WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


July 2012

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As the wind picks up for Google Authorship's page rank implications, the oft-daunting waters of search engine optimization (SEO) seem poised to get a dash less foreboding for digital journalists.

Launched along with Google+ last summer, Google Authorship makes it possible for "content creators" to 1) verify the authorship of their content, and 2) build two-way connections between the original work they produce on the web and their Google+ profiles.

Part of the initial idea was to stop web pirates who scrape original content from other people’s pages and drop it onto their own from hoisting themselves above those whose work they have pillaged in Google’s search results. It also helped to lure media people to Google+ with the promise of richer, better-looking search result snippets (SERPs) with click through rate-enhancing potential. These include a thumbnail profile photo and links, like so:

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-31 17:40

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"The collective intelligence of the newsroom is something we rarely exploit efficiently," writes Gavin Sheridan, Innovation Director of Storyful in a blog post where he discusses the concept of newsrooms as intelligence agencies.

On the Ebyline Blog, Susan Johnston reports on the acceleration of paywalls at US newspapers based on the latest data from the Newspaper Association of America.

The Guardian reports that Twitter has suspended the account of Guy Adams, a journalist for the UK's Independent, who was critical of Olympics coverage by NBC.

"At the Financial Times, we recognized early on that the continued success of our business depended on our ability to adapt to changing reader habits," writes Rob Grimshaw of the FT in an article about "publishing in the age of social media" on The Economist Group's website.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-31 17:23

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Kevin Carter’s most famous photograph shows a malnourished toddler who had buckled in the dirt under the menacing gaze of a vulture in southern Sudan as she tried to reach a feeding centre.

The image appeared on page 3 of The New York Times on March 26, 1993, and then in other publications around the world as what Bill Keller has called “a metaphor for Africa's despair,” drawing global attention and aid to a famine-stricken region. 

Carter reportedly waited 20 minutes before taking the iconic photograph, in hopes that the creature, seemingly poised to devour the child, would spread its wings. It did not. Once he had captured the image, the photographer chased the bird away, and the toddler continued her journey.

Tags

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-30 19:20

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"The biggest media event in history," might well be shaping up into "the biggest circulation war for decades," according to a report from the Guardian, which highlights the extensive efforts by the British press regarding Olympics coverage.

Offices of the Mexican newspaper El Norte near Monterrey have been attacked three times in less than a month. In the most recent attack, on Sunday, armed and masked men broke into the offices and started a fire using gasoline, according to a report from The Telegraph.

Brazilian newspapers are reporting growth in average daily circulation as well as advertising revenue, according to data from the Circulation Verification Institute (IVC) and published on news.com.au.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-30 17:34

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It may be a competitive time of year for the world’s best swimmers and kayakers, but 10 teams of data visualization experts are approaching the London 2012 Olympic Games as a golden opportunity for collaboration.

The “graphics consortium” is an informal agreement between 10 design teams from eight countries around the world, from Argentina to Oman*, to pool their Olympic graphics.

The brainchild of Matt Martel, Managing Editor, Presentation for Australia’s The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald, the idea is for each participating graphics team to both upload and download editable files via OneHub and DropBox, allowing individual teams to tailor one-another’s contributions to suit their needs, whether by changing the typography or the format, and then cross-publish the graphics in their respective publications, on as many platforms as they wish. The swap is free, honour-system-based, and stipulates only that accreditation be offered to the publication that provides the work.

A February 14 email from Martel to his international counterparts outlines the concept:

“Co-operative sharing of graphics for the Olympics (and maybe later on for major world events) seems to have a bit of momentum. From my understanding you are all up for sharing your Olympics work. That means you will upload some of what you do and take work from others. I believe all the publications involved so far are brilliant at information graphics. It's really exciting company to find myself in.”

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-27 17:56

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Digital subscribers to the Financial Times have surpassed the number of print subscribers and the company says digital revenue now makes up half of the group's overall revenue, reports Ingrid Lunden on TechCrunch.

The Guardian is offering its website readers the opportunity to hide Olympics coverage on the site with the click of a "show Olympics/hide Olympics" button, writes Rachel McAthy on journalism.co.uk. The website used a similar button for readers to opt out of Royal Wedding coverage last year, McAthy notes.

