Posts tagged digital

Instead of having an adversarial stance toward those with power, journalists are friends (sometimes with benefits) of those who wield it. That’s always been the case to some extent, but now there isn’t even the pretense of trying to be an outsider. “Objectivity” has come to mean uncritically regurgitating quotes from a couple of “sources” or “unnamed officials” the reporter has relationships with and leaving it to the reader to figure out who’s up to no good.

Charles Davis, VICE, Survey Says: Journalists are Old White Cowards.

Researchers Lars Willnat and David H. Weaver from Indiana University recently published their findings in the report "The American Journalist in the Digital Age" based on interviews with over 1,000 American journalists working in all different fields. The results, including how they feel about controversial reporting practices, their job autonomy, and job satisfaction, are quite surprising when compared to survey results from 10 and even 30 years ago. 

"Rolling Disaster" at The Times-Picayune

Almost a year ago, New Orleans’ Times-Picayune cut staff, announced that it would stop publishing a daily newspaper in favor of three days a week and tired to pivot to digital first at NOLA.com.

A year into the process The Columbia Journalism Review calls strategic decisions made over the last 12 months a “rolling disaster" while the New York Times’ David Carr calls pretty much everything to do with the Picayune "a jaw-dropping blunder”.

But the Picayune isn’t done. Advance Publications, the paper’s owner, has announced the paper will be a paper. Again. Sort of. But in a different format. Probably because The Advocate, the Baton Rouge daily that’s just set up shop in New Orleans, is looking to eat the Picayune’s lunch.

David Carr tries to explain the Picayune’s return to print:

The new distribution plan is hard to explain, but I will do my best.

On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, a broadsheet called The Times-Picayune will be available for home delivery and on the newsstands for 75 cents. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, a tabloid called TPStreet will be available only on newsstands for 75 cents.

In addition, a special electronic edition of TPStreet will be available to the three-day subscribers of the home-delivered newspaper. On Saturdays, there will be early print editions of the Sunday Times-Picayune with some breaking news and some Sunday content.

There’s more, but you get the idea — or not. It’s an array of products, frequencies and approaches that is difficult to explain, much less market.

The move was clearly defensive, unveiled the day before John Georges, the new owner of The Advocate, announced that it would expand its incursion into New Orleans.

If that leaves you shaking your head, try this take by Kevin Allman at The Gambit:

The digitally-focused NOLA Media Group, which cut back print publication of The Times-Picayune to three days a week last year, continued to innovate today by announcing a new plan to print on the days it doesn’t produce a print product, bringing the company up to 7-day-a-week publication, according to an announcement by NOLA Media Group Vice President of Content Jim Amoss.

The report, which is not from The Onion, says the new product, to be called “TPStreet,” will launch this summer in newsboxes around the city and cost 75 cents, just like the daily paper, which it will not be, because it is more innovative than that…

…The innovative publication is in response to “a repeated request” from home-delivery subscribers to get a delivered daily paper, but it will not be home delivered, [President and Publisher Ricky] Mathews said.

So, The Advocate’s is trying to invade and the Picayune is playing oddball defense.

"Our hope is that we will be treated to an invigorating old-time press war between The Advocate and The Times-Picayune," Jed Horne, a former editor at The Times-Picayune tells Carr, “but of course, it could end up being two dinosaurs fighting over the last mud hole on an overheated planet.”

Let’s hope not.

Read a Newspaper. Save the Puppies.

Via Time:

While digital publishing has helped put old-fashioned newspapers into a tailspin, it’s also prompted a crisis at another venerable establishment—San Francisco’s animal control agency.

For years, the agency has been relying on the once abundant supply of old newspapers to line the cages of shelter puppies. But with many subscriptions now moving to digital, that vital supply of puppy paper has been decimated, reports CBS San Francisco.

The San Francisco Public Library is saving the day so far by donating its used papers.  

Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.

Tina Brown & Baba Shetty on the Newsweek of the future. (via newsweek)

Will it work?

Generations that deem the act of reading on print essential are disappearing, and while the new ones regard online reading as a natural thing, they will never know that sensual world where communication requires more senses than just the sight.

What really matters now is whether the reader is wise enough to carefully pick his readings and turn them into his own intellectual benefit. If newspapers continue avoiding rescuing journalism with the available digital tools, no miracle will save them from obsolesce and disappearance. On the contrary, if both digital and print realms open a new broader dialogue and are able to find formulas that allow them to coexist, the reader will be the utmost beneficiary.
Graphic designer María Mercedes Salgado, in an interview to Mexican newspaper El Universal, a few days before the World Summit on Newspaper Design takes place in Mexico City.  (via fjp-latinamerica)

The World's Most Successful Digital Media Companies

paidContent just published their top 50 list of the world’s most successful digital media companies.

