US: Yahoo! News Recruits Journalists to Create Original Content
The Internet search engine Yahoo !
recently hired a dozen of professional journalists hoping to produce more
original news content to increase the popularity of its
online search site Yahoo! News. According to the company,
it aims to create more original news articles and videos on various topics
following its success for original sport coverage launched three years ago.
are Laboratory for Automated "Journalism"
StatSheet, a US-based sport news site is
embracing the idea of " virtual news " by
introducing automated sport news content to its website. According to the
founder of the site, automated news content will play a big part in the future
of journalism as it offers a cheaper and faster alternative for start-up news
organisations, as well as mainstream media. InfoLab, an academic institute
based in the US, is also developing its virtual news project ‘News at Seven’
(see MCJ 17 December 09) and hoping news orgainsations will gradually embrace
the idea of virtual news. According to the spokeman of the InfoLab,
virtual news has " many advantages " over
news written and reported by real journalists and reporters , not the least
because it is much cheaper, round the clock and without
complaining, he claimed.
UK: Guardian Offers ‘Random’ News to Readers
Inspired by the
online video chat room ‘Chatroulette’, the Guardian online is
introducing the same idea to present its news to readers by offering them
‘random’ news. The idea of ‘random’ news item is
to attract readers with interesting news content that is not promoted on the
Guardian front page by offering them randomly picked news stories. Each time
readers visit the web page http://random-guardian.appspot.com,they will be shown
a randomly picked news.
Belgium: VRT to lay-off 279 Members of Staff
Flemish public broadcaster VRT announced its intention to lay-off 279 members
of staff "in a socially accountable way", according to management. The plan is part of a broader cost-cutting series of
measures including a reduction in numbers of in-house production staff, the
scaling down of online activities and the suppression of some programmes.
One quarter of the staff jobs is at stake and the Flemish
journalists' union VVJ already warned that this plan was
UK: Twitter Won New Media Award
Twitter has won the New Media Award by Index on Censorship for enhancing
online freedom through the use of new technologies.
US: Newspapers Ad Revenue
Fell by 27% in 2009
Recent figures released by the Newspaper Association of America show
that newspapers’ advertising revenue plunged by 27% in 2009 to its lowest point
since 1986. Advertising revenue decreased from $37.8 billion in 2008 to $27.6
billion in 2009. The figures also show that all media organisations in the US
including magazines, broadcast television and online media experience a
slowdown in their revenue growth.
UK: New Business Model Offers News Footage
‘A La Carte’
A new business model that offers news footage ‘a la carte’ for media
organisations has achieved success in signing international deals with major
news agencies in China and Turkey. Beamups is an online platform based
in the UK
for news organisations, producers and freelance journalists to sell unused, raw
or archived film and video footages without paying any subscription. Content
providers can upload their video footages on the website and package and price
their content. In return, Beamups will get 35% of the revenue from content
sold to media organisations.
US/Canada: ContradictorySurveys on Popularity of Internet and Traditional TV
The fear that traditional TV will be replaced by the growing popularity
of the Internet and online TV may be wrong,
according to a recent study which shows that traditional TV audience in the US isgrowing at the same time as the use of Internet. The findings of a Nielsen survey show that the amount of time Americans spend on
watching the TV increases along with the amount of time they use their Internet
simultaneously. In Canada,
an Ipsos-Reid survey showed the same trend. However, for
the first time, the Internet is actually becoming more popular than TV, with
respectively 18 and 16,9 hours a week.
Europe: 3D Media on the Move
After the launch of the ‘3D’Belgium newspaper La Dernière Heure,
a fashion magazine Grazia published in the UK by Bauer Media Group, has
introduced its ‘3D’ edition claiming to give readers a 'special' experience.
The ‘3D’ effect will make magazine pages ‘come to life’ when readers place the
augmented reality codes that come with the magazine in front of a webcam or an
iPhone. Readers can then view the images on their computer screen or iPhone in
‘3D’. At the same time, the first 3D television sets are expected on the French
market in April. A set will cost between 1500€ and 5000€, including of course the
- New York Times Webcasts its own Newsroom Meeting,
On 22 March the NYT launched
"TimesCast", the webcast of the daily editor's meeting. TimesCast
allows anyone online to have "unprecedented access to the news process.
They will see reporters and editors discussing the stories they are working on
as they are reporting them before they appear in the paper and online, "
according to the NYT press statement.
