France: Fears for Job Losses at
Lagardère Radio Stations
Active Group, the French media conglomerate, announced a restructuring plan at
its local radio stations which caused concerns over job losses from both staff
and unions. According to the management, the company is facing a "structural crisis". It
plans to scale down its regional operation by closing 25 of its local radio
stations and reducing around a quarter of its staff at regional level in France.
US: Official Report Predicts 25% Drop in Media
Jobs by 2018
A recent federal
report of the Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that employment in the
newspapers industry will drop from 326,000 to 245, 000 by 2018, which will
constitute a decrease of almost 25% of the jobs in the industry. The report
also shows that newspapers are among the top 10 industries slated for job
losses, making the sector the second hardest hit just behind department stores.
Contrary to predictions of the US
employment bureau, a survey of over 530 US and Canadian newspapers executives
and managers believe that the market will be up again with positive gains in
advertising revenues by 2011.
France: Le Figaro.fr Records 11% Rise in Turnover Thanks to Online
Le Figaro.fr, the online edition of French national daily Le Figaro, recorded a rise of 11% in this year's total
revenue while its print edition's income continues to drop.
US: The Future of News in Virtual World?
InfoLab, an academic institute has introduced an
innovative yet alarming idea of the future of news. The project called ‘News at
Seven' shows a virtual world in which newscasts are solely generated by
computer, including its animated TV anchors and the robotic reporting. Further,
another on-going project called ‘Stats Monkey' will virtually play the role of
journalists. According to the director of the project, ‘Stat Monkey' can
generate highly analysed news stories in different topics for different
audiences. Stories will also include quotes from individuals or organisations
involved in the stories.
16 December 2009
Herald Rolls Out Voluntary Pay Option
The Miami Herald has
introduced a new way of asking their readers to pay for its online content: readers are directed to a payment page asking them to donate whatever amount they wish. According to the management, some readers have already donated "a certain amount "
for their news , but it remains
unclear whether the voluntary pay
option is sustainable.
Economic Crisis Has Taken its Toll on Media Independence & Credibility
A survey conducted by
the Press Association of Madrid (APM) reveals that recent economic crisis has
taken its toll on media independence and credibility. A majority of 57.5% of
the directors of national media outlets (including print and broadcasting
media) said they enjoy " less
freedom " in editorial
independence. There is an increasing influence from advertisers and
institutions. As a result, media lost credibility with a record low rating of 4.6/10. The survey
results also show that the working conditions of journalists are worsening,
with 29.4% respondents saying that they face a reduction in wages while 16% of
them lost their jobs. Almost half (41.3%) of the respondents indicated that job
insecurity has become their main concern.
France: 271 Voluntary
Redundancies at Radio France
271 staff of Radio
France Internationale (RFI) have opted for voluntary redundancies in the
framework of the company's "restructuring plan" which originally
foresaw only 206 redundancies. The unions have always been opposed to the plan
imposed by the management without consultation and they consider the mass
departure as a failure to reform the company. The high number of volunteers
leaving the company represents a risk for the future of RFI.
Canada: 166 Staff Applied for
Voluntary Redundancy at the Toronto
The Toronto Star, one of
the highest-circulation newspapers in Canada, confirmed that 166 of its
staff have applied for voluntary redundancy. Layoff notices were also issued to
nine unionised newsroom employees following the announcement. The management of
the Star said the company is facing a difficult situation: declining
advertising revenues and structural changes in the media industry. The title
has already outsourced around 80 of its copy editing and page production
jobs. The company expects more layoffs
in the future. A 90-day consultation regarding the newspaper's collective
agreement has also begun.
US: 125 Year Old Journal ‘Editor & Publisher' Ceases Publication
Editor and publisher (E&P), the 125-year old
monthly journal covering US
newspapers industry news, announced its closure after its parent company, the
Nielsen Co., sealed a deal with e5 Global Media Holdings. . It is not known yet
how many staff in the E&P will be affected by the closure. E&P has been
covering the impact of recent economic crisis on the US newspaper industry and the
changing media landscape. The journal was awarded a dozen major awards since
its first publication in 1901.
US: Rising Revenue and Falling
Some newspapers seem to thrive on and enjoy rising
revenues: according to the ABC October figures, weekly
circulation of 379 US newspapers fell 10.6% year-on-year while circulation of
Sunday newspapers dropped by 7.4%. However, some newspapers such as the San
Francisco Chronicle, the Dellas Morning News, the New York Times and many others recorded a rise in circulation revenues due to the rise of
subscription fees. Although the rising prices in these newspapers caused
a drop in readership, it also retained those who are loyal to the paper and
value the content rather than price.
UK: Express Considers Replacing All Regional Journalists with News Agency
The British newspaper group, Express Newspapers, which
include the popular press the Daily Express, the Sunday Express,
the Daily Star and the Sunday consider cutting almost all of
regional reporters and replace the content with stories from news agencies.
At least 33 staff already applied for voluntary redundancy and Express is
looking for another 15 redundancies.
