WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Mon - 23.10.2017


December 2012

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Looking through lists of cute cat pictures, or 49 Things That Taste Like Christmas, and tags that include “LOL” or “trashy” or “wtf”, it would be easy to dismiss BuzzFeed as beneath the attention of serious editors and journalists.

But listening to the site’s editorial director, Scott Lamb, speaking in Paris at Sciences Po university’s New Practices in Journalism conference last week, it became evident that there is more to the site than first meets the eye, and that it can offer lessons that could be useful for publishers of all journalistic products.

Lamb was clear that BuzzFeed doesn’t aim to simply provide mindless entertainment. “We think of ourselves as a news organisation,” he said. “We are not going to be able to compete with The Wall Street Journal, but we can cover things that other people don’t.” It is this sentiment that led to the hiring of Ben Smith, a well-regarded political journalist who had been at Politico, as editor-in-chief in December 2011.

Controls
Newsletter: 
0

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-12-18 10:51

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

As 2013 approaches, many of us are thinking about what the new year will bring for news organizations.

Ken Doctor

The cycle of reinvention that has been driving newsroom change for the past decade continues to yield new digital tools and tricks, generating some much needed enthusiasm and creating a micro industry for digitally minded journalists and marketers.

Designer Mario Garcia sees 2013 as a year when editors and publishers move into a more practical and positive space, implementing ideas, finding a niche for their printed products and concentrating on brand extension and storytelling.

Among those commentators now gazing into their crystal balls, there seems to be agreement that mobile offers sustainability and it is likely that some publishers will respond by printing their products less frequently in 2013, cutting costs significantly. Even so, the gap between print and digital revenues is still an uncomfortable issue that underpins any discussion about the future. It is this that is currently driving editorial budget cuts and redundancies on even the most forward thinking and digitally focused newspapers.

Raju Narisetti

Author

Cherilyn Ireton

Date

2012-12-17 15:40

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

The Huffington Post is to launch a Japanese-language site in partnership with Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese daily, the two companies announced today. According to a press release, Huffington Post Japan is currently recruiting a veteran editor-in-chief and editorial team in preparation for its launch, but a date was not given.

"I'm delighted to welcome Japan to the HuffPost family," said Arianna Huffington, quoted in the press release. "As our first edition in Asia, HuffPost Japan is more than just one more step toward our goal of expanding to new countries and continents; it's a reflection of our commitment to inviting ever more voices to join our growing global conversation. Partnering with the Asahi Shimbun Company, with its local expertise and grasp of Japan's history, culture, and unique personality, we'll be telling the stories that matter most both to those who live in Japan and those who care deeply about Japan -- and just as important, helping the people of Japan tell their stories themselves."

As the release notes, Asahi Shimbun is one of the largest papers in the world, with a daily circulation of 8 million copies for the morning edition and 3.4 million for the evening edition, with reporting in English, Chinese and Korean as well as Japanese.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-12-14 18:32

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have each declined to sign a United Nations treaty on telecommunications and the Internet. The US Ambassador to the conference, Terry Kramer, stated that ‘we candidly cannot support an ITU treaty that is inconsistent with a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.’

Recent research by the UK regulator Ofcom suggests that Internet users ‘already rely more on the network than newspapers and magazines for their national news’ and the Internet is likely to overtake TV also.

The online culture and current affairs magazine Slate is the latest in a long line of news organizations to consider a pay model – in its own words, a ‘subscription-based premium membership program’.

22 victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal have reached court settlements, including the radio DJ Jamie Theakston and Robbie Williams’s ex-girlfriend, Lisa Brash.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-14 17:25

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Renowned Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, whose satirical drawings targeting corruption and lampooning dictators have been published worldwide, received the 2012 Gebran Tueni Award Wednesday, an annual prize given jointly by WAN-IFRA and Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper that honours an outstanding individual from the news media in the Arab region.

