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Friday, April 29, 2005

US: some Rocky citizen journalism competition

In looking for ways to improve its business and build its base, The Rocky Mountain News decided on a citizen journalism project which, when launched, will be one of America's biggest such endeavor, reports Editor & Publisher. 40 neighborhood sites and 15 print editions under the title YourHub.com will be divided into 10 advertising regions in the Denver area. Community members will be able to post whatever suits their fancy and some postings will be included in a weekly print edition to be delivered to Rocky subscribers. Another citizen journalism site that has been launched by another paper, The Daily Camera, fears domination by the bigger Rocky site. Kevin Kaufman, media editor at the Camera said, "I need to be able to get to those people quickly, first. I want to get my brand out before (Rocky Mountain does)." Another citizen journalism site in the region, NewWest.net which was launched in February (see previous posting) in three Rocky Mountain areas may run into trouble if it tries to penetrate the Denver citizen journalism market. With all of the citizen journalism sites popping up in the Rockies and the market research showing that there is a demand for the new medium, other papers are sure to soon jump on the wagon.

Source: Editor & Publisher

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 06:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Newspaper journalism will survive, but not the print medium

Newspaper journalism is stronger than ever. But the newspaper itself has seen better days. Adam Penenberg, assistant professor in the business and economic reporting program at New York University, writes on Wired News, "People haven't been abandoning newspapers. They have been abandoning the print medium... More people read traditonal news outlets today than ever before. But they are doing it on a screen." Penenberg points out that the many of the most visited web sites around the world are major media organizations and newspapers.

Quoted in Christian Science Monitor in an article entitled "Newspapers struggle to avoid their own obit," Penenberg is quoted also puts faith in younger readers, a demographic that many believe don't read the news, who he says are "voracious" readers. Having accustomed themselves to reading the news online, packaging it in personal ways, skipping from site to site and article to article, Penenberg echoes stats from Poynter that show that 1/3 of the 18 to 24 age group prefer to read their news online, as opposed to 10% who read a newspaper.

Another article in The Australian quotes Mike Game, COO of Fairfax Digital, who says "New media has not replaced the core attribute of newspapers, which is the ability to analyze and to provide much deeper insight." Fairfax Digital, Game explained, is also attracting young readers through its websites that printed news is failing to pick up. Nic Jones, managing director of News Interactive considers newspapers as "content manufacturers" and feels that, being a media company, they should distribute their content through whatever means necessary, including the Internet and mobile phones.

Sources: Wired News, Poynter, Christian Science Monitor, The Australian

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 05:41 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, h. Young readers / New readers, n. Online strategies, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Spain: 20 Minutos sells 20% to Grupo Zeta

Valued at euro 70m, the free daily 20 Minutos gave over 20% of its business to Grupo Zeta for euro 15m, in an attempt by the media group to revive its newspaper division. 20 Minutos holds the biggest share of Spain's free paper market with over 2 million daily readers and has surpassed El Pais as Madrid's most read paper.

Source: Periodistas 21 (in Spanish)

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 04:07 PM in b. Alliances and partnerships, e. Compact vs. broadsheet, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

UK: Financial Times update

Despite a 3% rise in advertising revenue, the Financial Times is still on the chopping block, according to BrandRepublic. The International Herald Tribune also reports that the annual shareholder's meeting of Pearson, the media group that owns the FT, concluded that the daily would not be sold and said that after a few years of losses, the paper will break even this year. In a more useful note for editors, the Guardian writes that the pinksheet's news editor role will be divided between two staff members. Editor Andrew Gowers said, "We run a global, 24-hour news operation, and the fact that we have chosen two people to run it reflects the scale of the role."

Sources: BrandRepublic, IHT, Guardian

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 03:43 PM in m. Improving editorial quality, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

India: turbulent Hindustan Times

The Hindustan Times is to announce a complete makeover today reports Agencyfaqs!. The redesigning will include the masthead, page organization, more pictures and smaller font. Overall, the paper aims to be more visual, supporting content with the added pictures. In related news, Financial Express says that the Times is considering launching a financial paper as well as additional English editions in several key markets.

Sources: Agencyfaqs! and Financial Express

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 01:21 PM in h. Young readers / New readers, k. Circulation and newspaper launches, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some more advice on Internet advertising

Updating a recent posting, some new developments in online advertising have emerged. Found on Wired News, the most promising, which, for its efficiency in targeting, will probably become the industry standard as the medium evolves, is called behavioral marketing. Already tested by the well-known Internet retailer Amazon, behavioral marketing uses the capabilities of the Internet to track an individual's Internet searches, consequently posting ads related to these searches. If newspaper websites are able to implement this ad strategy, it will more than likely be highly profitable as advertisers will be sure not only that the consumer will see their ad, but that the ad will peak their interest. Personalized ads will theoretically be welcomed by the consumer instead of being seen as a nuisance.

