Monday, May 30, 2005

Discussion Notes 2

A journalist asks Sussman why comments on his blog site aren't edited--Sussman explains the difference between editing comments and allowing discussion.
Another audience member remarks on how Google News is edited via algorithm and wonders whether the NY Times, BBC and others could do the same thing--use technology to make up the pages.
The discussion moves to the value of anonymous bloggers in dangerous and political situations--in developing nations for example--but them moves to the need for respondents in comments, for example, to have the courage to identify themselves.
Gillmor says "I would ask people reading things that are anonymous to calibrate fairly carefully what the reasons for that anonymity might be."

Nachison reminds the group that the blogging of these issues will go on--so pile in here and comments, folks.

Posted by Susan Mernit on May 30, 2005 at 10:31 AM in t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Discussion Notes

Time to talk, post speeches--Let's see what the audience--and the speakers--have to say:
The panelists are discussing trust and reputation; Dan Gillmor and Joi Ito are describing how bloggers can build up trust and reputation over time, and that bloggers can--in particular circumstances--be (alm olst) as credible as mainstream media.
Krishna Bharat says that he believes in the need to rely on people "on the street, on the scene--you have to take your facts where they come from, and in ways that give you a fresh perspective."

Audience comments:
A Nigerian delegate asks about the emphasis of speed in posting--if bloggers post so quickly to the web, how can they cross-check their stories and get their facts right? Especially if they don't get paid? How can they afford to be accurate?
Nachison: This question applies equally well to mainstream media, where mistakes are published and corrected every day...this is a universal question.
Joi says: My main thing is fear--when I POST 100,000 people see it--when I make a mistake, people shred me to bits. I correct myself, and have a need to check--and `I find myself quite boring." (Susan: There, he finally said it!)
OH, Oh my new says: Articles are checked on staff, especially if they are sensitive. When our citizen journalists write they use their real names and they check themselves because their reputations are at stake as well.
Sussman: In the US, there are rules that indemnify publishers from operating forums that are platforms for free discussion, so I run open comments on my site for everyhthing but obscentity.
A Turkish journalist explains how carefully her newspaper builds their front page and says that Google News turns news stories into the equivalent of wire services because it takes their stories and builds its own front page.
Bharat respnds that Google News is not a newspaper and that it doesn't want to be one--it's a "neutral intermediary."
He restates his comments on the aggregation process, but the journalist's question is an acute one--whether Google means to build a page or not, they are making up a new front page--actually every 5 minutes.
A Chilean editor has a question for Google's Bharat--Aren't you acting as an editor when you arrange the clusters? Also, you say you want to be equal in your selection of news, but what sources do you include and what do you leave out?
Discussion gently rages...
(More in next post)

Posted by Susan Mernit on May 30, 2005 at 10:06 AM in t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joi Ito: Tool talk & Copyright

Japan's Joi Ito--Neotony CEO, investor, Technorati VP, and transparent media/digital blogger uber-guru is talking about web tools--creative commons licensing, video copyright issues, Techorati as a discovery and tracking tool.
Joi doesn't talk about famous he is, or the joi ito IRC channel he sponsors, or the wide discussion of his recent comments about being "bored" with blogging because of all the people who comment on every word he writes, but knowing the depth of his experience definitely brings resonance to his comments--until the moment he concludes with (another) hysterical video/web political remix--and the very serious news that parts of the mainstream media in the US are now blocking access to Bush footage, presumably because they DON'T want to see more re-mixing (and copyright issues) happening.
The audience gets his points loud and clear--and if they're really listening--they'll recognize Joi is not only talking about new tools, but about the new for new--and more--open--copyright news on the part of the media.

Posted by Susan Mernit on May 30, 2005 at 09:59 AM in t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Liveblogging from WEF:Krishna Bharat, Google News

