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 Friday, May 17, 2013:
Margaret Talbot, writing for The New Yorker online,
examines the recent spate of incidents involving the Obama Administration and the press. She argues that they have damaged the credibility of the government and threatened the freedom of the press. An effect, she fears, is the chilling of sources of information who fear their anonymity cannot be protected. The result of that will be fewer stories that explore significant secretive information and a reduction in civil liberties.BBC reports
on a new British study of 35,000 young people that suggests they now prefer to read on a screen than on paper. They engage in social networking and one-third prefer to read fiction on a screen. The National Literary Trust report, based on interviews with those eight to 16 years old, concluded that 52 per cent preferred a screen, while only 32 per cent preferred a print experience.
The controversy this week involving Bloomberg reporters monitoring the online activity of their clients on Bloomberg terminals has raised a series of ethical issues. The Associated Press has a look
at what experts feel is a shifting landscape in which more access to technology and user activity will permit greater access to consumer information once considered private --- and where privacy is not as respected as it once was.
James Breiner, writing for Poynter
, looks at recent developments in journalism education to teach students how to be entrepreneurial. With more opportunities to build businesses, and less likelihood of one-company careers, journalism schools are finding it valuable to impart business start-up and operational skills in their journalists to teach them how to create and manage their own companies.
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.
Some media stories of note for Thursday, May 9, 2013:
Poynter has two stories that examine the qualities of the reporting of the saving of three women from captivity in Cleveland earlier this week. Eric Deggans writes
about some of the flaws of the early reporting of Charles Ramsay, whose interview following the rescue of the women made him an Internet sensation. Was it a case of jumping on a good story without adequate verification? Were there factors that made Ramsay a particularly attractive story? Then Kelly McBride writes
about how to fairly cover the impending rape trial in which the three women have already been identified. "Their names are already central to the story, and that cannot be avoided," McBride writes. But there are several ways for media to minimize harm in the coverage by using clear language and reflexivity to avoid further victimization.
Mathew Ingram, writing for paidContent,
explores the idea of the "open interview," in which the full discussion is made available publicly. He notes that many journalists don't provide a transcript or tape unless there is some challenge about the context of a quote or a question about its accuracy. Technology easily permits it now, Ingram writes. Even though there are drawbacks --- not all journalists know how to get to the point when asking a question, and some will appear less than authoritative in their interrogations --- Ingram concludes it's a valuable approach to build audience trust.
Ingram also has a look
at LinkedIn's evolution as a platform as it ventures more and more into news provision. He notes the changes in LinkedIn Today's stream of business news with a series of content channels that open inside your profile. While Ingram doesn't accept that LinkedIn has become a media empire, he does note that it is finding a way to direct relevant content to a business-oriented audience.
Here are some media stories of note for Wednesday, May 8, 2013:
Josh Stenberg, a former newspaper advertising executive, writes an insiderish account for Digiday
on why many newspapers are struggling. He writes of the "blind and bold arrogance" that resists digital change, the oversized ad departments that haven't separated remnant accounts from golden opportunities, the emerging role of messaging and planning that newspapers will be used for by advertisers, the mistake of looking for a single solution, and his assertion that paywalls won't work.
Frustrated about the vulnerability of your online activity? The MIT Technology Review notes
that a U.S. government lab has been operating a "quantum Internet" for about two years that sends secure messages between two points using a hub that converts the content and makes it technically impossible to eavesdrop. "The idea is that messages to the hub rely on the usual level of quantum security," the site's physics blog writes. "However, once at the hub, they are converted to conventional classical bits and then reconverted into quantum bits to be sent on the second leg of their journey. So as long as the hub is secure, then the network should also be secure."
Roy Peter Clark, in a piece for Poynter,
argues that sometimes there can be too much transparency in the journalistic narrative. He asserts that translucence, the balance between transparency and opacity, is a much more optimal result in many cases because it achieves authenticity while preserving the good reading experience. That said, he also knows that for certain straight news or investigative work, where the writing is less important than the reporting, transparency is much more important.