The award recognises Mr Farzat’s unprecedented contribution to freedom of expression and acknowledges his unwavering commitment, despite physical attack, to exposing the excesses of power through his cartoons.

The ceremony took place in Beirut on 11 December on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the murder of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and a leading WAN-IFRA Board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005. Mr Farzat was unable to collect the award in person due to security concerns, but joined the ceremony via Skype to give his thanks to An-Nahar and praise the memory of its iconic late publisher.

“His cartoons transcend borders, cultures and political divides: they speak a thousand words on behalf of human indignity,” said Lars Munch, Director of Denmark’s JP/Politikens, accepting the award on Mr Farzat’s behalf. “He has no intention of laying his pen to rest.”

Author

Andrew Heslop

Date

2012-12-14 11:27

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times wrote earlier this month about the importance of journalists being there when news happens. Risk-averse, cost-focused news organizations had begun their retreat from the world long ago, Keller wrote, lamenting that the truly committed foreign correspondent was something of an endangered species.

Sadly, in many areas, this issue goes far beyond a diminished corps of foreign correspondents.

The truly committed journalist, who is prepared to make personal sacrifices to tell the story despite economic, social and political obstacles, is in some societies also under threat. And how many publishers are still hiring and training and deploying journalists who are able to make their own calls on how close they get to risky situations?

So when exceptions arise, they are worth making a fuss about. Two Africans who understand the need to be there were in Zambia this week to share their newspaper experiences with participants on WAN-IFRA’s Women in News programme.

Author

Cherilyn Ireton

Date

2012-12-13 17:52

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

‘There’s been huge hysteria in some branches of the press in the last two days, saying we’re going down the road of Zimbabwe, that we’re going to be another Kazakhstan – that’s nonsense.’ So said Stephen Pritchard, readers’ editor of The Observer, in an interview with me last week in the aftermath of the Leveson report. He’s right, of course: feverish and emotional editorializing from so clear a vested interest as the tabloid press, particularly in light of the disgusting behaviour that presaged the inquiry, can easily be dismissed as fundamentally unserious. Yet the danger of allowing extreme examples advocated by discredited sources to cloud legitimate concerns over the independence and freedom of the press has been starkly illustrated today, in the story of Maria Miller and the Daily Telegraph that ought to serve as a cautionary tale for those inclined to take such freedoms for granted.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-12 19:13

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Imprisonment of journalists worldwide reached a record high in 2012, according to a comprehensive study by the press freedom watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The research adumbrates details of the worst excesses of offending countries, identifying a total of 232 individuals behind bars - an increase of 53 on its 2011 tally. The list take the form of a snapshot of those incarcerated as of 12.01am on December 1, 2012; it thus does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released at other points throughout the year.

The report identifies Turkey, Iran and China as having the most egregious records, with the three countries doing much to swell the overall total to its highest point since the CPJ first began conducting surveys in 1990. Eritrea and Syria were additionally classified as among the very worst offenders, with Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia completing the top ten. Anti-democratic regimes in such countries were cited by the study as displaying evidence of extensive, autocratic and indiscriminate use of vague anti-state laws, such as terrorism, treason and subversion, in order to silence dissent and political opposition without so much as a perfunctory concession either to due process or to the rule of law.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-11 19:28

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

In the third instalment of our series of interviews with knowledgeable figures in the wake of the Leveson report, I sent some questions via email to Professor George Brock. Professor Brock has been the Head of the Department of Journalism at City University London since September 2009, and before that spent 28 years at The Times. He is a former President of the World Editors Forum.

Editors Weblog: Do you agree with Lord Justice Leveson that 'this is not, and cannot be characterised as, statutory regulation of the press'?

George Brock: It's not statutory regulation of the press but it does introduce an element of statute where none has operated before. That's not without risk.

Putting the issue of whether or not this regulation should be statutory, do you agree in principle with the sort of body that Leveson proposes to establish?  

