Monitoring Change in Journalism - May/June 2010 Archive

30 June

Two Portuguese Newspapers Face Closure

The Portuguese media group Controlinveste announced plans to close its free newspaper Global Notícias and the national daily 24 Horas as a result of "a deep structural change". It was reported recently that this year's circulation of Global Notícias had dropped by over 50%. The management of the group explained that the closure is a strategic decision to maintain the group's business.

28 June

Global: Yahoo! to Introduce "Ultimate" Style Guide
Competing with traditional media or universities, Yahoo! announced plans to publish its "Study Guide" for online writing. According to Yahoo!, the guide aims to provide journalists, editors, writers and online content developers with a comprehensive list of online editorial best practices, as well as basics of grammar and punctuation. Yahoo! also claimed that the guide will show online content creators how to write for an international audience.  Some resources will be posted online, but the full guide will be published, printed and put on sale as a traditional paperback.

24 June

Germany: Global Media Forum Calls for More "Professionalism" from Journalists
Speaking in the Deutsche Welle (DW) Global Media Forum, media owners and scientists called for more "professionalism" from journalists to adapt to the change in the media industry. More than 1,500 participants from over 95 countries attended the Forum and discussed the state of the media and the challenges it faces. In particular, the management of the DW said that in "a flood of information", the media "must be in a position to evaluate different sources" and "provide trustworthy and reliable information".,,5724306,00.html

US: 64% Americans Say Printed Newspapers Will Cease to Exist by 2050
Another recent poll  for the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of  Americans are pessimistic about the future of the US newspaper industry. 64%  of the people surveyed in the poll predicted  that the print newspapers will cease to exist by 2050.

22 June

Report Says Google May Introduce "One-click-payment" for Online Content

It was reported recently in  the Italian daily La Repubblica that Google will introduce its micropayment system enabling readers to pay for news content through its "one-click payment" system at the end of this year. According to La Repubblica, the payment system  called Newspass would allow readers to pay for full subscriptions or one-time access to articles. However, Google has not confirmed the report. There is currently a similar micropayment system for online content developed by Journalism Online LLC, which claimed recently that more than 500 publishers had already signed up to its services.

UK: ITV News Bulletins to Incorporate Social Media
ITV, the competitor of the public broadcasting service BBC, announced plans to slowly incorporate social media into its news bulletins across its news desks. For the first time, ITV News will display questions put forwards by social media users. The management explained that the experience of watching TV whilst chatting online has become a mainstream experience. It is hoped that the new feature will encourage more viewers, in particular teenagers, to participate in the public debate.

21 June

Japan: Online Media Remain as "Sideshows"
While media in the West see online media as a growing threat and rapidly adapt themselves to the digital environment, online media in Japan remain a "sideshow". The New York Time (NYT) reported that many online news start-ups have been closed in the past few years as they struggle to attract advertisers and maintain quality content. The underdeveloped online media in Japan has left major news organisations in a dominant position for decades. This situation will continue as Japanese citizens and society are responding slowly to changes, according to the NYT.

16 June

Iceland: Parliament Passes Media Law to Create "Haven" for Investigative Journalism
The Icelandic Parliament passed a new media law that increases protection for anonymous sources, creates new protections from so-called "libel tourism" and makes it harder to censor stories before they are published. The new law is also expected to rebuild the public trust in the media after the economic turmoil in Iceland.


15 June

YouTube Plans to Offer "Breaking News" 
YouTube, the popular video web portal owned by Google is planning to add a news feed feature offering audiences more "news" content. According to YouTube, the new feature will provide a stream of "breaking news" videos with "a focus on strong visuals, non-traditional sources" to audiences. However, it is not clear if  and how YouTube will apply any  ethical standards when labeling user-generated content as news.

: Public Broadcaster Faces Drastic Cut in Funding
HRT, the public broadcasting service in Croatia could face a drastic cut of 25% in its funding from 1 August this year. It is reported that the Croatian Government is proposing to impose a heavy cut in the country's public broadcaster HRT funding due to recent financial crisis. The proposed cut is likely to affect both the quality and quantity of the programming in HRT.

14 June

OECD Countries: 
OECD  Publishes Report on Information Industry

A  report published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows  trends in the information industry, in particular a decline in  revenues within the newspapers industry for the past three years among the 31 OECD countries. From 2007 to 2009, newspaper revenues in the US dropped by 30%; the second-biggest decline was 21%, in the UK.  Austria, Australia and France are the less affected countries with a drop of under 5%.,3343,en_2649_33757_45449136_1_1_1_1,00.html

US: Google Partners with Publishers on "Editors' Picks"
The computer generated Google News have now added a human dimension with the introduction of "Editors' Picks". The new feature will offer readers a selection of news stories curated by editors from some of the major US newspapers and magazines such as The Washington Post, Newsday, Reuters and Slate. According to Google, the new service will allow publishers to promote their content through Google News and drive more traffic to their websites.

