Monitoring Change in Journalism - July-August 2009 Archive



France: GammaAgency Facing Danger

of Closing Down


the renowned French photo agency is facing the danger of closing down as it can

no longer pay its bills, according to it’s owners, the Eyedea Presse group.

Eyedea Presse CEO Stephane Ledoux said the business of photojournalism is no

longer viable as it has to adapt to globalisation and technical developments.

Many French professionals and public figures signed a petition to save Gamma.

On the same topic, the European Federation of Journalists is finalising a

survey on press photographers in Europe that

shows the difficulties faced by the profession: high competition with “citizen

photographers”, clear drop of photo fees, cuts in media photo budget cuts and

grab of authors’ rights by media employers. Press photographers are often

freelancers who cannot survive on this sole activity and wo have to undertake

other commercial jobs.


Italy:Government Launches

Investigation into Google News’ Dominant Position


Italian Competition Authority (ICA) began an investigation into Google news’

dominant position on the internet. According to local news reports, the ICA searched Google’s office in Milan following a complaint by the Italian

Federation of Newspaper Publishers on the lack of transparency in how Google

handles Google news.


UK: More Job Losses, Concerns Over Future of The Observer

- Northern & Shell to axe 70 journalists from Express and

Star titles


the 80 job cuts at the Daily and Sunday Express last September,

Northern & Shell, owners of Express Newspapers and OK! Magazine, has announced its plan to further axe 70 journalists’ posts. The

company is also seeking voluntary redundancies from staff. According to the NUJ

spokesman, the plan will affect staff at the Daily Express, Sunday

Express, Daily Star and Sunday Star.


- GMG to Close the Observer?

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is considering closing the

world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, the Observer, due to its mounting

losses. The Scott Trust, owner of the GMG will meet some time in September or

October to decide the closing of the Observer. It is estimated that

around 80 journalists will lose their jobs if the Observer closes.


US: Seattle Times Partners with Local News



Seattle Times initiated the ‘networked journalism’ to partner with other

four US newspapers and local news sites to gather and distribute news. This

initiative is a part of the project on Interactive Journalism found by the

American University to share news tips and news gathering information; linking

to and promoting stories on partner sites “to avoid gaps in coverage”, and

explore advertising opportunities across the sites.



27 August




Goes Local to Provide Local News

As many local

newspapers close down in the mist of recession, the media giant, MSN has introduced

MSN Local to replace local newspapers.  The concept of MSN Local is to use

user-generated content from local ‘citizen correspondents’. Readers can search

postcode-based news and aggregated news from local newspapers from MSN Local.


- News Aggregator

Tewspaper Collates News from Twitter

With many major news media having their twitter accounts,

the news aggregator Twespaper collaborated with Twitter to introduce its

‘online newspaper without writers’. The concept of Tewspaper is to

aggregates tweets from major news organizations and organized them in a

newspaper format online. So far, the Twespaper is only available in five


cities. However, this initiative might ruffle some mainstream media feathers.



Newspaper Headquarter in LA to Become Library


newspapers are beginning to give up their prime locations and moving to cheaper areas. The Daily Comet in Thibodeaux, LA,

has sold its $2.3

million building to the Lafourche Parish Council to be converted into a public

library. Following this, The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionhas just announced it would leave downtown for a smaller space in the suburbs.






- Birmingham

Post Editor Signaled to Go Weekly

As Trinity Mirror announced its plan to cut costs, its business-oriented daily, the Birmingham

Post confirmed to go weekly. As many as 85 jobs could be lost as a result

of this shake-up.


-Guardian the Most Bookmarked Newspaper on 'delicious'

Guardian took the lead over its competitor as the

most bookmarked newspaper on the social book-marking tool ‘delicious'. Guardian has 10,914 bookmarks compared to the 3, 994 bookmarks on Times Online and 3, 196 bookmarks on the Independence.

Express had the least bookmarks as 197.


US: Print Newspapers Takes the Lead

over Online News in Ads Sales

Print newspapers made 10 times

more in advertising revenue than their online versions last year according to

the Columbia Journalism Review. In 2008, printed newspapers had

$34.7 billion of advertising revenue compared to the $3.1 billion made by the

online versions. However, print newspapers only have 49 million subscribers

compared to the average 67.3 million unique visitors to their online versions

per month. This means that a print subscriber is worth more than 20 times the

revenue of an online reader ($940 per print subscriber versus $46 per online






UK: MediaGuardian Advertises for Readers’ Club Manager

Guardian plans to offer a ‘welcome pack’ and ‘exclusive content’ to

increase readership through its readers’ club. An advertisement, featured in

the MediaGuardian’s print and web sections, says that the readers’ club “aims

to move us decisively away from the traditional rather distant relationship

that newspaper companies have had with their readers”.



22 August


Sweden: Public Broadcaster

Opens its Doors to the Public

The Swedish television

has recently launched an interactive and transparent news programme called Öppen

Redaktion (open newsroom) to give viewers direct access to the decision

making process involved in the news production. Following the success of the

Swedish initiative , the US

daily newspaper, the Spokesman Review, is currently undertaking a

similar project ‘Transparent newsroom’.







