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.
Some media stories of note for Tuesday, February 26, 2013:
Is there some science behind successful Tweeting? Seems so. Poynter's Jeff Sonderman writes about a Georgia Institute of Technology study that suggests negative Tweets are largely a turn-off in securing a larger audience. Given that Twitter is a weak-tie platform, the more negative Tweets tend to make unfamiliar people uncomfortable. Another conclusion: Feed those followers information, not your eating habits.
There are three different takes arguing the necessity of media change.
Kylie Davis, the national real estate editor for News Corp. in Australia, challenges print media
to embrace content marketing or face its wrath -- the departure of advertisers who will become direct competitors. She writes for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA) blog that it can deliver a targeted audience, take time away from traditional media, and might even be better in some cases as storytellers. "Choosing to ignore it or claim it is not relevant will end only in shouts and tears."
Mark Challinor, the director of mobile for the Telegraph Group in London, says print will remain the cornerstone of his business. Challinor, writing for the INMA blog, suggests print will be integrated
with mobile as a vehicle to cut through the clutter and deliver audiences to advertisers with rich content.
David Lieberman, the executive editor of Deadline New York, writes about an analyst's view
that big media companies are taking the rise of mobile streaming far too lightly. Laura Martin of Needham & Co. says a new wave of streaming tech companies are sneaking up on the traditional networks and outlets with short-term premium videos designed to attract younger viewers of tablets and smartphones.
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.
Next Issue Media released a study
today indicating the U.S. periodical business can recognize $3 billion in interactive revenue by 2014. It's a prediction predicated on some challenging assumptions --- lots of devices, lots of familiarity, touchscreens and colour --- but the Oliver Wyman study
identifies some major gains ahead for 230 periodicals:
1. Higher renewal rates of subscriptions if an interactive edition is available --- 64% instead of 55%.
2. Greater revenue from bundled print/interactive packages, something consumers so far like.
3. Bill-me-later interactive editions heavily reduce churn rates to 25% from 45%, again yielding greater revenue.
4. Cross-selling advertising through recommendation engines through the editions will drive revenue from other products.
5. Availability of interactive editions will triple uptake from non-subscribers to the print periodical, to 15% from 5%.
The study nevertheless indicates some immense challenges for publishers: devices need to be encouraged, archival material made available, workflows changed, partnerships established, among other things.
Normally the Reflections of a Newsosaur blog is filled with the dire news of declining newspaper circulation and revenue. But in his latest post
, Alan Mutter is sounding a bit of a clarion call to publishers: They can win by using Apple's iPad properly.
For the first time, Mutter says, a device is there to play to the strengths of the print medium's depth of content. Given everyone is starting on equal footing to create applications and functions for the iPad, Mutter believes print publishers can create winning strategies by acting swiftly and decisively.
The strength of print is in its subtle and deep exploration of issues. It is a lean-back medium, a solitary one, and a medium in which drama can be built with words when neither audio nor video is available.
What he advocates (apart from action now) is unclear, but Mutter says it's not feasible simply to migrate content. New functions and depth need to emerge, or else the glaring weakness of print online will be repeated.
James Kristie, the editor and associate publisher of Directors and Boards, uses his blog to find peaks and valleys and pronounce on governance. His latest: Print media has bottomed out
Times have been tough, "but we may have put the bottom in" with Thursday's announcement of the death of Editor & Publisher magazine, Kristie surmises.
"It's said that they don't ring a bell at tops and bottoms of the market. But I'm calling a bottom in the death plunge of the print media industry. There may be some more pain to come, but could there be any louder clang than the killshot to Editor & Publisher
to signal a coming bounceback for the print media? I say no."
The Austin Business Journal features a chin-up takeout
on the fate of print advertising. The conclusion: There is plenty of life left in it.
For the foreseeable future, print will play an integral role in the planning for advertisers, it concludes. Digital growth is obvious, as is media fragmentation, but print is by no means dead.
While a new business model is needed, consumers are bound to stay loyal to print to a large extent --- and, thus, so will advertisers.
Barron's posits this week that an investor in old media today will have a fatter wallet in the years ahead. All it will take for traditional companies to prosper is for them to muddle through the recession, watch some of their rivals wither, and scoop up the market in the process.
The financial weekly suggests the old-media-are-dead mantra is not accurate or informed. It could be decades before either print or broadcasting are irrelevant in the media conversation.
Interestingly, Barron's posts the piece in behind a firewall, so the best you can do is view its first of four pages if you're not a subscriber.
There are some harrowing observations from Sir Martin Sorrell, considered one of the world's luminaries on the advertising business. In short, the change is secular, the disintermediation strong, and the profitability of old media changed forever.
Low-cost business models have undermined and unsaddled the legacy media and its traditional profit picture, he notes. Principally, the seeds of difficulty were planted by new media operations aiming to give content away. O
Deloitte has published a study of United Kingdom consumers indicating they prefer print advertising over online advertising to help them make purchasing decisions.
Some 59 per cent pay attention to print advertising in magazines, and 56 per cent said they pay more attention to newspaper advertising over anything online. Television advertising remains the most effective.
The survey's authors say it indicates traditional media maintain a strong grip on UK consumers.