Some media stories of note for Wednesday, May 22, 2013:
Jonathan Stray, writing for Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines the slow evolution of journalism from "just-the-facts" to "what it means" reportage. He cites academic research on content and concludes that prominent work today is more regularly contextual. He attributes this to the shift away from the pursuit of objectivity to one of analysis, backgrounding and connecting the dots.
Anthony de Rosa, posting on Soup
, decries the duplication in today's journalism. He doesn't cite particular outlets but notes that so many stories are simply matched by those who do not advance the material. He thinks it's time to relent and devote precious resources to original content. The medium no longer requires matching, he argues.
Dana Milbank, political columnist for the Washington Post, devotes attention to the
Obama Administration's surveillance and seizure of journalists' records and concludes this is a serious matter deserving of much wider attention because of its collision with constitutional rights of freedom of expression. Milbank says the administration needs to address the recent series of episodes involving organizations or else its "ominous" precedent is bound to be followed by later leaders without a real dedication to the First Amendment.
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 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.
Media stories of note for Tuesday, April 16, 2013:
The explosions near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday were captured by media, but Erik Wemple of the Washington Post notes how Twitter served as a form of media ombudsman
in the hours that followed to verify and not the many assertions and sources that emerged with information about the blasts. Wemple notes Twitter is also a home for those emphasizing caution in reporting on breaking news.
There continues a dispute between the London School of Economics and the BBC over an LSE trip to North Korea in which the BBC had embedded three journalists posing as professors. The Guardian reports
some of the students indicated BBC did not gain informed consent and they only learned of the undercover journalists upon arriving in North Korea. BBC insists the students were briefed in Beijing about the move.The Daily Telegraph notes
the European Commission has poured millions of euros into initiatives aimed at stronger Europe-wide regulation of the press. Among its early work is a report that recommends newspapers be regulated as are broadcasters, much more tightly and with requirements for balance.
Some media stories of note for Friday, March 8, 2013:
The overhaul of Facebook's news feed began to emerge Thursday
and the seeming aim is to generate a personal newspaper of sorts, with a hierarchical display based on what users focus on most. Wired.com notes there are opportunities for media if users focus on published content, and The New Yorker notes
it aims to show us all we want to see and none of what we don't. but Facebook has left it flexible enough that users may simply focus on what their friends are saying.
The Washington Post, which ended its ombudsman role last week, has appointed its first readers' representative
in the newsroom to field public complaints and write periodically about how they are addressed. Doug Feaver is a veteran Post newsroom journalist and will be assisted by Alison Coglianese, who worked for the ombudsman's office previously. Feaver will blog for washingtonpost.com and contribute newspaper columns as needed.
Craig Silverman, writing for Poynter, says "bring on the robots." He identifies ways in which machines will be able to improve accuracy and standards in newsrooms, whether through fact-checking, extracting data to produce timelines, identifying typographical errors, detecting plagiarism and fabrication, or even gathering information through drones.
Three media stories of note for Monday, March 4, 2013:
The Washington Post has decided not to have an ombudsman. It announced Friday it will create a role within its newsroom for a readers' representative who will on occasion write in the paper and online on matters of audience concern. Post publisher Katherine Weymouth said
other media writers and the audience will help Patrick Pexton, the Post ombudsman, ended his two-year term Friday with a column
on some of what he had learned.
Robert McChesney, the American media scholar, writes in Salon.com
on what happens to democracy if the digital business model cannot finance journalism. In an excerpt of his next book, McChesney says the transformation to digital would be acceptable if an acceptable replacement accompanied the change. Instead, he argues that it is unclear if anyone can be commercially successful outside of media aimed at the wealthy or business. The proof that journalism is a public good is that no one is making money from it, he concludes.
Greg Satell, writing for Forbes.com,
isn't pessimistic but believes it's necessary for print media to change its thinking to succeed in the time ahead. Above all else, he says, it has to recognize that marketers will pay more for consumers than consumers will pay for content. He says video, affiliate programs and social media integration are keys to sustained print media.
Some media stories of note for Monday, February 18, 2013:
Frederic Filloux, in his weekly Monday Note,
writes about the need for a digital "new journalism" that sheds many traits of the legacy newsroom. He says traditional newspaper writing is aging badly and that new work needs to reflect four developments: readers' time budget, the trust factor with the brand, the speedier competition from within, and magazine writing elegance.
Jay Rosen, the New York University journalism scholar, talks about five shifts in media power
in his latest post on Pressthink: writers ascendant on publishers, shifting scarcity of content, the economics of human presence (in conferences run by organizations, for instance), the renewed importance of voice, and the rise of niche journalism.
Andrew Beaujon of Poynter examines the most recent column
from Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton, who surmises he may be the last one to hold that job at the news organization. With a newsroom in likely need of further cuts, his job is a "tempting target," Pexton concludes.
Some media stories of note for Friday, Feb. 15:
While the Knight Foundation gathering this week was notable for its $20,000 honorarium for speaker and plagiarist Jonah Lehrer, it did discuss more substantive issues
dealing with the future business models for journalism and information. In particular, it examined the role of foundations in assisting the information needs of communities. The Nieman Lab reports this "blended future" might be important as traditional journalism finds itself less able to meet those needs.
Odd-seeming issues often have profound consequences. So it appears with a request this week by Teri Buhl that news organizations take down her Twitter photo. This had followed her request that others not republish her Tweets. Poynter discusses the situation
and indicates this has implications for news organizations.Reuters reports
on concerns by the Committee to Protect Journalists' assertion that cyberattacks on media organizations are more common and complicated than ever as a form of censorship and invasion of personal material. In recent weeks The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have been among the most notable targets.
Media stories for Monday:
While gains in newspaper circulation in developing countries have to some extent offset the declines in other parts of the world, new data indicate it has not been enough. The International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulation indicates newspaper circulation
is officially on the decline, about 1.6 per cent monthly year over year between 2010 and 2011.
The publication late last week
of hacked correspondence and images of paintings by George W. Bush drew a lot of public attention. But Paul Farhi the Washington Post raises the issue
of the journalistic ethics of whether anything is off limits anymore.
BuzzFeed published late last week
what it believes is a clue to Twitter's future look and feel, a far richer stream of material that has a Facebook feel to it. Matt Buchanan examines the reasons behind the possible changes.
Media stories Friday:
Earlier this week it was revealed that The New York Times was hacked from China and that its employees' passwords were collected. Now comes word that the Washington Post was hacked from China last year, too. The Poynter Institute's Andrew Beaujon
cites a Krebs on Security report
on the matter and delves into it.
Sociologist Herbert Gans, writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab,
examines the challenge of journalism in the 21st century to report more contextually on politics and democracy. He encourages a broadening of the cast in political drama, a new emphasis beyond officialdom, and a more concerted effort to discuss the intersection of journalism and democracy.
Jennifer Hicks, writing for Forbes.com,
examines the growth of citizen journalism and pays particular attention to the emergence of Rawporter.com
as a versatile tool in this emergent media.