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Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

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Fri - 31.10.2014


Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

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sfnblog.org Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

Every newsroom should have its own seer. Not to predict the next breaking news story (that’s half the fun of being a journalist, surely?) but to foresee how the newspaper model will change and adapt in the future. Keeping a news title abreast of the latest technological and economic challenges is part and parcel of an editor’s role, and is a task that has been rendered all the more urgent over the past two decades as technological advances and a difficult economic climate.

Even without the services of an in-house sibyl, editors have long been second-guessing how content production, publication and delivery will evolve – sometimes with alarming success. The Kaiser memo, written in 1992 by then- managing editor of The Washington Post, Robert Kaiser, is startlingly accurate in many of its predictions. After being told of an impending digital revolution by leading lights in the world of technology, who spoke with certainty of a time when “the PC will be a virtual supercomputer, and the easy transmission and storage of large quantities of text, moving and still pictures, graphics,” Kaiser recommended that the Post get ahead of its competitors by designing “the world’s first electronic newspaper… with a series of ‘front pages’ and other devices that would guide readers the way our traditional cues do -- headlines, captions, story placement, etc.”

Author

Amy Hadfield's picture

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-31 17:17

Just 10 weeks after start-up incubator Betaworks acquired its brand name and URL, the new-look Digg is celebrating its one-month anniversary.

Sporting a pared-down, picture-heavy, ad-free homepage, the site has been dubbed “a Pinterest for news links.” The voting algorithm that was a defining feature of Digg’s previous incarnation remains (though human editors also play a role in curating the site) and articles like "The Five Coolest (and 5 Strangest) Marvel Comics Foodstuffs" prove that its audience has lost none of its interest in the more bizarre elements of the news.

There are however clear signs that not everyone is diggin’ the new format. Initial reaction to the re-launched website lamented the loss of key Digg functions, and four weeks have done little to assuage such concerns. Despite being a central reason for Digg’s initial popularity, the old commenting system has disappeared and users are required to sign in via their Facebook account should they want to interact with articles.

Author

Amy Hadfield's picture

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-30 18:14

In a post on Nieman LabKen Doctor considers whether "newspapers have a shot at stepping ahead of their broadcast rivals as web video evolves."

On PoynterMallary Jean Tenore discusses "What Twitter teaches us about writing short & well"

The UK's Press Gazette reports that The Wall Street Journal is hosting a series of events with a tech theme in Shoreditch, East London, for three days from 12 September.

Author

Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-30 17:48

This is a guest post from Garrett Goodman, an American living and working in Paris for a French collaborative journalism startup called Citizenside. He writes on innovations in journalism and social media on The Huffington Post, and is a technology enthusiast, gadget fanatic, and avid amateur photographer. Follow Garrett on Twitter for a regular flow of interesting articles on all of the above: @garrettgoodman.

In a time of acute financial struggle for most media houses, weekly newspaper The Economist announced record profits and record circulation for last year. In the group's 2012 annual report, editorial events was cited by numerous managing directors as an important part of the publication's strategy.

This is a closer look at The Economist Group's event strategy: how it fosters audience engagement, generates millions in revenue, and attracts new readers.

An Award-Winning, Multi-Million Dollar Business

Author

Guest

Date

2012-08-30 16:10

The Newspaper Association for America (NAA) is said to be preparing a legal challenge to a “sweetheart deal” established between the postal service and Valassis Communications.

Having received approval from the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, the agreement will see Valassis receive a substantial rate-cut from the post office, thereby allowing the direct-marketing company to send the kind of preprint advertisements usually carried by newspapers straight to the customer. The mailing system will cost 42 percent less than the service now provided by newspapers.

Newspapers could see advertising revenue diminish by $2.5 billion as a result of the agreement, of which $1 billion could be businesses turning away from the newspaper advertising model altogether.

Author

Amy Hadfield's picture

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-30 14:36

"2011 had the most incidents of violence against journalists in Afghanistan yet," according to a report by David Cole on the MediaShift Idea Lab website, which has also mapped the incidents.

Huffington Post launched "Huff Post labs" today. Its first project, called Highlights, is "a collection of the most popular sentences from articles and blog posts across the Huffington Post empire," writes Klint Finley on the TechCrunch website.

Allowing the public access to your reporting process, and accepting more and different contributors than you’d find through traditional means," is really what social is all about, according to Daniel Victor, Social Media Producer at The New York Times in an interview with Muck Rack.

Author

Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-08-29 19:13

Three and a half years after the bosses of Michigan’s Ann Arbor Newsinformed a shocked roomful of newspaper staffers that the paper would be rebranded as a web site” with a reduced-frequency print edition, its parent company Advance Publications has made similar changes at several more of its local titles throughout the United States.

This spring brought cutbacks to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and three Alabama dailies. Now, Advance newspapers in Syracyse, New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are the latest to follow suit.

“It seems like they are doing this in regional clusters,” said Paul Pohlman, a Poynter faculty member with knowledge of Advance, according to a report by Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon.

As of January 2013, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, whose 24 year-old reporter Sara Ganim won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for her work on the scandal at Penn State University, will appear in print only three days a week. The newspaper will merge with the website Pennlive.com to form PA Media Group.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-29 17:25

The Newsblaster project was developed by the Columbia NLP (natural language processing) Group and has been running since September 2001. Under the direction of Professor Kathleen McKeown, the site processes news stories through the application of natural language processing techniques and artificial intelligence, to produce summaries of the day’s top news stories. After 11 years at the helm, Professor McKeown spoke to the SFN blog to discuss the development of Newsblaster, and what the future holds for the aggregation site.

SFN: In the 11 years that Newsblaster has been running, what types of changes has the site undergone?

Author

Amy Hadfield's picture

Amy Hadfield

Date

2012-08-29 09:53

Which GOP governor is the weakest link? Which democrat senator wants to marry a multi-millionaire? The New York TimesDavid Carr consults top authorities in the world of reality television about how the U.S. Republican and Democratic National Conventions could spice up their images.

"At one point, when he was about 24, he took off into the Tasmanian wilderness with just a knife and pitted himself against nature to see if he could survive out there," says Julian Assange’s mother of her son in the Guardian’s compilation of testimonies from the whistleblower’s nearest and dearest.

Pasadena publisher James Macpherson claims to have received death threats five years ago when he began hiring workers in India to write local news stories. Now he has launched Journtent, a system for helping other publishers outsource local reporting. CJR reports.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 18:11

British newspapers experienced a sporting spike in digital traffic during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

To take an example, the Guardian saw a 23 percent increase in average daily unique browsers, a 21 percent rise in average daily visits, and a 15 percent jump in average daily page views during the Olympics, as compared with figures from 17 days before the Opening Ceremonies. Not including mobile traffic, the site attracted a total of 39.9 million page views – 2.3 million per day, on average – between July 27 and August 12 for Olympic content alone.

These numbers tell a heartening story: the readers are out there.

As print circulation continues its long luge ride – the Guardian’s dropped by another 15.85 percent between July 2011 and July 2012 to 209,354, a rate of decline outpaced only by the Independent, which dropped by 54.28 percent to reach below 83,619 – such news is particularly welcome.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-08-28 17:16

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