Yes, I think it would be an improvement on what has gone before – most particularly the "arbitral arm" which would promise quicker, cheaper redress in cases of defamation of invasion of privacy. The length and cost of cases has been a major issue and tipped the scale too far in favour of big media.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-10 17:15

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

The Washington Post is the latest US paper that is reportedly planning an online paywall in the upcoming year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Washington-based daily will introduce a metered payment model in the summer of 2013 or later. This comes as the paper tackles a steep decline in its core business of print advertising, the Journal notes.

A Washington Post article adds that “Access to the home page and section fronts would not be limited,” and that home subscribers to the print edition would have full access to the paper’s website and other digital products.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-12-07 19:10

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Mashable lists 11 ‘tech trends for 2013’, analysing developing technologies which it says will play an increasingly central part in the future of modern media;

In a bid to save £7 million from its budget, Guardian News & Media reveals plans to cut 68 editorial posts;

After years of bad headlines for the news industry, The Economist claims that ‘things have started to look a bit less grim, particularly in America’, regarding newspaper circulation figures;

The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones has a special report on the social media revolution in China, including an in-depth look at the company Tencent – described as a ‘powerhouse’ in the country;

Pulitzer-winning foreign correspondent Paul Salopek is preparing a walk from Africa to South America, documenting his travels over the course of 7 years and 22,000 miles; 

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-07 18:15

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

‘The N.Y. Times is the paper of record that published and stood behind the Pentagon Papers. Where are you now on the brutal prison treatment and studied legalities being visited on US Army Private Bradley Manning? […] It’s unconscionable and sad if The Times sits quietly by saying nothing.’

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-06 19:07

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

How to be successful online? It’s a question newspapers worldwide are asking and the answer may not be much more complicated than something we already know how to do: good editing.

This insight comes from a recent World Editors Forum study tour of multimedia newsrooms in the United States, during which we visited The Huffington Post as well as several other media organizations. 

The HuffPost is one of the most successful news websites in the world. Much has been written about the fact it that aggregates a great deal of its content. As the argument goes, The Huffington Post is getting rich off the work of our journalists. However, that generalization hardly explains its success. The site is edited with sophistication, imagination and attention to detail, just like a good newspaper.

This became clear one morning as I prepared for our group of overseas journalists to visit The Huffington Post as well as the New York Daily News. I was struck by the similarities of their websites. Both covered many of the same stories in a similar fashion. The stories were intriguing, headlines were creative and pictures captured the visitor’s attention. 

Author

Randy Covington

Date

2012-12-06 10:27

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

The Times and the Sunday Times are set to merge their online teams, in a move that is being seen as a precursor to a wider, more comprehensive union of the two editorial operations.

As Roy Greenslade at the Guardian notes, the original decision to keep them separate (made at the behest of Sunday Times editor John Witherow, who wanted to keep his distance from the daily title) was strange; the announcement thus signals that, in Greenslade’s words, ‘good sense appears to have prevailed’.

Whilst such a move appears to make sound financial sense – both papers currently make a loss, and consolidating their respective online editorial teams is clearly a step in the right direction – such a change seems to challenge the undertaking given by Rupert Murdoch on his purchase of both titles in 1981 that he would maintain the distinct identity of each newspaper. Indeed, a source within Wapping, quoted by the Telegraph, stated that ‘it is total insanity to sacrifice the successful Sunday operation on the alter of the daily’.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-05 17:36

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

For the second in a series of interviews on "reactions to Leveson,” we spoke with Guy Black, Lord Black of Brentwood, executive director of the Telegraph Media Group, about his initial reactions to the recommendations for the UK news industry contained in Lord Justice Leveson's 2000-page report. Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance, and a former director of the Press Complaints Commission, Black proposed a new system of regulation to the Leveson Inquiry in conjunction with fellow Conservative member of the House of Lords, David Hunt. Crucially, it aimed to avoid statutory legislation by relying on civil law through the drawing up of binding contracts that news organisations would sign on becoming members of the new regulator. His plan was largely welcomed by the industry, and he has been described by the Guardian as “the man who turned the Tories against Leveson’s plan.