- News Co-operative Could be the Future of Journalism
As the media industry searches
for new business models a group of retired and redundant journalists from major
newspapers led by James O'Shea, former editor of the Los Angeles Times, has
created the Chicago News Cooperative (CNC) with the mission to restore public
Having already published some of
its investigative stories in major US newspapers such as the New York
Times, the CNC is beginning to demonstrate its capacity to provide public service journalism. However,
its reliance on foundations and grants for funding makes the business model
less convincing. Its first year profits allowed editor O’Shea take a annual
salary of an underwhelming $1. Although members contribute a considerable
amount of money to the Co-operative, no one actually owns the business. Money
from members is invested into newsgathering and creating networks. Any surplus
revenue is re-invested into hiring more reporters, photographers and expanding
the news network.
Belgium/EU: Number of Foreign Correspondents
Shrank in Five Years
An ‘extraordinary general meeting’ held by the
Brussels-based Association de la Presse Internationale - International Press
Association (API-IPA) revealed that the number of foreign correspondents in
shrunk from 1,150 journalists in 2005 to less than 900 in 2010. In the meeting,
the API initiated the debate on the dire situation of foreign correspondents
addressing concerns over the impact of the crisis on the media industry and
also over the communication policies of the European institutions.
Business Daily Nikkei to Launch
Paid Digital Edition
many American and European newspapers, Nikkei Inc. one of the largest Japanese newspaper publishers
with over 3,000,000 daily copies, is to launch a paid digital edition for its
business daily Nikkei. The newspaper
industry in Japan
has been particularly hit by the lack of fixed revenues in a changing media
landscape and the management of the paper considered the paying model as ‘indispensable’.
Service Allows Users to Print Personalised Newspaper on Demand
The Newspaper Club, a self-publishing
service based in London
and founded by a group of bloggers, allows users to print small runs of
their personalised newspapers for £1.10 a copy. The venture has so
far been success as major media organisations and publishers such as the BBC,
Last.fm and Penguin were among its first clients. However, the success of the
on-demand newspapers remains far from certain as most newspapers are
struggling to find a coherent business model.
US: The State of the News Media Report Says
'Traditional Media Content Prevails'
The State of the News
Media, an annual report on American journalism, shows that traditional media
content still prevails when compared to online media content from other
sources. The report warns that recent cutbacks in old media could heavily
impact on what the public is learning through the new media. The report also
points out that both “new” and “old” media face the
same dilemma searching for revenues and new business models. There is also a
growing trend of niche operations in most news organisations as news consumers
are becoming more segmented and seeking news topics from different sources.
Access to the full report: http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2010/overview_intro.php
France: Audience of Written Press
Declined in 2009
According to a survey by
the AudiPresse company, the audience of daily printed press has declined by
6.9% in 2009 compared to 2008. The authors of the survey point out that 2008
was a particularly good year for media audience because of the Olympic Games
and elections in France and
in the US. However
some dailies clearly lost a major part of audience in 2009, such as La Tribune (business, - 16,4 %),
La Croix (christian, - 15,3 %) and L'Humanité (communist, -
15,1 %).The most popular daily in France remains the sports newspaper, L'Equipe, with 7.8 millions
readers a week, followed by Le Monde and Le Figaro.
Cannibalisation' is Replacing Original Journalism, Inquiry Says
An independent inquiry
looking into the Future of Civil Society in UK and Ireland shows that original
journalism is gradually replaced by what it calls 'creative
cannibalisation', as the newspaper industry is facing increasing economic
pressures in a changing landscape. The inquiry explains that job insecurity and
commercial priorities pose increasing limitations on journalists' ability to
function ethically. It points out that people depend more than ever on
secondary sources of information. Thus, the inquiry suggests that levies on
news aggregators like Google could 'generate significant revenue to support the
production of new public service and local content'. The inquiry also proposed
other measures such as government subsidy and tax relief to safeguard
Access to the inquiry: http://democracy.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/files/Makinggoodsociety.pdf#media
- Bloggers on Wordpress.org Can Charge Online Content
Bloggers of Wordpress.org
can now charge readers for their online content through a new micropayment
system launched last week. Bloggers can use the plug-in feature on Wordpress to
customise the way they charge for an article at as low as $1.50. Readers can
view part of the article before they choose to buy it. They can also buy
bundles of credits which can be used on different sites. However, the newspapers
industry is still skeptical about adopting the micropayment system to charge
for their online content.
- Only 11% Google News is Original, Study Says
A study conducted by the
Nieman Journalism Lab found that only 11% of news on Google is real reporting
and the rest is just repeating the original
stories. The study shows that only 13 out of 121 stories reporting on Chinese
hacking on Google contained some original reporting and just 7 of these
stories were produced independently based on primary sources.
