Media stories of note for Tuesday, May 14, 2013:
The Associated Press revealed Monday
that the U.S. Department of Justice had secretly obtained two months of telephone records for its journalists at several of its operations. AP decried the move
as an unprecedented intrusion into the rights of a free press. Details of the probe are not known, but it was believed to be in connection with AP's reporting on a foiled terrorist plot. The New Yorker's John Cassidy looks
at the wider political implications of the issue for the Obama Administration.
The Bloomberg terminal controversy continues to draw commentary. It was revealed that reporters were able to advance stories on the basis of their monitoring of login activity of clients on the Bloomberg data terminals. Gawker notes that
the monitoring was supposed to stop, but didn't. And the Guardian suggests
the matter is not a big deal. That said, the Wall Street Journal reports
Bloomberg and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are cooperating on examining the issue.
Joel Smith, writing for the Pacific Standard,
explores an innovative effort in sociology and journalism in Alhambra, California, to study the news consumption of residents and marry them to a grassroots organization that would use a range of contributors to produce community journalism. He writes that the effort has promise in linking expertise in consumerism to a market's need for content.
Media notes for Friday, April 12, 2013:
Nieman Journalism Lab carries a column
from the author of The End of Big, digital strategist Nicco Mele, and fellow Kennedy School lecturer John Wihbey. They suggest news organizations could benefit by serving as platforms for talent. While the Internet blurs brands, it can empower individuals,they write for Nieman. Organizations should recognize that all media will be social media soon, so their best bet is to tout those who create their content as a new form networked news emerges. The challenge isn't saving the news business, they argue, but the individuals creating for it. In other words, their actual brand.
John Newby, an Illinois newspaper publisher writing for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association,
looks at the very different approaches of Warren Buffett (a buyer of community newspapers) and Advance Publications (a reducer of print frequency in its newspapers) and wonder which one is right. He notes community papers may suffer some declines and revenue challenges, but are in the best position to deal with digital transformation because of their market dominance. And the papers in heavy competition are smart to reduce those legacy costs to preserve their operations. In other words, both approaches are right.
Two product launches of note at either end of the new and legacy media: Twitter is launching
its own stand-alone music application that recommends on the basis of personal signals (including who one follows), and the U.S. newspaper industry is launching Wanderful,
an online shopping tool aimed at buttressing its insert business, at 327 sites. Both services are ambitious expansions
Five media stories of note for Thursday, March 14, 2013:
Anette Novak, a media consultant blogging for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association,
examines and argues for the involvement of legacy media in building community competence and awareness. She believes media can help their communities understand the three C's: critical thinking, consent and copyright. She says this would improve relationships and build credibility.
Casey Frechette, a journalism professor and digital strategist, has created a primer at Poynter.org
for journalists who want to understand effective web design. She identifies techniques to achieve simple, effective expression: design grids, repetition of elements, white space, hierarchy, texture and depth, the use of colour to express meaning, and contrast.
A new study from Pew Internet suggests
one-quarter of teens mainly gain access to the Internet through their smartphones. One in four teens are "cell-mostly" users. Among many lower-income and lower-educated households, teens focused on their smartphones in the absence of computers. One in four teens owns a tablet, similar to the level among adults. Smartphone ownership has grown to 47 per cent, up from 23 per cent in 2011.
A British study suggests women Tweet more often than men, and are more likely to talk about personal matters, television and work, while men talk about sports, gaming and news. The Telegraph reports
on the Brandwatch study of 1,000 Twitter accounts and concludes women (15 Tweets daily) and men (nine) not only discuss different things but use different language to do so.
John Pavlus, writing for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review,
looks at the very different tracks of two major media sites: The New York Times and the Daily Mail. The former is designed to encourage reading and the latter "doubles down" on anti-readability, he notes. But the Daily Mail just keeps on growing and striving for clicks, while the Times' strategy hasn't been proven effective just yet.
Some media stories of note for Friday, Feb. 15:
While the Knight Foundation gathering this week was notable for its $20,000 honorarium for speaker and plagiarist Jonah Lehrer, it did discuss more substantive issues
dealing with the future business models for journalism and information. In particular, it examined the role of foundations in assisting the information needs of communities. The Nieman Lab reports this "blended future" might be important as traditional journalism finds itself less able to meet those needs.
Odd-seeming issues often have profound consequences. So it appears with a request this week by Teri Buhl that news organizations take down her Twitter photo. This had followed her request that others not republish her Tweets. Poynter discusses the situation
and indicates this has implications for news organizations.Reuters reports
on concerns by the Committee to Protect Journalists' assertion that cyberattacks on media organizations are more common and complicated than ever as a form of censorship and invasion of personal material. In recent weeks The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have been among the most notable targets.
The term "hyperlocal" suggests several things: Very granular content on specific places, aggregated content that depicts a new local picture, or subject matter or content that deals with geographic organization, among them. Sarah Hartley, who runs the city blogs for The Guardian, thinks we need to reconsider the
She thinks it's more about an attitude than about geography. She's identified 10 features of hyperlocal:
1. The author's participation.
2. The blurring of opinion and fact.
3. The community's participation.
4. Small in scale but large in impact.
10. Frugal and economically fledgling.
Are there others? What do you think?
The Knight News Entrepreneur Boot Camp is under way and one of the institute's leaders, Robert Niles, has outlined
the opportunity for news publishers to become community organizers.
Not organizers in the sense of political activism, but organizers as engaging the community in dialogue. Niles outlines several steps necessary, and how repetition is further necessary, to achieve the goals.
In broad outline, Niles suggests:
1. Assessing the community and understanding its needs.
2. Creating a team to tackle the issues.
3. Developing a plan to use particular techniques to deal with the challenges.
4. Mobilizing the community to get noticed.
5. Tactics to gain participation.
6. Evaluating your success.
It's a solid framework on how newsrooms can treat community organization as a project.