WAN-IFRA

Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

Date

Fri - 31.10.2014


November 2009

While politics make strange bedfellows, finances make even stranger ones.

The Associated Press reported today that four of the United States's largest metropolitan dailies - the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and The Philadelphia Inquirer - are set to continue operations under new management due to their inability to service crushing debt.

The bizarre part is that the would-be managers - their lenders - have each experienced financial troubles of their own recently.

It remains to be seen if bankers such as JP Morgan Chase & Co. and bankruptcy-specialty firms such as Angelo, Gordon & Co. can do for publishing what they could not do for the financial services industry - namely, prevent utter economic meltdown within the industry.

Some analysts are plenty optimistic, though, seeing the default takeover as an opportunity to inject fresh blood into the ailing system which traditional media has become.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 15:12

In yet another potential example of economic censorship, The Respublika newspaper may be forced shut by a whopping libel judgment against it brought by an arm of its country's government, The Institute for War & Peace Reporting said Friday.

An Almaty court in September ordered Respublika - published in Kazak and Russian - to pay 60M tenge (US$400,000) in "moral damages" to the BTA Bank, nationalized in February, for comments relating to the possible loss of $45 million in deposits, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

An appeal is still pending, but the newspaper is not able to pay the fine and will cease publishing if the decision is upheld.

A similar practice in the United States of quieting unfavorable press through lawsuits has acquired the moniker Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP. The trend is blooming "like tulips in spring," The Fine Art Registry reported in March.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 14:57

Dietmar Schantin, director at WAN-IFRA, spoke today about the integration of print and digital media. The interaction between the two is vital for future newspapers in order for them to stay successful.

All media is being used now to get the news out as quickly as possible. He explained the importance of each media and how it relates to and relies on another.

Schantin also described the four most prominent types of newsrooms by the way they are organised and prioritised. They are the Multiple Media Newsroom, the Cross Media Newsroom, the Media Integrated Newsroom and the Audience Targeted Newsroom. Each type differs mainly in the structure but all of the structures focus on the same goal, he said.

The multiple media newsroom uses separate editorial units for both the print and online news. Journalists in these newsrooms often do their own reporting and research.

The cross media newsroom relies on the concept that journalists provide content for all types of media under their channel. Each channel may have different goals and specifications but the journalist will still provide the content for all media.

The Media Integrated Newsroom integrates the complete news flow from print to digital, beginning to end. One journalist is not in charge of the news flow as in the first two newsrooms. Instead, a section head is responsible for the news gathered.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 14:51

No sooner had a third daily newspaper come onto the scene in one U.S. city, than it announced plans to cease publication until January 1, citing inadequate ad sales, The Associated Press Friday reported.

The staff of the Detroit (Mich.) Daily Press -- drawn from the ranks of those recently laid off for the same reason by the city's two other newspapers -- will now enjoy five more weeks of unpaid leave, TIME magazine observed Friday.

The start-up had been in operation for less than a week when it suspended publishing, according to The Detroit News, its direct competitor.

A Daily Press staffer claimed in Saturday's Examiner that the new newspaper is being forced under by bully tactics of The Detroit News and the area's third newspaper, The Detroit Free Press.

Calling the other two newspapers a media mafia, the staffer -- who does not purport to speak for her newspaper's management -- alleges that the other two newspapers conspired to bar distribution of the new newspaper at area stores.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 14:41

Are Stokstad (Norway), executive vice president at A-Pressen, discussed that electronic reading devices are now making it necessary to build a strategy for newspapers that combines both the traditional newspaper and the business modelfor e-reading.

Large investments have been made to expand the opportunities for online newpapers. Social networking sites have become a large part of the generation of these new online papers.

"This past year 3,000 print pages originated in social media. Next year we hope to increase this number to 30,000," he said.

Social networking sites create groups of people interested in similar topics and activities. Many online newspapers are targeting their articles towards these groups, increasing online readership.

For more coverage of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum please follow us on Twitter (#WANindia09) and on our sister publications editorsweblog.org and http://www.ifra.net/blogs/wan-congress-2009.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 11:46

Martha Stone (USA), director of Shaping the Future of the Newspaper Project, talked today about the growing opportunities for newspapers through mobile phones.

"Text message advertising has become one of the hottest new ways to advertise," she said.

Stone also explained how mobile phones have become more than a way to just communicate with others. Phones are becoming more advanced and can now be used not only for talking and texting, but also for online searching, television, blogs, advertising, alerts, and much more.

