Some media stories of note for Tuesday, May 7, 2013:
Steve Buttry, the digital transformation editor for Digital First Media, has been publishing a series of advice for editors. His latest is a succinct entreaty
to admit mistakes. "You’re not perfect," he writes. "You know it and your staff knows it. Admitting your own errors (and apologizing for them, if an apology is due) builds credibility with your staff, especially if you’re going to be critical of them."
Randy Bennett, a former newspaper executive writing for TVNewsCheck,
argues that there are parallels in the decline of newspapers and the early stages of decline in local television. The audience and advertisers are moving to digital, but the returns are not as significant. He asserts that local TV needs to learn lessons from the other medium's adaptation (or lack thereof) by diversifying revenue (in part through sponsored content), embracing user content, exploring partnerships, and moving more effort into mobile applications.
James Poniewozik, writing for Time
, looks at this past weekend's interview of media writer Howard Kurtz on his own show for his handling of last week's story of NBA player Jason Collins, the first active professional athlete to declare he is gay. Kurtz erred in his initial reporting on the issue, parted ways with the Daily Beast, then found himself under scrutiny for his involvement in a startup firm. He became a story himself. Poniewozik said it was a healthy sign that media critics can themselves subject themselves to scrutiny, that critics can be critiqued.
Some media stories of note for Tuesday, April 30, 2013:
Rick Edmonds, writing for Poynter,
examines new approaches to measuring circulation in the U.S. newspaper industry. The measurement has helped set advertising rates and determined revenue for the business, but several new rules have altered the results (mostly for the better, he says, in providing day-by-day data) and made it difficult to look at year-over-year patterns. The results today
indicate The New York Times has surpassed USA Today.
Taylor Miller Thomas, also writing for Poynter
, looks at 11 digital tools that can help journalists improve their reporting. She identifies crowdsourcing, freedom of information, census data and other sites that provide opportunities for journalists to develop evidence-based material and engage the audience.
Twitter is not interested
in an Initial Public Offering, says CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter is now valued at about $9 billion. One thing it is doing is creating a Canadian operation and it has dipped into Canadian broadcasting
for its first leader in the country. Kirstine Stewart, formerly the executive vice president of English Services at CBC, has joined them.
Media stories of note for Wednesday, April 17, 2013:
Barry Diller, the veteran media executive and chairman of IAC, says death will come for irrelevant media and those who innovate will be fine. While that isn't a particular revelation, his views on newspapers are. For one, he notes they have a larger audience than ever due to their web reach. But more importantly, they have the ability to be "granular" in their look at communities. He told a conference
this week he is surprised they don't.
Meanwhile, paidContent looks
at a new Newspapers Association of America survey that indicates newspaper audiences are highly engaged. But it points to the need for a stronger presence in mobile to deal with declining advertising revenue. The survey looked at 11 metrics --- from ethics to effectiveness of advertising --- and newspapers and their online counterparts came out on top of all media.
Digital advertising revenue has climbed 15 per cent in the U.S. in 2012 to reach $36.6 billion, nearly half of which came from search advertising. A large growth area was display advertising, including video, which rose nearly 33 per cent in the year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau study was reported by Reuters.
Media stories of note for Monday, April 8, 2013:
The good news for U.S. newspapers is that their revenue declines slowed in 2012, in part because some digital revenue stepped in somewhat to ease the slide, particularly revenue from digital subscriptions. The bad news is that the decline continued, the Associated Press reports
, to the extent of about two per cent. Revenues for the industry were $38.6 billion, down from $39.5 billion.
Sources of strong revenue for smaller community newspapers are legal notices on bankruptcies, name changes, estate wills and the like. But a proposed California law would permit such notices to only be posted online,
a move that would seriously undercut the business models of the papers. Other states have started to implement such laws, in part because they are more affordable ways to publish such notices.
The New York Times examines the growing presence of sponsored content
online, noting that other forms of advertising have not been effective and that the association of a brand with editorial material has started to demonstrate greater appeal. Of course, the approach has its critics.
Media stories of note for Thursday, March 21, 2013:
Earlier this week Allyson Bird blogged about
why she left newspapers. Her post has since gone viral. She tired of the extended hours for relatively little pay, emotionally exhaustion and under-appreciation. "I left news, not because I didn’t love it enough, but because I loved it too much – and I knew it was going to ruin me," she writes. Bird, a former Palm Beach Post reporter, now writes more happily for a hospital fundraising arm.
A new study from Deloitte suggests Americans are rapidly becoming "digital omnivores," owning a laptop, tablet and smartphone. Some 26 per cent had all three at the end of 2012, up from 10 per cent only a year earlier. The result, Hollywood Reporter says,
is a massive growth in streamed video online.
Emily Bell, the former Guardian online director and current director of the Tow Center for digital media at Columbia University, adds her perspective
to new British press regulations. She says they're seriously out of touch with the way the Internet has changed journalism. As a result it fails to address privacy concerns and press freedom attacks in a connected society.
Robert Cringely, writing for InfoWorld,
writes about the "death" of Web journalism at the hands of advertisers. He notes the rapid rise of so-named "native advertising" or sponsored content and the increasing number of publishers who are prepared to blur the "fine line between shills and scribes."