Tags

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-12-05 13:28

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

In a bold move, a number of Egypt's most prominent independent newspapers staged a one day media blackout yesterday in protest against President Mohamed Morsi’s latest constitutional decree that hands him nearly unrestricted powers, as well as the final draft of the constitution that was adopted last week by an Islamic-led panel.

The draft constitution has been criticised for not protecting the rights of women and minority groups, and many see it as restricting freedom of expression. While Article 45 protects freedom of expression, it does not state what legitimate limitations are permissible. Nor does it outline how it will balance against other articles, such as Article 31 (”The individual person may not be insulted”) and Article 44 (prohibiting “the insulting of prophets”). These articles will make reforming provisions within the existing penal code that criminalise  “insult” and defamation, and that were frequently used to prosecute critics of the government, almost impossible. It is also important to note that criminal prosecutions on charges of “insulting the president” or “insulting the judiciary” have increased since Morsy took office.

Thirteen newspapers, including Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Tahrir, Al-Wafd, Al-Watan, Al-Youm Al-Sabae, Al-Fagr and Al-Ahrar, took part in the strike, while ONTV, Dream TV and CBC channels plan to temporarily cease broadcasting on Wednesday.

Author

Farah Wael

Date

2012-12-05 11:31

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

In the first of a series of interviews with prominent figures in the aftermath of the Lord Justice Leveson's report into press standards, I talked this morning with Stephen Pritchard. Pritchard is serving his second term as president of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen. He is the Observer's first readers' editor, a post he has held since 2001. Before taking up the role he was the paper's production editor and managing editor. His speech on Leveson to the World Editors Forum in Kiev earlier this year can be read here.

Editors Weblog: The obvious first question to ask is perhaps the most controversial, namely: do you agree with Lord Justice Leveson when he states that ‘this is not, and cannot be characterised as, statutory regulation of the press’?

Stephen Pritchard: I do agree, yes. He went out of his way to emphasise his support for a free press, and felt both that this is not state control and should not be seen as state control. 

He said that it [statute] was an ‘essential’ component to ‘protect the freedom of the press, to reassure the public, and validate the new body’. Do you think all three of those reasons are equally valid? 

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-04 17:11

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

Twenty digital journalism projects have earned US$ 1 million in funding and technical support, making the Challenge the largest fund for digital journalism experimentation in Africa. These projects focus on citizen engagement, investigative tools and whistleblower security.

As one of the judges, I can tell you these projects are applicable anywhere. The list of winners, announced last week – and choosing them was nearly impossible – can be found here.

Thanks to the African Media Initiative, the organizer of the Challenge, a description of all of the entries – some 500 projects – are online and available for browsing. This is a great resource for anyone looking for new digital journalism ideas.

Author

Larry Kilman

Date

2012-12-04 09:44

Image - Display: 
0
Text: 

At a time when the British press is liverish with reaction to the Leveson report, it is worth noting the irony that an event of far greater global moment concerning the defence and propagation of a free press is passing almost without remark. At a conference that begins today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 193 countries will decide whether the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency, should update its International Telecommunication Regulations in order to start actively regulating the Internet. The web has long been shorthand for sprawling, anarchic ungovernability, a ‘nightmare’, as the Economist puts it, ‘for the tidy-minded, and especially for authoritarian governments.’ Indeed, the agenda appears at first to give some cause for concern; some 900 regulatory changes have been proposed covering the Internet, mobile roaming fees and satellite and fixed-line communications, and specific amendments from Russia, China and some Arab countries (17 of the latter pressing for ‘identity information’ about the senders of data) undoubtedly carry the insidious subtext of censorship and autocratic control.

Author

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-12-03 19:21


© 2015 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation