Some media stories of note for Friday, May 5, 2013:
Today is World Press Freedom Day, and the Editors Weblog notes
how the recent passage of the South African secrecy bill poses a new threat to expression by journalists of uncomfortable ideas. Critics express concern that journalists and whistleblowers will not be protected when they expose corruption.
Our perceptions of the strength and reach of particular social media might not be accurate. BuzzFeed has assembled
the official data to demonstrate what people are actually using. For instance, SnapChat is more popular than Instagram, Yahoo Mail is more popular than Twitter, and MySpace is about as popular as Spotify.
Mathew Ingram, writing for GigaOm,
takes on the idea that Twitter should have some sort of correction mechanism. The idea surfaces every time there is a large, complex event that spurs a fair amount of bad information. Ingram says correcting would ruin the vibe of Twitter, which is an iterative stream of real-time content. Much as he regrets making an errant Tweet, he thinks the wider crowd will eventually help fix the mistake.
Peter Verweij, writing for Memeburn,
tracks the development of data-driven journalism and its importance in modern story-telling. He notes the emergence of visualized data, programmable pages, maps and geographic information systems. While typical editors may lack the skills, there appears to be a need for developers in newsrooms to master the new opportunities.
Media stories of note for Thursday, April 4, 2013:
Felix Salmon's latest post for Reuters
identifies trends in the evolution of online paywalls. In discussions with Mather Economics and Mediapass, Salmon notes that different paywall models are emerging that might be more adept at securing subscription revenue and subscriber loyalty, principally by recognizing audiences for certain content and by offering a clearer mix of free and metered material.
Mathew Ingram's latest post for paidContent
delves into Present Shock, the new book by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, and his premise that traditional organizations are finding themselves trapped these days between the desire to be reflective and analytical and the need to be part of a more iterative, intense media --- what he calls the trap between the reservoir and the stream.
Kylie Davis, the News Ltd. editor who writes for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association blog
, identifies traits for successful editors: reflexivity on why people should follow you, humility, personal change, tough empathy and daring to be different.
Media stories of note for Wednesday, March 20, 2013:
Set aside the dire picture of the news business, says Matthew Yglesias in Slate
. People have never been better served as consumers of news. While this week's State of the News Media report painted a troubled industry, Yglesias says that is only the problem of the producer and not the consumer, who has more and better ways of acquiring information than ever.
The British move to create a new press regulator has settled very little. Newspaper and magazine editors fear the new entity could cripple their publications and The Guardian says
major companies are considering their own breakaway body to deal with standards and practices.
Wonder why Warren Buffett is buying certain types of newspapers? Peter Beller and Sarah Erickson, writing for The News Hook,
have a look at the criteria he appears to select and the equation he has established for survivability of papers.
Some media notes for Thursday:
The pioneering hyperlocal site, EveryBlock, has closed.
At one stage it set a standard for converting local data into web content --- for instance, mapping criminal incidents in a district --- but did not find a business model as others crowded into its space. NBC, which bought EveryBlock when its initial grant funds ran their course, announced the closure today.
Copy editors have been hardest hit
by cuts in newsrooms, suggests a report from the King's Journalism Review at the University of King's College in Halifax. The report from Natascia Lypny raises the notion that standards are being affected as editors are dwindling. Poynter's Jeff Sonderman augmented her report
with data of his own that suggests an even larger decline.
Tom Rosenstiel, the respected veteran news executive now running the American Press Institute, launched his column today at Poynter
and it plans to explore the intersection of journalism and building community. "Journalism has always been a service connecting people to one another, to government, to goods and services, to social institutions and more — in other words, the creation of communities," he writes. "Looked at that way, technology is no threat to journalism’s future. It is its opportunity. It is a new dazzling set of tools. It is, as it has always been, the next journalism."
You know technology is changing --- for that matter, you know news economics are changing --- when one of England's most storied titles takes the view it can do without 80 sub-editors and have its reporters file directly into templated pages.
The Daily Express and Sunday Express are changing the way in which reporters and editors function. The pages will be drafted by editors and designers, reporters will be assigned space and told to fill it. Their work will be reviewed still by rewriters (former subs) and lawyers, but the process handled by sub-editors is disappearing.
Jeff Jarvis' column for The Guardian this week points to the evolution of the editor. He notes that the editor needs to become a curator --- a provider of links and a filler of gaps --- more so that the spell-checking, grammar-correcting source.
Given community editing in wikis and blogs, is that displacing the role of the traditional editor? Is the community usurping the assignment and line-editing role?
A related blog today (The Diary of a Wordsmith) at The Editors' Weblog points to the value of the so-called sub editor in the legal sphere, in directing an operation, and in raising the standard of the work.