Some media stories of note for Thursday, May 2, 2013:
Friday is World Press Freedom Day. In advance of it, the annual report from the Committee to Protect Journalists
has been released to demonstrate where it is most hazardous to practice the craft --- its Impunity Index. Nigeria, Somalia, Brazil and Pakistan feature rising levels of deadly, unpunished violence against journalists. The report suggests conditions are improving in Nepal and Russia. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon reports
that Iraq remains the most dangerous country and that half of the victimized journalists worldwide covered politics or corruption.
The Los Angeles Times, taking the lead from recent language style changes at The Associated Press
, has updated its guidelines for reporting on immigration. Its reader representative, Deirdre Edgar, writes that
the organization will no longer refer to individuals as illegal or undocumented immigrants, but will instead describe their circumstances.
A job posting isn't always notable, but this one arguably is. Twitter is looking to increase its connection with journalism
in seeking its first-ever Head of News and Journalism to cultivate and manage relationships with news organizations and expand the reach of the platform into the craft. The job posting is indicative of the ambition of Twitter to develop a greater presence in conventional news.
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.
Some media stories of note for Tuesday, April 30, 2013:
Rick Edmonds, writing for Poynter,
examines new approaches to measuring circulation in the U.S. newspaper industry. The measurement has helped set advertising rates and determined revenue for the business, but several new rules have altered the results (mostly for the better, he says, in providing day-by-day data) and made it difficult to look at year-over-year patterns. The results today
indicate The New York Times has surpassed USA Today.
Taylor Miller Thomas, also writing for Poynter
, looks at 11 digital tools that can help journalists improve their reporting. She identifies crowdsourcing, freedom of information, census data and other sites that provide opportunities for journalists to develop evidence-based material and engage the audience.
Twitter is not interested
in an Initial Public Offering, says CEO Jack Dorsey. Twitter is now valued at about $9 billion. One thing it is doing is creating a Canadian operation and it has dipped into Canadian broadcasting
for its first leader in the country. Kirstine Stewart, formerly the executive vice president of English Services at CBC, has joined them.
Media notes for Thursday, April 25, 2013:
Most national British newspapers have rejected a government royal charter plan to regulate the press and have proposed an alternative plan that avoids state-sponsored regulation they say would reduce press freedom. BBC reports
the move, supported so far by nine of 11 national titles, has thrown open the debate once more on how to regulate the press following the Leveson inquiry's efforts to identify a new process in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
The New York TImes, which Bloomberg notes
missed analysts' revenue expectations in its first-quarter results, has revealed a new digital strategy. Forbes.com reports
the plan includes tiered pricing that would permit access to "important and interesting" stories only at a lower rate (a plan now termed NYT Junior, aimed at younger readers), an expansion of its live events, and even an initiative to introduce games.
Not so long ago it was considered beneficial to be included on Twitter lists because it spread your content and associated you with particular expertise. But Nina Diamond, writing for Poynter,
suggests journalists reexamine which Twitter lists they are on and consider removing themselves from ones that do not help their brands, make you uncomfortable or are inappropriate.
Some media notes for Tuesday, April 23, 2013:
Jack Shafer, writing for Reuters,
defends the mistake. He notes that journalism has been making errors big and small forever, although he also observes that corrections and retractions don't happen the way they could. The difference now is the audience's ability to help correct the record and "talk back" to the press, making the second draft of history much better.
Frédéric Filoux, writing for his weekly Monday Note
, wonders what the fuss is about with sponsored editorial content, also known as native advertising. He says the controversy is a "festival of fake naivety and misplaced indignation." Editorial content has often been there to flatter the advertising that surrounds it, he says. That being said, he also believes the site's editor, and not its chief revenue officer, should be the one to decide if that advertising crosses the line.
Ombudsmen often determine when the line is crossed, and the Washington Post drew criticism when it recently discontinued the role and replaced it with a readers' representative. Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter,
profiles Doug Feaver and how his job will differ. Feaver came out of retirement to take the part-time role, which ostensibly answers readers of the paper and its site. His first column
noted the disappearance of the Print button on the site, something that restored once he identified the complaint. But he's not there to serve as an ombudsman, he notes.
A follow-up: An amendment to legislation proposes that smaller blogs (those with fewer than 10 employees and two million pounds in revenue each year) will be exempt from the harsh penalties if they do not join the new press regulator under the royal charter governing media in the country. The Editors Weblog notes
this is a welcome relief for organizations that would have been subject to the penalties originally devised for large companies.