WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


April 2012

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The Columbia Journalism Review has published a report on systems for self-regulation of the press in Scandinavia, concluding that “the Scandinavian press council model is healthy, effective, and held in high regard” as asking whether it could be applied in other countries. 

Mathew Ingram at GigaOm uses Reuter’s blogger Felix Salmon’s recent suggestion that The New York Times could sell early access to its scoops as a jumping off point to ask what the purpose of a newspaper is in the digital age. “Is private access in conflict with the public interest?” he asks.

The BBC is facing increasing threat of strike action, which will coincide with the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations, as a result of a pay dispute, writes the Guardian. The paper reports that, union representatives have called the 1% annual pay offer made by BBC managers “derisory.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-30 18:07

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We have lots of hard facts about how digital media is revolutionizing the news business. But often there is less information out there about precisely what that means for journalists doing their jobs.

Now Poynter reports that the Knight and Tow Foundations have given the Columbia School of Journalism a grant of $2 million to fund studies into best practices in digital journalism. The research may address questions like how to use real-time analytics, how to measure engagement, how to incorporate data into reporting and how to discover how much the audience benefits from article commenting, Poynter reports.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-30 18:05

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Are moderation and participation the future of news? A panel discussion moderated by Justin Peters of the Columbia Journalism Review Online at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia debated the right way to get the community to participate in life of the news organization.

Most all news organisations these days say that they take their communities pretty seriously, said Peters in his introduction, but they are still trying to find the right way to participate in and to moderate these communities.

Often the problem seems to be that comments turn into a shouting match, underlined Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics.

“It’s something we hear all the time. Journalists write beautiful articles and along comes the public and writes something critical, offensive, and journalists get upset about that”. But this is something that has always happened, Beckett stressed, it used to happen in the real world, but journalists only started to experience it first-hand when it started to happen online..

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-04-27 13:48

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One of the great advantages of data journalism is that it allows you to go beyond anecdote and produce evidence, said Steve Doig, professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at the University of Arizona, speaking at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.

The first in a series of data journalism panels at the Festival looked at how data journalism and computer assisted reporting have developed over the last few decades.

Doig was among the first journalists to make use of a computer in reporting. Philip Meyer was possibly the first, Doig said, when he carried out surveys in 1967 to help analyse the civil rights riots. Meyer wrote a book called Precision Journalism, but at the time it was difficult to carry out many of his ideas because the computers available were not yet accessible. After the ‘micro-revolution’ of the late 1970s, reporters began to play around with computers, Doig said, and he realized a computer could help him do his job better.

A key advance in data journalism came in 1989, Doig said, when Bill Dedman, a reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution won a Pulitzer for The Color of Money, a story that used data journalism techniques to investigate the unfairness in how money was being lent to buy homes.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-04-27 11:19

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The Guardian reports that Honduran television presenter Noel Alexander Valladares was killed by gunfire, along with his brother and bodyguard. Valladares is the third journalist killed in Honduras this year alone.

According to Mail & Guardian Online, the Press Freedom Commission in South Africa has released a set of recommendations for new regulations of the press, including hierarchical penalties for "journalistic infractions." The report, which is the product of eight months of research, also proposes a system of "independent co-regulation" of the press, the article says.

Vogue's controversial article about the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is no longer accessible on the internet, The Washington Post reports. The profile, which placed Asma al-Assad in a glamorous light just before her husband's regime began attacking its own citizens, garned a great deal of criticism when it was published.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-26 18:18

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International news translation platform Worldcrunch plans to expand its aggregation efforts in a big way—by enlisting the help of its contributors in finding “crunch" worthy articles from around the world, Nieman Journalism Lab reported.

Founded last year by Jeff Israely and Irène Toporkoff in Paris, Worldcrunch translates 20-30 articles per week written by its international news partners, which include French daily newspaper Le Monde and German daily Die Welt, as we previously reported. The articles, chosen by Worldcrunch’s team of journalists and covering topics such as politics to entertainment, are meant to provide English readers with broader perspectives of international affairs, as well as highlighting the viewpoints of citizens from the countries in question.

Worldcrunch has been touted as an appealing option in the face of reductions in foreign news coverage, as we previously reported. And the trend seems to extend past English-speaking readership: French weekly magazine Courrier International and Italian weekly Internazionale provide similar services for French and Italian readers, respectively.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-26 15:33

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Felix Salmon of Reuters put forth a controversial business proposition involving The New York Times in an article yesterday: why not charge hedge funds a fee in order to receive breaking news of investigative stories a full trading day before publication?

Salmon came to this conclusion when the value of Wal-Mart’s shares plunged after the Times published an exposé over the weekend about alleged bribery of Mexican officials by the company, he said in the article.

Noting how much the piece affected the stock market, Salmon suggested that the Times could take advantage of this influence by allowing corporate clients early access to such investigative material for a price, which could supplement the paper’s losses in revenue.

“But how much would hedge funds pay to be able to see the NYT’s big investigative stories during the trading day prior to the appearance of the story?” Salmon wrote. “It’s entirely normal, and perfectly ethical, for news organizations, including Reuters, to give faster access to the best-paying customers.”

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-25 16:21

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In light of Rupert Murdoch's testimony for the Leveson Inquiry today, Mashable examined how three news organizations, The Guardian, Pro Publica, and BBC, have been using digital technology to report on the investigation into the News of the World hacking scandal. Some of the tools used include interactive timelines and live broadcasts of the trial.

Poynter reports that The McClatchy Co. lost $2.1 million in its first quarter, a loss in revenue of 5.1%.  Advertising revenue also fell 6.8%, the article said.

Bradley Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks source, is contending that the case against him should be dropped due to the government's witholding of evidence, Reuters reported. If convicted, Manning may be sentenced to life in prison for leaking classified US documents.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-25 16:00

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The lawyer representing Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old US soldier accused of having leaked a massive trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has said that his trial is being endangered by the US government’s lack of transparency and by failures on the part of the prosecution.

The Courthouse News Service reported yesterday that Manning’s attorney David Coombs has condemned "a cataclysmic failing of the government to understand all aspects of the discovery process."

According to the article, Coombs has complained of the prosecution first refusing to share certain evidence with the defence on the grounds that it was classified, only to reverse its statements within a matter of days. Coombs has also implied that government prosecutors have made mistakes with the legal process, and have failed demonstrated full knowledge of their legal obligations.

The Courthouse News Service reports that in Coomb’s memo “nearly every line of text quoting a government memo or email has been blacked out in redactions”. The article points out that the information that has been withheld reflects “the intense secrecy surrounding the case”.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-25 10:37

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The Financial Times HTML5 app has reached more than 2 million users after launching 10 months ago, The Guardian reported. The web app, which users can access on a tablet internet browser, was created to bypass Apple's policies regarding subscriber information garnered through native apps.

The Wall Street Journal launched a new platform for on-the-go readers which allows for continuous streaming of data, according to Nieman Journalism Lab. The platform, called Markets Pulse, will feature a combination of articles, tweets, photos, and videos related to financial markets.

Poynter discusses eight tactics that news organizations can use to reach young readers, including hiring more young people who better reflect the targeted audience and being careful not to alienate young readers with strong paywalls. Read the rest of the strategies here.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-24 17:58

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When Washington Post blogger Elizabeth Flock resigned from her position after making her second aggregation error in four months on blogPost, the Post’s breaking news blog, ombudsman Patrick Pexton wrote an opinion piece asserting that the paper had failed Flock as a young journalist; soon after Pexton’s column was published, a wave of criticism and concerns about the dangers of blogging surfaced, Poynter reported.  

According to Pexton’s article, Flock was often the only reporter writing for blogPost, writing an average of 5.9 posts per day on a wide array of topics. The blog was meant to achieve 1-2 million views per month, the article said.

Flock’s first error, which earned her a strongly-worded editor’s note criticizing her actions, was in reporting a viral but false story that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had used a slogan favored by the Ku Klux Klan in one of his speeches—without calling the campaign to confirm before publishing, the article said.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-24 17:27

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WAN-IFRA’s flagship press freedom campaign, 3 May World Press Freedom Day, looks to highlight the critical importance of an issue that lies at the very heart of our industry: freedom of expression.

Without this freedom, our democratic societies lose their very essence and become un-worthy of the name. The freedom to criticize and hold those in power to account is a right that a free press – by its very existence – upholds daily in every corner of the globe. This right underpins all of our most valued human rights, and the ability of a free press to ensure that our voices are heard should be vigorously defended wherever it is threatened.

WAN-IFRA’s 3 May World Press Freedom Day campaign is designed to aid newspapers in engaging with their readers to celebrate freedom of expression and explore the issues that jeopardize this most basic of human rights.

In the lead up to 3 May we provide members with a range of materials to stimulate debate, including opinion pieces penned by prominent global figures, exclusive artwork and cartoons, striking photographs selected in conjunction with Agence France-Presse (AFP), and infographics that reveal the sobering reality facing journalists, editors and publishers around the world in their ongoing struggle for a free and independent press.

Author

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-04-23 18:46

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The Guardian announced today on its Developer Blog that the paper is launching the Miso Project, an open source toolkit which will help make the creation of infographics and interactive content a lot easier and faster. The first part of the project is the release of Dataset, a Javascript library.

TechDirt reported that search engine Meltwater attacked the Associated Press' lawsuit against its tracking news service as a "misuse" of copyright law. Read the rest of Meltwater's statement here.

Patrick B. Pexton of The Washington Post highlights the dangers of blogging and aggregation by examining Elizabeth Flock's blog errors and ultimate resignation, suggesting that the Post itself gave her little guidance and failed in its obligation to train her. Flock resigned after publishing a story about Mars life without citing the publisher of the original article, Discovery News, as a source.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-23 14:20

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The New York Daily News tabloid has launched a new online section which seeks to appeal to the city’s South Asian residents, paidContent reported.

The new section, called “Desi,” features South Asian news curated for an American immigrant audience, including stories about Bollywood, cricket and politics, the article said. The stories found on Desi are a mixture of original content and articles from the digital newswire Newscred, the article said. As we previously reported, Newscred filters content from more than 750 sources around the world, creating personalized bundles of online content for publishers.

NY Daily News Digital Senior Vice President Steve Lynas told paidContent that according to research conducted by the newspaper, second and third generation immigrants demonstrated an interest in South Asian News, but presented through an American lens.

Lynas also said that culture is more of a factor in determining what news people are interested in, implying that the notion of local news in general can be redefined, the article said.

“I don’t see a zip code as a good filter for community,” Lynas told paidContent.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-23 12:55

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For the citizens of Torrington, Connecticut, the local newsroom of The Register Citizen is as readily accessible as any other coffee shop, offering free Wi-Fi, computers, and open discussion between journalists and readers Monday through Saturday. As we previously reported, Journal Register Co.’s The Register Citizen opened its Newsroom Café in December 2010 as a way to include members of the community in the local journalism process, embracing digital-first policies in accordance with CEO John Paton’s vision for the company.

Readers are invited to sit in on editorial meetings, which are held at 4 pm each day and live-streamed online, as well as contribute story ideas and inform editors of article corrections needed. The newsroom also has a Community Media Lab, which provides workspace for local bloggers, citizen journalists and researchers, as well as offering full access to The Register Citizen archives.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-20 17:23

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Chicago Tribune reporter Rex W. Huppke wrote a satirical obituary for facts (cause of death: Rep. Allen West's assertion that 81 Democrats in the US House of Representatives are Communists). Read the story behind the op-ed piece Facts, 360 B.C.- A.D. 2012 on Jim Romenesko's blog.

Bobbie Johnson from GigaOm takes a look at Norwegian tabloid Dagbladet's online video player that "collects seven different video feeds and allows website visitors to easily flip between coverage from inside the courtroom, the courthouse, background interviews and commentary on the street or from pundits in the newspaper’s own studio."

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-20 16:57

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On Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times published graphic photographs of US soldiers posing with corpses and body parts of suicide bombers in Afghanistan, spurring a criminal investigation and condemnation of the activities by US government officials. The unsolicited photos, taken two years ago, were given to The Times by an anonymous soldier who said the photos demonstrated “a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops,” the article said.

After being shown the photos before publication, however, Pentagon officials such as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked The Times not to publish the images, citing the potential risk of inciting violence against US troops by forces in Afghanistan, Poynter reported.  

Ultimately, The Times editorial staff decided publishing the pictures was in the public interest, though the paper delayed publication as per request to allow the military time to increase protections for the soldiers shown in the photos, the article said.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-19 18:15

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The Sun's royal editor was arrested this morning as part of Scotland Yard's investigations into corrupt payments made by journalists to police and public officials, reports Press Gazette. The publication states that the arrests were made based on evidence provided by the controversial Management and Standards Committee, which was set up by News Corp to investigate allegations of wrong-doing in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Also according to Press Gazette, Google is funding a project intended to help news entrepreneurs in Europe get ahead in the industry. The University of Lancaster’s Media and Digital Enterprise initiative (MADE) is now accepting applicants for a weekend of intensive media classes for 30 aspiring news entrepreneurs.

Jim Romenesko has published a list of the total pay received by executives at nine different US newspaper companies in 2011. The sums range between $2.9 million and $25 million, and at some companies rose by over 35%.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-19 17:11

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Online newspapers tired of catering to Apple’s in-app purchasing restrictions are starting to bypass the tech giant completely by creating web-based apps using HTML5 technology, Journalism.co.uk reports. The latest title to jump on the trend? Washington’s local paper The Chronicle, which offers the HTML5 app as part of a subscription bundle that includes complete online and print access, the article said.