Live Television Gets Second Life thanks to Social Networks
The winter Olympic Games had the best TV rate
in the US
since 1994. This and other sports or culture events show a new trend: with the
development of social networks, the Internet can become the friend of
television, with people watching a public event and chatting at the same time.
The Nielsen media institute found that "simultaneous TV-and-Web viewing
signaled the growing importance of interactivity to the television
US: Reuters Adds Social Media Guidelines to its Handbook
Reuters announced plans to add social media
guidelines to its Journalism Handbooks. Dean Wright, the global editor for
ethics, innovation and news standards at Reuters said that the social media
guidelines aim to offer some basic principles and recommendations to
journalists who are navigating in a seemingly ‘chaotic landscape’ on the
internet. Other media organisations like BBC and the Radio Television Digital
News Association (RTDNA) in the US
have already issued social media guidelines to its journalists (see MCJ 4
- Saving the Future of
Journalism: Citizenship News Voucher or Readership Engagement?
In the second series of the
Future of Journalism workshop organised by the US Federal Trade Commission, a
group of the industry’s players including Google, newspaper publishers,
journalists, lawyers and academics gathered to discuss innovative ways to
respond to the changing media landscape and how to save the future of journalism
in the digital age. The workshop explored different business models including
government subsidies and paid-online content models. It also discussed the
issues of copyright law in protecting journalistic work online. While the
media giant Google is blaming newspapers for failing to engage readership
in the digital age (see bellow), many scholars proposed to the US
Government to take a more active role by giving media organisations direct
subsidies or tax credits/exemptions. Robert McChesney proposed
a 'citizen news voucher' system which will give financial support to local and
non-profit news organisations while avoiding government
intervention or influence. Under the proposed scheme, every US citizen will
be given $200 worth voucher to donate to any non-profit news medium.
- Google Wants Newspapers to Engage Readers
Often accused of exploiting
the media content, Google told newspapers to engage readers in order to survive and to
present their news differently. According to Google, 'The average amount
of time (of reader) spent looking at online news is about 70 seconds a day,
while the average amount of time (of reader) spent reading the print newspaper
is about 25 minutes a day.' Google stressed that they are keen on working with
newspapers but denied any responsibility for the problems facing
newspapers and journalists if Google News offers free access
UK: - ASA to Regulate Twitter and Facebook Ads
Standard Agency (ASA) is to regulate digital advertising practices on social
networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The Advertising Association,
representing the UK advertising and media industry, agreed a proposal to put
digital advertising on Facebook and Twitter under the regulation of the ASA in
the same way as TV, press, poster and radio ads to protect editorial content.
It is expected that the new regime will come into force in autumn this year if
the proposal goes through the Committee for Advertising Practice.
to Axe 31 Editorial Jobs for Creation of 'centralised' Newsroom
Around 31 editorial jobs will go at Northcliffe's West Country titles as the
company is merging its subbing operations in Plymouth
and Bristol to
create a centralised hub. The restructuring plan is a result of the continuous
decline of its papers' circulation since 2009. It is reported that the
circulation of the Plymouth-based Western Morning News and Bristol-based
Western Daily Press have dropped 6.5% and 10.7% respectively in the past six
Spain: El Mundo to Charge for Premium
reports that 'the most visited Spanish-language news site’, El Mundo will launch a paid
service for its online content. Internet and smartphone users can have access
to its premium online content (including archives, video content, commentary,
etc.) at a price of €14.99 per month or 60cents per day. However, the standard
online version will still remain free to the public.
Join Web Portal in Crackdown on Copyright Infringement
some news agencies (AP) and publishers (Hachette), a broad
"coalition of publishers" is to join the 'Attributor' web
service to crackdown on copyright infringement over the internet.
Attributor helps identifying copyright violators by searching the web
to find copyrighted content on unauthorised sites. Once the unauthorised
content is found, the web portal will ask hosting services to take down the
content. Failure to do so and the major search engines will be approached to
remove the relevant pages from their search results. According to the
management, several major book publishers have used their services and recorded
a 99% success rate in getting unlicensed eBooks off unauthorised sites.