Then there's Google. Poynter references Robert McLaw's Longhorn Blogs which includes advertsing in RSS feeds, a feasibly profitable venture that Internet barons have been trying to work out for some time. Google has jumped on the opportunity, testing its AdSense ads in RSS feeds. If the tests are a success, RSS ads will be an extra source of income for bloggers and newspapers, and of course, Google.

As for the classified market that has been feared to be lost to the Internet, Poynter also notes that the time a classified stays on Craigslist, 30 to 45 days, is a positive thing. Some pessimistically see this as an annoyance because occasionally the classified browser will click on a product that has already been sold. But Poynter notes that this is also a positive feature because sometimes products aren't bought immediately; the longer it's posted, the longer people will see it. Anyway, it's easy to delete a classified from a Craiglist page once the product has been sold. And, let's not forget that the service is free.

Sources: Wired News, Poynter (Google, Classifieds)

Posted by john burke on April 29, 2005 at 11:26 AM in c. Multimedia convergence, h. Young readers / New readers, n. Online strategies, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Some options for charging for online content

As most newspapers are figuring out how to turn a profit on the Internet, The Globe and Mail summarizes several cases of varying strategies. The example always mentioned, The Wall Street Journal, releases very few articles for free, but has an advantage in that it provides specialized information for businesses and financial firms. More general papers usually have trouble charging for online material because so much breaking news can easily be found for free on other sites, so if they want to charge for their content, they usually opt for a mixed model, charging for certain columns and/or archives. Some, such as the Winnipeg Free Press, are looking to sell subscriptions for an exact digital replica of the print version since they don't earn much from their website to which more and more people are going to read its news. Leonard Asper, CEO of CanWest Global Communications Corp which sells its electronic editions for about 10 Canadian dollars a month, would like to make his entire company digital. The Globe and Mail has adopted an integrated strategy, leaving a lot of material free, mainly to attract younger readers to their content, and providing "premium content" at a price. Individual papers may have to test their own readerships willingness to pay for content through trial and error.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Posted by john burke on April 28, 2005 at 05:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wikinews: the trials and tribulations of editing citizen journalism

Blazing the collective intelligence trail for the world, the Wikinews project is certainly having its ups and downs. But six months after its launch, it's still chugging along. Wired News describes the challenges that the offshoot of Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute and edit, is facing in attracting original stories and editing and fact checking material from news amateurs. Most stories that show up on the site are rehashings of syndicated global news. But now and again, original stories pop up, such as opening discount stores in southern Romania. Jimmy Wales, the founder of the Wiki is optimistic that the site will become more diverse as people catch on around the world, posting articles well out of the sights of major media corporations. And although editing remains a daunting task for the Wikinews crew especially because of digital vandals, one of their goals, the neutrality of its postings, is apparently being accomplished according to Bill Mitchell at Poynter. Stay tuned to see where collective intelligence will take the world of journalism and read our former postings here and here.

Source: Wired News

Posted by john burke on April 28, 2005 at 05:06 PM in a. Citizen journalism, h. Young readers / New readers, k. Circulation and newspaper launches, m. Improving editorial quality, n. Online strategies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Advice on the tabloid trend from the experts

Garcia Media, an information design firm, has recently published a report about compact conversions that is sure to be the go-to document for all papers considering the switch. The 23-page PDF includes a detailed history of conversions worldwide, a summary of free papers, reasons for transforming your paper, and advice on how to do so. Mario Garcia and Co. have worked with 16 broadsheets around the world who decided to shrink in size to appeal to the changing habits of their readers. Read the report at Garcia Media (top right hand corner of page).

Source: Poynter

Posted by john burke on April 28, 2005 at 04:23 PM in d. Design and infographics , e. Compact vs. broadsheet, g. Photojournalism, h. Young readers / New readers, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Indonesia: AFP lends helping hand to Tsunami battered paper

Voila.fr recounts the story of the sole daily paper in Aceh, the Indonesian province destroyed by December's tsunami, and Agence France Presse. The seventeen year-old daily, Serambi, lost over one hundred employees to the disaster, as well as its printing presses and offices. As soon as the island country's reconstruction began, surviving members of the paper quickly began printing again, keeping their public informed. AFP has been allowing Serambi to use its breaking news, infographics and photos free of charge. Serambi's editor, Sjamsul Kahar, commented, "This service is very useful for us for the text and photos that give us a window to what's happening in the world."

Source: Voila.fr (in French)

Posted by john burke on April 28, 2005 at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack