Here are some media stories of note for Tuesday, June 18, 2013:
Andrew Beaujon, writing for Poynter,
presents the latest not-so-great news about American media trust. Newspapers and TV news were trusted "a great deal" or "quite a lot" by a mere 23 per cent of those surveyed. Within the range of error, TV news trust rose by two points and newspaper trust declined by two points. The good news is that these two media were trusted more than big business, organized labour, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and Congress. The bad news is that they were behind many institutions and organizations, including the military, police, church, presidency and others.
Jeff Jarvis, writing for his Buzzmachine blog,
argues that all journalism is a form of advocacy of some sort. He looks at the recent leaks by Edward Snowden, carried by Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian, and notes that they challenge their own politics; instead, they stand up for certain principles. In that regard, he notes, the true test of journalism is its advocacy on the part of principles and the public.
Tom Rosenstiel, writing for Poynter
, argues for journalism that does more than make sense of distributed information. He worries that technology's capacity to provide information is driving journalism to move too quickly --- and driving journalism away from discovery into a simple augmentation of delivered content. Technology deepens journalism's potential, but he asserts it needs to be used better.
Here are some media stories of note for Monday, June 17, 2013:
David Carr's latest Media Equations column
for The New York Times discusses the changed nature of traditional, big media in the new landscape of players and platforms. Carr looks at (as the headline indicates) how big news forges its own path, no longer reliant on a large organization to drive large results. He notes many recent examples of how major stories made their way in unusual circumstances to public attention.
Paul Farhi, writing for the Washington Post
, examines the wealth of familial connections, and possible conflicts, involving journalists and the Obama administration. While media organizations are vehement in denying these connections affect their coverage, Farhi notes that many media critics believe the administration is treated lightly as a result.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has released a report
on the faltering effort to entrench press freedom in Burma. It notes an extensive array of legislation and practices by government to make more difficult to pursuit of a free press in the country and it calls for the repeal of several bills and policies so that an independent press might emerge.
Here are some media stories of note for Friday, June 14, 2013:The New York Times chronicles
the process that led several major digital firms to participate in the PRISM surveillance program under the National Security Agency that has stirred debate on the balance of privacy and spying in U.S. society. A secret court hearing and ruling determined how Yahoo participated. Other major firms are part of the program to share their data.
Jay Rosen, the NYU media scholar, writes on the differing approaches
to political journalism (some with a commitment and viewpoint, versus an approach with none evident). He uses the case of Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, who this past week has revealed several elements of the National Security Agency spying case via source Edward Snowden, as his example of one of two valid approaches to reporting. He calls these two approaches politics: none and politics: some. He feels both need to share the stage.
The New York TImes looks at the practices
of the Bloomberg News agency and reports a symbiotic relationship between the news pursuits and business pursuits of the company, in part through the use of its powerful data terminals to break news. The Times raises questions about the ethics of the tactics by reporters to generate market-moving content.
Here are some media stories of note for Thursday, June 13, 2013:
A survey by the Pew Research Center, reported on its new FactTank service,
suggests there is some support among non-profit news organizations for government support of their work. This finding runs somewhat counter to the conventional view that these services want financial and operational independence at all costs. Pew found 39 per cent would support such support, 30 per cent would not, and 28 per cent were unsure.
Jared Malsin, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review
, looks at the scarcity of western journalists in Iran to cover Friday's election. Not only has the government denied access, there are longstanding complaints that coverage there focuses on diplomatic tension and security, rather than on Iranian society itself. It is the Iran conundrum, he concludes.
Mathew Ingram, writing for paidContent
, praises the Washington Post's initiative in sponsored content. The Post's new Sponsored Views feature permits advertisers to post content next to editorial content on the same theme. The effort is being applied in opinion content and appears just below the editorial piece and above the online comments. Ingram says it is one of the smarter attempts to drive revenue (although he is skeptical of how much) and address demand for new forms of advertising.
A follow to the story on Greece's abrupt closure of its state broadcaster (defied by the broadcaster by moving to an Internet stream of its content): European broadcasters have stepped in and shifted the broadcaster's content to a satellite channel that feeds it back into the country, the Guardian reports.
What isn't clear is how anyone will be paid.
Here are some media stories of note for Wednesday, June 12, 2013:
The Greek national government abruptly closed the state broadcaster overnight Tuesday
, citing the need for public spending cuts to deal with its economic challenges. But the ERT network, also known as Hellenic Broadcasting Corp., stayed on the air via the Internet and has been streaming its content
in the absence of a restoration of its broadcast signal. Thousands are protesting the government move outside the network's headquarters.
The annual Oriella Digital Journalism Study has been released. It canvasses 845 journalists in 15 countries. Its findings suggest a digital-first approach has become the new normal. AdWeek reports that
outside of North America and Russia, print was still considered more prestigious. Most recognize that online does not produce profits of the same magnitude as print media. One-third of those surveyed liked their jobs more than they did a year ago. And academics and experts are considered the most trustworthy sources of content.
New consumer research suggests a growing number of millennials are prepared to have broadband-only video consumption. MediaPost reports
the study by the Pivot cable network, in advance of its launch online, also suggests strong interest in broadband offerings of traditional broadcasting. Those findings pose potentially serious consequences for cable and satellite firms and conventional TV ownership.
Here are some media stories of note for Tuesday, June 11, 2013:
A new Ernst & Young report suggests digital entertainment revenue will eclipse traditional revenue within two years. There is a "frantic shift" now in a narrow window for companies to join the digital era, the report suggests. ZDNet says the report
indicates alliances are going to be helpful in the transition, as will big data help in identifying and capturing new markets.A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project
indicates one-third of Americans now own a tablet device like an iPad, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Google Nexus. There has been remarkable growth in the market. The reports suggests only 18 per cent had a tablet a year ago. And, of course, there weren't tablets little more than three years ago. Older, higher-income, and higher-educated Americans were more likely than others to own a tablet.
It is worth reading an online article about how online articles are not read in full. Slate reports on work by Chartbeat
that examines how people read online and how few finish articles. Enough said.
Here are some media stories of note for Monday, June 10, 2013:
The Guardian has revealed the source
of its stories on surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency. Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant and an employee of a defence contractor. He chose to leak the sensitive information and to be identified, but he has chosen to flee to Hong Kong (and may move elsewhere) to avoid prosecution. The Washington Post discusses
its encounters with him. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, praises him in The Guardian
as someone who prevented a rollback of the Constitution. Amy Davidson, writing for The New Yorker,
says the leaks will prompt a national discussion on the degrees of security and privacy.
The Pew Research Center has studied
non-profit news organizations and finds, somewhat unsurprisingly, that their largest challenges are in raising and sustaining funds to keep their activities afloat. The Center's study found a large number of non-profits depend on grants, a very uncertain and unpredictable source of revenue. Nieman Journalism Lab reports
that while most remain optimistic of their viability, many dipped into cash reserves in recent times to keep themselves running.
David Carr of The New York Times, in his latest Media Equation column
, looks at the battle between Nikki Finke and Sharon Waxman, two of Hollywood's most powerful online gossip sources. Last week the latter said the former was being fired, an assertion that has yet to be true. The gesture provoked a skirmish. Carr asserts Hollywood deserves the coverage it is getting.
Here are some media stories of note for Friday, June 7, 2013:The New York Times writes
about the sudden prominence of security/surveillance of journalism blogger Glenn Greenwald, whose report late Wednesday on the secretive court order
to compile Verizon phone data has sent substantial shock waves through the communities interested in privacy, journalism and politics. Greenwald himself, writing for The Guardian,
followed that report Thursday with a co-written one on Prism, an NSA program that involved six large digital companies. Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, a University of Nebraska communications professor, writes for Huffington Post
that it is very hard for the Obama Administration to profess a respect for freedom when it is spying on its citizens.
Last week, digital analyst Mary Meeker's annual report drew attention for a surprising statistic: smartphone owners use their phones on average 150 times a day. The reference has made it across the Web widely (half a million references to it in Google search, for instance). SFGate reports
that the claim can't be supported by any data. Jeff Elder, the social media director for the San Francisco Chronicle, says Meeker's firm defends the claim but that the original source she cites has distanced itself from the claim, too.
Stuart Watson, an investigative report for a Charlotte TV station and a former Nieman fellow, debunks the myth that investigative reporting is for lone wolves. He writes in Nieman Reports
that it's a collaborative, iterative process that is "inherently social and almost always derivative." Watchdogs need to work together, he says.
Here are some media stories of note for Thursday, June 6, 2013:The Guardian summarizes
the recent violence against journalists in Turkey and notes the concern by press freedom groups about the country's crackdown on social media and other communications as protests grow. Demonstrations against the development of Gezi Park on Taksim Square have been particularly violent, with reports of tear gas and water hoses, reports The Guardian's Roy Greenslade. Pro-government media have also been the target of public demonstration and violence.
Glenn Greenwald, writing for Comment is Free in The Guardian,
argues that reader-funded journalism is an important key to the future of adversarial and investigative journalism. He believes that such work preserves independence of the craft, in that it is not beholden to advertisers or corporate interests, and advances the accountability of journalism to its audience. Moreover, he asserts, the model "elevates the act of journalism into a collective venture."
Taylor Miller Thomas, writing for Poynter,
examines the efforts by some science organizations (NASA in particular, in this case) to adopt media platforms to directly communicate with the audience. She writes about NASA's efforts across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Google+ to report its own news. She notes the decline of science reporting in traditional media and the effort by some agencies to report in order to build public support for their initiatives.
Ken Armstrong, the Pulitzer-winning reporter for The Seattle Times, has a short piece in the latest Nieman Reports
that suggests journalists need to enlist the public more in shedding light on reluctant and resistant agencies. He thinks more should be done to identify organizations that are stonewalling reporters (and to positively identify those that are more accommodating). "Let readers know," he writes.
A few media stories of note for Wednesday, June 5, 2013:
The World Press Trends annual report
indicates newspaper circulation worldwide declined 0.9 per cent in 2012, largely due to advances (1.2%) in Asia that offset most of the losses in North America (6.6%), western Europe (5.3%) and eastern Europe (8.2%). Still, it meant more than 2.5 billion newspapers in print
and half the world reading a daily newspaper, with more than $200 bilion in revenue. Moreover, when digital extensions of the paper are tallied, the content is reaching more people than ever, the report says. Advertising revenue declined 2% in the year (but 22% since 2008) and the report notes that 80% of classified advertising is now digital. The report indicates audience engagement is a key to future success.
Worldwide entertainment and media spending will continue to grow over the next five years to $2.2 trillion from $1.7 trillion, with digital and its associated consumption accounting for the most of the increases. The annual media and entertainment report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers
says the rise of tablets and smartphones and the rapid growth in India, China and Brazil as vibrant media markets will lead the growth. The Los Angeles Times reports
digital media will account for 43% of all media spending in the U.S. will be in digital by 2017, up from 31% in 2012.
The future of news is necessarily small. That's the view of Harvard Business School's Nicco Mele. Writing for the Nieman Reports,
he says scale is elusive in the new business models and it isn't clear yet how investigative journalism will be financed in the new era. He suggests new players --- academia, entertainment firms, even industry associations --- might be keys to the financial puzzle.