WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


August 2012

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The Washington Post says that U.S. freelance journalist Austin Tice, who had not been heard from for over two weeks, "has been captured and is being held in Syrian government custody."

Patrick Thornton on Poynter reports on "How news organizations are taking advantage of the latest iPad’s features."

Twitter has announced "it will allow advertisers to more easily target their Twitter ad messages to people based on their interests," according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.

Laura Hazard Owen on the paidContent website writes that the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s ebook experiment is paying off.

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

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-31 18:26

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Wednesday night’s speech by U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (if that is in fact his name) brought a slippery specimen known as the truth under the media’s microscope. 

The Wisconsin native’s pants were found to be on fire even before he stepped off the stage, by journalists investigating his claims about President Obama's handling of several issues including the federal deficit, Medicare, the closure of a General Motors plant in his hometown.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-31 17:04

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“Hey everybody - this is barack,” wrote Reddit user Barack Obama, President of the United States on the popular link-sharing community yesterday, casually launching an “I am a…/Ask Me Anything” thread that gave Reddit’s servers a run for their money, and sparked further contemplation of the idea that crowdsourced interviews will soon render journalists obsolete.

On a campaign stop in Reddit’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, as part of a “swing-state tour of college campuses,” President Obama (screenname: PresidentObama) logged onto the site just before 4:30 pm local time, proved his identity with a tweet and a photo (above), and then spent an hour fielding unfiltered questions from the notoriously rowdy Reddit community.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-30 18:33

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In a post on Nieman Lab, Ken Doctor considers whether "newspapers have a shot at stepping ahead of their broadcast rivals as web video evolves."

On Poynter, Mallary Jean Tenore discusses "What Twitter teaches us about writing short & well"

The UK's Press Gazette reports that The Wall Street Journal is hosting a series of events with a tech theme in Shoreditch, East London, for three days from 12 September.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-30 18:08

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"2011 had the most incidents of violence against journalists in Afghanistan yet," according to a report by David Cole on the MediaShift Idea Lab website, which has also mapped the incidents.

Huffington Post launched "Huff Post labs" today. Its first project, called Highlights, is "a collection of the most popular sentences from articles and blog posts across the Huffington Post empire," writes Klint Finley on the TechCrunch website.

Allowing the public access to your reporting process, and accepting more and different contributors than you’d find through traditional means," is really what social is all about, according to Daniel Victor, Social Media Producer at The New York Times in an interview with Muck Rack.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-29 20:07

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This U.S. presidential election season, The Washington Post, NPR and the Sunlight Foundation are inviting developers to delve into their APIs* and show off some of the wild things they can do with data during a weekend-long Election Hackathon.

The challenge is open to any developer who lives in the United States and will be in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. from October 6-7, 2012. Participants are expected to build unique web or mobile applications that illuminate aspects of the presidential race using data from The Washington Post’s newly available APIs, as well as those of NPR, the Sunlight Foundation (a transparency non-profit) and any other sources they can find.

The free hackathon will apparently include six meals and 26 hours of frenzied app building, which can be undertaken either solitarily or in a team of up to five people. Programmers are welcome to explore the APIs in advance, but cannot start on their apps until after registration and bagels on Saturday morning. 

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-29 14:48

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Which GOP governor is the weakest link? Which democrat senator wants to marry a multi-millionaire? The New York TimesDavid Carr consults top authorities in the world of reality television about how the U.S. Republican and Democratic National Conventions could spice up their images.

"At one point, when he was about 24, he took off into the Tasmanian wilderness with just a knife and pitted himself against nature to see if he could survive out there," says Julian Assange’s mother of her son in the Guardian’s compilation of testimonies from the whistleblower’s nearest and dearest.

Pasadena publisher James Macpherson claims to have received death threats five years ago when he began hiring workers in India to write local news stories. Now he has launched Journtent, a system for helping other publishers outsource local reporting. CJR reports.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 19:09

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British newspapers experienced a sporting spike in digital traffic during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

To take an example, the Guardian saw a 23 percent increase in average daily unique browsers, a 21 percent rise in average daily visits, and a 15 percent jump in average daily page views during the Olympics, as compared with figures from 17 days before the Opening Ceremonies. Not including mobile traffic, the site attracted a total of 39.9 million page views – 2.3 million per day, on average – between July 27 and August 12 for Olympic content alone.

These numbers tell a heartening story: the readers are out there.

As print circulation continues its long luge ride – the Guardian’s dropped by another 15.85 percent between July 2011 and July 2012 to 209,354, a rate of decline outpaced only by the Independent, which dropped by 54.28 percent to reach below 83,619 – such news is particularly welcome.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 19:00

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Today, The Wall Street Journal’s publisher Dow Jones announced the launch of WSJ WorldStream, a “near real-time” video blog that will allow viewers to see the world through the lenses of WSJ reporters’ iPhones.

