Media stories of note for Wednesday, May 1, 2013:
George Packer, writing for The New Yorker,
explores some of the recent exploits, good and bad, on online journalism. He concludes that speed kills. He also suggests that the recent successes of digital journalism will help the public recognize the value of professional journalists and help journalists recognize how much they're needed if they can, as part of the deal, exercise some self-restraint.
Robinson Meyer, writing for The Atlantic,
looks at the quiet growth of Betaworks and its involvement in many parts of the online news ecosystem with its recent acquisitions of such entities as Instapaper and Digg and ownership of such entities as Flow and ChartBeat. He hopes it remains stable enough to enjoy watching.
Taylor Miller Thomas, writing for Poynter,
examines the emergence of strategic news partnerships aimed at diversifying content. She identifies the effects: an increased understanding of new media, expanded coverage, new audiences, and a new context for existing audiences.
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.
Three media stories of note for Thursday, March 7, 2013:
The Guardian has an excerpt
of a chapter about journalism's challenges following the Leveson inquiry. The chapter's contributor is Richard Sambrook, former BBC News executive and current journalism school director at Cardiff University, He writes that, post-Leveson, journalism needs to apply a premium on transparent standards in order to rebuild trust. Rather than address standards through statute, what's needed is a shift in perspective by newspapers toward their staff and the public.
Frédéric Filloux, in his Monday Note,
has a look at last week's massive Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Among what interested him: 3.2 billion mobile subscribers, great machine-to-machine growth and data growth, meaning a large opportunity for media through video streaming. He identifies a challenge in the range of screen sizes, features and operating systems.
Earlier this week freelance writer Nate Thayer took The Atlantic Online to task for asking him to rewrite free an article he'd contributed elsewhere. Matthew Ingram, writing for paidContent,
notes that the episode epitomizes the changing landscape for writing --- namely, that there is plenty free writing good enough to meet the audience's expectations. He concludes that a writer's competition isn't the better product but the one that is good enough for others and is free.
Some stories on media Wednesday:
AllThingsDigital is reporting
on forecasts from NPD Display Research
that indicate more tablets than personal computers will ship in 2013. By 2017, it predicts three-quarters of the global tablet-laptop market will be held by tablets.
The FiveThirtyEight blogger for The New York Times, Nate Silver, took questions on Reddit
on Tuesday. Silver's accurate work as a forecaster during the presidential election brought him immense attention. He suggested in the chat that between the partisans and the pundits, there are many "delusional" people to deal with.
AdWeek has an extensive feature
on the growing pains of online community journalism as they attempt to find a sustainable business model. Many continue to find advertising and subscription support are insufficient to cover editorial and technical costs of operation. That being said, the situation isn't stopping many from taking the plunge.
Details are emerging
on the new online micropayment initiative Steven Brill and others are launching with some 130 publishers.
Journalism Online won't be a paywall, per se, but a meter that permits access to 10 to 15 articles before any subscription fee would be involved.
In that way, only about 10-15 per cent of users will find access restricted --- others don't use such wide access --- and also permit all online content to be searchable and indexed.
The principle also feeds Brill's view that about 10 per cent of users are prepared to pay for access to particular sites out of loyalty to the brand.
The micropayment initiative from the experienced news media executives running Journalism Online has been relatively cloaked since the company was launched earlier this year. But in a filing
to the Newspaper Association of America, it reveals more of its business plans.
Esssentially it would assume 10 per cent of existing users would participate in a paywall model and subscribe to a possible variety of options, ranging from a per-article micropayment to a fee for the fullest possible service. Journalism Online would share revenue and take about 20 per cent as a commission.
News companies would continue to offer a lot of content free under this model and continue to earn advertising revenue from that.
In its model for a large newspaper of one million circulation and 20 million unique visitors, Journalism Online believes it could generate about $33 million in the first year and $86 million in the second year, based on behavioural and other models it has generated. Obviously this would be a supplement to print revenue.