11 June

: 200 Editorial  Job Cuts at Trinity Mirror

Trinity Mirror announced plans to cut 200 editorial staff across its three national titles - The Daily and Sunday Mirror and The People. The announcement was made after the management had said it had "successfully implemented" its web-based content management system, ContentWatch. The National Union of Journalists has dismissed the so-called "evolution" praised by the management and described these job cust as "Neanderthal" without talented journalists. 

9 June

Contradictory surveys on the role of newspapers:
- in Japan, Newspapers Remain "Indispensable" in Citizen's Daily Life

A survey conducted by the Newspaper Publishers and Editors' Association in Japan shows that newspapers still play an indispensable part in the daily lives of most Japanese. The survey shows that over 90% of respondents said they read newspapers everyday and 50.2% of them believed that newspapers are an indispensable source for information. The survey was conducted in October 2009 on some 4,100 people about the popularity of different media to access news and information.

- in the Arab world, Online Media Score High Trust among Young Readers

A recent survey on news consumption of young people in the Arab world shows a high level of trust in online media. Around 83% of respondents said they trust news reported by online media, of which 30% say they "very much trusted" online media. The print media has the lowest rank as the main source of information for the Arab young people. When asked if they would pay for online news, around 81% of them said they would not.

8 June

Global: AOL Vows to Be Largest Net Hirer of Journalists in the World

America Online (AOL), one of the biggest global internet and media companies, said it aims to be "the largest net hirer of journalists in the world next year", and announced its ambitious plans to hire hundreds of journalists, editors and videographers in the coming year. Currently around 500 full-time journalists and 40,000 freelancers contribute to "original" content for AOL websites. There is speculation that AOL's move was sparked by recent acquisition of the content provider Associated Content by its competitor Yahoo!. These trends show a shift from traditional press houses as the future of journalism takes shape.

4 June

More Public Relations, Less Journalisin the UK
Richard Sambrook, the former head of BBC News, who recently becomes the chief content officer of the public relations company   Edelman  thinks this is the moment of great opportunities for  public relations (PR) companies  to expand  their  territory .  In a way that will certainly shock professional journalists, Sambrook explains that the fragmentation of traditional media gives PR companies an opportunity to combine traditional marketing strategies and new social media tools and he sees the future of journalism with the emergence of a scary hybrid of "journalicist" media workers, who combine editorial and public relations skills to tell a client's stories in credible "publicitage".

US: Senator Proposes "License-to-report" Legislation
According to a legislative proposal filed by a Michigan State Senator, Bruce Patterson (Republican), reporters may be required to obtain a "license" to perform their jobs in future. Under the proposed legislation, people practicing journalism will need to meet certain criteria such as providing proof for working at a "generally recognised media or press association", possessing a "good moral character" and a degree in journalism. They will also need to pay $10 registration fee to obtain the "license".

France: Le Monde to Change Owners, Concerns over Editorial Independence
Recent turmoil at Le Monde newspaper regarding its future ownership has led to many concerns over its editorial independence. One of the "quality" newspapers in France may be on the verge of sacrificing its traditional values of independence if it puts an end to its cooperative structure where employees have a 52% stake in the company and a veto on the appointments of the paper's chief executive and editor. The most concrete offer was made by a "trio" of businessmen, Mathieu Pigasse (Lazard Bank), Xavier Niel (Internet businessman) and Pierre Bergé (creator of the Yves Saint-Laurent company), whose main argument is to avoid the paper being integrated in a multinational media group. Other interested companies are Ringier (Switzerland), Prisa (Spain) and l'Espresso (Italy).

3 June

Associated Press: Staff on Strike Against Downsizing in France...

For the second time in a couple of weeks, the staff of AP France went on a 24 hours strike. The French AP wire was totally silent on 3 June to protest against the termination of all temporary contracts at AP France. "The newsroom entered into resistance", declared a representative of the trade unions.

... and New  Social Media Guidelines in the US
The AP releases its new social media guidelines including another 41 definitions, use cases and rules that journalists should follow. Some of the changes include grammar, new phrases and acronyms that are commonly used in social media. New guidelines also include rules for how social media should and should not be used by journalists such as double-checking their sources from blogs, tweets and other forms of social media.
Access to the full guidelines:

2 June

US: YouTube Dominates Online Video Market
A recent market research shows that YouTube, the popular video-sharing website, dominates the online video market with over 13 billion videos displaying on its website in April alone. Hulu and other mainstream media outlets (including ABC, Fox, CBS) became a distant second streaming 958 million videos online during the same period. 

28 May

Launches Crowdfunding Investigative Journalism Project
Journalism foundations around the world start experimenting on the non-profit news model. The Public Interest Journalism Foundation in Australia recently launched its crowdfunding investigative journalism project "YouCommNews" based on the success of the US crowdfunding initiative (see MCJ12 November). Reporters from YouCommNews are mostly freelancers who registered with the website and agreed to abide by the ethical code of the Foundation and the Australian Press Council. Members of the public who support the Foundation can "commission" journalists to report a subject of their interest. The resulting news stories will then be published in mainstream, independent and online media either freely or through the sale of publication rights. The sponsor will be refunded once the story is sold.

US: Is Yahoo! Dumping Down Journalism with "Garbage Content"?
Search engines are not only accused of ignoring intellectual property rights, they are also criticised for dumping down on the content. Yahoo! recently acquired a citizen journalism website, Associated Content (AC), to increase its original news content on Yahoo! News. However this move has been widely criticized over its intention to downgrade quality journalism and to further blur the distinction between professional journalism and amateur content.

26 May

Global: Publish2 to Offer 
 New  Content Distribution Services
Publish2, an online news aggregator and content distribution services provider announced an ambitious plan to offer "free" news content distribution services. According to the company, it will provide wire services like traditional news agencies but at a much lower cost or even free by operating as a platform open to both news organizations and journalists to do business "face-to-face" instead of going through news agencies.  Content producers can set their terms and conditions for the use of their content. The company also plans to operate a licensing fee model for publishers who want to publish the content.

25 May

US: Study Shows Shorter Life Span of "Social Media News"
A recent study shows that news reported on the social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) have a shorter life span than news reported in traditional media. The study says social media users generally spend shorter time following news items with a 52% drop off rate within 24 hours. The study also shows that most news reported on the social media originally came from traditional media outlets.
Access to the study:


19 May

Australia: Journalismno Longer a "Skilled Occupation"?

According to the recent changes in the immigration policy in Australia, journalists are removed from the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Foreign journalists who wish to work in Australia will have to find local employers to sponsor them under the new scheme. The Australian journalists union, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) said "the policy reflects the increasingly competitive news industry [...] as the number of journalists and journalism graduates are increasing".
11 May

UK: PA Launches Video Archives
The Press Association (PA) today launches its video archives offering videos and news footages. It allows users and media companies to access over 40,000 videos dating back to 2000. Broadcasters can pre-edit and package the archival video clips and publish them instantly.
10 May

Global: Reuters to Roll Out Web-based Video Service
Thomson Reuters announced plans to roll out a web-based video service called "Reuters Insider" offering multimedia content to its subscribers. According to Reuters, the new service will offer users and companies "exclusive multimedia programmes" including live coverage of breaking news and news analysis from its experts. Reuters will supply around 15% of its original content to the service and its 150 partners will also submit content to Reuters Insider. Users can view the video content through their computers or smartphones from Tuesday.
7 May

Luxembourg: First Quarter Earnings Doubled at RTL
The biggest commercial broadcaster in Europe, RTL  (part of the Bertelsmann group) announced today that its first quarter earnings of 2010 have doubled. RTL reported earnings of 197 million Euros before tax which is more than 10% increases compared to the same period in 2009. RTL said that broadcasters in Germany, France and Britain are experiencing  a "robust growth" in the media industry as the advertising market is improving.
6 May

US: Newsweek Up for Sale Despite "Heroic Efforts" Made to Save the Magazine
The Washington Post Company, owner of the current affairs magazine Newsweek, announced plans to put the magazine up for sale after continuous losses. According to the management of the magazine, it has been struggling to sustain the business despite "heroic efforts" made to save the magazine. Last year, the magazine recorded an operating loss of $29.3m. It also made 44 employees redundant. The parent company is currently seeking a buyer for the magazine.  Some sources say that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who already has shares in the New York Times, is interested in buying the title.

5 May

US: CNN and CBS in Talk on Collaborative Reporting
The US broadcasters, the CNN and the CBS are in talk to share their resources for news gathering and reporting. According the New York Time, both organizations are looking for ways to save costs and the collaborative project could enable them to save considerable costs for news gathering. Faced with budget cuts, more and more news organisations are looking for collaborative projects to save the high cost of news gathering and to avoid additional cuts. 
4 May

US: Washington Post to Offer Readers Live Video Chats with Reporters
The Washington Post announced its plan to offer readers live video chats with reporters across its newsrooms. According to the management of the Post, the initiative will bring its staff closer to readers and add more personality to the news they produced. The Post said this will give reporters an opportunity to "conduct journalism in real time". However, there are concerns that the time spent chatting with the public affect adversely reporters' time for investigations.

2 May

Global: AP Expects 600 Publishers To Join the Content-Tracking Programme
The Associated Press (AP) is launching its News Registry on 14 July, a content-tracking programme that can track unauthorized used of AP's news content. Since the announcement last April, more than 200 publishers have already signed up to the programme. AP expects 600 publishers to join the Registry before its launch in July. According to the management of AP, the Registry will enable to track the use of their content on the internet and offer potential means to generate revenues for unauthorised use of its content. 

US: Cheap Citizen News Threaten Professional Journalists
The commercial media "Advertising Age" published a recent overview of the cheap media content produced by amateurs which is threatening professional journalists and quality journalism. Content producers like Associated Content and Demand Media pay freelancers as little as $5 for an article. Major news organisations like USA Today, Thompson Reuters and Hachette Filipacchi are regular buyers of these cheap media content.