And it isn’t your ordinary list. Instead, after an overview, it runs some 103 pages from Google and its $36.4B in revenue at the top to Japan’s Hakuhodo DY and its $719.22M in revenue rounding things out.

Taken together, paidContent reports, the fifty companies that make up the list generate $150-billion-a-year in digital revenue.

Via paidContent:

This year’s paidContent 50, for the first time, looks at companies outside the U.S. and in segments not considered last year, like business information and advertising. As a consequence, several U.S. companies fell off this year’s list — including CareerBuilder, ValueClick, WebMD, GameStop, Hulu, the New York Times, Ancestry.com and Demand Media…

…Indeed, opening the gates to the rest of the world adds some new perspective on the success of some of the largest U.S. digital players. Zynga, for example, suddenly falls 24 places, while Netflix sinks 14 places despite adding about $500,000 in revenue in an error-strewn year. Almost half of our list this year (23 companies) comes from outside the U.S.

A hundred plus pages is tough to get through so to shorten the task — or to help motivate — see paidContent 50: 6 big takeaways from this year’s list.

paidContent, The world’s most successful digital media companies.

In Praise of Print

  • FJP: The Guardian reports on both the success of print magazines, and the symbiotic relationship print and digital delivery can have for a brand. Here are some ideas from the article (http://bit.ly/Ke0hGj).
  • Marcus Webb: We want to make something which is treasured, which ends its days making the bookshelf, coffee table or toilet just that little bit prettier and more civilized.
  • Joerg Koch: You don't need print for news any more. But for long, visual-driven stories, it can offer a business model and an immersive focused quality that digital cannot offer yet.
  • Dave Eggars: To survive, the newspaper, and the physical book, needs to set itself apart from the web. Physical forms of the written word need to offer a clear and different experience. And if they do, we believe, they will survive.
  • Munro Smith: Computers and video games haven't killed physical toys and games, so there's no reason why the digital world should kill print. Lack of innovation or providing a poor product is far more likely to do that. The amazing range of technological opportunities that can be used to support and interact with print are definitely a bonus, not a threat.

Newspapers Look to Targeting, Video to Boost Flagging Revenues

Will newer display formats and better targeting help digital revenues rise faster?

More than nine in 10 US newspapers selling targeted online advertising believed that such ads would take in a greater share of digital revenue over the next year, and nearly as many respondents said the same for video ads. Most respondents, however, also reported that these two tactics represented only a minor portion of their ad sales effort—with more going toward other display and banner advertising or classifieds.

Mobile may also be a new bright spot for the print world. Between Q4 2010 and the same period in 2011, Pew reported, mobile ad revenues climbed to nine times their earlier level as a percentage of total digital revenues.

eMarketer predicts continued growth in online ad spending for US newspapers (including mobile display and search ads), reaching $4.5 billion by 2016. At the same time, the decrease in revenues from print ads will continue to gradually shrink, but still outweigh digital gains. By 2016, the newspaper industry will still be losing about 1% of total ad dollars each year.

Analog Dollars * Digital Dimes = Struggling Newspapers

The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that for every new dollar that newspapers were earning in new digital advertising revenue, they were losing $7 in print advertising revenue.

Via the New York Times.

Magnum Contact Sheets
An exhibition called Magnum Contact Sheets is currently running at The International Center of Photography in New York City.
In a series that stretches from the 1930s to the present, the exhibit functions as a behind the scenes look at how Magnum Photographers arrived at their often iconic images.
Via ICP:

The images featured—both celebrated, iconic photographs and lesser-known surprises—encompass more than 70 years of history: from the Normandy landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey, and the war in Chechnya by Thomas Dworzak, to René Burri’s filmic sequence of close-ups of Che Guevara, classic New Yorkers by Bruce Gilden, and Eve Arnold’s famous portrait of the charismatic and image-savvy Malcolm X.
“The contact sheet embodies much of the appeal of photography itself: the sense of time unfolding, a durable trace of movement through space, an apparent authentication of photography’s claims to transparent representation of reality,” said ICP Associate Curator Kristen Lubben, who organized the exhibition. “It records each step on the route to arriving at a particular image, and thus provides a unique window into the creative process.”…
…The exhibition functions—in the words of Magnum photographer Martin Parr—as an “epitaph to the contact sheet,” marking the end of the analog film era and the rise of digital photography.

Image: The contact sheet for René Burri’s 1963 photoshoot with Che Guevara, via ICP.
Click to embiggen.

Magnum Contact Sheets

An exhibition called Magnum Contact Sheets is currently running at The International Center of Photography in New York City.

In a series that stretches from the 1930s to the present, the exhibit functions as a behind the scenes look at how Magnum Photographers arrived at their often iconic images.

Via ICP:

The images featured—both celebrated, iconic photographs and lesser-known surprises—encompass more than 70 years of history: from the Normandy landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey, and the war in Chechnya by Thomas Dworzak, to René Burri’s filmic sequence of close-ups of Che Guevara, classic New Yorkers by Bruce Gilden, and Eve Arnold’s famous portrait of the charismatic and image-savvy Malcolm X.

“The contact sheet embodies much of the appeal of photography itself: the sense of time unfolding, a durable trace of movement through space, an apparent authentication of photography’s claims to transparent representation of reality,” said ICP Associate Curator Kristen Lubben, who organized the exhibition. “It records each step on the route to arriving at a particular image, and thus provides a unique window into the creative process.”…

…The exhibition functions—in the words of Magnum photographer Martin Parr—as an “epitaph to the contact sheet,” marking the end of the analog film era and the rise of digital photography.

Image: The contact sheet for René Burri’s 1963 photoshoot with Che Guevara, via ICP.

Click to embiggen.


If you choose your own news, you’ll be less well read by Peter Preston
Digital news offers customers the choice of what they want to read. But print offers something extra: stories that people didn’t know they wanted to read until they had read them

I wanted to post this article because we talked a lot about this in Studio 20. My own thought on this is that if we made complicated issues easier to understand then people will want to read it.  As journalists, we need find ways to make direct links between the mortgage crisis and what it means for YOU the reader.  People want to read top news — digitally and through print.  More importantly, they want to read news that’s easy to understand. 
When I spoke to Tony Haile from Chartbeat-a live analytics service, he addressed the fear that Editors who take analytics seriously will end up doing a lot more stories on celebs and gossip and he’s found that the audience is smarter than that.  Sometimes a change in title or position of the post can change the click-through rates.  (This video will be up soon on the new FJP)
The solution is for us to not fear personalized curation of news but for us journalists to take advantage of the medium so that we can do our jobs better. 
- Chao Li @cli6cli6
What’s your take on personalizing the news? 

If you choose your own news, you’ll be less well read by Peter Preston

Digital news offers customers the choice of what they want to read. But print offers something extra: stories that people didn’t know they wanted to read until they had read them

I wanted to post this article because we talked a lot about this in Studio 20. My own thought on this is that if we made complicated issues easier to understand then people will want to read it.  As journalists, we need find ways to make direct links between the mortgage crisis and what it means for YOU the reader.  People want to read top news — digitally and through print.  More importantly, they want to read news that’s easy to understand. 

When I spoke to Tony Haile from Chartbeat-a live analytics service, he addressed the fear that Editors who take analytics seriously will end up doing a lot more stories on celebs and gossip and he’s found that the audience is smarter than that.  Sometimes a change in title or position of the post can change the click-through rates.  (This video will be up soon on the new FJP)

The solution is for us to not fear personalized curation of news but for us journalists to take advantage of the medium so that we can do our jobs better. 

- Chao Li @cli6cli6

What’s your take on personalizing the news? 

The New York Times R&D Lab Explores How Content is Shared

OWNI published its thoughts on the ten most creative digital projects of 2011. Included is work from MIT’s Media Lab, independent artists and scientists, design firms and open collaborations.

Above, we have Cascade from the New York Times R&D department.

Via OWNI:

Cascade is a by NYTimes R&D department that allows precise analysis of the structures that underlie sharing activity on the web. Initiated by Mark Hansen and working with Jer Thorp and Jake Porway (Data Scientist at the Times) the team spent 6 months building the tool to understand how information propagates through the social media space. While initially applied to New York Times stories and information, the tool and its underlying logic may be applied to any publisher or brand interested in understanding how its messages are shared.

Take some time to click through to watch some inspiration.

Apple’s Newsstand application aiding digital magazine sales, says ‘I told you so’

According to AllThingsD, the shelf isn’t just a real estate hog on your springboard, it’s actually helping to boost sales; Popular Science alone has seen an uptick in subscriptions on the order of 11,000 since the app launched, and signs of slowdown are nowhere to be spotted. PopSci’s results may not be found in every publishing house, but it’s as solid a sign as any that the tactic may be working. Hit the source link for that whiz-bang chart action.

via Engadget and allthingsD

Apple’s Newsstand application aiding digital magazine sales, says ‘I told you so’

According to AllThingsD, the shelf isn’t just a real estate hog on your springboard, it’s actually helping to boost sales; Popular Science alone has seen an uptick in subscriptions on the order of 11,000 since the app launched, and signs of slowdown are nowhere to be spotted. PopSci’s results may not be found in every publishing house, but it’s as solid a sign as any that the tactic may be working. Hit the source link for that whiz-bang chart action.

via Engadget and allthingsD

For a Solo Artist to Earn US Monthly Minimum Wage
Interesting numbers to know if you’re a musician and want to go/stay independent.
Detail from The World of Online Music by Grovo Labs.

For a Solo Artist to Earn US Monthly Minimum Wage

Interesting numbers to know if you’re a musician and want to go/stay independent.

Detail from The World of Online Music by Grovo Labs.