Media stories of note for Tuesday, March 19, 2013:
The British House of Commons has passed measures
to establish a new press regulator. Press Gazette reports that judges will be permitted to award punitive damages against publishers who do not sign on to the new entity, which will be established by royal charter, seek arbitration of disputes, and be amended only by two-thirds support in both Houses of Parliament. Major newspaper firms have reacted critically
. The measures follow the Leveson inquiry into press conduct.The Atlantic delves into data from the new State of the News Media report and identifies the critical slide in advertising revenue for the newspaper business and their websites. In 2012, newspapers lost $16 in ad revenue for every $1 they gained in online ad revenue. Indeed the entire growth in the last decade of digital revenue does not make up for a single year of declines since 2003.The Knight Foundation is critical of many journalism schools, noting they haven't mastered the Web much less prepared their students for even more modern developments in gathering, telling and distributing their content. Where Knight is financing social and mobile applications, some schools haven't found ways to integrate the Web, Poynter's Andrew Beaujon reports.
Media stories of note for Monday, March 18, 2013:
The annual State of the News Media report
has been released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The report is a scorecard on media, primarily in the U.S., in the last year with special examination of elements of media. This year's report identifies several critical problems, principally a smaller workforce in traditional outlets and the rise of special-interest groups in covering significant news. Its other main conclusions:
the public is noticing the cuts, the news industry isn't earning a large share of digital advertising, there is a sharp growth in sponsored content, the growth in digital subscriptions appears to be having an impact on revenue, local TV news is following newspapers into cuts, word-of-mouth is leading to deeper news consumption.
Britain's Parliament will vote Monday on a proposed charter to regulate the media. On the eve of the vote, The Guardian reports t
hat three major news companies indicate they would boycott any regulator with legal clout (a proposal from the opposition Labour party) and establish their own self-regulation. The proposal follows the collapse of all-party talks on the matter following the Leveson inquiry into press conduct. Early Monday, though, the three parties agreed on a plan,
although they are publicly disagreeing on whether there is legal underpinning of a regulator.
Ken Doctor, writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
has an elaborate look at what he believes will be the newsroom economics (newsonomics, as he calls it) in five years. His main expectation is that data will be gathered about the audience to permit advertisers to understand and value the content creators appropriately, but he has an extensive blueprint, much of it patterned on the recent successes of Financial Times in this space.
Justin Ellis, also writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines how The New York Times last week experimented with an online comment filter following the announcement of the Pope to filter their identities and moods. The result was a more structured and arguably more relevant online discussion, he concludes.
Four media stories of interest for Monday, March 11, 2013:
Margaret Sullivan, the public editor for The New York Times, looks at the "danger" of suppressing leaks
of classified information. She wonders what the world would be like without an understanding of Abu Ghraib, black sites, or the drone program. She explores the concerns that leaks can undermine security, but notes that the trend line is toward chilling journalistic investigation. She concludes the Times needs to be more robust as a media leader in this realm.
Jack Shafer, the veteran media columnist writing now for Reuters,
examines the rise of "native advertising" or "sponsored content" and is skeptical of its effectiveness. He says "publishers are advertisers have polluted their own tradition by erasing the traditional line" between editorial and advertising content. One result of this blur, he asserts, is that readers will blame controversial stories on advertisers and controversial ads on journalists.
Jeff Jarvis, in his latest Buzzmachine post,
notes the collapse of the Daily Voice hyperlocal enterprise and identifies some of the common causes of strife in the sector and what might address them. More than anything, Jarvis says, the ventures are trying to do too much, too soon, on scales that are not sustainable. While hyperlocal efforts will eventually take hold, he believes financiers need to place their efforts away from tools and grants and into consciously sustainable models --- even if they're small.
The Mr. Magazine vlog interviews
Keith Kelly, the media reporter for the New York Post, on the biggest problem in media. His one-minute video concludes that advertisers don't know how to use digital properly yet.
Some media stores of note Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013:
If paywalls are an important part of the revenue stream for news organizations, then they need to make them walls and not fences. They are easily breached at the moment, defeating much of their purpose. The New York Times has moved to close a few leaks
in its online paywall, New York magazine reports. Among other things it has adjusted URLs to make evading the wall more difficult.
ZenithOptimedia has released a new study
on new media adoption and found Western Europe leads the way in adoption of smartphones, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) and tablets. It says the region will continue to be a strong adopter in the next few years, with four of the top five markets.
The American Journalism Review examined
the approaches of four U.S. newspapers in devising new functions and connections in their communities. The general conclusion of the piece is that papers have to stop occupying defensive territory and move into a proactive approach.
The Washington Post's Paul Farhi examines
the White House communications strategy for President Barack Obama and concludes he's just not into newspapers. Obama gave most of his interviews to television outlets.
Media stories of note Wednesday:
The New York Observer examines the phenomenon
of traditional journalists who are finding new careers in the field of sponsored/branded content. "The new content model represents a shift in the way publishing has usually worked," writes Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke. " Rather than pay a media middleman for eyeballs, brands including Tory Burch, Coca-Cola and Gilt Groupe are learning to attract them all on their own."
Ryan McCarthy, the deputy editor for Reuters.com, writes about
the challenged business model for online journalism and argues there is too much supply and perhaps not enough demand for the production of content at the moment. The supply is driving down ad rates. It's clear, he says, that traffic for traffic's sake is not a winning strategy.
SFGate notes the implications
of Twitter's purchase this week of BlueFin Labs, a software company that analyzes conversations about television on the Internet. It is Twitter's bridge into the TV business.