WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


September 2011

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More trouble for the Murdochs? Sky Italia becomes embroiled in a Sicilian legal case relating to pirate satellite television cards.

The Sun launches educational initiative: spoof front pages teach readers about great moments in history.

Is the Kindle technology revolution only just underway?

The Metropolitan Police have received 11 million News International emails as part of their operation Weeting investigation.


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

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-30 17:48

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The Internet is a vast mine of information; the problem is, not all of it is accurate. For journalists, accuracy is everything. The question of proving the authenticity of journalistic material is a seemingly an ever-increasing burden.

There has been much debate about which system for verifying social media reports is the most effective - is tweet first, ask questions later the best policy? ITV News recently fell foul of this tendency to immediately share information without authentication when it broadcast a piece of footage from a videogame believing it to be an IRA video.

The problem of verification of information is not simply a problem for journalists, though. The satirical news network The Onion recently posted a series of tweets claiming the US Congress had taken school children hostage for the sum of $12 Trillion. This caused confusion, uncertainty and outrage from some who felt the comedy group had gone a little too far. Of course, The Onion only ever publishes satire, but the confusion and the irate reactions to such material are quickly amplified and disseminated via the web.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-30 17:20

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Television news broadcaster Ted Koppel prompted an interesting discussion at the Zeitgeist Google conference in LA - should Google manipulate the news content readers see?

A senior editor of The New Yorker, Nicholas Thompson, then posed the question: should Google alter its algorithms to show people the news the serious news they 'should' see instead of the entertainment news they might want to read?

Actually, in a sense they are already doing so: Larry Page, Google CEO, told the conference that Google had a responsibility to improve the media. Something which, many would argue, they already do.

Although the company clearly states that its algorithms do not exercise editorial control, Google's algorithms do edit some of the content readers see. Tagged content is placed differently within the search results, usually prioritised by labels such as the new 'standout' tag.

Google also makes an effort to reduce the content its readers see from content farms and other sites that simply recycle press releases, as GigaOm explains. So, in many ways, Google already manipulates the selection content its users will view.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-30 14:09

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As other prestigious publications struggle to break even in an increasingly harsh economic climate, The Economist announced record profits this year - £63m to be precise. Part of the Economist's growth has been digital. While the Financial Times has around 429,000 Twitter followers, and The Spectator has just under 14,000, The Economist tweets daily to almost 1.2 million people. Likewise, The Economist has over 800,000 Facebook fans compared to The Guardian's 121,000 and The FT's 262,000. There's no doubt that the publication is an online force to be reckoned with.

How does a publication achieve this kind of success? Mark Johnson, who joined the Economist as Community Editor in 2010, talks here about the magazine's policies. Building a community requires ambition and remaining true to your brand, he tells WAN-IFRA, while using social media can be about challenging your readers, not dumbing down your voice.

Johnson will speak at the 18th World Editors Forum in Vienna as part of the panel "How to build a community around your publication".

WAN-IFRA: What is your role as Community Editor of the Economist? Has it changed?

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-09-30 11:41

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Martin Langeveld of Nieman Lab tells us how the Kindle Fire will change publishing by putting more of an emphasis on shopping and advertising.

NJ Spotlight, a web site that discusses and investigates public policies in New Jersey has been named the winner of the 2011 Online Journalism Award.

Meet the twitter generation: a portrait of the avid social networkers of Arabic nations.

International right to know day: do democratic nations have a duty to promote the right to information?

Science journalism: are journalists becoming more critical of scientific research?

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



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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-29 18:39

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Journalists and politicians are currently mulling over ways in which journalism can be moderated to avoid the kind of unethical practice that occurred at The News of the World - but does anybody actually have any good suggestions as to how this can be achieved?

The phone-hacking scandal has let to public outrage about the fact that a news organisation was operating in such a manner and as a result the British judicial and political systems have been forced to respond. But how?

A selection of inquiries, first by the Culture, Sport and Media Parliamentary Select Committee, followed by the pending public inquiry led by Lord Leveson, has been the response of the Conservative government.

At the recent Labour party conference, a controversial response came from Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis who suggested that journalists should be disciplined for their lack of ethics by being struck off a register for malpractice and banned from working again. Just like a doctor.

This remark was not a statement of intent, merely an idea. If it works for doctors, why not for journalists?

