WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


January 2013

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers recorded 68 journalist deaths in 2012, with the on-going Syrian conflict responsible for the highest number of casualties. The by-product of a globally connected age may be an insatiable desire for information, yet the sad truth is that journalists continue to die gathering it.

While the causes vary, the common thread, according to Guy Berger, Director of the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, is that “killers are not being brought to book.”

The word for this is impunity - a failure of justice and a measure of just how broken a society can become. Impunity for those who attack journalists – whether the perpetrators are criminals, terrorists, or government officials - sends an institutionalised message that it is acceptable to target those who speak out or reveal uncomfortable truths. It discourages investigation and silences critics, devaluing the watchdog status of the press over governing institutions. It allows the powerful to ride roughshod over our rights and freedoms.

Worse still, impunity perpetuates similar attacks, year after year. In the decade between 2002 and 2012, at least 801 journalist deaths have been registered.

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Author

Andrew Heslop

Date

2013-01-31 16:37

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The Washington Post has developed a prototype of a news application that could be used to fact-check live speeches and debates. The app is called Truth Teller, and it was built with funding from the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund

According to the paper’s executive producer for digital news, Cory Haik, the project was inspired by politics editor Steven Ginsberg’s visit to a Michele Bachmann rally in August 2011, where the politician repeatedly misled her audience. Ginsberg realized that nobody in attendance seemed to be know they were being misled, and thus the idea to create a real time fact checking device was born.

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-29 18:54

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The New York Times' voluntary buyout deadline came and went yesterday, and although several veteran editors have taken up the offer, it is unlikely that it is a sufficient number to meet the paper’s target of 30 managers. This means that layoffs are almost definitely on the way.

The buyouts are part of an effort to reduce costs for the paper’s extensive newsroom. As reported in the NYT’s Media Decoder blog in December, “the hiring The Times has done in recent years to help make it more competitive online has restored the newsroom to the same size it was in 2003 — about 1,150 people.”

Among high profile staff to accept the buyout is Jim Roberts, an assistant managing editor who, as it was widely noted, will be taking his 75,000+ Twitter followers with him. He announced his decision on Twitter:

"After 26 years at the New York Times, it's time for @nytjim to move on and find a new handle... I've been so privileged to work with true giants of journalism - fearless correspondents, wise analysts & masters of visual expression... I'm particularly grateful to my digital friends, who've schooled me in potential of multimedia, interactive, mobile & social journalism... It's been a long awesome trip. Another will follow. Stay tuned."

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-25 17:46

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In an interesting development, the largely automated NewsCred, which licenses and syndicates content from publishers to other publishers and to brands such as Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson, has added the human touch with an eight-person Editorial Curation team, according to a report yesterday from Jeff John Roberts on paidContent.

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Author

Brian Veseling

Date

2013-01-25 13:31

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The Financial Times is adopting a digital first approach, as detailed yesterday in a memo from editor-in-chief Lionel Barber to staff, published in the Guardian. “We need to ensure that we are serving a digital platform first, and a newspaper second,” Barber wrote, inspired by a visit to Silicon Valley last year which, for him, “confirmed the speed of change.”

The memo focused on the importance of proactively adapting to the new digital age, at a time when 25% of the FT’s online traffic now comes from mobile. The FT will be launching new digital products and services, Barber said, such as a new Weekend FT app and “Fast FT” for markets.

A key aspect of the changes is reducing the cost of producing a newspaper and subsequently increasing investments online. Some resources will be shifted from print to digital, and journalists will be trained “to operate to the best of their abilities,” Barber wrote. The paper is about to launch a voluntary redundancy scheme in an attempt to reduce costs by £1.6m this year. It plans to lose 35 of its current staff, while introducing 10 more digital jobs.

“We need to become content editors rather than page editors,” he said, emphasizing this essential change in mindset, while calling for all to “think harder about a more dynamic and inter-active form of FT journalism beyond the printed word.” It will be a "big cultural shift," he believes.

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-22 19:28

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There are two similar buzzwords flying around the digital media space right now, and to the uninitiated, responsive and adaptive design might seem like interchangeable labels for the same tech. They are both, after all, methods to optimize web content for mobile consumption -- a challenge that publishers must face if they are to adapt to today's news consumption trends.

A recent Pew Research study shows that mobile users are not just skimming headlines as once assumed, but "many also are reading longer news stories -- 73% of adults who consume news on their tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes, including 19% who do so daily. Fully 61% of smartphone news consumers at least sometimes read longer stories, 11% regularly." So, having established the importance of offering a site well-adapted for mobile use, the question is: What's the best way to go about getting there for publishers, adaptive or responsive design?

In an attempt to fully understand what distinguishes the two methods, I've been asking experts in media, mobile development and PR from three countries to describe the methods for me in layman's terms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, each had a slightly different explanation, and it turns out that what's best for publishers depends on what they're trying to achieve with mobile.

There are a few ways of comparing the two methods:

The Client-Server Distinction, Simplified

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Guest

Date

2013-01-16 18:45

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How to restructure newsroom operations and create sustainable business models for the digital age are priorities for newsrooms around the world. In advance of a webinar on Wednesday, 16 January, media analyst Ken Doctor offered some advice to newsrooms facing multiple challenges on what to areas to invest in and focus on, and how to make readers pay for your content.

WAN-IFRA: There used to a rough formula/rule-of-thumb (at least for many US newsrooms), that you had one journalist for every 1,000 copies of circulation. Do you think there’s a new formula? Or are things changing too fast to be able to calculate an equivalent today?

Doctor: Just as the old business model has broken down, so has the newsroom math that used to accompany it. Smarter companies actually have increased the percentage of their overall spending in the two areas that matter most for the future: news content-creating capacity and advertising sales. The last five years have seen unparalleled cost-cutting, beginning with the great frightsizing of 2008-2009. So we’ve seen cuts across the boards and while we’ve seen some appropriate Big Iron - presses, pre-production and trucking -  cuts, newsrooms have lost much capacity.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-15 09:56

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Success for a news organisation in today's highly-competitive, highly-digital news landscape is increasingly dependent not only on having top quality content but also in presenting this to audiences in the most effective way - in the most compelling format, via the right device, at the right time. Raju Narisetti, head of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, and former managing editor of The Washington Post, is well aware of this. (The network includes WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com, the language editions of WSJ.com, WSJLive Video platforms, and WSJ and MarketWatch Radio Networks.)

Ahead of a webinar on Wednesday, 16 January, which will feature a range of participants discussing the newsroom of the future, we asked Narisetti a few questions about the role of metrics and other top concerns for editors and newsroom managers today.

WAN-IFRA: How significant a role do metrics/analytics play in your day-to-day job?

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-14 13:13

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The Economist, the shining star among weekly news magazines, sells more than 1.5m print copies but fully expects this figure to decline, said Tom Standage, the publication’s digital editor in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session on Reddit. So far print circulation hasn’t started to fall, even as digital-only subscriptions grow, “but it will,” Standage asserts.

“The important thing for us is to deliver distinctive content that readers will pay for; whether it's on paper or a screen, or in audio format, is not really the point,” Standage said. “Our aim is to deliver our content in whatever form our readers want it; we are not wedded to print.”

So far, The Economist has 150,000 digital-only subscribers, and a total of 600,000 people use the paper’s mobile apps each week. Seventeen per cent of traffic comes from mobile, and The Economist is “retooling” its site to make it more mobile-friendly, Standage wrote, mentioning that “we will be doing some slightly more daring stuff shortly.”

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-10 19:48

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Over the last couple of days probably the biggest story among the news media commentators has been Andrew Sullivan’s decision to leave The Daily Beast and take his blog The Dish independent. Early stories reported that he had made the decision, then that he had raised $100,000 in less than 24 hours, then $333,000 and now, barely more than 48 hours after the announcement, he and his team have received more than $400,000 in advance subscription payments. This is still well before the actual switch to the new blog, which is due to take place in February.

Sullivan’s decision to shun advertising and the support of a big media company and revert to “the purest, simplest model for online journalism: you, us, and a meter,” has struck many with its directness. “As we debated and discussed that unknowable future,” Sullivan wrote, describing how he and his team made this choice, “we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism.”

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-04 20:14

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Year of the paywall, once again?

“Don’t forget 2013 is the year of Paid Content,” read the seasons greetings message from Piano Media. Some in the US, where more than 300 papers now have some kind of digital subscription model, might argue that the year of the paywall has been and gone.

But in Europe and the rest of the world, paid-for web content - aside from PDF replicas and mobile apps – is still relatively rare. Piano Media, which operates subscriptions to multiple news providers in Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland, is hoping to change that.

And even in the US, most paywalls are still too new to have truly proven themselves as effective. Will 2013 see evidence that betting on digital reader revenue is paying off?

Innovations in advertising

Traditional banner-style advertising just isn’t making enough money online for news organisations, and if advertising is going to continue to be a key part publishers’ income it is going to have to evolve.

In 2013, we hope to see more innovative advertising that truly takes advantage of the potential of digital publishing to offer both compelling advertising experiences and effective lead generation, sending readers directly to stores, travel agents and other services.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2013-01-03 20:42

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This should be boom time for the e-reader.

The end of 2012 saw a glut of new 'front-lit' e-readers Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glowlight and the Kobo Glo. All of these devices offer touch screens, Wifi (some even 3G) and a new  technology that projects light from the side or top of the screen, avoiding backlighting to simulate a less obtrusive ambient light.

Yet in his outlook on 2013, Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) mentions in passing that tablets are "gradually replacing another device: the dedicated e-reader".

And Pew research supports this: while e-book or e-reader sales continue to grow, moving from 10% to 19% market penetration in the US between December 2011 and November 2012, tablet penetration increased from 10% to 25% in the same period.

So is Mossberg's statement true? Just as the e-reader evolves, the tablet has usurped it?

Author

Nick Tjaardstra

Date

2013-01-02 12:00


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