WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


June 2012

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Yesterday, on CNN:

Kate Boulduan: “...I want to bring you the breaking news that, according to producer Bill Mears, the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of the commerce clause so it appears as if the Supreme Court justices have struck down the individual mandate— the centrepiece of the healthcare legislation. I’m going to hop back on this phone and try to get more information and bring it right to you, Wolf.”

Wolf Blitzer: “Wow, that's a dramatic moment. If in fact the Supreme Court has ruled that the individual mandate is in fact unconstitutional, that would be history unfolding.”

Banner: SUPREME CT. KILLS INDIVIDUAL MANDATE

…oops.

CNN, whose ratings have been slipping due to a paucity of hard-hitting news, according to The Associated Press, and which had been running a “countdown clock” to 10 am on its screen for hours leading up to the announcement, is reported to have also tweeted and emailed the faulty news to its followers.

Meanwhile, on Fox News:

Bill Hemmer made a similar gaffe, declaring it “breaking news” that the individual mandate had been declared unconstitutional, and a Twitter account run by Fox anchor Bret Baier allegedly posted the same news.

Meanwhile, at the White House:

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Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-29 16:29

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A long-form piece for the weekend: Tim de Lisle of Intelligent Life follows the "triumphs and tribulations" of the Guardian, and talks to its piano-playing Editor-in-Chief, Alan Rusbridger, in an attempt to answer its provocative headline: Can the Guardian Survive?

“Yesterday’s News Corp split announcement could spell big changes at The Times as Rupert Murdoch vowed losses would not be tolerated at any of the company’s print titles,” begins an article by Andrew Pugh on PressGazette. Murdoch reportedly said yesterday that he plans to be more "bullish" in the US than in the UK, and that “each newspaper will be expected to pay its way.”

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-29 16:13

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“On June first, six of us were fired from GOOD magazine,” begins the promotional video.

Remember that story?

Well, the six out-of-work journalists and designers, plus two of their colleagues who later quit, are not lamenting GOOD times past; rather, they are looking ahead to Tomorrow: a one-off dream magazine and website, to be released this fall. To finance the idea, they began fundraising this week on Kickstarter.

Here is how that went:

Within five hours they had met their goal of $15,000.

Four days later they had raised more than $27,528.

The average backer pledged $27.55.

A bit of context: Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding site that allows anyone to pitch an idea to the Internet at large, and hope that like-minded people will volunteer to reach into their pockets.

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Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-28 15:39

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For a few hours it seemed as though progress was being made in penetrating the wall of censorship that the Chinese authorities had built around the country’s Internet services. Yet barely 24 hours after it was registered, The New York TimesSina Weibo account was suspended, before being mysteriously reinstated early this afternoon. The Times had joined Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-equivalent, at the same time as it launched its Chinese language site, http://cn.nytimes.com, and within a few hours the NYT account had been "liked" by 3,300 people.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-06-28 13:28

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Digital content production start-up Contently has launched the free version of its editorial management platform today.

Born in Manhattan in December 2010 to childhood friends and self-professed “internet dorks” Shane Snow and Joe Coleman with co-founder Dave Goldberg, Contently is an online matchmaker that connects experienced freelancers seeking a regular paycheck with publishers and companies seeking high-quality writing. It is also a digital Virgil that guides all parties through the editorial obstacle course, from pitch to publication and payment.

While access to the Contently Network of 3,500 hand-selected freelance journalists and bloggers remains a paid service (known as Platform Plus), Contently has opened up its cloud-based workflow organizer to anyone wishing to produce high-quality written content. This includes a colour-coded assignment calendar, a Facebook-like messaging system for writers and editors, and a Google docs-like text editor that allows people to collaborate on stories.

“Software like this wants to be free,” says Snow (pictured) on the phone from New York. “We developed it, so we may as well share it.”

Link: 

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-28 11:48

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If you’re an American news organization transitioning toward a digital future, you would do well to take a close look at your mobile presence.

Over half (55 percent) of adults in the United States who own cell phones are using them to go online as of April 2012, according to a new Pew study, reported Nieman Lab.

Given that 88 percent of US adults now own cell phones, this means that 49 percent of the country’s adult population browses the web on a mobile phone, at least from time to time.

Now consider that 74 percent of cell phone web users go online on a typical day; so each “typical day,” 41 percent of all US cell phone users are entering a hand-held, online universe at least once.

This is only the beginning. The survey also shows that a large and increasing proportion of these “cell Internet users” are doing most of their browsing on cell phones, rather than on computers or tablets. These are called “cell-mostly Internet users,” and they represent 31 percent of cell Internet users— a proportion that grows to 45 percent in the 18-29 age bracket.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-27 18:41

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With advances in technology come new challenges for keeping journalistic sources safe.  MediaShift offers a list of tools from Jillian C. York.

Has the legacy of Jayson Blair been forgotten already? An intern at the Wall Street Journal has been fired for fabricating sources. Andrew Beaujon reports for Poynter.

“New media companies that will succeed are founded by two kinds of people: technologists, and media people who think like technologists,” argues Christopher Mims for MIT’s Technology Review.

The BBC will soon redefine the scope of BBC Worldwide, its international commercial arm, due to growing internal friction surrounding online strategy, paidContent reports.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-27 17:06

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Gwen Lister, co-founder of The Namibian, will speak at the joint World Newspaper Congress/World Editors Forum session titled "Winners shaping the future - How some newspaper companies are succeeding and leading the way."

Lister started her career at the Windhoek [Namibia] Advertiser in 1975 and later co-founded the weekly Windhoek Observer. Following numerous run-ins with the authorities because of her hard-hitting political reporting and outspoken criticism of government policies, she led a mass resignation from that paper. In 1985  she co-founded The Namibian; it became a daily a few years later. The paper, started as a donor-funded publication, is now established as a non-profit trust. Lister recently stepped down as Editor and now holds the position of Executive Director on the Board, responsible for new business development, and is also the Chairperson of the Namibia Media Trust, which owns the company.

Author

Anton Jolkovski

Date

2012-06-27 13:06

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The bad news is piling up for Australia’s Fairfax Media. Yesterday, a week after the announcement of sweeping changes including 1,900 job cuts, the publisher saw its three top editors resign. Today, billionaire Gina Rinehart threatened to dump the nearly 19% stake in the company she acquired last Monday if she is not offered three seats on the board of directors “without unsuitable conditions.”

A video of several senior Fairfax Media journalists speaking about the indispensability of editorial independence has gone viral on Twitter, amidst widespread speculation that the condition Reinhart finds most objectionable is the requirement that board members sign the company’s charter of independence – a pledge that prevents the board from intervening editorially in the newspapers, and from hiring or firing staff.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-26 18:56

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RealWire has launched a new tool for "curating the media on Twitter." Lissted, which allows you to search for journalists and bloggers and monitor the media on Twitter, already has a database of over 10,000 journalists, and media professionals can request to be listed by filling out a form and linking their Twitter accounts. The Next Web reports.

 A Dutch start-up is developing a Farmville-like Facebook game, NewsGame, that will generate original reporting (and pay for it), reports the Nieman Lab.

The late New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid’s death raises questions of how to keep journalists safe in war zones. Steve Myers from Poynter reports.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-26 18:46

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An email from Peter Horrocks (pictured), the director of BBC World News Ltd. to the division’s 2,400 editorial and non-editorial employees asking them to consider, as their job appraisals approach, how they can help the organization increase its income has been leaked to British newspapers, raising concerns about whether financial pressures are affecting the public broadcaster’s journalistic standards.

The email, as reproduced by the Independent, gives staff four categories of Global News objectives for 2012/13: impact, income, innovation and integration. Predictably, it is the second "i" that is causing problems: the memo, signed with an informal "Peter," asks that BBC employees, including journalists, “exploit new commercial opportunities; maximize the value we create with our journalism.”

"Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can strengthen our commercial focus and grow income,” the email continued, highlighting the fact that “these objectives apply to all parts of Global News: editorial and non-editorial.”

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-26 16:27

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Clay Shirky for Nieman Lab on Gawker's method of managing comments to make sure the best ones rise to the surface.

The evolution of WordPress from a simple blogging platform and open source project to a content management system, and finally to a Paas (Platform as a Service), according to Adii Pienaar, the CEO and co-founder of WooThemes, one of the largest theme and infrastructure providers for WordPress sites, for GigaOM.