World Digital Media Trends, created by the SFN project, which this blog is a part of, conducts research each year to show the latest revenue and newspaper trends. This year's study was posted in June and predicts the continued growth of digital media.

For more coverage of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum please follow us on Twitter (#WANindia09) and on our sister publications editorsweblog.org and http://www.ifra.net/blogs/wan-congress-2009.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-30 11:35

The November 18 edition of The Amazing Spiderman features a villain named Electro posing as a modern-day Robin Hood in order to fight a newspaper bailout because he wants the government funds for himself, Mania reported Monday. Issue 612 of Spiderman is not the first comic to deal with the issue of failing newspapers, though it may be the lengthiest or most in-depth.

This fantastical treatment of current events is plausibly enjoyable, according to High Five! Comics. The Daily Bugle - now a tabloid titled DB - is hurting and won't survive without financial help. Of course, Spiderman steps in to reverse the sinister plot concocted by Electro, whereby the villain incites a near-riot, uploading video of it to YouTube and arousing anti-newspaper sentiment by virtue of the viral spectacle.

Pulitzer-prize winning comic strip Doonesbury has also run a storyline featuring a failing print newspaper, The Washington Post reported in September 2008. That storyline was suppressed by some papers, The Guardian said in March.

Image: High Five! Comics

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-27 14:26

Looking to exploit the circulation spike that immediately precedes early Christmas shopping, several major U.S. newspapers will charge Sunday prices for tomorrow's edition, Bloomberg yesterday reported.

Thanksgiving is not known in the industry as a big news day, per se. However, the issue is packed with retailers' advertisements in advance of Black Friday, marketed as the official start of the holiday shopping season, according to The Detroit Free Press.

And, apparently, this year's premium newspaper price phenomenon is not an isolated incident but part of a growing trend over time, Monroe on a Budget said yesterday. The Detroit (Michigan, United States) Free Press, which according to Poynter Online recently doubled its single-copy rates, will charge US$1.50 for metropolitan editions and $2 for outlying areas.

Source: Newspaper Association of America

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-25 15:10

News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch is no longer standing alone in the wind as he rails against the unpaid aggregation of content by search engine giant Google, Bloomberg reported yesterday. Publishers A.H. Belo and MediaNews Group may soon shield their content with paywalls, and de-index that paid content from search engines, Editor & Publisher reported.

Publishers resent Google because it does not share with them the money it makes from advertisements displayed next to news search results, Reuters said yesterday. Murdoch's ire goes one step further, seeking direct compensation from search engines for access to News Corp.'s articles, BBC reported yesterday.

The contemplated pullout entails severe risk of invisibility for the publications at issue, MediaBuyerPlanner yesterday observed. Currently, Google enjoys 65 percent of the U.S. search market, leaving Microsoft's Bing only 9.9 percent.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-25 13:10

Playboy Enterprises Inc. will outsource publication of its magazine to American Media Inc., Agence France Presse reported today. Outsourcing all functions besides editorial is being done to cut costs, and the company stated it hopes the move will bring the magazine back to profitability in 2011.

AMI is the fourth-largest magazine publisher in the United States. The Chicago-based Playboy is expected to lose about US$8 million by the end of this year, and $5 million in 2010, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. About 25 jobs will be lost in the restructuring. Circulation, production, advertising sales, marketing and other services will be handled by AMI, The Associated Press reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-24 23:05

German publisher Axel Springer has acquired the Russian arm of Gruner+Jahr, another German publisher. The Russian titles will continue to operate under the G+J banner, with licensing of the respective names to Axel Springer. The acquisition - the value of which was not disclosed - must be approved by antitrust authorities before it can be finalised.

Axel currently publishes the Russian print editions and Web sites of Forbes, Newsweek, OK and Computer Bild. The merger adds to its list of titles: GEO, GALA Biografia, GEO Traveller, and GEOLenok print magazines as well as GEO.ru, Moi-Roditeli.ru, and MoiZvezdi.ru Web sites.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-24 18:39

Following a scathing series about Scientology by the St. Petersburg Times, high-ranking members of the controversial institution have arranged to buy a sister publication of the newspaper, The New York Times yesterday reported.

The impending purchase of Governing magazine, now owned by St. Petersburg's parent, raised some concern following an unrelated flap about religious indoctrination at the church-owned Washington Times, The New York Times said.