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-29 17:28

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The whole world is talking about the new Kindle tablet as if it were the greatest thing since the discovery of... well, fire.

The television ad certainly tries to sell the Kindle Fire as if it were the most revolutionary object since the printing press - there's even a Voltaire reference thrown in there for good measure. Despite the wealth of press attention heaped upon the release of the Kindle Fire, journalists and publishers still have some questions that need answering: primarily, how will the Kindle Fire change the way we do business?

Poynter offers a great run down of the grey areas and speculation that come when considering a new tablet format, but for many commentators and analysts, there is no doubt: the Kindle Fire is going to shake up the tablet market.

Why so sure? Why will Amazon succeed where the likes of the RIM and its BlackBerry PlayBook have not (yet)?

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-29 13:50

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The ripples of hack-gate continue to spread: it was today revealed that James Murdoch's spokeswoman Alice Macandrew has resigned, having given her notice in July she is now working her six month notice period. Macandrew was heavily involved in managing News Corp's reaction to the phone-hacking scandal and the company even attempted to persuade her to stay; but to no avail.

Managing press for James Murdoch must be tough job indeed these days, given Pirc (a company that advises businesses on matters of corporate and board management) has advised News Corp. that he should be dropped from the board due to his connections to the phone hacking scandal.

Life won't be getting any easier for the Murdoch P.R. team any time soon, either. The panel for the Leveson Public Inquiry has been officially announced and, although it has recently faced some criticism for failing to represent the tabloid and regional press, the Inquiry will be yet another obstacle for Murdoch to overcome.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-28 18:59

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Amazon Kindle Fire is unveiled - a publishing platform to rival the iPad?

How do we find news? Well, since the birth of social media, is it more a question of the news finding you?

Julian Assange's autobiography has sold less than a collection of Mills and Boon short stories in its first week.

Al Jazeera: what's next for the network? Is it feeling the pressure of competition from social networks?

Five misconceptions about visualisation: five more reasons integrate data visualisation into your next story.

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


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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-28 17:41

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Italian citizens are preparing to take to the streets of Rome tomorrow in order to protest against the infringement of media freedom in Italy.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has drafted a bill that aims to limit the power of news agencies to publish the content of wiretapped recordings. It's not the first time the Prime Minister has tried to do so. In 2009 he attempted to bring in similar legislation, presenting a bill that would make it illegal for any recordings not made by a so-called 'professional journalist' - i.e. a state-approved member of the Italian National Order of Journalists - to be published.

This time, however, Berlusconi has also managed to enrage the blogging community. One particular clause, known to some as "ammazza-blog" (blog killer), states that if someone feels they have been defamed on a blog they have the right to reply, just as if the same material were published in a newspaper. What's more, if the blogger failed to publish a correction to the offending post within 48 hours, they would face a fine of up to €12,000.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-28 16:24

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The Knight Foundation and Mozilla have teamed up to run a competition for web designers to find new web solutions for some of the world's most renowned newsrooms.

What media companies can learn from the meteoric rise of Tumblr.

Journalist from Aljazeera disclosed links to Hamas under threat, says his lawyer.

Saudi Arabain daily newspaper launches a site dedicated to women and their achievements within the country.

Labour to send a message to Murdoch warning him to avoid seeking political influence in future.

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


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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-27 18:26

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The rumours have been flying, but now it looks certain that Amazon will release their new tablet, supposedly called the Kindle Fire, on September 28.

This is going to be a big deal for those in the publishing industry, because not only did Hearst form a potentially lucrative partnership with Amazon prior to the release of this device, but Conde Nast and Meredith are also on board with the new tablet.

So, what's it like? Good, apparently.

Here comes the tech bit: the tablet will run on a customised version of Android - which apparently bears no cosmetic resemblance to the system as it currently appears on other devices - that will rely heavily on Amazon's own appstore, MP3 store and, naturally, the Kindle Bookstore. The device uses multi-touch technology to navigate - so no buttons, just a slick screen. In appearance it is very similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook, probably because it was actually designed by the same company. Amazon wanted The Fire to be stoked and ready for the December shopping period so outsourced the design to PlayBook developers Quanta.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-27 16:40

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Three things in this world are certain: death, taxes and the fact that search engine optimisation WILL make your site get more clicks - and therefore more ad revenue.

Google knows this better than most.

