoke to BBC Radio 4's Media Show about the paper's recent decision to face the future with a "digital-first" strategy. He confirmed what most commentators already suspected, namely that the new strategy would result in "significant" job cuts.

According to Rusbridger, The Guardian's declining revenues and print readership are in line with the developments in the industry in general. He described the new strategy as a response to a "pre-crisis moment", a change of course before the newspaper is forced to make vicious editorial cuts, resulting in a lower-quality paper: "You don't want to get into that spiral of decline that we've seen with a lot of American newspapers."
As part of the strategy involves moving mobile and multimedia journalism to a more prominent place, the paper is preparing to hire more developers and other staff with expertise in digital news.

As for the resulting editorial changes, Rusbridger acknowledged that the paper couldn't employ as many people in the future as it does now. "We will need to lose significant numbers but we don't need to do it by tomorrow. We can do it over the next couple of years and we can have a civilised conversation about that." Including its sister publication The Observer, The Guardian currently employs 630 journalists.

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Teemu Henriksson

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2011-06-24 12:43

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The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced yesterday, June 22nd, the 16 winners of the fifth Knight News Challenge, the media innovation contest which awards about $5 million a year "for innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations and information distribution and visualization", the site says.

The Knight Foundation launched this five-year Challenge in 2006 aiming to fund community news projects that best use the digital world to connect people to the real world in the aim to advance the future of news.

For five years since then the annual competition has been finding and funding the best "ideas, prototypes, products and leadership initiatives" in journalism: $27 million were invested and 12,000 applications made.

As the five-year commitment is coming to an end the announcement of the last winners prompted reflections about how the media and news environment changed during these years.

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Federica Cherubini

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2011-06-24 12:11

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For airlines looking to reduce fuel and paper costs but keep customers happy, digital in-flight magazines and newspapers could well be a wise investment.

The situation seems to be win-win for publications and airlines. The FIPP's report Innovations in Magazines estimated that airlines could save about $440,00 a year for every 11.5 kilograms of paperweight taken off of a plane. Airplanes carry huge amounts of paper; according to The New York Times, long haul aircrafts carry up to 400 kilograms, and sometimes more.

The best way to eliminate this paper need is to take advantage of digital options. Personal televisions are becoming ubiquitous on flights. While frequent fliers are accustomed to the variety of TV shows, movies, games, and radio offered on the in-flight entertainment systems, newspapers and magazines have been absent thus far.

Now, with the new file compression technology developed by SmarttPapers Aviation, airlines can begin to offer digital magazine and newspaper reading. The publications are high-resolution and easy-to-read.

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Florence Pichon

Date

2011-06-24 11:57


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