Some media stories of note for Monday, April 29, 2013:
A study by Quantum Media Holdings suggests Americans are spending 16 minutes per hour attached to social media, Australians are spending 14 minutes and those in U.K. 13 minutes. The principal driver in this data is smartphone use. Fox Business reports
that Quantum says a lot of the time spent is "ego-centric" generation of photos and messages about personal activities, more so than browsing content.
For years publishers have been pushing for Google to pay royalties for their content. But The Wrap notes
another such advocate has entered the fray and he is no shrinking violet. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein says Google's failure to pay creators for content amounts to stealing, and that technologist are earning billions while artists are struggling. He noted YouTube's dominance as a video site, expressed concern about the fate of newspapers and magazines in this environment, and encouraged Congress to pay a law that would generate royalties for creators.
A Canadian lawsuit stands to test the boundaries of libel in online comments. The former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke, has filed a lawsuit against 18 anonymous commenters who posted what he says are libels about him. He intends to unmask the commenters and pursue legal action against them. The Globe and Mail reports
that privacy law experts believe it is only a matter of time before other such suits test the limits of what sites and message boards can legally post.
Media stories of note for Tuesday, April 9, 2013:
All Americans need to do is spend a few more minutes online away from work and their habit will eclipse TV viewing at home. Media Life reports
that new data from the Temkin Group indicates Americans watch 3.9 hours of TV and spend 3.8 hours online outside of work each day. The January survey of 10,000 is quite different than results of only two years ago, when TV viewing was still double that of surfing.
The high-stakes fight over the right of Aereo to stream television signals has taken a turn that suggests this will be a battle of media giants. Bloomberg reports
that News Corp. has said it will take its Fox network off over-the-air transmission and move it to a cable-only signal if Aereo is not prohibited from taking the Fox signal free and reselling it online.
Felix Salmon of Reuters explores the disruptive potential
of native advertising. He notes the effort by BuzzFeed in the field of sponsored content, how it wants to disrupt banner advertising, and what that might mean for online media. Salmon believes the effort is significant to reach a relatively small audience and that its potential is a long way off because it won't easily reach scale.
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 Monday, March 25, 2013:
Matthew Ingram, writing for paidContent,
relates his discussions with media scholars Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky on the future of media. Their conclusion: there is a "barbell" issue in media, with either end of media, big and small, generally in good shape with strong reputations or relationships. But the middle remains quite uncertain. While Ingram doesn't suggest solutions, he concludes the challenges for medium-sized media are significant.
Matt Sokoloff, writing for the hyperlocal StreetFight blog,
suggests newspapers could evolve into "local membership" organizations, using their reach to connect people to a series of services, programs, discounts and offers. The opportunities would deliver strong revenue, too.
Lauren Hockenson, writing for 10000 Words
, discusses the relatively new phenomenon of hacking journalist accounts and provides a tip sheet on two-step verification to protect online identities. She argues it's a necessity, given some of the recent events.
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 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.
Media stories for Tuesday:
John Paton, the CEO of Digital First Media, explains his company's approach
to what he calls the Subscription Project, aka a paywall, and it has some differences from most. Its link to a Google survey delivers more information back to the company and clearly identifies some opportunities for relevant advertising. He isn't convinced paywalls are anything more than tweaking, but he is trying variations on for size. Matthew Ingram, writing for PaidContent,
has a look at his look.
Meena Thiruvengadam, in a contribution to the Poynter Institute site
, provides a tip sheet on how to create explanatory journalism, specifically how to identify and report them.
Hamish McKenzie, writing for PandoDaily,
adds his support to efforts by The Verge and Huffington Post to "attempt the impossible" and make online comment sections smarter. Both organizations have introduced separate pages that curate the perceived best of the litter. "So far, comments --- despite, and because of, their abundance --- have failed to live up to their potential . . .But thanks to machine learning, semantic analysis, design tricks, and a heavier curatorial hand, 2013 might just be the year when user-generated content on media sites finally gets smart."
Media stories for Wednesday:
Scientific American's Bora Zivkovic provides an extensive, exceptionally researched guide
to the strengths and weaknesses of online comments and the challenges they pose for media. He has a long list of recommendations, mainly involving increased engagement and moderation, but all pointing to the need for greater effort to enhance dialogue.
Alan Mutter, in his latest post on his Reflections of a Newsosaur,
argues that too many newspaper stories are too long. In recent weeks the Columbia Journalism Review surveyed papers
and found a decline in longform reporting. Mutter says many stories should be told not necessarily entirely with words, but with charts or other visual data. He concludes that "no one has time for this self-indulgence any more." He kept his column to 722 words.
On the other hand, AdWeek notes
the uptick in longform online sports journalism. In a feature on the development, AdWeek observes that some journalists are heading to the web to develop "rambling reads" when their print outlets are backing out of the business of lengthy pieces.
Media stories for Tuesday:
The Washington Post is attempting real-time fact-checking
with the launch of TruthTeller
, underwritten by the Knight Foundation as a journalism tool to extract content from political video and apply an algorithmic test to the veracity of the script. Essentially, it links what was said with what was earlier fact-checked. The Post acknowledges there is work to be done on the application and is encouraging users to help fine-tune it.
Martin Belam, writing for GigaOm,
challenges the notion that adopting the Facebook plug-in (or abandoning it) is the determinant of a civil, worthwhile online comment environment. Some news organizations have recently pulled away from the Facebook authentication of identity. Belam writes: "There’s no doubt that software design and features do influence community behaviors, but not as much as decent community management and personal engagement from journalists does."Lewis DVorkin writes for Forbes.com on the emerging personal brands of journalists and how that is changing the role of financial reporting. He particularly notes the value of participation in social media and the importance of audience engagement.