Monday, May 12, 2014

Unsatisfied US journalists believe journalism is heading in the wrong direction

theguardian reporting:
US journalists, who are less satisfied with their work and have less autonomy than previously, believe journalism is headed in the wrong direction.
These are the initial findings of a survey of conducted by the Indiana university journalism school, "The American journalist in the digital age."
Compared to a similar study in 2002, there are notable changes in attitude among reporters and editors, along with changes in daily work methods.
So what's wrong with the direction? When asked about the "most important problem facing journalism today," the respondents mentioned the following issues: declining profits (mentioned by 20.4%); threats to profession from online media (11.4%); job cuts and downsizing (11.3%); the need for a new business model and funding structure (10.8%); and the tendency towards hasty reporting (9.9%).
The journalists now rely heavily on social media to check for breaking news and to monitor what other news organisations are doing.
Most see this as a positive trend, agreeing that social media promotes them and their work, keeps them more engaged with their audiences and leads to faster reporting.
Far fewer say that social media has decreased their workload, improved their productivity, allowed them to cover more news or enhanced their credibility.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Measuring the news: what are the alternatives to pageviews? reporting:
Pageviews often dominate the conversation in terms of measuring a website's performance, but is this the correct way to measure a news organisation's online success? And if no, what alternatives are there?

Speaking at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, these questions were posed by Pier Luca Santoro, a social media editor at La Stampa and founder of Data Hub, to a panel of experts on the issue of metrics....
Santoro suggested that, with the advent of social media, the amount of times a piece of content has been shared online could be both a quantitative and qualitative measurement of a piece of content's success.

"What makes that metric really interesting is that it's standardised," said Galant, "it's the same for any publication and it's public."

Pageviews are recorded internally and verified by independent organisations, while social shares are recorded by third parties and open for all to see.

"For the first time ever in the history of journalism we have a public, standardised metric," he said, but Haile questioned whether that truly solved the problem of measuring quality of content over a more quantitative value.

"The number of shares and the amount of attention do not sync up," he said, citing a recent Chartbeat study into audience habits on social media, that reported many people will share a story without reading it...
A more accurate metric in showing how engaged readers are in articles or other types of content may be time, suggested Haile, as it gauges the quality of content and therefore the success of a news organisation.

Advertisers have been buying on time for far longer than they have on anything elseTony Haile, Chartbeat
"The fact is advertisers have been buying on time for far longer than they have on anything else," he said, referring to television or radio advertising, and whether it's for two hours once a day or 20 seconds five times a day, time shows value because "you're competing against the entire sum of human endeavour" in gaining someone's attention.

"We've now established a common methodology," he said, "which is when you're actively attentive you're looking at the screen and doing something – scrolling, moving mouse or tapping," and Chartbeat have begun to measure the time readers spend on content as engagement....

How the L.A. Times is redesigning for the mobile Web

Digiday reproting:
Newspapers lag far behind in the share of time spent on mobile devices. That’s a reality the Los Angeles Times is hoping to counter when it relaunches its site early Tuesday morning with mobile users top of mind.
“We know that there are readers who are coming to us increasingly on mobile,” said Emily Smith, svp of digital for the Times. “We’ve not yet reached the turning point where they are the majority, but that day will come soon. So we are absolutely getting ready for that moment. We knew that we had to rethink the experience on a mobile screen. We also knew we had to future-proof our platform, because we wanted to be available on all the new devices, regardless of what screen sites are coming out.”, which was designed with help from Code & Theory, will be fully responsive when it goes live after midnight on May 6 — making it the latest publisher in the industry to pay more than lip service to being “mobile first.”
With people increasingly coming straight to articles through social sharing, the Times realized it needed to make article pages the new home page. So at the end of articles, readers will be given recommendations for content elsewhere on the site. That’s pretty standard, but readers also can view that content by just continuing to scroll without going to a new page, doing away with endless clicking.
A key feature is the visual browse, which lets readers search content by displaying stories by section in an image-based way. The feature reflects the visual nature of the way people are consuming news and content on mobiles and tablets....
Finally, the Times is trying to make it easier for people to share stories. A third, notable feature is the Sharelines. They’re prewritten summaries of articles that lie below each article. So if a reader wants to share an article on Facebook or Twitter, the tweet is written for them. Not bad — readers can sound intelligent without even reading the article.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why we see journalists as conversation leaders and readers as expert contributors

At De Correspondent, we owe our very existence to our members, since we launched our Dutch ad-free journalism platform after raising a total of 1.7 million dollars with a world record breaking crowd-funding campaign. We encourage our correspondents — who all have their own niche — to tell the stories that they feel are important, instead of just following the hype cycle of the news.
By doing this, we try to go from ‘news’ to ‘new’.
These ‘new’ insights do not only come from our correspondents setting their own news agenda. No, lots of insights are shared with us by our members. This makes sense, since a thousand school teachers who read De Correspondent together know more than just one Education correspondent.
And we’re just getting started. Here’s how we’re trying to turn our correspondents into conversation leaders and our members into expert contributors.

1. We don’t call them ‘comments’, we prefer ‘contributions’

Instead of asking for their opinions, we ask our readers to share their ‘experience and knowledge’. And we don’t say ‘comments’, we prefer ‘contributions.’ This may seem like a minor detail, but the first step to great reader contributions is an articulation of your expectations.

for more advise see

Does having native advertising make a news site less credible? This study, at least, suggests no

Nieman Journalism Lab reporting:
Native advertising is providing an ever-larger chunk of digital revenue for publishers these days. But despite (or perhaps because of) the money, lots of journalists are still squeamish about the topic. They worry that, at its core, native advertising is about tricking your reader into reading an ad and thinking its editorial content. Why would a reader who feels duped by a news brand ever want to return to it?
That’s the question that led Patrick Howe and Brady Teufel of Cal Poly to publish a research paper titled “Native Advertising and Digital Natives: The Effects of Age and Advertisement Format on News Website Credibility Judgments.” Howe, an AP journalist turned academic, said he heard experienced journalists worrying about the declining quality of advertising and the potential ethical dilemmas of native advertising...
...In fact, people in both age groups felt more or less the same about the credibility of the two sites, regardless of what kind of advertising it displayed. Young people were slightly more likely to recognize native advertising as an ad, but what they saw did not influence their judgment of the site. Older viewers, meanwhile, tended to find the news site more credible no matter what, suggesting that older readers of digital media are more trusting and less judgmental than their younger counterparts....