Hundreds of the newspaper’s journalists have already been trained to double as videographers, according to a memo from Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor of WSJ.com, obtained by Jim Romenesko, in which he announces the platform to staff. Equipped with iPhones, they are instructed to shoot video clips up to 45 seconds in length, and upload them directly to the new WorldStream site. From there, editors will review and post the clips within a tight turnaround.

Once part of “the stream,” the video content can be embedded in text stories, incorporated into live video programming and produced video packages, and watched directly on the mobile-optimized WSJ WorldStream site.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-27 18:25

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As Google announces that Hangouts, its most successful Google+ feature, will be making its fist external appearance on NFL.com, The Next Web asks: Could broadcast journalism see a revival in online media? Joel Falconer makes the case for online broadcasters to “use tools such as Hangouts to deliver news as it comes in.”

The New York Times has agreed to sell the struggling About group, including search site About.com, to Barry Diller’s IAC/Interactive for $300 million in cash, reports the Media Decoder blog.

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-27 17:26

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On the eve of the U.S. Republican and Democratic Parties’ National Conventions, major media events during which the parties will officially nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has reported that the journalist’s role in shaping the presidential contenders' personal narratives has been steadily shrinking over the past four campaign cycles. Meanwhile, partisan voices have been assuming a greater degree of direct control over media messages about each candidate’s character and biography.

Partisan sources of information include the candidates themselves, their campaign surrogates (people who represent the campaigns in an official capacity), spin-doctors, political allies, super PAC’s and political ads. As their influence over the media narrative grows, “the press is acting more as an enabler or conduit and less as an autonomous reportorial source,” according to the Pew report, titled “The Master Character Narratives in Campaign 2012,” which was published Thursday, and is based on an examination of the candidates’ portrayals in over 800 stories by 50 major news outlets over a 10-week period ending in August.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-27 16:45

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At leading media companies, like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the majority of traffic now bypasses the homepage, writes Neiman Lab's Adrienne LaFrance. Newsrooms are increasingly finding that visitors to their sites are "coming in through the sidedoor" meaning homepages are perhaps less important than they once were. 

Media Network Carat is predicting that digital ad spending will surpass newspaper ad spending this year. Btobonline reports that "digital ad spending will garner a 15.3 percent share of the global ad market this year, up from a March projection of 14.5 percent."

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-24 19:09

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“We fight for press freedom”: these are the words with which The Sun newspaper accompanied photos of a naked Prince Harry, defying royal aides who had threatened British media organisations tempted to republish the photos with legal action.

Despite having initially complied with requests on Wednesday from Prince Charles’s lawyers not to print the photos, the tabloid decided late on Thursday that it would print them, and explained its decision in an editorial piece published with alongside the photos. The front page article claims that it was in the "public interest" to introduce readers of The Sun’s print edition to images of the third-in-line to the throne playing "strip billiards," “in order for the debate around them to be fully informed.”

Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-24 18:19

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A new long-form journalism website called Mampoer, and based in South Africa, is preparing to launch in the near future, according to journalism.co.uk's Rachel McAthy. Mampoer, "will invite writers to submit pieces of long-form journalism to be downloadable on digital devices," McAthy writes.

Every daily and Sunday title in Northern Ireland suffered circulation declines in the latest ABC report according to an article posted on PressGazette.co.uk. Northern Ireland’s largest-selling daily, The Belfast Telegraph, fell 9.2 percent to 53,847, the article states.

The UK's Independent says prosecutors involved in the phone hacking scandal will reveal a list of the names of up to 600 victims "within weeks."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-23 17:40

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It sounds like the stuff of futuristic science fiction, but article-writing robots are very much a 21st century trend. The practice of using algorithms to generate news content has existed for some time but the technology behind them has become increasingly sophisticated, leading to fears in some quarters that one day newspapers will be almost entirely staffed by untiring, uncomplaining computers. At present, algorithms are particularly suited to producing articles for statistic-heavy subjects like sports and finance but as our lives become increasingly dominated by data, computer writing systems will extend their range.

Narrative Science, a company that turns data into readable articles, is arguably at the forefront of the robot revolution. In the two years since it was officially launched, the Chicago-based team of 30 staffers has managed to attract illustrious clients such as Forbes with the quality of its automated journalism software. Developed by Stuart Frankel, Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum between 2009 and 2010, Narrative Science promises media and publishing companies “an innovative and cost-effective solution for creating high-quality, timely stories.”

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Author

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-22 19:03

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In an article on Adweek's website, Lucia Moses looks at the hugely successful but low-budget approach that US-based publisher Condé Nast has taken in expanding its empire overseas.

In the UK, Robert Andrews on the paidContent website writes that Johnston Press, which publishes some 230 regional newspapers, is gaining ground with its new digital strategy and its use of online outsourcing.

AFP is reporting that the Foreign Correspondents' Clubs of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have expressed alarm over recent reports of intimidation against foreign journalists working in China.