The Chronicle’s web app is similar to a “native” iPad app in terms of user experience; rather than downloading the app from Apple’s Newsstand, though, one can access the web app through the iPad’s Internet browser and save it as an icon on the homescreen, the article said. App users can share articles through Facebook and Twitter, as well as download stories to read them offline later, the article said.

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

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-19 11:04

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“The future is open,” said Andrew Miller, CEO of the Guardian Media Group, at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Europe conference in London.

It’s not just journalism that has an open future: there are fundamental changes going on in many areas as a result of new technologies, he pointed out. Open is a theme in science with the genome project, for example, or in computing technology with Linux, academic publishing with the Wellcome trust’s efforts, and even in governments as they embrace open data.

What does this mean for journalism? It doesn’t mean that the voice of the journalist is less relevant, Miller emphasized, but it means that you can supplement this strong voice with other views.

The Guardian’s Open Newslist is an important experiment in open journalism, Miller said. “We encourage people to interact with it, and we are also trying a live blog of what we are discussing during the day.” Information from this was crucial for a recent Falkland Islands story, he added.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-04-18 18:27

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What separates a story that is in the public interest from one that is of interest to the public? As the investigations into the News International phone-hacking scandal continue, and may lead the prosecutions, this question is of fundamental importance.

The UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer has issued a series of guidelines advising prosecutors on what factors they should take into consideration when considering whether to change journalists or people they interact with for criminal acts that may have been committed in the course of reporting a story.

The interim guidelines list factors that may help prosecutors weigh up whether the public interest served by an action outweighs its “overall criminality”.

The DPP lists examples of behaviour which might serve the public interest, including:

- Behaviour that is capable of exposing a past, present or future criminal offence

- Behaviour that is capable of exposing the failure of a legal obligation

- Behaviour capable of uncovering miscarriage of justice

- Behaviour capable of “raising or contributing to an important matter of public debate”

- Behaviour capable of revealing that information relevant to any of the other categories is being deliberately covered up.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-04-18 18:22

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Social networks are the new hotspots for breaking news: Mashable highlights a new infographic created by Schools.com that shows "how social media is replacing traditional journalism as a news source."

Politico's premium news service Politico Pro is popular among American policy makers, Nieman Journalism Lab reports. Politico Pro, launched a year ago, covers technology, energy, health care, and transportation policy, delivering essential content to mobile subscribers quickly.

GigaOm reports that in Italy a controversial former proposal, which suggested that online publications that receive complaints should have to alter their content within 48 hours or else pay a fine of €12,000, has been resurrected.

A cartoonist at The Economist has animated the publication's style guide. Journalism.co.uk has just posted the video on its website.

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

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-18 17:19

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The Tuscaloosa News won a Pulitzer prize for its breaking news coverage of a deadly tornado that swept through Alabama last April, Poynter reported. But what made the award-winning coverage so revolutionary for the journalism world was its employment of Twitter and other social media to report on the storm in real time, in addition to traditional coverage—even during power outages, the article said.

As we previously reported, Columbia University announced the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners on Tuesday. Among the winners were online newspapers The Huffington Post and Politico.

The Pulitzer board awarded Tuscaloosa News “for its enterprising coverage of a deadly tornado, using social media as well as traditional reporting to provide real-time updates, help locate missing people and produce in-depth print accounts even after power disruption forced the paper to publish at another plant 50 miles away,” according to a press release.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-04-18 16:48

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Tomorrow it will be one year since Piano Media launched Slovakia’s national paywall, and today CEO Tomas Bella announced that the company has secured €2 million in funding from a 3TS Capital Partners' Cisco-backed fund.

For publishers, this means that Piano will be able to offer more analytical tools and data about what works and what doesn’t, better software, and as the company expands into new markets, more countries with which to share know-how and best practices, Bella said.

Bella was not always a fan of the paywall: when he became editor-in-chief at a major Slovakian daily several years ago, he took down the paper’s paywall. But he gradually came to believe that unless papers found a way to charge people online, they would not survive, and he started to think about what the easiest way to charge would be.

Piano Media has launched a simple system for multiple publications with one flat fee and one log-in, which he compared to a cable TV package. You can buy the subscription at any of the participating publishers and you can move between the different sites without logging in. Eleven media outlets are on board in Slovakia, and nine in Slovenia, whose paywalls launched in January 2012.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-04-17 18:22


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