At the WEF conference, and the sessions are starting: Krishna Bharat(Google News) and Dan Gillmor (Bayosphere) are the first speakers, with our own Andrew Nachison moderating a session with Joi Ito, Barry Sussman, and others. WEF leader Betrand Pequerie is introducing Krishna Bharat, who speaks first.
Krishna started Google News, which he created two years ago, and is currently finishing up the establishment of an Indian office for Google in Bangalore. He's explaining Google's desire to organize the world's information, and their desire to be the information intermediary for users and says that Google News is basically that information applied to news. 'We're very keen for everyone to participate in all our projects,' says Bharat, "And we certainly want that to be true of news."
Two years ago, he wrote a program for himself that crawled and aggregated news; that project was the basis for Google News.
Bharat shows clips from Google that brings related stories together; he talks a bit about the clustering technology that groups stories, the crawler, and related links/terms. He explains there are algorithms that help to prioritize stories, and others that map a story to particular categories. He also talks about filtering technologies--how Google News can decide what a story is actually about, and what editions the story is slotted for.
The first version launched in Dec 2001; most recent upgrade was March 2005's customized news upgrades.
The attributes Bharat values include publishing multiple viewpoints from multiple sources, an objectivity that a local editor might lack (he says), and efficent ways to manage news flow via alerts, personalization and of course, clustering.
"I see us as an integral part of the news community, says Bharat. "We bring value to the news community, and our clustering removes the intertia that people have in going from one news site to another.
"Our relationship with newspapers is symbiotic; we sent traffic directly to the content provider and we do not have special relationships, and we amplify the amount of news being read."
"I am hoping, he says,|" to have all newspapers participate with Google News; for our readers we want an interesting debate that makes them think."

The audience is listening intently, and yet there are whispers in the corners that make me wonder if this is familiar information--or exotic jargon--to them.

Posted by Susan Mernit on May 30, 2005 at 08:40 AM in t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dae-Wan Chang:Newspapers will meet their challenges

In an opening speech for WAN this morning, Dae-Whan Chang, Chairman of the Korean Association of Newspapers, laid out a refreshingly pragmatic vision of how newspapers must adapt to survive and flourish. Rather than insist print will triumph forever, Whan told the 1,400 attendees of the WAN/WEF conferences that newspapers are facing their own "Media Big-Bang" and must embrace and meet the challenges of convergence, changing audience behaviors, and shrinking ad revenues.
Whan identified Internet, broadband, wireless, digital TV as very real threats to newspapers' long-term dominance of their markets, but urged newspapers to restructure and adapt.
Whan told the audience that Korean newspapers had to face the very real challenge of online portals publishing numerous news stories and taking audience away from the newspaper sites, and described how the papers worked together to form the Korean Online News Association (KONA), which in turn created a news portal that would help them retain market share.
He outlined his approach to mobile news, explaining his belief that newspapers needed to adapt a hybrid platform--print, web and mobile--to be viable information businesses today. Intriguingly to this Westerner, Whan demonstrated how Korean papers used barcodes --embedded next to a print story--to offer readers the chance to scan the data with a cell phone or other device and received enhanced information (this was amazingly cool).
Emphasizing that the wisest strategy for newspapers is to embrace those mediums that make the best use of relevant technology, Whan explained how Korean papers are exploring--and building--customized news portals for the phone, mobile television news downloads, and mobile personalized news alerts.
Newspapers need to understand they have to COPE--"Create once, product everywhere"--and offer ubiquitious solutions for always-connected audiences (and is he right!).
"We need to move from being news and information providers to creativity facilitators," Whan concluded, stressing that the keys to success were to create a hybrid platform, build for an ubiquitious enviroment, and make content creative.
Susan sez: This speech broke me out of my ex New Yorker cynicism and sent me right to the keyboard--clearly, OhMyNews is not the only organization in Korea that's doing some hard thinking about how the news business needs to evolve. There are lessons to be learned here that the US--and other countries--can benefit from, and progressive thinking that's clearly linked to the highly networked behaviors of Korea's educated classes.

Posted by Susan Mernit on May 30, 2005 at 05:20 AM in t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Google News creator at the 12th World Editors Forum

Is Google News a threat to newspapers? It is a question that editors from around the world can ask the creator of Google News, Krishna Bharat, when he takes the podium at the 12th World Editors Forum in Seoul, Korea, on 30 May 2005. Mr Bharat, a Principal Scientist at Google Inc. and head of Google's Research & Development Centre in Bangalore, India, will be a keynote speaker in a session on "New frontiers for journalism" at the Forum, the global meeting of senior news executives to be held from 29 May to 1 June concurrently with the World Newspaper Congress.

Mr Bharat describes Google News as "a computer-generated newspaper that unifies news from online newspapers worldwide with an emphasis on diversity and balance." It is a continuously updated news site that allows users to search and browse 4,500 news sources. Mr Bharat says people use Google News in addition to their usual news sources.

