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Nearly half of North American editors surveyed doubt that requiring payment for online content is the answer to the news media's current fiscal crisis, Spanish blogger Juan Varela reported Wednesday at soitu.es. Varela's article summarises findings announced this week at the Newsmedia Economic Action Plan Conference held in Reston, Virginia, United States.

The study, conducted by the American Press Institute in cooperation with Belden Interactive, reiterates that dailies are too distant from readers as well as being too paper-reliant. API does not envision "paid content as the one source that will save journalism."

Rather, it urges a five-point plan developed at this year's Newspaper Association of America conference held in January. The five points involve "doctrines" respecting true value, fair use, fair share, digital development and consumer-centric practices.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-09-17 20:03

Journalism Online LLC, the company set on selling its e-commerce engine to newspapers to enable them to more easily charge for online content, announced on Thursday that more than 500 newspapers and magazines have signalled their intent to join the venture, AFP reported Thursday.

Formed in April by three industry executives from differing backgrounds, the company said it has received letters of intent to join the group, from a publisher representing 176 dailies, 330 non-dailies and "leading global news sites."

"The Web sites of these publishers have more than 90 million monthly visitors from around the world," the New York-based company said in a statement.

The company hopes to open the payment platform by the fall. The platform will help the newspapers implement content payment systems through which publications may offer content at self-determined prices. Consumers, meanwhile, will be allowed to create a single account, usable across all newspapers using Journalism Online. The company will provide subscription systems, will market the subscription and will license the content to intermediaries such as search engines.

"Affiliates will select their own approach to offering paid access, based on their respective brands, content and online readership," according to the statement.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-08-14 19:45

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has announced all the media conglomerate's news Web sites will begin charging for access to content by next summer, the Guardian reported Thursday.

"Quality journalism is not cheap," Murdoch said, according to the Guardian. "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news Web sites."

Murdoch's announcement follows news of News Corp.'s second quarter net loss of US$203 million.

However, PC World expressed skepticism that such a move to charging for online content could carry such a significant financial burden and doubted whether Murdoch could convince readers to pay for his content when similar products are so prevalently available for free.

The PC World article also pointed out that the inevitable reduction in traffic could impact the company's advertising revenue.

Murdoch, however, has said he believes the model will succeed, and will be a leader in the switch to paid content online. "I believe that if we're successful, we'll be followed fast by other media," he said, according to the Guardian

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-08-06 19:39

Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira recently wrote a feature article on a business coach who teaches executives how to handle Generation X and Y employees and clients. Culture and media Web site Gawker then did what it does best, when Hamilton Nolan wrote a snarky blog post about, and linked to, Shapira's article, poking fun at the silliness of the most recent "fakest job corporate America ever created."

At first, Shapira wrote that seeing a Gawker posting about his article left him "feeling a bit triumphant" and "flattered." But, after e-mailing his editor and taking a harder look at the Gawker posting (which credited the Post at the very end), his flattered tone changed.

After hours of reporting and transcribing, "it took me about a day to write the 1,500-word piece. How long did it take Gawker to rewrite and republish it, cherry-pick the funniest quotes, sell ads against it and ultimately reap 9,500 (and counting) page views?" Shapira states in a piece on the Washington Post's Web site.

He called Nolan, who told him it took an hour or less.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-08-04 22:56

Schenectady, New York's Daily Gazette will once again charge for online content that has been offered for free since 2007, The Associated Press reported.

Beginning August 3, the electronic edition of the paper and other online content will be uniquely available to home delivery subscribers or those who pay a US$2.95 monthly subscription fee. Selected blogs and featured breaking news will be posted on a free site.

Judy Patrick, the Gazette's managing editor, said the decision was made due to disappointing online advertising revenue and expressed the paper's intention to keep the integrity of the paper's content as well as reward paying readers by once again charging to use the site.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-30 12:38

The UK's public broadcasting station, the BBC, will team up with four major national newspapers in order to provide video content for their online editions c21media.net reported.

The videos will be embedded in the sites of the participating papers; The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, and Independent. Video content will appear along with the papers' own unique content on politics, business, science and technology.

The partnership is included in the BBC's "Project Marquee" which aims to "share content, expertise and technology in the name of public service."

Speaking of the new collaboration as well as the mounting pressure on the BBC to spread its wealth, Guy Ruddle, Telegraph's head of visuals said The Telegraph has "been waiting for the BBC to start sharing its content with us and this is definitely a step in the right direction in promoting partnerships."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-28 19:55

The MailOnline received 29.3 million unique visitors in the month of June, making the site the biggest in British news sites for the month, according to ABCe metrics, the MailOnline announced on its Web site.

The increase in visitors shows a surge of 19 percent from the previous month and 83 percent in year-on-year data. The site also reports 1.7 million visits a day, a record for British online news sites.

MailOnline Publisher Michael Clark commented on the figures, maintaining the value of cultivating "dedicated audiences who make a conscious effort to visit us as trusted providers of news." Speaking of issues facing British news sites in general, Clark said "British newspaper web sites need to prove that they are doing more than providing free content to third party aggregators who deliver low value casual users."

The site also saw the most traffic ever within the United Kingdom in June, with 8.3 million uniques, a 4 percent increase over the previous month and 67 percent increase compared to June 2008.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-24 14:13

Clarity Media's newspaper site, Examiner.com, will be published using software developed by Southern Californian company Verve Wireless, socalTech.com reported.

Verve Wireless' publishing software is designed to help newspaper publishers deliver their content to mobile media, such as phones. The software will enable the Examiner "highlight content produced by the firm's U.S. coverage," according to Examiner.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-15 18:07

Freedom Communications, which publishes more than 100 U.S. newspapers, will charge non-subscribers for access to online content, StlToday.com reported.

Publisher Tyler Patton said the move towards paid content "will allow greater value to our many loyal print-edition subscribers by not giving away the news to non-subscribers." The changes will be effective Wednesday, with subscribers having free access and weekend subscribers paying US$3.56 per month for access to online content. Full access to online-only content will cost $3.95 a month, while daily subscriptions are priced at 75 cents.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-14 16:59

French business paper La Tribune has launched an online edition that will be available in six languages by the end of the year, AFP reported.

However, in an effort to cut back on spending, the online content is translated not by professionals, but using automatic software, which has resulted in confusing, and often comical, translations of headlines and stories. "The Chinese car in ambush" and "Internet Explorer: mistrust!" are two examples of awkwardly translated headlines taken from La Tribune's Web site.

Astrid Arbey, the paper's head of new media, said plans had been made to work out the translation software's kinks, and that continual updates should lead to "almost perfect" articles.

The paper has been unwilling to take on additional journalists, editors and translators to generate and quality check content, which may have a negative effect on the paper's image. Industry professionals have pointed out that the move could tarnish the reputation of the well-respected publication, according to AFP.

The site currently offers stories translated into English, German, Spanish and Italian, with plans to add Japanese and Chinese before the year's end.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-07-10 18:25

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