Five media stories of note for Thursday, March 14, 2013:
Anette Novak, a media consultant blogging for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association,
examines and argues for the involvement of legacy media in building community competence and awareness. She believes media can help their communities understand the three C's: critical thinking, consent and copyright. She says this would improve relationships and build credibility.
Casey Frechette, a journalism professor and digital strategist, has created a primer at Poynter.org
for journalists who want to understand effective web design. She identifies techniques to achieve simple, effective expression: design grids, repetition of elements, white space, hierarchy, texture and depth, the use of colour to express meaning, and contrast.
A new study from Pew Internet suggests
one-quarter of teens mainly gain access to the Internet through their smartphones. One in four teens are "cell-mostly" users. Among many lower-income and lower-educated households, teens focused on their smartphones in the absence of computers. One in four teens owns a tablet, similar to the level among adults. Smartphone ownership has grown to 47 per cent, up from 23 per cent in 2011.
A British study suggests women Tweet more often than men, and are more likely to talk about personal matters, television and work, while men talk about sports, gaming and news. The Telegraph reports
on the Brandwatch study of 1,000 Twitter accounts and concludes women (15 Tweets daily) and men (nine) not only discuss different things but use different language to do so.
John Pavlus, writing for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review,
looks at the very different tracks of two major media sites: The New York Times and the Daily Mail. The former is designed to encourage reading and the latter "doubles down" on anti-readability, he notes. But the Daily Mail just keeps on growing and striving for clicks, while the Times' strategy hasn't been proven effective just yet.
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.
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.
A new report
from the Pew Center for People and the Press suggests significant problems in public trust of the press in the United States. On nine of 12 negative indices studied since 1985, the survey of trust showed all-time marks.
That being said, the press remains more trusted as a source of information than are such other institutions as government and business.
The report found people trust their local sources of information more than they do national sources, and it suggested that the national perceptions were skewed by negative views about all-news cable television.
"Fully 66% say news stories often are inaccurate, 77% think that news organizations tend to favor one side, and 80% say news organizations are often influenced by powerful people and organizations," Pew said in summarizing the study
. "As recently as four years ago, 39% said news organizations mostly get the facts straight and 53% said stories are often inaccurate."
Then again, when asked about their own news sources, Americans were far more kind. Some 62 per cent said their sources were accurate and only 30 per cent said the stories were often inaccurate.
Among the other findings in the poll of 1,501 Americans in July: television remains the prime information source; nearly one-quarter now get news from social media; people want their press to be non-political; most believe news organizations have professional intentions; equal numbers say the press helps and hurts democracy; and most support its watchdog role.
A new report
from the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism outlines the divided view media provide on the advances of technology. While the overall tone of coverage is upbeat about the improvements in productivity and other functions, very close behind is the concern that convenience also brings risk.
Pew examined mainstream media coverage in more than 50 outlets involving more than 400 stories. When blogs and other social media were examined, though, there was a more positive outlook on technology.
The single-largest technology story concerned texting while driving. But the second-largest story were developments in Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Pew found that technology coverage doesn't comprise much of the overall media menu (1.6%) and that the largest number of stories concerned trends and social change.
"The findings suggest that in the mainstream media, particularly on front pages and general interest programs, the press reflects exuberance about gadgets and a wonder about the corporations behind them, but wariness about effects on our lives, our behavior and the sociology of the digital age," the report says. "Social media, on the other hand, suggests that people who are on the cutting edge of technology are not only more interested in discussing the topics, but more positive in general about specific advancements, like new versions of smartphones or new social networking sites."
A new report
from the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggests we have entered the era of the mobile application. The use --- and particularly the growth --- of apps is trending such that it now is where the industry action is.
The report indicates more than one-third of adults --- particularly men and young adults --- have applications on their smartphones, although only one-quarter of adults use them. It is, as the report suggests, pretty significant in view of the fact there weren't such applications only a couple of years ago (pre-iPhone and Android).
Among cellphone owners, 29 per cent have downloaded apps and 13 per cent have paid for them.
More evidence emerged today that Americans are shifting their patterns of media consumption but still taking in a large dose of news --- more than they have in recent times, it appears.
The Pew Research Center for People and the Press released a biennial study
that suggests Americans are spending more time than ever consuming news. The average daily dose is about 70 minutes, up from 67 minutes. One-third are doing so through digital formats.
The digital consumers are larger in number than the newspaper consumers --- in itself an interesting development --- and on par with radio. Television news continues to be the most prominent format, reporting no real decline in recent years despite the arrival of digital delivery.
While the amount of consumption is increasing, the number of people consuming isn't. And the survey suggests newspaper declines are only partly offset by digital gains.
A report today from the Pew Internet & American Life Project
suggests social media is fast becoming the communication format of choice among older Americans.
The report surveyed Internet-connected adults in May and found 42 per cent of those aged 50 and older were using social media, up from 22 per cent a year earlier. Among those aged 50 to 64 growth was 88 per cent (47 per cent, compared to 25 per cent a year ago), and among those 65 and older it was 100 per cent (26 per cent, compared to 13 per cent a year ago).
Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social networking tools, but the report found that one in five older adults use them daily. Email continues to be the strongest form of communication digitally for older adults --- it is no longer so for younger adults --- but in the last year Pew found that one in 10 Internet users aged 50 and older now use Twitter or another service to update their networks, double the number of a year ago.
The study also found that online news consumption remains high among older adults. Three-quarters of older adults look to the Internet for news and 42 per cent do so daily. Among those aged 65 and older, 62 per cent use the Internet to consume news and 34 per cent do so daily.
There is an important caveat in the study: It is, like all such studies, a survey of Internet-connected older adults. But it does suggest a swiftly emerging demographic of interest for the news business.
Face-to-face contact hasn't gone out of style, but we all know that new tools abound to stay informed. A new study
from the Pew Internet and American Life Project quantifies the trends.
It found that one-fifth of Americans (and 27% of Internet users) used digital tools to understand more about community issues. And 22% of adults (and 28% of Internet users) used either text messaging or email alerts to gain information. Some 11% used blogs to stay up to date on local matters.
Of those signed up for text and email alerts, 13% signed up for school events (closures for weather, for instance), 11% used them for weather warnings, 5% for crime data and 4% for traffic congestion.
The study was conducted late last year involving 2,258 Americans. Its findings are considered accurate within 2.8 points.
A year-long study
from the Pew Research Center sheds some light on the way Americans are using social media differently than legacy media.
First off, nearly half depend on those around them for some of their news, an indication that social media has gained enormous clout but also an indication that friends play a powerful role in broad news consumption.
And any suggestion that social media somehow deliver the same note is challenged in the study. Pew reported that social media tend to highlight very different stories --- not only different from legacy media, but different from each other.
On blogs, the stories are emotive. On Twitter, technology rules. YouTube is serendipitous.
Legacy media still aren't necessarily picking up on the viral hits, either. Pew found only one instance, the so-named climategate scandal, that seemed to prosper in social media then migrate to the mainstream.
Having said that, blogs depend heavily on mainstream media for their source material, the study found.