WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


February 2012

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Bizcommunity.com reported yesterday that South African Sunday tabloid Scoop! is set to close down after being launched just four months ago. The website also announces that Cape Argus, another South African paper, is being reduced in size from broadsheet to compact.

Journalists at the FT, who have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay, have told the company's chief executive that disagreement could be "extremely damaging to the FT brand and to relations in the newsroom." FT management has called the vote in favour of industrial action "unwarranted and unreasonable," writes Press Gazette.

The Guardian announces that its reporter Nick Davies has been named as the winner of the Paul Foot award for investigative journalism for his work in uncovering phone hacking at the News of the World.


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

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Emma Goodman

Date

2012-02-29 19:57

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The news media is a pillar of democracy: it informs citizens about issues in the public interest and acts as a watchdog over the powers that be. Consequently, journalism plays a significant role in emerging democracies.

To play this role effectively, however, news media need to stand out as credible and respected sources, and to be credible they need to be accountable. As highlighted in Tunis at the WAN-IFRA Arab Free Press Forum, after years of propaganda, it is difficult for newly-free publications to establish themselves as trustworthy sources of news, particularly when facing competition from blogs and social media.

Ethics are a cornerstone for a credible and professional news media environment. As reported by BusinessGhana, media practitioners and associations in the Cote d'Ivoire recently adopted a new code of ethics for journalists at a forum in Abidjan.

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Federica Cherubini

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2012-02-29 19:06

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Facebook has introduced new brand pages that more closely resemble the 'timelines' that have already been available to individuals for some time. An introductory video from the social network's marketing team says "We will be giving you new ways to tell your story and express your page's identity" and promises "better tools to manage the activity on your page and to have conversations with your audience."

One key change is the introduction of a 'cover photo' - a large picture across the top of the page - in addition to the profile picture. Facebook advises that the cover photo should be a unique photo that expresses your page, and forbids placing advertisements or promotions here. It recommends pictures of your product, or of people using your services. The profile picture will continue to be used around Facebook, and the company therefore suggests using a logo.

The new layout also allows brands to highlight content more effectively. They can now 'pin' a post to the top of the timeline stream for up to a week, or 'star' a post to make it wider. 'Milestones' are larger, dated posts that can be used to emphasise important moments in the history of a brand or company, and to create a more thorough timeline, you can change the post date of content so you can go back and fill in gaps. The New York Times has used this to highlight 'select moments' from its 160+ year history such as the 1928 presidential election or the 1977 blackout.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-29 18:58

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While new technology has changed just about everything when it comes to newspapers, some aspects persist. One of them is the regrettable presence of errors - they used to exist in print, and now they occur also online.

Thanks to technology, however, there are new tools that help combat mistakes in reporting. Writing for Poynter, Craig Silverman examined how the New York Times keeps track of - and reacts to - errors on its pages and website.

Thanks to an internal database that the Times uses to track errors and corrections, the paper noticed that articles by one of its freelancers were being corrected increasingly often. This allowed it to investigate the issue - and eventually to find a solution.

What the Times discovered was that the writer in question was being commissioned by several desks and was, probably, overworked. This resulted in a spike in errors. Thus, the paper cut back the number of assignments, and correspondingly the accuracy of the freelancer's reporting improved.

The case of the freelancer was one of the aspects that Arthur Brisbane, the Public Editor of the New York Times discussed in his column, which discusses the issue of errors and corrections at the paper and in the press in general.

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Teemu Henriksson

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2012-02-29 10:52

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French journalist Edith Bouvier and UK photographer Paul Conroy have both been smuggled out of the besieged Syrian city of Homs into Lebanon, the BBC reports.

Stephen Farrell discusses conflict reporting in the 'post-embed era' in the New York Times blog At War.

The Knight News Challenge has opened, inviting entries via Tumblr on the theme of 'Networks.' The first round application, which consists of seven questions, will close on 17 March.

The Leveson Inquiry continues: see the Guardian's extensive coverage here as the paper's star investigative reporter Nick Davies gives evidence.

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

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-28 19:05

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have welcomed Ecuador President Rafael Correa's decision to pardon the executives and former opinion editor of the El Universo newspaper, but said the charges and conviction should never have occurred in the first place.