News International to Close Thelondonpaper


Murdoch’s News International is planning to close the loss-making free evening

newspaper, thelondonpaper, thus

making 40 people jobless. Thelondonpaper recorded a pre-tax loss of £12.9m in the year ending June 2008 on a turnover of



- First User-generated Printed Newspaper to be Launched in

September in London.

Theblogpaper, a website and printed paper compiled by

an online community of writers will release its first edition in print on 25

September with an initial run of 5,000 copies to be distributed in selected

areas of London

as well as to bloggers, media and advertising agencies.






Huffington Post Goes more Social with Facebook


user generated Huffington Post has launched a new ‘social news’ in a

joint venture with Facebook. The new ‘social news’ service allows Facebook users to connect to the Huffington Post news website and share their

comments and news articles they read.


Huffington Post is not the first media to integrate social networks

since CNN already collaborated with Facebook to stream live video

of Barack Obama’s inauguration and other traditional media like the New York

Times and the Telegraph in the UK have built a similar service

called TimesPeople and MyTelegraph.





Step for Bloggers Accountability as Google is

Forced to Reveal a Blogger's Identity?


Vogue Australia cover girl Liskula Cohen has won a landmark court battle

to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who called her a

"skank" and an "old hag". On 17 August, Google's Blogger

service was forced by Judge Joan Madden of the Manhattan Supreme Court to

reveal the identity of the blogger, thus opening the way to a completely new

legal approach over the accountability for user generated content on the






Global: Website to Rank

Credibility of Blogs and Non-Professional Media


new website, Allvoice,s plans to sort news items from various non

professional media by rating their popularity and their credibility, using

algorithms similar to the ones of Google. It claims an average of more than 3

million unique users each month, one-third of whom are in the United States.

Despite the effort to promote credibility of non-professional media, the

question of accountablity of the authors or the verification of the sources is

still not guaranteed in all the cases.


US: Business Week for



US business weekly, founded in 1929,  lost 30 percent of its advertising  revenue in the second quarter of 2009 as a result of the recession and

competition from the Internet. Its owner, The McGraw-Hill Companies, has

hired an investment bank to sell the magazine, according to Bloomberg press



Italy: Bloggers

Strike Against Government

Italian bloggers

organised the first bloggers’ strike on 14 July against the government’s

decision to regulate information on the Internet. The proposed legislation

would allow anyone feeling defamed by a blog post, forum thread or status

message on Facebook to request the author to rectify the post within 48 hours. If

the author does not comply, a €10,000 fine would be imposed along with

potential moral damages. The strike came a few days after a US Court had forced

Google to reveal the identity of a blogger who insulted a former top-model.





India: Extension of

Stimulus Package for the Print Media


Indian government decided to extend its stimulus package for written press by

another six months until 31 December. The package included a waiver of 15 per

cent agency commission on directorate of advertising and visual publicity

(DAVP) and the abolishment of fringe benefit tax (FBT) which would bring major

relief to the media and entertainment sector.



Advertising Market at its Lowest in Second Half of 2009

According to a report by the

media group ZenithOptimedia, the global advertising recession will reach its

worse point in the second half of this year and North America and western

Europe are not expected to return to growth until 2011. However the report also

points out that out of the 79 markets it covers, 25 are actually still in growth,

in particular China.






US :


Co. to Cut 1400 Jobs by end of Next Week


President of Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper owner, announced in an

internal memo to the staff that the company will eliminate about 1,400

publishing jobs by July 9. Earlier in the year, Gannett already enforced two

weeks of unpaid leave for most employees as advertising revenues decreased by

34 percent in the first quarter.


-Washington State Allows

Tax Breaks for Newspapers

A new law of the

Washington state gives newspaper printers and publishers a 40 percent cut in

business taxes. “It is our way of saying to the newspapers that we do believe

you're incredibly important to our state and our democracy,” said House

Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, the Democrat who sponsored the measure. The tax

cut will cost the state about USD 1.3m a year.


UK: Daily Mail Goes


The Daily Mail &

General Trust launched a pilot experience of “grassroots online presence” with

the first 50 hyperlocal community websites in the Southwest of England.  The sites should cover areas with between

10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants. They will not focus on general news but are

rather aimed at encouraging interaction between users with profiles, stories,

images, forums and reviews. Each site will have a paid community publisher to

oversee the site and advertising will be open to local businesses targeting the

public via Google Maps.


Germany: Bavarian State

to Renew its Support to Local Television


order to guarantee regional information and pluralism, the SPD (Social

Democratic Party) of the Bavarian regional government pleaded for the

continuation of the support for the local private TV via tax money. The SPD

told the Bavarian Journalists' Federation on 1st July that 9 Million

Euro per year has been earmarked from the regional budget for that purpose

until 2013. The SPD wants to tie the support for the local TV in Bavaria to

quality criteria in future.