The Scientologists buying the magazine told The New York Times their religious affiliation has no bearing on the publication's future performance.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, the sale of Governing would be the third Washington affiliate Times Publishing has sold in the last two years. In July, it sold Congressional Quarterly, a profitable D.C.-based publication, to British-owned Roll Call. Last year, Times Publishing sold CQ's books division, CQ Press, to Sage Publications of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-24 14:56

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has expressed absolute dismay and condemnation of the horrific massacre of 12 journalists, in an attack on a convoy in the southern Philippines which killed at least 46 people.

The journalists were travelling with a group of politicians and political supporters planning to file nomination papers for Esmael Mangudadatu, an opposition gubernatorial candidate in Maguindanao province, when the attack occurred on 23 November.

According to local reports, around 100 armed men, allegedly supporters of the current governor, ambushed the group and took the victims to a remote location where some of them were killed and buried in a mass grave. More members of the group are missing, and are also believed to have been murdered. There is evidence that the journalists were specifically selected for murder.

In a statement, WAN-IFRA, the global association of the world's press, called on the Philippine government to urgently investigate this monstrous attack and bring its perpetrators to justice. The association said an "unprecedented" government response was necessary, in a country with a long history of violence against journalists and civilians.

Author

Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman

Date

2009-11-24 13:31

U.S. newspapers are losing print subscribers, but some are seeing circulation numbers rise, The Associated Press reported Sunday, in an article titled "Newspaper circulation may be worse than it looks."

Some newspapers' overall circulation is on the upswing, as the Audit Bureau of Circulations' new standards allow newspapers to count electronic edition sales, those on a subscriber-only Web site or the the digital version of the print product. The standards sometimes also allow publications to count a subscriber twice if a bundled subscription - both print and electronic - is sold to that subscriber.

Critics of the new auditing standards say newspapers are cheating, while others say that as newspapers adapt and grow digitally, ignoring all the readership that happens across digital platforms would be unfair. Many reports focused on the case of the Las Vegas Review Journal, which saw circulation increase by 6.6 percent this year, despite weekday print sales dropping by 12,000 copies.

Photo: Flickr/MIT-Libraries
"It's important to show advertisers we are fighting the good fight and using other platforms to reach readers," Steve Coffeen, circulation director of the Review-Journal, told The AP.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-23 21:14

Google Wave - available only in experimental quantities yet - is already changing the way traditional publishers produce the news, Mashable reported Sunday. Because its interactive structure permits real-time dialogue with readers, Wave has prompted news editors to adjust budget lines to match public interest as it emerges throughout the day.

"It's a lot more live than Twitter because it's like you can see people typing and everybody gets to know each other," RedEye Web editor Stephanie Yiu was quoted as saying. "It's really about connecting with our readers on a new platform. We're learning with our readers and moving forward together."
RedEye is a Chicago Tribune free daily, and its blog describes itself as "print media rebooted and reborn," RedEye states on its Twitter site.

RedEye launched its first public wave on November 10, according to a blog post on that date inviting Google Wave previewers to participate. Apparently, though, other internal waves have been used as well as a forum for assigning stories and developing other content by publications experimenting with the new platform.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-23 16:35

Microsoft recently offered News Corp. an undisclosed sum to make its articles unsearchable by Microsoft's chief competitor: Google, The Financial Times yesterday reported. The rumour comes even as News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has complained that Google shamelessly steals his media company's wares, The New York Times reported yesterday.

Various analysts have observed that newspapers have always been free to shield their products from indexing by Google. Shielding requires coding a no-index label into material published via Internet, like sewing a tag into the neckband of a sweater.

The worry has been whether readers will actively reach for news when it cannot be easily located. Thus, to shut out other search engines in favour of Microsoft's Bing, rather than withdraw from all sites altogether, might help both parties to any contemplated agreement.
The Financial Times further noted in its article that Microsoft's willingness to pay nearly any price to amass Google's share of the search engine market bodes well for the ailing newspaper business.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-23 16:23

A colorable offer has come forward for a Pulitzer prize-winning newspaper which its bankrupt publisher had planned to shutter at year's end, The Portales News-Tribune Friday reported.

The East Valley Tribune's publisher, Freedom Communications Inc., has operated in receivership since filing for bankruptcy protection. Thus, it must obtain judicial approval for any sale of assets to occur. Judicial approval will likely chiefly entail review of the priority of distribution of any proceeds obtained.

The identity of the buyer was not revealed nor was the agreed-upon purchase price disclosed. The East Valley Tribune is based in Mesa, Arizona in the southwestern part of the United States.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-23 16:01

Release of an electronic chalkboard from MacIntosh has been postponed so many times that PC World Thursday joined other gadget analysts in speculating that the much-anticipated product might be dead in the water. However, neither repeated design delays nor rumours that the project will ultimately be abandoned has stopped Conde Nast magazines from proceeding with development of Apple Tablet-compatible editions by pdf-maker Adobe, Mac Rumors said Saturday.

The Tablet's latest slow-up was attributed to a switch in subparts by DigiTimes on Thursday. Nevertheless, Conde Nast has prepared tablet-ready editions - for Apple, or its competitors - starting with a digital version of Wired, according to All Things Digital. To cement its commitment, Wired followed that report with a video published Saturday demonstrating the concept.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-23 15:33

The Chicago News Cooperative, which we first reported on last month, launched today, publishing its first stories in The New York Times Chicago edition.

The first piece of journalism is about profits from Chicago's parking meter operations; the rest can be found here. Getting help from non-profit journalism firms is being discussed at length by publishers searching to cut costs, but not content. Critics, however, say that for these investigative enterprises to really work, they must produce important reporting that isn't available elsewhere.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-20 23:44

What happens when there's more work to do than one editorial staff can handle? In the case of The Hartford Courant, the largest newspaper in Connecticut, United States, the answer is "aggregation," which on Thursday turned into a plagiarism lawsuit, filed by a smaller, family-owned newspaper, The Associated Press reported.

The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Connecticut, is suing The Courant, stating The Courant saved money by cutting back on local staff, only to publish the Journal Inquirer's reports under Courant reporters' bylines. Last summer, The Courant also began aggregating local news and summarising or re-writing the articles, and then attributing them to the original news outlets.

The Tribune Co., which owns The Courant, defended the practice, saying it is admissible, as long as the reports aren't contained in the print edition. However, in September, Courant CEO and Publisher Richard Graziano apologised for the practice, according to The AP.

As with other Tribune newspapers, The Courant has undergone a large number of layoffs, leaving just a skeleton crew to cover the news, leading editors to scramble for enough coverage, according to the Baltimore City Paper.

The lawsuit lists 11 local news stories that the Journal Inquirer says The Courant took from the Journal Inquirer and published as original content.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-20 23:08

According to comScore, Yahoo! News was the top news site in 2008, with 40 million unique visitors, up from about 35 million in 2007, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported.

MSNBC, CNN and AOL News followed, with about 33 million, 31 million, and 27 million unique visitors in 2008.

Nielsen's data differed a little - MSNBC on the top with nearly 39 million unique visitors in 2008, followed by Yahoo! News and CNN, with about 36 million unique visitors each, according to the report, World Digital Media Trends 2009, released by SFN and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-11-20 17:12

The Financial Times will lift a year-long ban on raises and also increase its minimum wage for entry-level journalists in the new year, The Guardian reported yesterday.

FT Managing Editor Dan Bogler was quoted by The Guardian as saying that instituting the modest increase of 2 percent "balances a decent reward for everyone's efforts with a need to be careful about how far we increase our fixed costs."

The announcement comes a month after FT's parent, Pearson, revealed expectations that the worst of the recent economic crisis was over.

"In FT Publishing, the Financial Times continued to face a weak market for financial and corporate advertising in the third quarter, but it is benefiting from its long-term strategy of earning premium revenues from users for valued content in print and online," CEO Marjorie Scardino was quoted as saying by Fitz & Jen in October.

In 2007, FT instituted a firewall around its online edition, which boasts a paying base of more than 121,000 subscribers. Paid online subscriptions are up 22 percent from last year.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-20 16:12

Colin Lin, 50, invites fellow couturiers the world over to brainstorm new uses for old newspapers, according to The Associated Press. The Taiwan-based designer has already come up with her own strategy: attach them to strips of cotton and weave them into shoes and bags that are ecofriendly as well as profitable.

"I only contribute very little to recycling all the newspapers dumped everyday around the world," Lin was quoted in today's AP article as saying. "But other footwear and bag manufacturers may want to copy my idea and so contribute their own share to dealing with the problem."

Apparently, some already have. The full wardrobe of a fashion show at Hainan University last October featured nothing but recycled newspaper clothing, as China View then reported.

Photo: AP, via Daily Press

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-20 15:34


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