"We are delighted that President Correa has decided to issue a pardon, but the charges should never have been issued and the Ecuadorean courts should never have levied jail sentences and a US$40 million fine," the global organisations said in a statement.

"We are also pleased that the president has decided to withdraw a separate suit against Juan Carlos Calderón and Christian Zurita, two journalists who were ordered to pay US$2 million," the statement said. "Jail sentences and excessive fines have a chilling effect on the press and violate all standards of freedom of expression. We call on the president to ensure that Ecuador reforms its libel laws to conform with international standards."

Ecuador's National Court of Justice earlier this month upheld a libel judgment, a 40 million dollar fine and 3-year prison sentences against El Universo and its directors Carlos, César and Nicolas Pérez. Two of them fled the country, while a third took refuge in the Panamanian Embassy in Quito.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-28 18:31

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WikiLeaks' latest leak, which is calls 'The Global Intelligence Files' is not as yet particularly interesting because of the content of the files, but because of the fact that WikiLeaks is back, and because of the partnerships that the episode reveals.

WikiLeaks claims to have created an online database of more than five million emails from Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin, Texas, sent between July 2004 and December 2011. Stratfor provides its subscribers with geopolitical analysis via emails and explains on its site how it differentiates itself from news organisations.

A WikiLeaks press release claims that the emails show "Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods" and that the company "cultivates close ties with US government agencies and employs former US government staff."

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-28 17:35

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What do we want? In-depth journalism! When do we want it? Now!

Two reporters have responded to this rallying cry and have announced their intention to launch a new online technology magazine dedicated to long-form, quality journalism.

Jim Giles, who has written for Nature, The Atlantic, The Economist and New Scientist, and Bobbie Johnson, European editor for GigaOm and a previous tech reporter for The Guardian, created the project, which has been named Matter.

So why does Matter matter? According to a blog post by the new team, the idea is to foster thorough, long-form journalism rather than the "fast and cheap" reporting the web has encouraged so far. In a video introducing the project, Giles spells out the problem bluntly: "The thing about long-form, in-depth journalism is that it's expensive. There used to be many more newspapers and magazines that produced that kind of content, but journalism is in financial trouble and those outlets have cut back."

For the rest of this article please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-28 13:28

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Several media commentators have been contributing to a discussion about whether including external links is important for journalism, and what the best practices are for linking. Steve Buttry of the Journal Register Company lists four reasons why he thinks linking is good for journalism, and two why it's good for business. Felix Salmon at Reuters stresses that linking is important, but that journalists should be more focused on linking to primary sources rather than to other news organizations.

The BBC has released its new social media strategy for England in 2012, writes the BBC College of Journalism. The new strategy includes a commitment to a minimum level of social media coverage in each region, and a stipulation that journalists and programme makers in all English regions should have or develop the skills to use social media.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-28 01:00

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Following the bankruptcy of its publisher Mediapubli, Spanish daily Público announced that it would put out its final print edition yesterday, Sunday. Although the paper's website público.es will continue to operate, Cadena SER estimates that 130 of Público's 160 staff will lose their jobs.

Mediapubli declared bankruptcy at the beginning of January, and was given around a month to come up with enough funds to make Público economically viable. But although majority shareholder Jaume Roures sought investors in Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador, the company was unable to come up with the necessary sum of around 9 million euros.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-27 10:51

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Fact-checking initiatives have been emerging in France in advance of the presidential elections this spring, reports France24. Inspired by Politifact in the US, French news site OWNI has launched Véritomètre, in conjunction with itele, and daily Le Monde has launched Décodeurs.

Ten Latin American newspapers have published the column that led to a libel suit by Ecuadorian Present Rafael Correa against the daily El Universo, reported the Knight Center for the Americas.

The Washington Post has launched 'Personal Post,' which allows users to provide their preferences and receive a personalised stream of headlines, according to TechCrunch.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-24 18:26

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The Huffington Post UK has launched a new 'Inspiration' section on its site which will enable brands "to communicate directly with prospective consumers via video, blogs and social media," announced a press release from AOL.

Its first focus is a cross-platform package in conjunction with other AOL properties to promote Iceland as a year-round tourist destination. As the press release says, the 'Inspired by Iceland' campaign, sponsored by Promote Iceland and Iceland's government, is "the first Europe- wide marketing campaign that fully integrates a comprehensive suite of AOL advertising products, content and platforms."

