Some media stories of note for Tuesday, May 21, 2013:
Taylor Miller Thomas, writing for Poynter,
looks at how news organizations use Tumblr, the platform purchased by Yahoo this week for $1.1 billion. Thomas identifies the techniques of media and Tumblr to connect and interact with audiences, in particular to answer questions.
Jack Shafer, writing for Reuters,
argues that the problems James Rosen of FOX News (accused in a Justice Department affidavit as a "co-conspirator" in breaching government secrecy) have encountered are in part of his own making. Namely, Shafer suggests that Rosen wasn't all that intrepid in covering his tracks and ensuring his source could do the same. It's a contrarian take on what has largely been journalism concerned with the plight of the craft under surveillance.AdWeek examines how
The New York Times is applying its ingenuity to rework the online banner ad. The innovation largely associated with its editorial department is alive in its R & D Lab to generate advertising campaigns that are more interactive and effective. It has potential applications elsewhere with news organizations looking for more avid use of its online advertising.
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.
Media stories of note for Friday, April 5, 2013:
Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter. org
, notes the development of an industry handbook
to deal with issues of plagiarism and fabrication. It was created by 14 news organizations, 10 associations and 10 institutions. Essentially it uses truth as a guide and calls for the "golden rule" in attribution, among other things.
Tracie Powell, writing for Columbia Journalism Review,
argues that the next Federal Communications Commission chair is going to have a significant impact on journalism. Apart from concentration issues, the FCC will be looking at broadband, broadcast diversity, and transparency in political advertising.
Jeff Israely, who has been chronicling his adventure in starting a media site for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
argues that it's a myth people are not paying for news. He wants to delete the term "subsidy" to describe the support for news. Rather, he notes, there is reason to be optimistic that people are paying, and will pay, for news.
Media stories of note for Thursday, March 28, 2013:
Danny Sullivan, writing for SearchEngineLand,
notes that Google has weighed into the controversy involving content sponsored by advertisers that commingles with news. It wants publishers to segregate this non-news content carefully so that it does not end up as part of what Google News ranks. If they don't, Google is threatening to exclude their organizations from Google News, a measure that would significantly affect their traffic and referrals.
Add Portugal to the list of countries whose news organizations are asking Google to compensate them for running their content through its search engine. News organizations in Portugal are suffering their worst economic results in 40 years. Google has rejected the initial demands, Reuters reports,
but negotiations are continuing. Google has struck support deals in other European countries in recent months.
R.B. Brenner, writing for Poynter.org
, provides a tip sheet on how newsrooms can create plans to deal with breaking news. He cites editors' ideas, among them: focus on roles, not personnel; think across platforms and how you want information to flow from the newsroom; be iterative; look for non-journalistic help; practice the plan; conduct postmortems.
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 stories of note for Friday, March 8, 2013:
The overhaul of Facebook's news feed began to emerge Thursday
and the seeming aim is to generate a personal newspaper of sorts, with a hierarchical display based on what users focus on most. Wired.com notes there are opportunities for media if users focus on published content, and The New Yorker notes
it aims to show us all we want to see and none of what we don't. but Facebook has left it flexible enough that users may simply focus on what their friends are saying.
The Washington Post, which ended its ombudsman role last week, has appointed its first readers' representative
in the newsroom to field public complaints and write periodically about how they are addressed. Doug Feaver is a veteran Post newsroom journalist and will be assisted by Alison Coglianese, who worked for the ombudsman's office previously. Feaver will blog for washingtonpost.com and contribute newspaper columns as needed.
Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter, says "bring on the robots." He identifies ways in which machines will be able to improve accuracy and standards in newsrooms, whether through fact-checking, extracting data to produce timelines, identifying typographical errors, detecting plagiarism and fabrication, or even gathering information through drones.
Here are some media stories of note for Friday, February 22, 2013:
Given that Google's large search engine is in turn an engine for news site traffic, an understanding of its algorithm to rate content is essential to a site's success. Computerworld has examined
Google's latest patent application that reveals the elements of what it gauges in ranking site content. There are no particular surprises, as it might be expected: the site's productivity, article length, deemed importance, speed, staff size, circulation, originality, style, diversity and breadth of coverage all factor in the ranking, among other things.
Magazine editor Ann Friedman, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review
, argues it's time to stop pronouncing the death of print. Many print outlets continue to thrive, she notes. Rather, it's time to simply recognize the end of the primacy of print.
Tom Rosenstiel, the veteran news executive and head of the American Press Institute, writes regularly for Poynter Online. His latest involves
what he describes as the twin delusions of the White House and the press corps. The latter has complained that the Obama Administration has managed to avoid major newspaper interviews and focused instead on local and digital sessions. Rosenstiel, who interviews extensively for the column, concludes it is wrong for the White House to think it can bypass major media and wrong for the press corps to believe it is somehow the lone gatekeeper.
A Harris Interactive poll
conducted in August found that more American adults continue to get their news from television. Online has shifted over time into second place, while print is the third-most-used source.
The findings are not remarkably different, but the implications of the growth of online news consumption might be significant for providers.
Online has grown to the extent that it now rivals TV as a news provider in certain segments, Harris noted. Given that growth is likely to continue, Harris says that it will be important to implement changes in the way news is provided --- concise articles with a lot of supporting information to reflect the consumption pattern.
The poll of 2,307 found two-thirds of Americans had at least a moderate interest in staying abreast of the news as one of their activities, while about one in eight (13 per cent ) considered themselves news "junkies."
The poll found 50 per cent used TV to get the news, 36 per cent went online, while 10 per cent consumed print.UPI reported on the poll here.
The latest findings
from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press suggest a further decline has taken place in the credibility of American news organizations. The "believability" of these organizations was at 56 per cent in the study, down from 62 per cent two years earlier and 71 per cent only a decade ago. Nine of 13 organizations assessed in the study (a survey of Americans) declined substantially in the last two years.The study has shown media believability has been divided along partisan lines. But only two organizations (Fox News and local TV news) enjoy the support in the poll of two-thirds of Republicans. Democrats are more positive about media, with the exception of Fox.Local news remained the most believable (65 per cent), followed by 60 Minutes (64 per cent). Fox and USA Today were the two lowest-ranked among the 13 organizations.The poll was taken in July. It asked people to rate the believability of media on a scale of one to four, with three and four positive.
The ethics committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists (full disclosure: I am a former member) has produced a primer
on best practices in digital accuracy.
Its scope includes a very stern opposition to unpublishing and a very strong support of transparent corrections.The committee, led by Toronto Star public editor Kathy English, determined several best practices for the industry. Among them: helping readers report errors, transparency in corrections, prominent placement of corrections, and timeliness in the effort to correct.The committee also reiterated the need for uniform standards across all platforms, including the discipline of verification.