Media stories of note for Monday, May 13, 2013:
Bloomberg has found itself in the middle of a controversy in recent days. Its reporters are able to see some, but not vast, information about a client's use of its vaunted terminals. And a complaint was launched that suggested this access was inappropriate and infringed on privacy --- or worse, that reporters might have benefited from the access. The New York Times reported
that Bloomberg journalists were trained in how to use the login activity to advance news coverage. Bloomberg's editor-in-chief today responded.
Matthew Winkler indicated that, while the access was limited, it should not have happened. Policies have been changed so reporters have no more access to information than do clients.
Rick Edmonds, writing for Poynter
, notes new McKinsey and Company research
that indicates people spend 92 per cent of their news consumption time on legacy platforms. The research suggests 41 per cent of the time is spent with television, 35 per cent with newspapers and magazines, and 16 per cent with radio. Laptops and desktops account for four per cent, and tablets and smartphones amount to two per cent of time spent.
Frédéric Filloux, in his weekly Monday Note
, examines the different strategies of The New York Times and Washington Post. The former has created a paywall, the latter is moving toward one. But Filoux notes the Times is increasingly able to develop a digital subscription model and other media firms might be able to do so because the approach is common. "It is increasingly clear that readers are more willing than we once thought to pay for content they value and enjoy," he writes.
Media stories of note for Wednesday, April 10, 2013:
The veteran news executive, Alan Mutter, argues in his latest post
that online paywalls are not the blessing they appear to be. While they are helping to staunch the revenue declines many newspapers are experiencing, their main impact is to extract revenue from loyal readers. In effect, they fail to broaden audience appeal, a necessary condition for media sustainability. Mutter believes a partial solution comes in the form of reinvesting subscription revenue into new technologies in mobile.
Curtis Brainard, writing for Columbia Journalism Review,
discusses seven rules to avoid gratuitous descriptions of female scientists. The rules are called the Finkbeiner Test, named after a science blogger, and they suggest no story mention a) that she is a woman, b) her husband's job, c) her child-care arrangements, d) how she nurtures underlings, e) how she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field, f) how she is a role model for other women, and g) how she is the "first woman to" do something.
The European has published much of a conversation
between its deputy executive editor Martin Eiermann and NYU media scholar Clay Shirky on the meaning of journalism in 2013. There are several threads of note, including the assertion that journalism has failed to comprehend the need for collaboration with the audience and some insight on why Shirky resists identifying a business model to help solve the economic challenges of the industry.
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 Tuesday, April 2, 2013:
Aereo, the Barry Diller-supported Internet streaming service the captures over-the-air television signals and transmits them to users, has won another court battle
over television networks that want to knock it out of business. Bloomberg reports the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York turned down an appeal of a lower-court ruling that had denied a preliminary injunction against Aereo, which now plans to expand its service nationally. Doubtlessly, with stakes so high, the court proceedings are not over.
A new Dutch online news operation has successfully crowdsourced funds beyond its start-up needs for it to start an advertising-free high-quality journalism site later this year. The Irish Times reports
the title will be de Correspondent, based in Amsterdam, and its principals say it will aim up-market. More than 15,000 people have paid in advance their subscription fees, giving the title more than one million Euros to start.
Mashable weighs in on the successes of Financial Times,
in particular its ability to effectively gather data about its audience. Rather than view paywalls as a way to repel those who want the content free, the FT uses the paywall to register and gather fairly extensive data about those it grants access to eight free articles a month. The result is a more sophisticated understanding of who it reaches.
Always beware information on that first day of April. Arguably the most intriguing of these assertions on April Fool's was TechCrunch's intrepid coverage
of a French plan to enlist drones to deliver newspapers in France.
Four media stories of note for Monday, April 1, 2013:
PaidContent contributor Eliza Kern writes about her own "Generation Mooch"
and how it will be difficult, to say the least, to get her cohort to pay for content that has been freely available. This generation has little or no experience paying and she notes it even rides on a parent's subscription for content in behind a paywall, so it is a real question on whether it can be turned into an audience that change its habit and financially support content.
Karen Rothmyer, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review,
reflects on her time as the first public editor for the Kenya TImes. She notes the precious concept of press freedom in developing countries has brought with it a respect for standards and a determination to independently oversee them, even if the work produces some uncomfortable results.
The Los Angeles Times raises questions
about an advertising deal in the Orange County Register with three universities who will receive editorial coverage in exchange for their financial support. The Times notes the universities would help generate the editorial ideas and coverage. The paper asserts it retains editorial control, but the Times says some staff are uncomfortable with the arrangement.
The American Journalism Review looks at DNAInfo.com,
one of the newer entrants in the hyperlocal journalism field. Underwritten by billionaire Joe Ricketts, the sites write extensively about a range of elements in New York and Chicago and have built impressive audiences in the early going. The question now is whether the financial support will follow the audience support, the article notes.
Some media stories of note for Tuesday, March 5, 2013:
Nate Thayer, a freelance journalist, carries his email exchanges
with an editor at The Atlantic on its attempts to get him to revamp a piece on the "basketball diplomacy" of Dennis Rodman in North Korea free in exchange for the large platform it would reach. Thayer's exchange reflects an emerging trend of platform-as-currency for creators.
Twitter is often cited as a gauge of public opinion, but a new Pew study suggests
it is more often than not more of an extreme indication. The study examined eight events over the course of a year and found that general public opinion differed from what the Twitterverse produced. There is no particular theme involved: at times it is more liberal, at times more conservative.
Publishers are charging more and offering fewer free articles as they develop more metered delivery of their content online. The paidContent site examines data
from more than 400 publishers in the Press+ fold and found the average subscription price was $9.26 in January, up five per cent from a year earlier and 40 per cent from two years earlier. And fewer free pieces were being offered before a paywall cut off the reader.
Dave Winer, online guru and the real founder of RSS, writes that constructing a paywall for content is no solution to what ails the news business.
"As a user of news, I'm sure the future is in shortening the distance between the sources and the readers," he writes. "The idea of putting up a paywall will just force more reporters outside of it if they want to do their jobs and shrink the publications further. It's no solution."
His principal point: "With all due respect, putting up a 'pay wall' is exactly what these organizations don't need. They need to decentralize, get further out into the world, not hole-up behind a wall and try to tough it out."