WAN-IFRA

Shaping the Future of the Newspaper

Date

Wed - 22.10.2014


November 2009

The executive editor of The Washington Times walked out on the newspaper effective November 6, 2009, The Associated Press reported today. John Solomon, formerly with The Washington Post, had only held the position since January 2008.

Politico yesterday reported that The Times had announced on Monday its dismissal of three top executives: President and Publisher Tom McDevitt, Chief Financial Officer Keith Cooperrider, and Board Chairman Dong Moon Joo. In the leadership wake, Jonathan Slevin ascended to acting president and publisher.

In a separate announcement, The Times' human resource department issued a memorandum to employees stating that the company would no longer contribute to pensions starting today, Talking Points Memo today reported.

The Washington Monthly magazine speculated on Wednesday that the newspaper was facing financial difficulties it might not be able to outlast.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-13 17:42

Third quarter profits at one of the world's largest media companies were up compared to the same time last year, while operating profit was also up, Dow Jones reported today. German publisher Bertelsmann AG's profit after taxes reached €87 million, compared to €15 million in the third quarter last year, when charges of €59 million hurt profits.

Revenue, however, was down 5 percent, from €3.8 billion in the third quarter last year, to €3.6 billion in the quarter this year, according to a BusinessWeek report.

The profit increase is thanks to cutting costs, and its 2+5 programme, which Bertelsmann's executive board adopted earlier this year to help stabilise businesses and preserve liquidity, WorldScreen.com reported.

The programme has helped the company save more than €900 million so far this year, according to a press release.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-13 00:43

Penn State University is launching a pilot programme in a partnership with USA Today, which distributes its "e-edition" of the publication to all students, faculty and staff, the Daily Collegian reported.

Students can also choose to sign up and receive their e-edition through "Campus Buzz," an e-mail notification.

"We want to know how people react to the online edition," said Nancy Gromen, web developer in education resource development for USA Today Education.

The e-edition has different features than these on the newspaper's Web site, she said. The Campus Buzz can also direct readers to the entire story through a direct link.The new programme will be evaluated in the spring semester next year, compared to the hard copies distributed on campus. "Changes will be made based on the evaluation," she said.

According to journalism professor Russell Frank, the e-edition is a positive effort. He said the numbers of hard-copy circulation and online registration may not truly reflect the total amount of students reading what's there.

"Any mechanism that gets the news into students' hands or in front of their eyes is worth a try," he said. "But the interest has to be there.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-11-12 23:15

The Detroit Free Press, of Michigan, United States, may have sparked a firestorm last week when it admitted to fulfilling corporate requests to coordinate the placement of a Target store ad with stories on education, MinnPost reported Tuesday. The MinnPost's article, denying similar practices, was prompted by a story on the subject published by The Wall Street Journal on November 2.

In the article, The Wall Street Journal questioned the ethics of taking editorial suggestions from commercial interests outside the newsroom despite the evident opportunity to maximise an advertiser's return on investment such a practice would represent. Meanwhile, The MinnPost, of Minnesota, United States, is a nonprofit entity, funded by several charitable organisations, fundamentally altering its business model from that historically followed by a commercial newsgathering enterprise.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-12 22:39

An Armenian trial court hearing a breach of contract complaint settled the suit not by ordering that the debt be repaid, but by ordering the newspaper to cease operations altogether, Armtown reported Tuesday.

The newspaper, Tchorrord Ishkhanuntyun, changed hands and is publishing under a new masthead in the face of the order, a reporter for PanARMENIAN is quoted as saying. However, the plaintiff, Gind, is seeking enforcement of the injunction obtained against former owner Ogostos Ltd. to extend to the newspaper's new publisher, Koghmnaki Andzants M.

The original complaint, seeking payment of a debt, apparently never requested judicial relief in the form of the newspaper's outright closure. The amount of the litigated debt was not immediately clear from available reports on the incident.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-12 22:25

A former editor who was fired from her position at the New York Post in September sued her former employer Monday, claiming her dismissal was discriminatory and stemmed from her complaints surrounding an editorial cartoon that critics said likened U.S. President Barack Obama to a dead chimpanzee, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. Sandra Guzman served as an associate editor at the Post since 2003.

The suit puts the magazine's parent company, media conglomerate News Corp., at the centre of yet another legal controversy this week. The Post maintains Guzman's position was eliminated because " the section she edited was discontinued due to a decline in advertising sales," according to a statement.
Tempo magazine, a monthly insert in the Post, was apparently designed to increase readership by Latinos, which rose 40 percent under Sandra Guzman's leadership, The Courthouse News Service reported yesterday.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-12 22:01

U.S. media company Hearst Corp. may have a good reason for choosing an investment banker as its new chief financial officer: it has a US$1 billion "war chest," the New York Post reported, citing "insiders" as sources.

Hiring Mitchell Scherzer as the new CFO signals Chairman and CEO Frank Bennack's "more aggressive acquisition strategy" as he seeks new revenue streams.

Despite the corporation being debt-free, maintaining profitability and revenues of more than $7 billion, Hearst's newspapers have experienced difficulty in the past year. The San Francisco Chronicle was nearly closed earlier this year, while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer switched to online-only. However, Hearst's magazines, which include Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, have fared better than those at Condé Nast or Time Inc.

According to paidContent, Hearst will likely look to buy technology firms over editorial properties. It has already invested in E-Ink and an e-reader with FirstPaper.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 22:28

Complaining that English libel laws have the effect of extorting rather than vindicating, news publishers have spelled out the reforms they seek in the most comprehensive report on the subject to date, Journalism.co.uk reported yesterday.

The report, titled "Free Speech is not for Sale," urges parliament to adopt a single-publication rule, among other reforms, which means civil judgments are not multiplied based on the number of times a libelous statement was reprinted in various copies of the same edition. A second reform advanced by the report is the capping of libel judgments at £10,000. A third involves employing alternatives to court process, such as informal mediation and arbitration.

Currently, the UK Press Complaints Commission receives complaints from the public regarding a media outlet's violation of British law. However, as critics of the organisation today pointed out in Journalism.co.uk, the PCC has no enforcement powers and, so, does little to alleviate actual harm while unfairly bringing discredit to the industry as a whole due to its highly-publicised pronouncements.

These defectors suggest raising an alternative organisation, one more focused on the abuse of process steadily eroding freedom of the press, its supporters say.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 21:08

Internet ad spending in the United States decreased for the third consecutive quarter this year, down 4 percent to US$6.4 billion year-over-year, according to new data from IDC.

Worldwide online ad dollars slightly dropped 1 percent to $14.7 billion over the period.

Although still in decline, those figures showed an improvement compared to the prior quarter's drops of 7 percent and 5.6 percent, in the United States and worldwide, respectively. IDC said online advertising may have begun to bounce back, and it expected the U.S. market to slip again in the fourth quarter, only by about 1 percent, before actual growth is expected to return in the first and second quarters of 2010, MediaPost reported.

Other researchers also predict a rebound in 2010 for online advertising. eMarketer revised its online ad forecast for 2009 downward and expects a moderate growth in the next two years, with spending up 5.6 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, according to MediaPost.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2009-11-11 21:03

In a process underway since May 2007, a wage board established by the Indian legislature met today with newspaper employees, their unions, and their employers in the central city of Lucknow, The Press Trust of India today reported. Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, which publishes 11,789 of the country's 74,000 newspapers, The Indo-Asian News Service in July reported.

Board chairman Justice G R Majithia along with nine other members visited Uttar Pradesh for two days to gather more information toward establishing a minimum rate of pay nationwide for editorial and non-editorial employees alike. The board's recommendations are due to the legislature in May 2010, according the board's enabling legislation.

Strides to impose a fair wage on local publishers come even as India opens its journalism market to global brands such as The Wall Street Journal, as reported by The Business Standard in December 2008. Under the new standards, foreign publications can run content entirely from abroad, Mint reported in September 2008.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 18:12

An Iraqi court has ordered The Guardian newspaper to pay Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki UK £52,000 for an April article which characterized the new leader as "increasingly authoritarian," The Guardian yesterday reported. The ruling is subject yet to several appeals.

Global advocates of freedom of the press contend the lawsuit is part of a larger attack on impartial journalism throughout the region, The Guardian today reported. The prime minister's administration has apparently sued four organisations in the last year, forcing out local news agency Al-Jazeera for what the administration called anti-government bias.

The technique of silencing reporters through civil process has come to be known in English-speaking countries as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or SLAPP, according to Reporters Without Borders. Such process usually takes the form of a defamation action carried out with the aim of forcing the target, a news media or NGO, to either fold or retract because mounting legal costs or the threat of a ruinous damages award, the organisation said.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 17:48

The Church of Scientology has a long, storied tradition of fighting back in the public eye when characterised by the media as a cult, which has been often. Typically, though, the organisation's response has been limited to either suing or pursuing, according to a massive series published last week by The St. Petersburg Times. Today, the 56-year-old embattled institution turns the page.

Apparently, Scientology leadership has decided to adopt a "fight fire with fire" approach in this instance, offering employment to seasoned journalists principally in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, according to Gawker. The investigative reporters would freelance for Freedom Magazine, a publication which bills itself as covering "human rights and social betterment issues" and conducting "investigative reporting in the public interest" since 1968.

The want ad, posted by Journalism Jobs, says the freelance gig includes both "short- and long-range assignments" but can "be conducted by phone and through Internet research."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 17:11

New Zealand News UK, which suspended print publication in July, has officially sounded the death knell to its paper operations, RadioLIVE reported today.

The weekly tabloid had been published in London for expatriates of New Zealand since 1927, The New Zealand Herald today reported. The newspaper, which launched an Internet edition in 2006, will still publish via the Web, The Otago Daily News today reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-11 17:08

Mobile Internet penetration reached 18.2 percent in the United States in February 2009, the highest among the countries surveyed. It reached 16.9 percent of mobile subscribers in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2009, according to the Nielsen Company. The reach in the last quarter of 2008 in Canada was 16 percent, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported..

In France, Italy and Spain, the penetration was more than 12 percent, while in Germany it was 9.6 percent.

Among the BRIC countries, Russia had the highest penetration, which was 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2008. In China, it was 7.1 percent, while the penetration was less than 5 percent in Brazil and India, 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

2009-11-11 00:19

In a development lauded by the printer as a success, The Australian newspaper - published also in England to satisfy expats - has joined the digital revolution that is overtaking the rest of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. holdings in the United Kingdom. That is, The Australian will soon be printed at a Stroma plant in London recently automated to conduct the printing process digitally. As a result, Aussies abroad will receive their hardcopy newspapers as many as six hours earlier than their countrymen back home.

The Australian's transition to digital printing follows a similar switch in New York. News & Tech reported in October that The Wall Street Journal, historically printed at mammoth analog presses in South Brunswick, New Jersey, has converted two of its own presses to digital production and will outsource the rest of its newspaper demand to local printers.

Digital printing is in its infancy, except in Malta, where Miller Newsprint Ltd., has been churning out The Financial Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, The Daily Mirror and The Daily and Sunday Telegraph on a Kodak VL4200 for some time, News & Tech reported Thursday.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-10 18:45

The Russian edition of Forbes magazine has launched free access to its Web site, Lenta.ru reported yesterday. The online outlet contains sections such as "Main," "Economy" and "Your Business," which are further divided into sections.

In addition, the site contains video content, blogs, popular publication material, "the best" articles from the archives, links to other publications and a page on which to subscribe to the print edition, according to Lenta.ru. Visitors will be able to access any content from past editions, which have been published since 2004.

As planned, the Web site will only share half of the material with the print edition. The Web address was initially conceived as www.forbes.ru, but was finally launched as www.forbesrussia.ru.

Forbes is currently in the middle of a legal case with Landmark VIP Services, which adopted the former address as its own, Lenta.ru added. On another note, media mogul Rupert Murdoch previously expressed plans to charge for all News Corp. Web sites, the Guardian reported in August.

"Quality journalism is not cheap," said Murdoch. "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."

Author

Alisa Zykova

Date

2009-11-10 18:39

Independent News & Media bondholders today voted in a meeting to back plans for restructuring the Irish publishing group, RTÉ Business reported. A plan that would give bondholders a 46 percent stake in the group will be voted on Nov. 26 by shareholders.

"INM welcomes this essential endorsement of the restructuring and anticipates that the restructuring will now be completed on schedule and prior to the year end," the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The Guardian's Roy Greenslade stated in his blog today that INM's CEO, "Gavin O'Reilly, is on the verge of comprehensively defeating the troublesome shareholder Denis O'Brien." (Note: O'Reilly is also president of WAN-IFRA, of which SFN is part). O'Brien has previously demanded to hold several emergency meetings and has bid to unseat two board members, a move shareholders overwhelmingly voted against.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-10 18:26

Shares of Dogan Yayin - Turkey's largest media group - sank today following denials of its sale to a German publisher despite a rising tide on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Reuters reported today. Trading in the security also was suspended briefly on the basis of the rumour, Reuters India reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-10 17:32

The U.S. state of New Hampshire has taken the unprecedented move of acting as guarantor to a private bank loan on behalf of a local newspaper changing hands, The Associated Press yesterday reported. The decision to underwrite The (Claremont) Eagle Times was approved by the state's legislature Wednesday without comment.

The Valley News of Lebanon suggested Sunday that the fact that the very government which The Eagle Times is assigned to cover bailed it out of a dire financial crisis may produce an irreconcilable conflict of interest, precluding independent and objective coverage.

News of the unorthodox partnership was made public by former Claremont City Councilman Jim Sullivan at The Sullivan Report, which bills itself as being "dedicated to providing the taxpayers with 'transparency' to city government." The item was also briefly mentioned in Sunday's Nashua Telegraph in a summary of the council's meeting.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-10 17:02

Responding to constituents' resistance to behaviourally-targeted advertising, governments around the globe are considering legislation to block the Internet practise, even as the marketing tool gains momentum, The Agence France-Presse reported today.

Renewed interest in the topic arose as a result of the 31st International Conference of Personal Data and Privacy Protection Commissioners, a three-day media privacy conference held through Friday in Madrid.

Governments themselves appear to be turning to electronic tracking tools for greater behavioural enforcement of the public, according to a U.S. Senate Committee Hearing in 2000 regarding Carnivore, an FBI data-collecting software.

Nevertheless, even as officials attempt to capitalise on the exponential growth of technological capabilities, the nations they represent are reaching consensus on a need to push back commercial efforts to do the same, according to Global Privacy Standards for a Global World, a manifesto signed by many of the conference's attendees.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-09 20:50

Even as Rupert Murdoch today announced his more aggressive stance against online news aggregators, those on the other side of the aisle suggested that more, not less engagement with search engines might be a better solution.

Chris Silver Smith, director of optimisation strategies for KeyRelevance, today wrote that other than the biggest players in the dailies market, the newspapers he frequents to help with projects are usually not optimised for search engines. "It's hard to expressly invite a perceived enemy into your house on one hand while issuing invective against him on the other," he stated in his Search Engine Land column, using the example of newspapers' mixed feelings toward Google.

Smith points out that not long ago, newspapers perceived yellow page companies to be as much of a threat as they feel Google is today. Becoming more tech-savvy is the best tool, and currently newspapers have at their fingertips the possibilities of monetizing archives, as well as making on-site search better.

For search engines' spiders to better crawl, index, process and rank a page, Los Angeles Public Relations Firms recommends a few basics for Web sites looking to optimise:

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-09 20:15

News Corp. titan Rupert Murdoch has taken a more aggressive stance against online news aggregators in the wake of his delayed paywall plans for The Wall Street Journal, SkyNews today reported.

Following publishing division losses reported in July, Murdoch had announced plans to monetize all his online content, Marketing Vox reported in August. However, that dream never materialised due to the many workarounds available in the cyberworld, as described by blogger Mathew Ingram in June 2008.

Now, Murdoch, who once said it didn't matter that his material was available through Google, is starting to sound more and more like The Associated Press, who has taken on a battle royale against the search engine giant, as reported by Newsweek in October.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-09 19:54

News of the World, known for publishing salacious details of celebrities' lives, has been cleared of charges it hacked the mobile telephones of various subjects in search of bombshell coverage, Agence France-Presse today reported.

The investigation by the UK Press Complaints Commission followed The Guardian's report in July that Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers, which publishes News of the World, had paid out more than £1 million to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of the tabloid's repeated use of criminal methods to get stories.

In August 2006, a News of the World editor and a private investigator were jailed after members of the royal family told Scotland Yard that certain stories about them must have been sourced from voicemail messages on their mobile phones, The Guardian today reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-11-09 18:58

Worldwide advertising expenditure totalled US$189.6 billion in 1989, and reached $308.8 billion in 1998. That figure is expected to recess a little in 2009 to $490.5 billion, but bounce back 2010 and exceed $547 billion in 2011, according to ZenithOptimedia.

In 1989, North America contributed over 45 percent of total advertising expenditure, while Western Europe took up 30 percent, Asia Pacific another 22 percent. Other regions, such as Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and rest of the world accounted for only less than two percent, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported.

However, these three once small markets are going strong, and in 2011 are expected to account for 8.2 percent, 8.3 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Asia Pacific should remain flat at around 22 percent, while North America and Western Europe are both expected to lose significant share to 32.9 percent and 23.2 percent, respectively, 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

2009-11-09 17:34


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