There are other posts on the page that are unrelated to the Iceland effort, and HuffPost UK editor-in-chief Carla Buzasi said that the Inspiration section is dedicated to "all things inspirational." Food will be a theme over the next few days, then careers and lifestyle, with participation from both HuffPo's journalists and bloggers.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-24 13:58

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It's up and up for Mail Online. The Guardian reports that, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the site boasted just under 100 million monthly browsers in January. Mail Online was named as the world's biggest newspaper site by comScore last month.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has noted that a police investigation into the killing of Brazilian editor Paulo Rocaro has found stronger evidence that he was murdered because of his journalistic work. Rocaro covered stories about drug trafficking on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

The New York Times reported two days ago that Google plans to launch a pair of high-tech glasses "that will be able to stream information to the wearer's eyeballs in real time." Forbes ponders the ways that the new technology could revolutionise virtual advertising.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-23 19:49

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The New York Times announced in a press release today that it has teamed up with Chinese publisher Shanghai Zhenwen Advertising Co., Ltd. to launch a monthly science magazine. Science Times China, as the magazine is called, is written in Chinese and sold in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and other large Chinese cities.

The press release suggests that the bulk of the magazine will consist of articles already published by the Times in English. Material will be take from the weekly science section of the Times, as well as from other relevant sections published by the Times newspaper and by nytimes.com. However, the Times will also incorporate some local Chinese content, while still retaining full editorial control over the new publication.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-23 19:39

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Storify, one of the best-known tools for creating narratives based on social media, announced the launch of its iPad application today, Mediabistro reported. The new app, which is available free on iTunes, is aimed at making on-the-go social media curation even easier than before.

Storify opened to the public less than a year ago, and it has since become well-used way for reporters to organise and present information drawn from social media. As online readers and social media users are faced with a constant flood of information, the need for curation - creating accessible narratives out of the social media content - is becoming increasingly acute.

The new iPad app offers the same basic functionalities as the Storify web app, with two major differences: the touch-enabled, "iPad-like" interface and the ability to send tweets from within the app.

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Teemu Henriksson

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2012-02-23 10:00

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Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik were killed by shelling in the Syrian city of Homs today, reports the New York Times. The Guardian notes that David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Rupert Murdoch, among others, have paid tribute to Colvin, a veteran war reporter.

Mozilla has announced that it will be launching a cross-platform app store later this year. Submissions should be open next week at the Mobile World Congress, TechCrunch reports

The Washington Post has published a graph which it says shows the future both of advertising and of media. The graph compares the amount of time consumers spend on different platforms with the ad spend per media and demonstrates that ad spending on web and mobile is small in proportion to customer interest.

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Hannah Vinter

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2012-02-22 19:38

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Does 'plundering' information from Facebook raise similar ethical questions to phone-hacking? Glenda Cooper, a lecturer at London's City University, studied the ethical implications of journalists using information from Facebook without the users' permission, as reported by Press Gazette.

"What kind of journalism are we getting if every part of your life is only a mouseclick away from being splashed across the front page of a national paper?" Press Gazette quotes Cooper as saying. Clearly, taking information that has been made public online is very different to phone-hacking, which involves stealing private information, but it is still using information that was not provided for journalistic purposes.

As journalists frequently have less time to report, due to both financial pressures and the need to break stories online quickly, this kind of "short-cut journalism," using social media to find out about individuals, has increased, the study said.

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-22 19:38

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The Chicago News Cooperative announced officially today that it will be suspending its contributions to The New York Times. As of next Sunday, the Chicago organisation will no longer submit articles to The New York Times Midwest pages or to its website.

In a blog post announcing the change, CNC's CEO and editor James O'Shea writes that he takes "full responsibility for this situation". He laments that "unlike similar start-up efforts like the Texas Tribune in Austin, the Bay Citizen in San Francisco and ProPublica in New York, we never recruited the kind of seven figure donations from people of means concerned about the declining quality of news coverage around the country."

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-22 17:50

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As everyone from businesses to governments to individuals go digital, the amount of raw data being recorded and stored is growing at a dizzying rate. Often this data contains useful information that it is in the public interest to analyse, but it exists in a format that very few people can understand. The solution to the problem? Find experts who can convert large amounts of data into easily accessible stories. In other words, find data journalists.

