Some media stories of note for Thursday, May 16, 2013:
It may seem incongruent, but as the White House deals with criticism of the Department of Justice's seizure of phone records for reporters at The Associated Press, it is reviving its efforts to create legislation that would shield reporters' sources and communications from disclosure. The New York Times reports
that the President's Senate liaison called Wednesday to ask a Democratic Senator to reintroduce a version of a 2009 bill that didn't make it through Congress.The New Republic explores
the context of the DOJ/AP phone-seizure issue by looking at the chilling effect official surveillance might have on national security reporting. It interviews journalists who believe their phones were tapped and activities tracked. Sources are less willing to part with sensitive information in this climate, the story concludes.
Ken Doctor, writing on "newsonomics" for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines what went wrong with NewsRight, the effort by the AP and others to deal with illegal or unfair use of their content online. NewsRight was wound up this week. Doctor chronicles the questionable and vague strategy, the evolution of the news licensing field with such players as NewsCred and Flipboard, and some of the decisions made along the way. "Thumbs down to content consortia," he writes. "Thumbs up to letting the freer market of entrepreneurs make sense of the content landscape, with publishers getting paid something for what the companies still know how to do: produce highly valued content."
Some media stories of note for Thursday, February 28, 2013:
The discipline of verification isn't always disciplined. Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter,
examines a Canadian study on media practices to confirm information and finds them inconsistent and a little improvised. The study
(full disclosure: some authors are or have been colleagues) found that verification can't always be verified.
Last month The Atlantic ran into criticism for carrying sponsored content featuring information on the Church of Scientology. The episode prompted The Atlantic to take down the content, apologize, and create new standards to reflect those of the editorial work of the organization. Jeff John Roberts, writing for paidContent,
discusses the lessons learned --- mainly that this sort of content is difficult to carry off with a news brand.
Lately there have been several pieces touting the value of LinkedIn as an emerging, even established player in the publishing space among social media. Evelyn Rusi of The Wall Street Journal takes a larger look
at the impact of the professional network --- what it terms the ugly duckling of social media --- in specializing and commanding a high-end market.
Here are some media stories of note for Thursday, February 21, 2013:
Felix Salmon of Reuters started a two-part series today
on content economics. He examines why advertising dollars are not necessarily reaching people online, how network television is sustained by its different, intermediated model that cannot convert into an online model, and how online publishers are finding it difficult to create business models in a climate of direct content from brands.
Christopher Mims, writing for Quartz
, assesses the new Yahoo home page and concludes that it's irrelevant. For that matter, he notes, no one is talking about anyone's home page any longer because that isn't how content is being consumed. Content is shared and a home page may never be seen.
TV viewing has been measured traditionally over the years by Nielsen, but The Hollywood Reporter indicates changes
to Nielsen's approach means it will soon count online streaming, the Xbox and PlayStation and, eventually, iPad and other tablet viewing to create program ratings measurements.
Some media stories of note for Wednesday, February 20, 2013:
James Jenega, writing for Poynter,
discusses five ways for journalists to engage more with audiences. His basics: take corrections seriously, discuss the newsgathering process, hold public events, engage in conversations with the public, and take social media seriously.
Mark Sustern, a venture capitalist and former tech entrepreneur, is reading into the recent success of the Harlem Shake phenomenon an online trend in video production and consumption. He predicts a more participatory model,
with audiences determining plot twists and a diminution of the one-way transmission of content.Digiday's Josh Sternberg notices
that publishers, particularly the smaller ones, are opting out of chasing sheer page views and are turning their attentions to more mindful pursuits of custom content. In many cases they are creating content deals with sponsors and attempting new business models based on targeted messaging to audiences.
We are far enough along into Web 2.0 that it ought to be adopting some of the familiar traits of conventional media --- as in circulation figures, readership figures, single-copy figures, overnight ratings, and the like. Ought to, as in starting to, not should be.
Sites themselves are judged by their unique visitors, by the number of pages those visitors view, and by the time they spend there. And it's relatively easy to translate that data into a popularity rating for particular online creators (such ratings are far less precise for either print or broadcast media).
Recently a Gawker site memo surfaced that indicated it gave bonuses depending on page views. Even though the site acknowledged that such measurement is crude and often distorted, it paid more or less to writers whose works were better or lesser read. Essentially, for every 400,000 views, you got $2,000 --- or $5 per 1,000 views, more likely.
PBS' Mark Glaser recently chimed in with an interview with CBSSports.com and how it values loyalty more than anything else. It's at work with Omniture, the company with the powerful Site Catalyst software, to find out how many unique visitors look at individual writers' work. Glaser also suggests organizations should want to gauge interaction with the audience, how much news is broken,
This debate is at an early stage, but somehow in the new environment of fledgling digital business models, something empirical is likely to replace the more subjective determinant of what someone's work is worth.
An interesting post today from Online Spin on the dynamic qualities in the next iteration of the World Wide Web, what it calls the World Live Web.
Rather than worry about traffic, it fixates on qualified traffic. Rather than fixate on presentation, it rivets on engagement. Rather than riveting on targeting, it worries about relevance.
The WLW stems from a belief in mass syndication of content, of how fresh is good, of how archiving can be excessive, of how spiders crawl too widely. It's after what matters, and in this approach it is coming to grips with the let's-find-everything model that overwhelms too many users.
It's more than a little intriguing as a possibility of content creation and management. And it feels like the near-future.