Haiti , Chile & Italy: Breaking News and Press
Freedom Campaigns Through Social Networks
Since the tragical
earthquake happened in Haiti
in January, the world has seen how social networks like Twitters, Facebook and
blogs have affected the flow of information. Soon after the earthquake struck
information regarding the disaster (including geo-mapping on affected
areas, death tolls, pictures, etc.) blasted out on the internet ,
sometimes also spreading rumours. Social Networking sites have
mobilised people to contribute to an internet portal 'Person Finder' (created
by Google) to collect information on people who are affected by the earthquake.
Several Chilean journalists also created a web site uploading latest earthquake
Recently, a group called 'the dignity of journalists and the
respect of citizens' was created on Facebook to defend journalism in Italy .
The Group, supported also by the journalists’ union (Federazione Nazionale
della Stampa Italiana) has attracted over 140,000 members
protesting against political interference in the running of
public television RAI and for the defence of independent journalism in Italy.
UK : New Media Are Reinforcing
Old Habits, Says BBC Political Editor
When most people are
celebrating and embracing "new" media, Nick Robinson, the
BBC political editor believes that new forms of media are 'reinforcing
the old habits' when it comes to political coverage. Robinson said
that new media can be 'self-important, narcissistic tosh' as it did not help
the public widen the political debate but reinforce their
existing political opinions. Robinson warned that people should check the
information on social media rigorously as it can sometimes be misleading.
US: 'Magazines are allowing their Web sites to erode journalistic
standards', Says CJR Report
· Speed over Journalistic
A report conducted
by the Columbia Journalism Review shows that US magazine web sites have much
lower journalistic standards than print magazines. A majority (59%) of the
surveyed magazines and their web sites have less copy-editing and
fact-checking. When errors were pointed out on the web sites, 54% said that
errors were corrected without notifying readers of such mistakes being made in
the first place. This, as suggested in the report, is the consequence of speed
over standards in online magazines as the pressure to be the first to break the
news is much higher than in print press.
· Cultural 'Chasm'
The report also
reflects the cultural 'chasm' in online magazines as some respondents
said that online magazine tends to offer what the audience asks for
rather than offering what is of public interest.
· Print Magazines as
developing stories for print and then republishing them online, the report
shows that an overwhelming majority (96%) of print magazines use content from
the magazine online. Print magazines, as suggested in the report, become the
supplements to online content. Online magazines are no longer considered as
competitors to print magazines but as an 'inferior product' compared to what is
run in the print magazines.
· Integration of Social
A majority (64%) of
the online magazines feature social media such as Facebook, Twitters and blogs
and 60% of them found Facebook and Twitter as 'effective' or 'very effective'
for driving traffic on the sites.
· Mixed Business Models
adopt various business models: 52% of print magazines provide all of their
print content free online; 31% provide some print-edition content online; and
the rest adopted both free and paid-content models
· Web Editors over Print
The use of 'web
editors' and 'content-strategy consultants' is also increasingly prominent
among online magazines. The report suggests that an online magazines would
be more profitable if a web editors/content-strategy consultant is in
charge of the content instead of the print editor.
1st March 2010
- Internet and Smartphones Change News Consumption,
A recent survey conducted in the US with over 2200
people shows that news consumption on the Internet has overtaken over
print media. Although national and local TV stations remain the most
popular sources for news, the Internet has now become the third most popular
source for news consumption, ahead of national newspapers and radio
in the US.
The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple
platforms to get news and that 69% of people consider it a social or civic
obligation to follow news. However, when was asked about the quality of news,
only two-thirds (63%) of respondents think that news organisations have been
doing a good job covering subjects that matter, and 72% of them believe that
most news sources today are biased in their coverage.
Access to the report: http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/understanding_participatory_news_consumer
- Media Awards for the Year's Best " Journalist " on Twitter
eMediaWorld, a US-based new wire agency is to name the
year's best journalist on Twitter with the launch of the second Annual Shorty
Awards. According to eMediaWorld, “The definition of journalism and the
reporting function are changing every day. Compelling stories can be told on
Twitter in 140 characters at a time”. There are 26 categories awarding people
(including both professional journalists and organisations) twitting topics
ranging from "weird" things to politics and local governance.
AP to Launch 'Gateway' Offering News Services for
The Associated Press (AP) announces the launch of a new 'strategic
business unit' called AP Gateway to develop news services
for multimedia platforms such as smartphones, e-readers, tablet
computers (i.e. iPad). According to AP management, Gateway will serve as 'the
launching pad for new products and services from AP and other interested news
publishers', and will allow the news industry to deliver the news directly to
the consumer 'in a variety of exciting new ways'. The management also said
that the AP Gateway will develop news content to be delivered through the newly
launched tablet computer iPad.