These are some of the ideas fuelling Danish daily Dagbladet Information's new initiative, Nordisk Nyhedshacker 2012 ("Nordic News Hacker 2012"). The project, run in collaboration with The Guardian, Google and Syddansk Universitet's Center for Journalism, invites journalists or data experts to create a piece of data journalism - which could be anything from a data mash-up to a new mobile app - and submit it to a panel of judges. The creator of the winning entry will be given a $20,000 scholarship by Google and will be invited to work with the Guardian Data Blog in London for one month. The Center for Journalism contributes by advertising the competition and incorporating elements of data journalism into its curriculum.

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Hannah Vinter

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2012-02-22 17:20

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A team of eight journalists has created a local news cooperative to tackle the closure of the traditional media in their South Wales town of Port Talbot, and to continue to provide community's news coverage (hat tip to the Guardian's Roy Greenslade.)

After Trinity Mirror's Port Talbot Guardian, the community radio station and the local council freesheet all closed down, this group of volunteer journalists launched the Port Talbot Magnet, a local news site which carries news sourced by professional journalists and members of the community, as NUJ Freelance bulletin reported.

Port Talbot Magnet is a not-for-profit community based on a cooperative principle: volunteer professional journalists collaborate with citizens who suggest, participate and fund coverage on local news.

It incorporates a 'Pitch-In' scheme, with members of the community contributing by donating money, suggesting ideas, sending pictures and helping to pay professional reporters to carry out the news coverage.

The underlying idea is that news has a price and it's worth it to the community to pay for it as it it adds value to their lives.

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Federica Cherubini

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2012-02-21 18:17

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Reuters writes that Twitter has formed a partnership with Russian search engine Yandex, which has a 60% share of the Russian internet market, to create a real-time search. As part of the deal, Twitter will give Yandex access to its "firehose" of public Tweets.

Robert Fisk reports for The Independent on continued press freedom issues - and other social problems - in Tunisia after the revolution.

Bill Keller of the New York Times has published an editorial about WikiLeaks explaining that, in his view, "the most palpable legacy of the WikiLeaks campaign for transparency is that the U.S. government is more secretive than ever."

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a report on "Attacks on the Press in 2011."

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

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Hannah Vinter

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2012-02-21 16:59

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The Sun has announced that it will be launching a new Sunday edition this weekend.

"The Sun's future can now be reshaped as a unique seven-day proposition in both print and digital," stated Sun editor Dominic Mohan in an article discussing the launch. "Our readers' reaction to the announcement of a seventh-day Sun has been huge and we won't let them down."

For the rest of this story, please see our sister publication www.sfnblog.com

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Emma Goodman

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2012-02-21 13:35

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Accordingly to a new study released by the Women's Media Center, the U.S. media industry still is dominated by men. As the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reported, despite the 2012 Report on the Status of Women in U.S. Media showing some good news with women occupying 40.5 percent of newspaper jobs in 2011, compared with 36.6 percent in 2010, media remains overwhelmingly male.

The New York Times announced on Feb 16 that two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid had died from what appeared to be an asthma attack, while on assignment for The Times in Syria. The paper and his colleagues remembered him with this page.

ProPublica has created a nice interactive graphic to show the involvement of various people close (and not so close) to the Murdochs during the phone-hacking scandal.

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Federica Cherubini

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2012-02-20 18:56

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"Everybody is a journalist now".

This phrase has been repeated so many times that it's become a cliché, but that's not to say that a consensus has been reached about what it really means for the news industry. How should news organisations approach material from citizen journalists? Should lines be drawn between professional and citizen media? How can the work of citizen journalists be effectively verified?

These were some of the questions raised at the session titled "Professional and "Citizen" Journalism Working Together after WikiLeaks" at the UNESCO conference on The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World, where several panellists suggested that collaboration between citizen and professional reporters was best model.

The benefits for news organisations using citizen reporting were highlighted by Riyaad Minty, Head of Social Media for Al Jazeera. Often, he said, citizen reporters can send in stories from areas that professional journalists have difficulty accessing, such as Syria, and can report on things that large news outlets fail to cover.

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Hannah Vinter

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2012-02-20 16:19


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