The Independent’s publisher is considering locating all of its titles (the Independent, i, the Independent on Sunday and the Evening Standard) on a single floor in its current base in London’s Kensignton, which is already “bulging at the seams,” and encouraging journalists to work from home, as radical cost-cutting measures. Roy Greenslade reports for the Guardian.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-06-25 18:49

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Forty-one percent of tablet-bound readers prefer reading on the web, compared to the 30% who would rather launch an app from a specific publisher, according to a new survey from the Online Publishers Association. Aggregated news-reading apps like Flipboard and Zite rated surprisingly low on the list, according to Read Write Web.

Flipboard has now officially launched on all Android devices and integrated Google+ and YouTube, reports TechCrunch.

The Guardian was crowned "website of the year" and took home four other prizes at the 2012 Online Media Awards last night, the newspaper proudly reports. The Huffington Post and MailOnline were also honoured.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-22 18:55

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There was a time when “local” and “sustainable” were most often seen together as buzzwords for ethical vegetables; lately, these virtues are just as likely to be paired in conversations about digital news platforms.

Local news is experiencing both crisis and renaissance: as industry upheaval continues to swallow up metropolitan and regional newspapers (a site called Newspaper Death Watch sprouted up in 2007 to track the North American casualties), some of the journalists being turned into the streets are putting their ear to the asphalt, listening carefully, and participating in the online reincarnation of neighbourhood reporting.

Today’s column by the Guardian’s Roy Greesnslade, headlined “Local news crisis: look what journalists who know their patch can achieve,” offers an excerpt from a book by political correspondent Les Reid (What do we mean by Local?), in which Reid celebrates the community value of local coverage. He emphasizes local reporters’ abilities to scrutinize their politicians from close-up, and points to the opportunities offered by the Internet in terms of information-gathering, publishing space, and live coverage.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-22 18:18

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Twenty years after the first UN Earth Summit in 1992, the world’s leaders have once again descended upon Rio de Janeiro to talk about the planet. At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, more commonly referred to as Rio+20, they are slated to spend three days (June 20-22) deciding how to address the interrelated evils of poverty, hunger, energy shortages and environmental degradation. Although it is the largest event ever organized by the UN, as Valentine Pasquesoone from French newspaper Le Monde pointed out yesterday, the media's coverage of the high-level meeting has been permeated with a sense of cynicism that seems to hang over the Earth Summit like a cloud of smog.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-21 18:38

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The BBC College of Journalism’s newly re-launched website has published some useful advice for journalists about how to report on big numbers, without falling into traps that lead to inaccuracy.

Politifact Editor Bill Adair has published an editorial for Poynter, in which he argues that it is time to “blow up the news story.” We need to seek alternatives to the old inverted pyramid article form, says Adair, and find new ways to do journalism in the digital age.

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade argues that switching to digital shouldn’t be seen as an excuse by publishers to axe journalism jobs. He criticises companies “misusing the digital revolution to effect cuts designed to bolster margins while funding obscene senior executive salaries.”

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-06-21 18:34

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If you are asked to imagine the founder of a social network, someone like Mark Zuckerberg might be the first thing to come to mind – the kind of person who starts the project in his dorm room and wears a hoodie to investor meetings.

But over the past couple days, a new social network founder has surfaced: the politician.

Yesterday UK MP Louise Mensch launched Menshn.com, a social network currently only available in the US, which mimics Twitter but allows users to discuss issues by topic.

On the same day, the Guardian reported that the Kremlin is preparing to create a Russian social network to rival Facebook

It goes without saying that these are very different ventures, created for very different reasons.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-06-20 19:00

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The Tor Project is one of the six organsations that recently won a big grant from Knight Foundation, as part of the Knight News Challenge. It’s easy to understand why it caught the eyes of the judges, and walked away with $320,000.

The project is a non-profit organisation that provides free, open-source software to allow users to act anonymously online. As the project’s website explains, Tor has created a series of “virtual tunnels,” which distribute users’ transactions to different locations around the Internet, so that they cannot be pinpointed to a single place. Tor hides users’ activity among that of other members of the network, so the more people using it, they more secure it becomes.

Tor was first developed in a US Navy lab, with the aim of securing government communications, as Nieman Lab explains. Now, however, the network has a wide range of uses for the general public, not least for journalists and whistleblowers.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-06-20 16:19

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Yesterday, Jim Romenesko busted Jonah Lehrer, who was just hired by the New Yorker, for plagiarizing himself repeatedly at NewYorker.com, Wired, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and in his 2009 book, How We Decide. New York Magazine's Joe Coscarelli looks into it.

Comment moderators work with algorithms to police pages and shied users from content that is obscene, racist, or otherwise offensive. As the web gets more social and the shouts grow louder, their jobs become more stressful. Charlie Warzel reports for AdWeek. First comment below the piece? “Great article really enjoyed reading.”

British Member of Parliament Louise Mensch has launched a US-only social network and potential Twitter rival, Menshn.com (reportedly a play on the word “mention,” not on her name) that allows you to debate by subject. The Guardian reports.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-20 15:37

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Julian Assange has applied for political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London – a refuge that has been called an “ironic” choice for the whistleblower, given Ecuador’s poor press freedom record, and its president’s open contempt for the non-state media.

Ecuador’s administration “appears to have a warm relationship with Mr. Assange,” and has agreed to consider the application, according to The New York Times. The WikiLeaks founder will remain at the country's embassy in Knightsbridge, where he arrived in person Tuesday evening, until authorities have reached a decision, reported Wired.

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Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-20 13:36

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Meet the 25 most dangerous people in financial media (in a good way), according to the Huffington Post.

No longer lone wolves with lenses, photojournalists are increasingly traveling in packs, writes James Estrin for The New York Times' Lens Blog.

The “Surface” - Microsoft's tablet – was introduced yesterday, reports The New York Times; Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff evaluates.

British journalists not covered by the Press Complaints Commission could lose their right to press cards, reports the Guardian.

Regional UK newspaper publisher Johnston Press announces more job cuts in Yorkshire and the Midlands, reports Andrew Pugh of PressGazette.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-19 19:08

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Sparknews, launched in Paris on May 31, is a self-described “social start-up” designed to harness the power of journalism to spark positive change in the world.

If that sentence had you reaching for your idealism-dimming goggles, think again. “We’re not talking about ‘good news’ journalism, like the prince’s wedding or ‘today a baby panda was born in a zoo,’” specified Sparknews founder Christian de Boisredon, in a phone interview. “There are websites where they only deal with good news, and why not? But that’s not our target…we are interested in concrete solutions.”

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Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-06-19 18:35

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This summer’s London Olympics are set to be a time of intense competition – and not just for the athletes involved in the sporting events. Yesterday, Facebook unveiled “Explore London 2012:” its new portal for this summer’s Olympic Games, suggesting that traditional media outlets may be facing increasing competition from social media in their coverage of this year’s Olympics.

Explore London 2012, which Reuters reports took 18 months to develop, is a gateway to other Facebook pages, relating to individual athletes, country teams and sporting events. Users who like the main portal will also see updates from the Olympics in their newsfeeds, and those who like individual pages will also be able to see their posts and pictures from the Games. The whole process allows fans and athletes to communicate directly though posts and comments, rather that working through the medium of a news organisation.

Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch writes that the link between the Games and Facebook is “not exclusive”. The Games will also have a branded Twitter page (something we have already seen for NASCAR) a portal on Google+ and partnerships with Foursquare, Tumblr and Instragram.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-06-19 15:30

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What if you could cross out tweets, asks Oliver Reichenstein, designer at the digital product company iA. He argues in a blog post that the new system could help users acknowledge their errors without looking as if they are trying to cover them up.

Reichenstein explains why he thinks a crossed-out tweet would be better than a deleted one: “A missing tweet also doesn’t explain why it’s missing. Excuses might be posted after the mistake happened — but they might also never be seen,” he writes.

“The only format that clearly states a mistake is a fat strike through. It is a strong answer to any interpretations and accusations that follow. It clearly says: “Don’t read this. This is all wrong. I take it back. I’m sorry.” Deleted tweets don’t say that — they smell like a cover-up and often make you look suspicious. And apologetic follow-up tweets don’t have the power to neutralize that screenshot of you screwing up,” he argues.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-06-19 10:49


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