Belgium: Around 200 Staff Face Layoffs in Dutch Media Groups
Dutch media companies, Perspgroep and Limburg Media Groep finally announced
layoff plans in response to rapid drops in advertising revenue and newspaper
subscription. The Belgium
newspaper group, Perspgroep will lay off 131 staff at the Volksrant and Trouw
newspapers, while Limburg Media Groep will cut 48 jobs. In the past two years,
advertising revenues at the Limburg Media Groep have dropped by 25%. Newspapers
subscription in Dutch households has also dropped by 12% since 1997 and yet,
newspapers subscription account almost 90% of Dutch newspapers sale.
PA to Cut Foreign Correspondents
Press Association (PA) announced further cost-cutting plans to cut its New York correspondent posting following its earlier
decision to withdraw its Brussels
correspondent by 2012. Last month, PA already announced plans to drop seven
reporters from its regional news team.
Journalist Tweeting the Trial
a changing media landscape, the role of social media have become more important
and transformed the way news is produced. A British journalist, Kate Dubinski,
recently used Twitter to report a court trial in Canada and it attracted over 1,000
readers/tweeters to follow her ‘tweeting trial'. Different from traditional court
reporting, she could tweet the trial live while traditional court reporter has
to spend the day in the court and write the report next day. Kate said there is
a huge potential in Twitter for journalists.
Asia: The Future of Journalism: a Mix of
Fictions and Facts?
As the media industry is searching for new business
models, an Asian media company visions the future of journalism as a mix of
fictions and facts. Next Media, owns the most popular tabloid newspapers in
Hong Kong and Taiwan
recently introduced animated ‘news reports' showing detailed plots that mixed
with fictions and facts. Its recent animated ‘news' video featuring the scandal
of the golf player Tiger Woods and his wife proved to be very popular and it
has been viewed by more than 1.7m people from YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i5FlC1MpkE ) . The management of Next Media said this could be the future of
newspapers as animated news stories proved to be very popular among young
people. There has also been increasing demand for the animated ‘news reports'
since its introduction.
Finland: Local Media Shrinking in Ostrobothnia
Paikallissanomat, the regional publishing company in Ostrobothnia, Finland
has been shrinking in recent years as many of its regional newspapers ceased
publications. Recent closures include its local newspaper Kokkolan Sanomat,
which has ceased publication on 3 December. The closure made five staff
redundant. Publication of another local newspaper, Pyhäjokiseutu, will
be reduced to twice a week. Faced with continuous losses, the company also
decided to sell its regional newspaper, Vieskalainen, to the Finnish
publishing company Jokilaaksojen Kustannus Oy.
US: More Job Cuts in the US News
Faced with difficult economic climate, media companies
in the US
including Thomson Reuters, the Washington Times and the Miami
Herald announced job cuts. Thomson Reuters will lay off 240 staff at its
legal publishing division. Staff at the research team in North
America will mostly be affected by the layoffs. The Washington
Times also announced plans to cut at least 40% of its 370 employees and
implement a free-distribution plan in selected governmental and public
institutions. The Miami Herald will cut 24 jobs worldwide to survive the
UK: New Study Says Erecting Paywall
Will not Save Industry
when publishers can taste their success after forcing the media giant Google to
make a concession on limiting access to its new content (see MCJ 2 December), a
new study shows that most readers are still not ready to pay for online news.
The study also warns that mass paywall shift will not force readers to pay
their online news but alienate newspapers' readers . Among 2,600 respondents,
only 15% to 20% said they would pay £2 a month for their favourite news
websites. However, readers of ‘quality' newspapers (the Independent and
Guardian) said they would pay up to £5 a month for their online news. The study
also suggests that a mixed strategy of subscriptions and micro-payments could
prove more successful.
Google to Charge TV Shows on Youtube
is in a ‘preliminary discussions' with
broadcasters considering charging its popular video site YouTube to stream TV
shows. The plan also includes the possibility to charge a rental price on TV
shows, which is similar to iTune's rental scheme. It is reported that TV
executives are generally excited about the idea as the plan could offer new
revenue streams for them. In November, the UK broadcaster Channel 4 already
partnered with Google and allowed YouTube to Stream some of its TV shows.
Google News Limits Free Access to Appease Publishers
finally made a concession to limit access to its free news content after
receiving much criticism from news publishers who have threatened to block
Google News (see MCJ 25 November). Google announced change to its First Click
Free feature for Google News and Google Web Search, restricting free access to
news articles to only five articles a day for each user. The change, according
to Google, will encourage more publishers to open up more content to users but
at the same time, Google also admitted that ‘creating high quality content is
not easy ... and expensive' http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/12/changes-in-first-click-free.html
Germany: N24 Staff Send Open
Letter to its Management Demanding Jobs Security
Staff at the German news broadcaster, N24, sent an open letter to the
management of ProSiebenSat.1, Thomas Ebeling to demand the corporation halt the
job-cut plan. On 27 November, Ebeling announced plans to reduce costs for N24,
which include cutting staff and reducing budgets for its news productions.
However, staff at N24 opposed the cost-cutting measures out of concern that the
measures will lead to poor quality content and threaten news diversity. The
German Journalists Union (Deutscher Journalisten-Verband-DJV) also issued a
statement and warned against a series of cuts taken by ProSiebenSat.1 in the