Thursday, September 30, 2004
US: fact-checking or theater criticism?
Here in Paris, we have to wait a bit for having the honour to see the first Bush-Kerry debate (after midnight, French time). It's also the first time a French network broadcasts "live" such a debate. The proof that what happens in America is now of the upmost importance for a French/European audience. To finish, just a quote from Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: "We know that the media verdict is as important as what millions of Americans think they see on the screen--that is, until we tell them what they really saw--there's naturally lots of interest in what how the Fourth Estate will handle the aftermath. Substance or suntans? Fact-checking or theater criticism?"
Source: WaPo, Media Notes
Beslan siege website
From the Guardian newsblog: "Beslan.ru was set up in the wake of the Beslan siege by a dozen local residents, several of whom are teachers at Middle School Number 1. Beslan.ru is compiling a list of all the victims, in what the paper calls "filling in for a government gone AWOL in the wake of the siege". The site - which is being translated into English - includes news on the political and social aftermath of the violence, appeals for help for the victims and their families, and details on how to donate money."
Source: Guardian newsblog
Germany: full blog page in new daily
Read in the EJC newsletter about NEWS, the new daily launched by Handelsblatt in Germany (see former postings / newspapers launches): "the tabloid fills an entire page with comments that come directly from the forums of German weblogs. NEWS is distributed for free, and for now only available in the city of Frankfurt. It can also be downloaded in pdf format."
Source: European Journalism Centre
France: new editor at Le Figaro
It's a surprise: the warplane maker Serge Dassault, now owner of Socpresse and Le Figaro, first national daily in France has just appointed Nicolas Beytoux as new editor-in-chief of Le Figaro. So, Beytoux leaves Les Echos owned by Pearson and his family. The future role of Jean de Belot, former editor of Le Figaro is still not clear, but it seems remaining in the newspaper. Not the case of Yves de Chaisemartin, vice-president of Socpresse who was dismissed.
Google news, newspapers' articles and fair use
Still a very good article from Adam, L. Penenberg, Wired, about Google news and the newspaper industry. The quote is a bit long (sorry for the copyright), just because the paper is more than interesting and prospective: "Google has a problem that is nearly as complex as its algorithms. It can't make money from Google News. So while other online publishers like Yahoo News and MSNBC earn tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year and continue to grow, Google News remains in beta mode -- three years after it launched -- long after most of the bugs have been excised. The reason: The minute Google News runs paid advertising of any sort it could face a torrent of cease-and-desist letters from the legal departments of newspapers, which would argue that "fair use" doesn't cover lifting headlines and lead paragraphs verbatim from their articles. Other publishers might simply block users originating from Google News, effectively snuffing it out." "What is fair use of a copyright work? According to New York University, where I teach, it covers comment, criticism, news reporting, research, scholarship and teaching, with several factors considered, including how much material is involved as a percentage of the entire work and whether use is of a commercial nature or strictly for nonprofit, educational purposes.
... And it's not only in lawsuit-crazy America that Google's aggregate news model faces an uncertain legal future. Earlier this year, a court in Hamburg, Germany, ruled against Google's German news service when it found that thumbnail images were protected under German copyright law and could not be reproduced without permission. (Google has appealed.) A few weeks ago, half a world away, Chinese publishers Sing Tao electronic news service, Ming Pao newspaper and Radio Television Hong Kong, a government-owned radio station, greeted the launch of Google's Hong Kong news with a spate of letters alleging copyright infringement."
And now, please read the whole article.
Online advertorials worry watchdogs
According to Mediapost, "Weather.com's decision earlier this month to start running advertorials for Scott's fertilizer--a first for that site--evidences the growing trend of online content paid for by sponsors, say online media experts. And while the watchdogs say there's nothing inherently wrong with advertorials, they stress that publishers should clarify that the content is paid for. Without such disclaimers, they say, consumers will eventually lose confidence in the Web as a source of information... The Scott's advertorial on Weather.com has not yet launched, says a company spokeswoman, so it's unclear how the site plans to handle any disclaimers. Although Weather.com has no corresponding print presence, experts say they consider it a journalistic site because it performs the traditionally journalistic tasks of collecting and analyzing information."
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Seventh independent newspaper shut down by Belarus state
A Belarussian independent newspaper said Wednesday it had been temporarily shut down by the government of this isolated former Soviet republic due to its political coverage. The Regional Newspaper in the town of Molodechno received a notice from the information ministry saying it was shut down for three months, its editor Alexander Mantsevich told AFP. See also the letter of protest sent by the World Editors Forum and the WAN.
Belo to cut 250 jobs, mostly at Dallas Morning News
According to Investors.com, "Belo Corp. said that it would cut 250 jobs, primarily at its flagship newspaper, the Dallas Morning News. After in-depht investigation, Belo stated that it expects The Morning News' circulation for the six-month period ending September 30, 2004, to be approximately 5.1 percent less daily, and approximately 11.9 percent less Sunday, than circulation reported for the year-earlier period.
"A matter of honor for us to do a job that would normally be done in the West"
The news is not interesting in itself but how it is presented: "The Khaleej Times, an English-language daily newspaper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is hosting and training five Sudanese journalists in professional journalism standards and techniques. Editor-in-Chief Mohammed Galadari said the paper was honored to be selected to train a young generation of journalists. "It is a matter of honor for us to be doing a job that would normally be done in the West," he writes in his column.
Journalism and the public: restoring the trust?
Leonard Witt, Public Journalism Network, plans to begin a serie of interviews under the heading "Journalism and the Public: Restoring the Trust". His first interview was with Buzz Merritt who recently wrote a book with Maxwell McCombs entitled “The Two W’s of Journalism: The Why and What of Public Affairs Reporting.” I just quote one question... "Leonard Witt: Do you think journalists and the news industry that supports them are ready and willing to change? David Buzz Merritt: Not yet, insofar as the news industry is concerned, but getting close. The crunch of diminishing readership (and survey ratings such as the one you mentioned) and resultant profit reductions has led too many companies to panic and reduce their level of journalism. This is a vicious spiral that apparently isn't yet painful enough to force companies to look for fundamental new approaches. But it will be. I suspect that as the spiral continues, more and more journalists will be open to a different approach. Obviously business as usual isn't working for either journalists or companies. Because of the distressing way in which they will arrive at the point of ready to change, they will surely then be willing.
Source: Public Journalism Network