The owner of the New Orleans Saints football team, Tom Benson, is part of a group that is expressing interest in buying the New Orleans Times-Picayune, writes Andrew Beaujon on Poynter. In a separate development, Beaujon notes that a US Senator from Louisana, David Vitter, is urging Advance Publications and its owner, Steven Newhouse, to sell the paper.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-27 16:29

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The editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian and two of the weekly newspaper's senior journalists are now considered suspects in a criminal investigation in connection with allegations of theft and illegal distribution of information.

Editor-in-Chief Nic Dawes and investigative reporters Sam Sole and Stefaans Brümmer appeared at a police station in Pretoria yesterday for “warning interviews” with the directorate for priority crime investigation (also known as the Hawks) where they were read their rights and given an opportunity to respond to the charges laid against them at the behest of presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj last November. If they are found guilty, the three could potentially face 15-year prison sentences.

The criminal charges stem from an article that the newspaper had been due to publish last November pertaining to Maharaj’s possible involvement with a corrupt arms deal that took place in the mid-1990s, while he was transport minister.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-27 15:18

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The first blow came on Monday, when the estate of the late billionaire Sidney Harman, which co-owns the Newsweek Daily Beast Co with IAC/Interactive Corp, officially announced that it would no longer be investing in the loss-making venture.

The second landed yesterday, when IAC’s Chairman Barry Diller let slip during a quarterly earnings call that “the transition to online from hard print will take place,” ostensibly giving this fall or sometime next year as the point by which the company would have come up with a plan to bury the 79-year-old weekly print magazine, transforming it into a web-only presence.

Naturally, this drove the Twittisphere into a frenzy, with some commentators more bereaved by the alleged news than others:

In the wake of Diller’s comments, Tina Brown, Editor in Chief of Newsweek and its digital bedfellow The Daily Beast, conducted damage control in the form of an email to all Newsweek Daily Beast Employees yesterday with the subject line “Scaremongering.” The email, obtained by Politico, begins: 

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-26 17:59

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The New York Times was in the news on several fronts today. First, Peter Kafka on AllThingsD.com, reports that the newspaper has seen an increase in circulation revenue, but that both print and digital advertising figures are down. Kafka also notes the number of digital subscribers has climbed to 532,000. According to a report on FishbowlNY, the company might announce a new CEO as soon as September (former CEO Janet Robinson left late last year).

In other NYT news, Reuters reports that as of this past Monday, the Times has pulled the plug on its BlackBerry app. And, in yet another report, former Executive Editor Bill Keller tells GigaOM's Mathew Ingram why we should defend WikiLeaks.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-26 12:19

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One year and one day after the News of the World published its last-ever issue, two British journalists were arrested on suspicion of alleged payments to public officials.

That is, two more British journalists; the Daily Star Sunday’s Deputy News Editor Tom Savage and the Sunday Mirror’s crime correspondent Justin Penrose brought the total number of journalists Scotland Yard had arrested in connection with phone hacking, computer misuse and corrupt payments to 34, reported the BBC.

Notably, Savage and Penrose were the second and third journalists to be arrested who had not been employed at publications owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. A week prior, former Mirror employee Greig Box Turnbull had become the first.

These arrests, which took place on July 11, demonstrated the broadening scope of an investigation that began with the discovery of phone hacking at the News of the World, and has spread over the past year beyond voicemail interception and the Murdoch empire to all manners of misconduct in every corner of the British press and police force.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-25 18:29

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International news design guru Mario García discusses in a blog post the new newsroom positions "that are becoming an integral part of the top editorial team for so many newspapers."

Speaking of new jobs, in a post at MediaShift Idea Lab, Dan Sinker offers several video interviews with staffers at The New York Times and ProPublica discussing why they enjoy working as developers in the newsroom.

Apple sold a record 17 million iPads in its last fiscal quarter, but the company's earnings fell short of Wall Street's expectations, reports Erica Ogg on GigaOM.

The Guardian and The Observer have announced that their website "is the third most popular newspaper website in the world, reaching 30.4 million unique users in June 2012, behind Mail Online and the New York Times."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-25 18:23

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As baby boomers hit their 60s, that stats are beginning to skew in interesting ways, For example, NewMedia TrendWatch expect that "the fastest growth among tablet users as a whole will come in the under-12 and 65-and-older age groups." As this latter, older age group migrates to tablets, the publishing industry needs to ensure that the product remains attractive.

The technology itself will continue to evolve and most likely become simpler. For example, Japan's biggest mobile phone comany DoCoMo is focused on building in speech recognition for older people, working in a similar way to Siri. In a similar vein, Fujitsu recently launched an Android smartphone, the Raku Raku, with an interface specifically re-invented for older users.

But how do we design content for older users?

There is a clichéd assumption that older readers are looking for simplicity: Fewer photos, simpler graphics, easy to read fonts. The satirical website The Onion plays up to this by imagining a version of Time Magazine 'for adults' - instead of the colourful and accessible version on the newsstands today. 

Author

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2012-07-25 18:12

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Storyful is, according to Founder and CEO Mark Little, “the first news agency for the social media age:" it sources news content from the "real-time web," authenticates it, and delivers it to an influential roster of clients, including The New York Times and the Economist.

Part tech start-up, part news agency, it is powered by a small team of professional journalists scattered around the globe – from Dublin to San Francisco and Hong Kong – who work as social media “field producers,” using a combination of algorithms and human skill to pick up early warning signals of breaking news, pinpoint sources on the ground, decide which tweets, photos and videos are “actionable,” and feed this verified social content to their publishing partners.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-25 17:43

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It is a truth near-universally acknowledged, that a news organisation in possession of a reputable but costly print heritage must be in want of an effective online video strategy.

After all, audience eyes and advertising dollars are increasingly gravitating toward YouTubelast month in the U.S. more than 180 million people watched 33 billion videos, according to the comScore’s Online Video Rankings, and video advertising had its best month on record, with U.S. Internet users watching 11 billion video ads.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-24 18:45

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The Guardian reports that eight people, including Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, are to be charged as a result of the year-long investigation into the phone hacking scandal.

The Knight Foundation continues its ongoing investment in media with the announcement of funding and support for five new projects. "The funding from Knight will go toward fact-checking and transparency work, as well as to efforts to increase support for and visibility of women in the tech sector," writes Justin Ellis on Nieman Journalism Lab.

In the US, 155 people have been offered buyouts at The Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and the Detroit Media Partnership, according to a report on Poynter by Mallary Jean Tenore. And in related news, Dan Kennedy on Media Nation writes that The Boston Globe is going through another round of cuts with 43 people being offered buyouts and another 10 laid off.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-24 18:30

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The newsroom of Le Journal de Montréal, the largest-circulation French-language newspaper in North America, has a distinctive feature: it is practically devoid of journalists.

This is not because Québecor Media Inc, the tabloid’s parent company and one of Canada’s largest media conglomerates, has locked them outside of the building, as it did on January 24, 2009, causing 253 of the tabloid’s unionised staff to picket outside for two years, in what became the longest media labour dispute in Canadian history; rather, it is part of the company’s latest modernization strategy.

“The news isn’t [in the newsroom], it is outside with people. This is where my journalists are,” Le Journal de Montréal's Editor in Chief Dany Doucet reportedly said earlier this year in an interview with Le ProjetJ, an industry news site sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation. “They come here when they have something specific to do in the office.”

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-24 11:10

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Rupert Murdoch has stepped down from the boards of all his newspaper businesses, reports Press GazetteDan Sabbagh in the Guardian points out that "the 81-year-old is no longer a director of a UK company for the first time since the late 1960s."

"News curators must collect, summarize, make sense, add value, attribute, link, intrigue and entice," writes Steve ButtryDigital First Media's Director of Community Engagement & Social Media, in a post on his blog titled "Curation techniques, types and tips." 

Digital First's new curation team was supposed to begin work next Monday, but following the shooting in Colorado, the company assembled a 'makeshift' team to help MediaNews Group title The Denver Post report on the tragedy, reports Journalism.co.uk.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-23 18:47

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Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (pictured) was the first female elected to lead an African state, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Now, she has committed to repealing criminal defamation, and to advancing freedom of expression across the African continent.

On Saturday July 21, Sirleaf joined South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger in endorsing the Declaration of Table Mountain, an initiative by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) that aims for the continent-wide abolishment of criminal defamation and insult laws, and the promotion of press freedom to a higher position on the pan-African agenda.

“We are signing the Declaration of Table Mountain in order to underscore our message loud and clear, to advance a free press and freedom of expression, not just in Liberia but the entire continent of Africa,” President Sirleaf said at a signing ceremony in Monrovia on Saturday.

Adopted at the World Newspaper Congress in Cape Town in 2007, the Declaration of Table Mountain has been described by WAN-IFRA's Director of Press Freedom Alison Meston as "an earnest appeal to all Africans, particularly those in power, to recognise that the political and economic progress they seek flourishes in a climate where the press is free and independent of governmental, political or economic control."

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-23 16:40

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Poynter's Beth Winegarner offers six tips to help journalists cope with covering tragedies, such as the shooting last night at a movie theater near Denver, Colorado. In a related story, also on Poynter, Julie Moos takes a look at how news of that shooting spread.

Tim Burrowes on mUmBRELLA points out how paywalls are changing the way journalists write and a lurking danger that can come with this change.

On GigaOM, Mathew Ingram discusses the backlash at Instagram and what it says about the future of media.

In a weekend long-read, Marie Brenner of Vanity Fair provides an in-depth look into the life and last days of journalist Marie Colvin, who was killed while covering the ongoing violence in Syria in February.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-20 19:30

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The smartphone has become the latest hope for news outlets struggling to fight falling print revenue.

The Star, Malaysia’s most read English daily, recently introduced the iSnap, a feature that brings the “newspaper to life” using augmented reality technology and two major Australian publishers, Fairfax and News Limited have both launched new smartphone enhancements in the past month.

Over at The Star, iSnap sprang from an internal challenge thrown to the New Media Department and to the paper’s technology partner, Knorex Pte Ltd of Singapore. Summoned by the owners to find new ways to enhance the flagship publication, both teams started an intense brainstorming session that eventually triggered the iSnap concept.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-07-20 18:14

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Roy Greenslade reports that a website editor in Belarus has been arrested for publishing photos of teddy bears pinned with press freedom messages, which were air-dropped into the country earlier this month by the Swedish Ad Agency Studio Total. See our earlier report on the airdrop here.

Time Inc. Sports Group, which publishes Sports IllustratedSI Kids and Golf, is reducing its editorial staff by 16 people, mainly through “voluntary departures,” according to AdWeek.

The Telegraph says a group of major News Corporation investors is seeking to have Rupert Murdoch removed as chairman during the company's annual general meeting in October.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-07-19 20:04

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Hatched in the same laboratory as Siri, the voice-based assistant acquired by Apple, Trapit is a personalized search and discovery engine that runs on the premise that your love for your friends may not always extend to their taste in reading material.

“Personalization has become nothing more than a buzzword,” said Hank Nothhaft Jr, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Trapit, which has been on the web since November, and unveiled its free iPad app today. “Personalization should be about you, the individual, and your unique tastes and interests, not about what your friends are buzzing about on Facebook and Twitter.”

Compared with other “personalized” news aggregators such as Flipboard, Trapit takes a distinctly antisocial approach to content discovery. Its goal is to capture the rich, long-tail content that is burrowing in hidden niches of the “deep web,” and serve it to you exactly as you like it, based on a thorough, algorithmic understanding your appetite (that we will get to in a moment).

Anti-social media

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-19 16:33

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The Guardian wants to aggregate the web’s best journalism, and it wants your help,” begins Mashable’s Lauren Indvik as she reports on the newspaper’s plans to launch a “pop-up aggregator” today. The way to participate? Tweet great commentary and analysis on trending stories with the hashtag #smarttakes.

A court order has banned the BBC from broadcasting a docu-drama about last year’s London riots, the Guardian reports, and the broadcaster's lawyers are considering making a formal appeal.

The digital news payments kiosk Piano Media through which numerous Slovenian and Slovakian publishers charge for content has announced that seven publishers in Poland (who are together behind 26 national and regional newspapers, 42 websites and 11 magazines) will adopt a joint subscription system in September, Journalism.co.uk and PaidContent report.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-18 18:32

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At first glance, it sounds like the end of the road. Either $500k was a bargain for a site that was once the 24th most popular website in the US, or it was in terminal decline.

But look again and you see that the site was bought by the startup developer Betaworks - with the clear intention of merging with their social news aggregator news.me. There's potentially a big synergy there - a site that encourages users to vote up the best stories on the web (with a Newsroom section in beta) and a site that collates all the news your contacts are sharing and sends it to you in a daily email.

But there are two interesting differences that have relevance to other aggregators in an increasingly crowded market:-

1) news.me is focused on news stories (as you might expect from the name). It does not have digg's ambitious aim to "discover and share content from anywhere on the web". This makes it clearly relevant to publishers, and more of a Taptu than a Flipboard.

Author

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2012-07-18 17:53


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