So, handily, the tech giant has made its tagging system slightly more complicated - but with interesting results. In addition to existing content tags, 'original-source' and 'syndication-source', there is now a new way of highlighting content that is genuinely excellent: the 'standout' tag. Content marked as such is highlighted by the search engine algorithm and may appear on the 'featured' tab of Google News homepage or appear in Google News search results: therefore, the page gets more views.

As Neiman Lab reports, the 'standout' tag may encourage more cooperation between online publishers.

Why? Because Google has naturally limited the number of articles that can be marked as 'stand-out'. A news organisation can only mark 7 of its own stories per week as standout, any more than this and the algorithm will start to ignore the tags.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-27 12:25

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The BBC wins the award for general online excellence at the Online Journalism Awards.

The growing importance of social media to Mexican citizens; social networks give ordinary Mexicans the information they need to survive from day to day.

Is app developing too much of a drain on resources for online publishers?

Mike Arrington starts up UnCrunched, his new tech blog. See here for some clarification about his policy on 'conflict of interest'.

When it comes to getting their facts right, local news organisation are more trusted by readers, says a new PEW study.

One blogger's rise to fame: Gemma Cartwright talks to The Press Gazette about how founding a blog as a teenager propelled her into the high-flying world of fashion journalism.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-26 17:25

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The Danish Daily Dagbladet Information has launched a think tank that aims to address the problems facing Denmark and the country's new government. The results will be handed over to the new Prime Minister Helle Thorning -Schmidt after she has completed 100 days in office.

The interesting thing about this research project? Everyone is invited.

Readers of Information are invited to contribute to the think tank, appropriately named 100 Dage (100 Days) , alongside NGOs, experts, politicians, organisations, corporations and even established think tanks.

Through this blend of expert insight and popular opinion, the paper hopes to gain a more profound insight into the mood of the Danish people and how best to deal with the current political and economic environment.

Nikolai Thyssen, from Information, said in an email interview "we're breaking the silos in which political discussions usually take place (politicians talking to civil servants, economists talking to think tanks, activists talking to NGOs etc. etc.)". The crowd sourcing method is a means of shaking up the traditional method of political research encouraging "new lines of thought".

Read a full interview with Nikolai Thyssen here.

WAN-IFRA: First and foremost, can you give a brief summary of the concept and

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-26 16:30

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Renowned journalists and media figures have been eager to voice their concerns for the future of journalism and to expound its importance while the police adopt a seemingly more hostile stance towards the media and News Corporation is beset by yet more allegations of wrong doing.

Defendants of investigative journalism have been speaking out, following what many regard as alarming attempts by the Metropolitan Police to invoke the official secrets act against The Guardian. The director General of the BBC Mark Thompson has voiced his concern for the future of the craft of investigative journalism in what he described as a "dangerous period" for the profession.

The cries to protect the freedom of journalists to investigate thoroughly risk being lost amid the overwhelming atmosphere of public reproach and resentment felt toward one particular journalistic organisation: News International.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-26 15:53

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Is technology causing you a headache? Sometimes the world moves just a little too fast, don't you think?

Washinton Post CEO joins the chorus voices proclaiming that the future if news sites is social.

Why media companies want to get involved with Facebook - the pros and the cons of Facebook's new features.

The Dowler family solicitor has temed up with a New York lawyer who represents families of 20 9/11 vitims to investigate the claims that The News of The World may have bribed police.


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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-23 17:45

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The Spanish public broadcast network, RTVE, is facing the prospect of more political influence, The Guardian reports.

Recently, the Editors Weblog reported on proposed changes to the board of French newswire Agence France Presse, which could leave the company open to more interference from the state. Now it seems that RTVE is now facing the kind of interference that many feared could occur at AFP if the changes were to be passed.

RTVE already has a number of political representatives on its board; these representatives have now made a bid to use their privileged position to gain access to the network's news before it is broadcast.

The board decided to vote on this policy because certain members, from the conservative People's party, felt that the news had a pro-socialist bias and that such a bias could not be tolerated in a public broadcaster. The only two board members to vote against the change were two union representatives, as the only two Socialist party representatives abstained for unknown reasons.

Staff at the RTVE have been shocked by the move and there have been calls for the board members to resign. Senior figures from both the conservative People's Party and the socialist party Rubalcaba have condemned the controversial move.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-23 16:25

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F8, the Facebook developers' conference has generated big news: Mark Zuckerberg's keynote speech was crammed with announcements that will change the format and functionality of Facebook - with particular relevance for the media industry.

In addition to the new 'Timeline' style profile, where pictures of users' life history can be displayed, Facebook will place more emphasis on sharing media content. Not only will users be able to simultaneously listen to music together, but they will also be able to share other type of media with friends. Users will now be able to tell others what they are watching and - most interestingly - tell others what they are reading.

Information about content that is being used by friends is displayed in real-time by the 'news ticker', another recent arrival, which will not only filter all those annoying games related updates from user's newsfeeds and put them into this separate stream. Users can then hover over content that appears in the stream, like music and share the same tune together.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-23 13:52

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A new FCC report indicates there is a " surprisingly small audience for local news traffic".

ITN, the BBC and Sky News have all agreed to hand over footage of the recent UK riots to the police, having been served with court orders by Scotland Yard.

Two editors in Oman have been jailed and the newspaper they worked for, called Azzaman, has been closed for one month after the paper ran a story that allegedly "insulted" the justice minister.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Chinese journalist. There is doubt as to whether his death was a simple robbery or was in fact related to the part he played in helping exposed criminal operations which resell used cooking oil.

11,000 U.S. libraries now offer their users the opportunity to rent e-books on Kindle and even annotate them using whispersync technology.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-22 17:33

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The Seattle Times has completed a major restructuring of its newsroom, aiming to shift the focus from the print cycle to the paper's digital content, as The Knight Digital Media Center reports. The paper joins other publications, like the Witchita Eagle, that have recently reorganised their newsroom to prioritise digital content.

At the heart of the move are three essential principles: Creation, Curation and Community. What does that actually mean for the newsroom in real terms?

The function of each member of staff at The Seattle Times is accounted for in these three stages of development. Creation refers to the journalists themselves, those who gather news, write news or document it in images or video. Curation is the process of presenting the news, designing the digital (or print) format in which selected news stories appear, a task that is handled by the production staff.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-22 14:51

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Google+ is once a gain a hot topic in the tech world, having unveiled more than 100 features and - finally - opened its doors to everyone, not merely the technocratic few.

Google was back where is wanted to be - at the centre of attention - once more. But only for about 20 minutes.

Facebook is not prepared to give Google a share of the limelight and will parry these blows with some PR of their own. There have been hints, tit-bits and even solid evidence of Facebook being on the verge of releasing a plethora of new features, such as social media and content sharing, a drastic profile redesign and a mobile photo-sharing app . These developments will obviously be officially revealed at the Facebook developers' conference F8 on Thursday 22 September.

No wonder that Google have had trouble holding on to the headlines.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-21 18:56

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Copyright infringement is a huge problem for news agencies as online, images and text are easier to duplicate than ever and for those companies and journalists who rely on selling their content to survive, this is bad news.

The problem is, what can be done about it?

The International Journalists Network has reported that Agence France-Presse and the Spanish news wire EFE may have seized upon a solution... Hire some copyright detectives.

Attributor is one company that AFP and EFE have hired to make sure their copyright isn't infringed. It tracks content that should be syndicated and discovers whether websites have pirated the same material for their own use without paying a proper fee.

In 2010 the company released the results of a study which claimed that 400,000 unlicensed news articles were used across the 44,906 sample news sites included in the research. Clearly, there is a market for a product that can stop this unlicensed reproduction of content.

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Katherine Travers

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2011-09-21 16:26

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Nobody can accuse Wikileaks of being afraid of the spotlight. The whistleblower organization hit the headlines again this month as the un-redacted US Embassy cables became available online, and old arguments about its status as an institution resurfaced. Many have scrambled to have their say, but few have given the matter as much thought as Charlie Beckett.

Beckett is founding director of POLIS, the journalism think-tank in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. An award-winning journalist, he is currently writing a book about Wikileaks to be published by Polity in the autumn. He talks here about how we shouldn't see WikiLeaks as an 'aberration' but as part of the changing landscape of modern journalism.

Beckett will be chairing a panel at the 18th World Editors Forum in Vienna this October about journalism "after WikiLeaks" and how newspapers should respond.

WAN-IFRA: You've described WikiLeaks as an example of "the new forms of journalism that are emerging from and reshaping the news ecology and the nature of news itself". How has news media changed in response to WikiLeaks?

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Hannah Vinter

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2011-09-21 12:24


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