Fri - 15.12.2017


by Ken Doctor

What's a story worth?

Last week, I looked at a single investigative story (California Watch's "On Shaky Ground"), and we saw the tab of half a million dollars for a 20-month-long tale of sleuthing. What about that ordinary daily story, quotidian journalism as we know it -- the grinding out of less eventful articles, the kinds of things that keep us informed but don't offer epiphanies? How much does it cost, and how much does that matter to the future of the news business?

Continue reading on Nieman Journalism Lab


Anton Jolkovski


2011-05-02 10:41

The first annual World Newspaper Future & Change Study is a global research study about newspaper publishers' business strategies moving forward for the next five years, with the key objective to inspire newspaper executives to invest and innovate their business units and business practices, the latest SFN's report, Charting the Course for Newspapers, reported.

The purpose of the study is to pinpoint the business and strategic challenges of the world's newspapers, and then to identify the publishers' strategies moving forward to turn the challenges into opportunities.

Cost reductions planned for the next year are led by the five most expensive costs to newspapers: materials, including paper, printing, administration, distribution and content generation. Paper, printing and distribution alone typically represent 65 to 70 percent of the costs of a newspaper operation.

The survey results suggest that tightening up the operation by cutting fat and smoothing efficiencies from some of the most expensive links on the value chain will go a long way to improving the bottom line.


Erina Lin


2010-02-02 04:42

The newspaper business model is powerless to compensate for falling print ad revenues, and the problem is not going to go away. The print model cannot and will not migrate to the Internet, where there is a "revenue black hole," in which 76 percent of all online revenues go to Google and Yahoo!, Timothy Balding, co-CEO of WAN-IFRA, told the 62nd World Newspaper Congress today.

"To compete, you will need to retain control of your content. In 2013, combined print and digital revenues will be less than print revenues in 2008," he said, citing data from ZenithOptimedia and PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Should we allow aggregators to build their business on the back of our content?"

Timothy Balding, co-CEO of WAN-IFRA. Photo: Brian Powers, Western Integrated Media

"There are outside forces we can't control," Balding said, referring to a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Index over the past year that rapidly dropped off.

In terms of digital revenues, only Google posted first-half growth in 2009, he said, and in the third quarter this year, compared to the same time last year, newspaper ad revenues dropped 17 percent.

In the United States, which has been hit particularly hard, of 379 daily titles, circulation between April and December is down 10.6 percent, and digital ad revenues have fallen six quarters in a row. In 2009 in the U.S., estimates by PwC show advertising in newspapers in North America are down by more than 20 percent.


Leah McBride Mensching


2009-12-01 09:46

Ezio Mauro, the Italian editor whose newspaper is being sued for defamation by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for questioning his behaviour, and Mario Garcia, who defines contemporary newspaper design, have joined the programme of "The 2015 Newsroom: High Standards & Low Cost Solutions," to be held on 1 and 2 October in Prague, Czech Republic.

Mauro is editor-in-chief of La Repubblica, which is being sued for defamation by Berlusconi for repeatedly publishing 10 questions asking the Prime Minister to explain his extra-marital relationships, the subject of widely reported public scandals this year.

"This is the first time in memory of a free country that a politician is suing because of questions directed at him," Mauro has said.

Mauro will make a keynote speech titled "La Repubblica versus Berlusconi: Why it is important for press freedom in Europe," and will also take part in a panel discussion with other leading editors on how they envision the newsroom of 2015.


Larry Kilman


2009-09-11 02:40

According to Moody's Investors Service, the nature of the newspaper industry's cost structure is causing the field's current woes and will require transformation in order to reduce fixed costs by outsourcing printing, Fitz & Jen reported.

The current cost structure leaves revenue generation sectors well under funded with content creation and advertising sales receiving just 14 percent and 16 percent of the cash operating costs respectively. On the other hand, 70 percent of costs are devoted to print distribution and corporate expenditure. Moody's blames this imbalance for the industry's lack of flexibility.

"This disconnect is a legacy of the industry's vertical integration beyond content creation and into the production and distribution of newspapers," said John Puchalla, Moody's vice president and senior newspaper analyst, according to a report by CoStar Group.

As revenue from advertising continues to decline the large cost of outsourcing printing is causing huge cash flow problems for newspapers.


Leah McBride Mensching


2009-07-09 18:47

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