On the MediaShift Idea Lab website, Heather Ford discusses how Wikipedia manages sources for breaking news.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-22 17:38

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The New York Times reports that while "most Western broadcasting and newspaper companies are retrenching, China’s state-run news media giants are rapidly expanding in Africa and across the developing world." The article states the efforts are aimed at improving China’s image and influence around the globe.

Rappler, a news startup in the Philippines, is taking a social media approach to news and using a "mood meter" with its stories in an attempt to understand the role of emotion in news, according to an article from Adrienne LaFrance on the Nieman Lab website.

Twitter could face legal action in India if the website fails to comply with the government's demand to censor objectionable content posted by users, according to a report from The Times of India.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-21 16:23

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The government of Burma has taken a major step towards freedom of expression, according to a report from The Associated Press and published on the Guardian's website. The country has stopped the practice of requiring reporters to submit their articles to state censors before they can be published.

Rachel McAthy on the journalism.co.uk website offers an interesting look at eight examples of long-form digital content projects.

Recovering Journalist Mark Potts highlights a vision for the future of newspapers written 20 years ago by Robert G. Kaiser, the then-newly appointed Managing Editor of The Washington Post, which as Potts points out, remains "a striking document, even today."

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-20 18:43

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s successful attempt to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London has once again thrown the secretive leaking organisation into the spotlight, as Assange clearly intended.

Speaking yesterday from the first floor balcony of the London embassy, Assange did not mention the reason that his extradition from the UK has been sought by Sweden – allegations of rape from two female WikiLeaks volunteers – rather, he focused on what he sees as the US government’s persecution of his organisation.

The US government risks "dragging us all into a dangerous and repressive world in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark," Assange said. He called for the country to “renounce its witch hung against WikiLeaks” and to “pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.”

Ecuador has attempted to seize the moral high ground, arguing that its decision to help Assange is a way to protect freedom of speech. However, given that Ecuador’s government has come under considerable criticism from international and local organisations for its press freedom record, the credibility of this claim is in doubt.  

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-08-20 17:58

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With Volume II of The Clip Report: Insights on the Future of Media, published earlier this month, public relations executive Steve Rubel has once again sought to take the media’s pulse, and harness the zitegeist’s currents into a digital flipboard.

It borrows its title from a fossil of press trends past: the original “clip report” was a tool that Rubel, who is now Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman (the world’s largest independent PR firm), used at the beginning of his PR career in the early 1990s to acquaint himself with the media’s ins and outs.

In those days, it took the shape of a physical tome brimming with press clippings that had been assembled with the help of scissors, glue and a Xerox machine; the August 2012 incarnation, on the other hand, is a smoothly designed, 11-page e-book that Rubel has made available for free, as both a downloadable PDF and as an online slideshow.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-20 09:29

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The Editors Weblog is taking a summer holiday. We will begin posting again on Monday, 20 August.

During our break, you can keep up with industry news through WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-06 09:58

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As Jim Romenesko notes, "This is incredible": In the US, the leadership of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists apparently changed their minds about live tweeting coverage of their open meeting and asked a reporter to leave the room.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) will use up to two pages of content from the Financial Times under terms of a new content deal between the two publications, writes Emily Tullock on PANPA. AFR also now has 20,000 digital subscribers, Tullock notes.

US-based Gatehouse Media, which publishes 78 daily papers, announced this week that its digital revenue increased 32.3 percent over the previous year. However, total revenues for the second quarter were down 4.2 percent from the year before.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-03 17:46

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No se mata la verdad matando periodistas,” or “Killing journalists doesn’t kill the truth," is the title of an initiative, now seeking crowdfunding, in which 126 Mexican journalists will each recount the story of one of their 126 counterparts who has “disappeared” or been killed amidst a dozen years of armed conflict between rival drug trafficking cartels and government forces.

The “Drug War,” declared in 2006, has submerged the country in an unprecedented wave of bloodshed, affecting millions and claiming tens of thousands of lives.

Among those worst-affected by targeted killings and other brutal crime have been the country’s journalists and photographers, particularly those who cover the police force and government, as well as bloggers, editors, media publishers, and anyone who makes it his or her business to spread the truth about the violence that is boiling within Mexico.

Author

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-03 11:43

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The Washington Post announced on 1 August that it has launched a new platform for crowdsourcing. The Post describes “Crowd Sourced” as a "special feature that allows Post journalists to ask questions about today’s concerns and begin a conversation about these issues. Users will be able to answer those questions and vote for the ideas they value most, so the most popular responses are surfaced on the page."

A new wave of news syndication is developing according to Ken Doctor in his latest newsonomics post on Nieman Journalism Lab. "It’s worth paying attention to, because it tells us a lot about how the digital news world is developing," he writes.

Laura Hazard Owen on PaidContent.org reports on the latest paywall trends from US newspapers according to data from the Newspaper Association of America. Owen notes that 87 percent of the 156 US newspapers studied are going with the metered approach, with an average of 11.2 articles being freely available before the viewer is asked to pay.

Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-02 15:35


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