Friday, July 30, 2004
The triumph of personality over policy
This Paul Krugman column from the New York Times is important for several reasons (make sure to read the two shocker facts at the very end), but mostly because it asks this question: Why does everyone in America know that Theresa Heinz Kerry told a journalist to "shove it," but almost no one knows that John Kerry, if elected president, plans to repeal tax cuts for the rich in order to fund health coverage for the middle and lower classes? Krugman places the blame squarely at the feet of the news media, particularly television networks, for failing to report on policy in favor of obsessing over personality.
Source: The New York Times
How should corrections be made on news web sites?
From Online Journalism Review: It seems hard to believe, but some journalists seem to think it a bad idea to change the text of stories published online if a correction is necessary, and prefer instead to leave the original error in place and attach a correction box on the web page. Seems like just another example of newspapers replicating the print format on the web when they should be thinking in terms of the possibilities of a new medium. Why leave an error in place? Mark Thompson covers the debate around online corrections in great detail in this article, and profiles how several different American papers have chosen to approach the issue.
Source: Online Journalism Review
Posted by Dana Goldstein on July 30, 2004 at 12:46 PM in c. Multimedia convergence, d. Design and infographics , i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, o. Ethics and Press Freedom | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
U.S: Reviewing the DNC bloggers
After a whirlwind and sometimes mind-numbingly boring four days on the blogosphere, the Democratic National Convention is finally over. Mark Glaser of Online Journalism Review went on a blog-only diet during the convention and here reviews the wreckage and the triumphs: "It's easy to criticize many of these first blogging efforts from the media companies. Many of them don't include links to each separate post and don't include comments from readers with each post. MSNBC's Hardblogger and CNN's Convention Blog both included reader input only as an occasional post with vetted comments in a mailbag format. ... The Big Media blogging efforts are sure to be messy to start with, usually buried under so much other content on their sites, and not always the top priority of the news division. But when star pundits are taking turns writing for Hardblogger, and the posts are made under a name-brand news site, the mass audience unattuned to the blogging elite might just pay attention."
Source: Online Journalism Review
Posted by Dana Goldstein on July 30, 2004 at 12:25 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Conrad Black fails to delay sale of Daily Telegraph
From the BBC: I've been avoiding this story until something definitive happened and now it seems like it has -- Conrad Black's attempt to halt Hollinger International's sale of the Daily Telegraph to the Barclay brothers has failed -- for now. A U.S. court "threw out an attempt by Hollinger Inc, the firm through which Lord Black controls International, to delay the sale. Hollinger Inc, of which Lord Black is chairman, is to appeal the decision," the BBC reports. "Lord Black had argued the sale, conducted by Hollinger International and due to close on 30 July, was invalid since it had not been put to a full shareholder vote." When will this ever be resolved?
Los Angeles Times under fire from gay community after running controversial ad
From the Advocate: Christian groups claiming to help "cure" people of homosexuality are common in the United States, but I don't recall one placing an advertisement in a major metropolitan newspaper before. One such group, however, Exodus, ran a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times on July 23, featuring a man named "Randy" saying he had become gay because his father had abandoned him in childhood and he "felt desperate for the physical touch only a father can give. ... Today I am an ex-gay. No, wait... I don't define myself anymore with a sexual identity. I'm just...Randy." The Advocate, a magazine reporting on gay and lesbian issues, reports that 200 people have protested to the Los Angeles Times for accepting the advertisement, whose advertising department responded that "advocacy ads must meet our advertising standards and communicate their points of view legally and responsibly. This particular ad met those requirements."
Thursday, July 29, 2004
The ten traits of circulation winners
The Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project at the World Association of Newspapers (our parent organization here at the Editors Weblog) has done a study of 18 "circulation winners" across the globe and come up with this list of 10 strategies common to successful newspapers, no matter what their market or culture: 1) Take the long view in terms of business success. 2) Have a clear definition of your audience - its needs, interests and aspirations. 3) Take the best stories to market before competitors. 4) Gain circulation today, worry about profit tomorrow. 5) Work with other circulation winners to integrate strategies. 6) Treat readers as customers and give them what they want. 7) Hire young journalists to imbue your paper with fresh blood. 8) Target all age groups, particularly older readers. 9) Target women readers. 10) Watch out for "moments of truth" when you have the opportunity to do something different, radical or risky ... and take the chance!
Source: Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project at the World Association of Newspapers
Posted by Dana Goldstein on July 29, 2004 at 04:12 PM in b. Alliances and partnerships, h. Young readers / New readers, i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, n. Online strategies, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Barron's editor: Print media should prepare for a "long goodbye"
From Barron's: Here's a depressing column from Barron's online editor Howard Gold, who says "the print media's malaise runs deep. ... In fact, we may have reached a tipping point: The long, long decline of print media (especially newspapers) may soon pick up speed, while the Internet has continued to make huge strides -- even through the dot-com crash -- and will increasingly occupy the high ground." Gold says advertising revenues won't pick up for most newspapers and magazines and that's why desperate American papers such as Newsday, Hoy and the Chicago Sun-Times have resorted to inflated circulation figures. Meanwhile, he writes, Internet news sources are gaining more readership and advertising bucks with the spread of broadband technology. Gold doesn't discuss at all why the majority of newspapers are doing such a poor job of interesting readers, in terms of editorial content. But he does give this prognosis: "I still think newspapers and magazines are doing some of the best journalism around. They have the resources, the talent and the experience, and the print medium lends itself to in-depth reporting. I'd hate to see that change, because we need more, not less, thoughtfulness in our public discourse. The top names in print will surely survive the coming shakeout. Some of them, like ours, saw the promise of the Internet early and established strong presences online. But for others, I'm afraid it's going to be a long goodbye."
Posted by Dana Goldstein on July 29, 2004 at 12:12 PM in c. Multimedia convergence, d. Design and infographics , h. Young readers / New readers, i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Arab media expert: There are "no professional journalists" in the Arab world
From London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute: This is a provocative column written by media expert Dr. Mamoun Fandy, who argues that the Arabic media has been lax in covering the war in Iraq and other stories because Arab "newsroom culture" reflects societal values such as heroism, masculinity and anti-imperialism instead of journalistic values such as objectivity and giving voice to diverse segments of the population. "It is interesting to know why Arab journalists have not succeeded in conducting hundreds of interviews with people who knew Saddam up close, or with entire families that were victims of the Saddam era," Fandy writes. "Weren't some 300,000 Iraqis buried in mass graves? Or is this, too, an American lie? Didn't [the victims] have families and relatives who can be interviewed, or aren't their pain and their lives important?"
I definitely think the Arab journalists we heard from at the 11th World Editors Forum in Istanbul would disagree with this analysis, as would many American liberals. After all, it was the U.S. press' focus on the horror stories of Saddam's regime that replaced a deep pre-war accounting of the WMD charges and faulty intelligence. However, I like what Fandy has to say about the relationship between the Arab media and Arab politicians:
"Senior Arab officials do not respect the press as a means for conveying information. The responsibility for [conveying information] lies partly with the journalist and partly with the senior government official. The journalist's part is that no [Arab] journalist can make the official respect him. An official's respect for a journalist can come only from the journalist's respect for his own profession... The journalist can make the official respect him if he is well-versed in the subject about which he is talking - and doesn't just position the microphone in front of the official and let him say whatever he wants...
"But even our officials behave differently [than officials in the West]. Instead of rebutting the author of an article by [writing another] article, he picks up the telephone and talks to the newspaper's owner to [have him] silence the author."
Source: London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute
Posted by Dana Goldstein on July 29, 2004 at 11:37 AM in i. Future of print, m. Improving editorial quality, o. Ethics and Press Freedom, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
U.S: Deep Throat suspect dead
Media Guardian reports that Watergate Deep Throat suspect Fred LaRue was found dead in a Mississippi motel room today. Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who based much of their investigative reporting about the Nixon White House on information from an insider they called Deep Throat, have said they would reveal their source's identity only after his death. "Although there have been several names advanced as Deep Throat, LaRue is one of the more likely candidates," the Guardian reports. "He was a special assistant to John Mitchell, the former attorney general who headed Creep, the Campaign to Re-elect the President, in 1972. ... Although LaRue insisted he was not Deep Throat, and that the source was a combination of several people, Woodward and Bernstein have insisted Deep Throat was one person. LaRue said last year that President Nixon had not been told of the plan to break into the building. ... LaRue served four and a half months in prison for his role in the Watergate conspiracy, after being charged with obstructing justice." This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Watergate scandal. Check out this excellent look back at journalism's impact on Nixon's resignation and Watergate's long-term impact on American journalism, from the American Journalism Review.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
New source on newspaper design
Have you seen the site newsdesigner.com? It's a great little blog, well written and perfectly designed (of course), all about news design and photojournalism. Useful postings show how multiple front pages approach the same story (ex; Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victory).