"Google News' focus is on diversity, and that's where the real added value is," he said in a recent interview. "It's a bit like a bookstore that takes content on a single subject and puts it all on the same shelf. People use Google News to complement their favourite source, like CNN. You come to Google News when you want a wide range of articles -- in both opinions and style -- on that subject."

Mr Bharat will share the stage with Dan Gillmor, author of "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People", who is developing a citizen-generated, grassroots journalism project.

Mr Gillmor, a noted technology columnist and "blogger", has frequently commented on the rise of Google News, and takes exception to the contention that the automated nature of Google News makes it free of bias. "Since humans programmed the computers, human biases -- or at least mistakes -- inevitably creep into the results," he says.

The debate begins.

The 12th World Editors Forum, 58th World Newspaper Congress and Info Services Expo 2005 are the global meetings of the world's press, drawing more than 1,000 newspaper executives to a unique annual gathering organised by the World Association of Newspapers.

For the evolving conference programme, a participants list and other information, consult the WAN web site at

Other highlights of the WEF conference include:

- An examination of "Tabloid Fever: Is the temperature going down?" with Jan-Eric Peters, Editor of Germany's Die Welt, Welt Kompakt and Berliner Morgenpost, newspaper designer Mario Garcia, Didier Pillet, the Editor of Ouest France, Robb Montgomery, Visual Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, and George Brock, Saturday Editor of The Times of London.

- A session entitled "What makes Asian newspapers different?", featuring Asian success stories from Vir Sanghvi, Editorial Director of The Hindustan Times in India; Keiko Chino, Senior Editorial Writer for the Sankei Shimbun in Japan; and Sang-Seok Lee, Executive Director of The Korea Times. The session will be chaired by Andrew Lynch, Editorial Director of the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project for the World Association of Newspapers and founder of the pan-Asian newspaper trade magazine, Asian Newspaper Focus.

- A session on infographics and visual journalism featuring Alberto Cairo, the Infographics editor at El Mundo in Spain, Jeff Goertzen, the Infographics Editor at the St. Petersburg Times in the United States, Peter Espina, the Infographics Editor of the China Daily, and Katie Ratcliffe, the Asia Pacific Manager for Graphics for Agence France-Presse.

- A session on using editorial networks to expand news coverage efficiently, with Miguel Angel Basteiner, International Affairs Director of El Pais, Spain, and Director of the Le Monde/El Pais/La Repubblica network, Risto Uimonen, Editor of Kaleva in Finland, and Imtiaz Alam, General Secretary of the South Asian Free Media Association.

- A discussion of the "citizen journalist" movement, with panelists Barry Sussman, Director of the Nieman Watchdog Project, Joichi Ito, CEO of Japan's Neoteny, and Andrew Nachison, Director of the US-based Media Center.

- A look at "new legal dangers: privacy issues and sports rights" with Kai Diekmann, Editor of Bild in Germany, Ko Yamaguchi, Advisor for International Affairs for Japan's Kyodo News Service, Monique Villa, Senior Vice President for Reuters, and Ari Valjakka, Editor of Finland's Turun Sanomat.

- And many others.

The Paris-based WEF is the organisation of the World Association of Newspapers that represents senior news executives. WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 101 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communication. E-mail: [email protected]

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on April 5, 2005 at 01:18 PM in a. Citizen journalism, b. Alliances and partnerships, c. Multimedia convergence, l. Conferences and awards, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, March 04, 2005

Visual journalism: tips and trends at the next World Editors Forum

Alberto Cairo, the Infographics editor at El Mundo in Spain, proudly calls his graphics team "the best professionals on the globe." He is willing to back up his claim. "Have a look at our work, " he says, "I look forward to your opinion." View the work here. Jeff Goertzen, the Infographics Editor at the St. Petersburg Times in the United States, is also one of the best. A portfolio of his work can be found here. Mr Cairo and Mr Goertzen are certainly among the most interesting graphic designers working today. Along with Peter Espina, the Infographics Editor of the China Daily, who was previously the Art Director for the Hong Kong Standard and the Far Eastern Economic Review, and Katie Ratcliffe, the Asia Pacific Manager for Graphics for Agence France-Presse, they will share their views about the role of visual journalism during the 12th World Editors Forum, to be held in Seoul, Korea, from 29 May to 1 June. Infographics lure young readers and it is now a major asset for some newspapers. The goal of this session is to give editors tips and trends about the new infographics wave.

The designers will participate in a session on "Visual Journalism: infographics at the cutting edge," at the World Editors Forum, the annual global event focused on editorial issues and strategies. Hundreds of chief editors and other senior newsroom executives are expected to participate in the Forum, which runs concurrently with the 58th World
Newspaper Congress and Info Services Expo 2005. The events are the global meetings of the world's press, drawing more than 1,000 newspaper executives
to a unique annual gathering.

For the evolving conference programme, a participants list and other information, consult the WAN web site at

Source: 12th World Editors Forum (programmes also in French, German, Spanish and Chinese)

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on March 4, 2005 at 06:04 PM in g. Photojournalism, l. Conferences and awards, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

North Korea: newspaper runs commercial advertisements!

From Korea Times: "A Pyongyang newspaper recently began to run commercial advertisements, a pro-North Korea newspaper in Japan reported last weekend. The unexpected development in the North is considered as an attempt to trigger change in its media sector, a North Korea expert in Seoul said Sunday. The Chosun Shinbo, published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongnyon, reported on its Web site Saturday that the Pyongyang Shinmun, a four-page newspaper for the North's capital, has begun running commercial advertisements. The internet news story did not say exactly when the Pyongyang Shinmun began to place commercial advertisements, which have been criticized in the communist country as a symbol of capitalism... "I think North Korea is conducting a small-scale experiment for its media sector by using the small newspaper in Pyongyang," Prof. Chin Hee-gwan of Sogang University's Institute of Social Science told The Korea Times. He said the North tends to check the effectiveness of a pilot program before expanding it into a full scale. ``If the experiment turns out to be successful, I guess people in the North will see advertisements appearing even on the Rodong Shinmun,'' Chin said. The Rodong Shinmun, the largest newspaper in the North, is published by the ruling Workers' Party."

Source: Korea Times through Asia Media

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on March 1, 2005 at 12:49 PM in q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Trends in Newsrooms 2005: a preview of the 12th World Editors Forum

It will be my second conference at the World Editors Forum and I begin to receive answers from speakers. Here is my introduction to this event to be held in Seoul, South Korea from 29 May to 1 June 2005:

"The newspaper industry in 2003 could be seen as a British year with the launching of compact editions for The Independent and The Times. A smart answer for young readers and commuters and the first real positive action to counterbalance the circulation crisis in mature markets.

By the same measure, 2004 was a German year due to the new initiatives of Axel Springer and Georg von Holzbrinck groups. Welt Kompakt, News and several other new titles now compete with free papers and also attract young readers. What is fascinating in this experience is that media groups have initiated collaborative and exchange processes between different newsrooms.

What will be the symbol of the year 2005? It could emerge at the 12th World Editors Forum to be held in Seoul.

Perhaps 2005 will be an American year. For four reasons:

- we have invited as keynote speaker Dan Gillmor, the well-known blogger and ex-columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, the pioneering Californian newspaper. He will tell us more about his wish to create citizen journalism based on his book We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People. Call it participatory journalism or public journalism or open source journalism, it is a major issue to involve more and more readers in the news gathering and debating process

- RSS (Real Simple Syndications) and news aggregators - as Google News and Google Alerts - are rather unknown outside the US. But editors need to know how it could reshape the way readers are informed. Personalized news is no longer a slogan, it is developing and very few newspapers are ready to this revolution. Google executives will explain their views on this issue, Rich Skrenta, CEO too.

- more and more American newspapers are considering charging subscription fees for the online version of their flagship newspaper. As New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr said: "It gets to the issue of how comfortable are we training a generation of readers to get quality information for free. That is troubling." Indeed!

- There have also been major innovations in the design of many American newspapers. Mario Garcia from Garcia Media will help us to discover their main innovations."

In other words, the 12th World Editors Forum is very promising with cutting edge information provided to cutting edge editors!

Source: 12th World Editors Forum

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on January 12, 2005 at 12:20 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, d. Design and infographics , e. Compact vs. broadsheet, g. Photojournalism, i. Future of print, j. Staff changes, l. Conferences and awards, m. Improving editorial quality, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy new year... also in South Asia

Happy (and interesting) new year with a special thought to our friends from the South Asian Free Media Association. Imtiaz Alam, SAFMA General Secretary, will be our guest during the 12th World Editors Forum to be held in Seoul (29 May - 1 June 2005) and he will explain how this network has worked in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Source: 12th World Editors Forum

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on January 3, 2005 at 01:31 PM in b. Alliances and partnerships, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack