Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Visual journalism helps BBC solve 3 audience challenges

 inma reporting:
BBC needed help showing audiences it is distinctive and modern, as well as a way to help audiences truly understand the news. From covering the landing of a robot on a comet to local hospital performance, the media company’s visual journalism team is leading its effort to connect with audiences in a multi-media market.
Visual journalism can help with three particular challenges our audience presents us with:
  1. Distinctiveness: It can help us stand out in a world where we may be covering many of the same stories as our competitors.
  2. Modernity: Visual journalism — where we may use our virtual reality studio to put a correspondent on the sea floor, or create a game so our users can try to land the Philae lander on a comet themselves — shows our audience that we are a lively, innovative, modern media outfit.
  3. Understanding (or maybe that should have been first): They say a picture can tell a thousand words. The same can be true of visual journalism.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Digital News Report: Journalists Still Matter

Reuters Institute reporting:
The third annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report shows that as the online news environment grows ever more crowded, journalists play an important role in driving traffic to news brands and in encouraging people to pay for them.
The digital age has brought about a shift towards journalists as a key reason for using or trusting particular online sources of news.
The reputation of individual writers is cited as one of the key reasons why people might be prepared to pay for online news.
Following a year in which Glenn Greenwald emerged from relative obscurity to become a star name after his work with the fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2014 suggests he is part of a wider trend.
The report is based on a survey conducted in US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Brazil and Japan. Total sample size was 18859 adults with around 2000 per country. Fieldwork was undertaken at the end of January/start of February 2014. The survey was carried out online. The data was weighted to targets set on age and gender, region, newspaper readership and social grade to reflect the total population.
In a number of countries, notably France, Spain and the US, the role of the journalist is now considered almost as important in driving trust as the role of the news brand itself.
As report author Nic Newman says: “This is particularly true where traditional titles are weaker, or face challenge from online-only news sites, many of which are increasingly built around the personality and skills of a columnist or reporter”...
...Young people, the readers and viewers of tomorrow, are turning increasingly to mobile devices as their preferred way of receiving news and consequently “snacking” more in terms of both the time spent on sites and the type of content they consume.
Across all 10 countries surveyed, over a third (36percent) of 18-24s say the smartphone is now their primary access point for digital news. The report reveals that young people in particular (18-35) increasingly rely on social sources like Facebook and Twitter to discover news stories. It also highlights the rise of WhatsApp as a significant new network for sharing and discussing the news particularly in Spain, Italy and our sample in urban Brazil.

Czech Study: Social Media as a News Source?

Reuters Institute reporting:
Journalists often claim that social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, have become important news sources, but have they? Researchers from Charles University in Prague studied Czech media to establish to what extent traditional journalistic methods are being replaced by social media platforms. They found that, despite the growing use of digital sources, their impact on mainstream news is still relatively low.
Most previous studies into social media and news have been conducted in Western Europe and the United States. Results have so far been conflicting. The Czech study, by thePolCoRe group at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, aimed to provide a new perspective. Instead of looking at the impact of social media during particular news events, the researchers took a different approach. Václav Štětka, the PolCoRe group leader said: “We deliberately selected a period where no elections or any known significant events took place. Our data then better reflects how Czech media works under natural circumstances.”,,,
The analysis also showed that social media are used as a source – of both text and pictorial information – in topics such as sport, celebrities or crime – so-called ‘soft news’. This applies to all examined media, except for the financial newspaper Hospodářské noviny and the public radio station Český rozhlas, which used social media as a source of more serious, up-to-date news (‘hard news’).
Researchers also looked at how the selected media worked with social media information. They demonstrated this by noting which individuals were quoted from Facebook or Twitter (and YouTube, to a negligible extent): sportsmen (34% of articles mentioning social media as a source), followed by “common people” (24%), celebrities (15,5%), and politicians (15,2%).
The rather high percentage of “vox populi” could indicate that media are more open to non-elite voices. However, it has to be pointed out that “common citizens” were quoted only in connection with criminal topics and did not get any chance to comment on political or economic topics.
“The research has shown that the role of social media as a source of information for Czech media is still rather peripheral; it has also indicated that social media contribute to the trend of tabloidization of print, since they are hardly ever used as a source of hard news,” said Václav Štětka and Radim Hladík...

The NY Times runs its first print native ad

digiday reporting:
The New York Times has been producing increasingly elaborate native ads online, and now it has gone a step further by extending the format to print for the first time.
The ad, for Shell, is set to appear in print and online Wednesday, and it’s a far cry from the advertorials of days past. First, the size: The print component is an eight-page section that’s wrapped around home-delivered copies. (In the case of newsstand copies, the ad wraps the business section.) The top sheet is opaque vellum, for extra effect. The print creative extends the Web version, with infographics that show the urbanization of the world’s population. In what the Times called “icing on the cake,” the print ads are enhanced by augmented reality, so that people using the Blippar app can initiate a video by holding their phone over the page.So-called native ads, which mimic the look and feel of editorial, have largely been an online phenomenon, because the Web offers more multimedia capabilities than print. The print edition has always been treated with kid gloves compared to the Web anyway, where ads have been more intrusive. This is especially true at venerated news organizations including the Times have been sensitive to criticism that native advertising, by its very nature, is trying to trick the reader into thinking it’s editorial content.Native ads, then, have been slow to come to print (although some would say they’ve existed for decades, in the form of fashion magazine ads and advertorials). The Washington Post ran its first print native ad in October, also, as it happens, for Shell, but other than sharing the same physical space as news articles, the ad didn’t match the editorial quality of the host publication, which many would say is a crucial ingredient of native ads. http://digiday.com/publishers/new-advertorial-ny-times-runs-first-print-native-ad/

Why social is key to creating habit-forming news products

medium reporting:
Social media editors such as myself may often be judged on the traffic they drive to a news site rather than on reader engagement.
Here is a theory for demonstrating the importance of social engagement and how community is key to triggering a habit that will make readers return frequently and, for news sites with a pay model, encourage subscriber sign ups and retention. Much of this post has been influenced by a talk by Nir Eyal (thanks toKristine Lowe for blogging about it).
Why do people form habits around products?According to Nir Eyal, it’s often fear that encourages a person to return to a product again and again. Boredom drives return visits to YouTube,loneliness encourages people to go to Facebook, uncertainty encourages people to search Google, he says. So for newspapers, news sites and digital products, perhaps the driver isFOMO, a fear of missing out. People return to find out about the key news events that they don’t want to miss.
Rewarding readers Eyal tells us that habit-forming technology uses one or more of the rewards of ‘tribe’, ‘hunt’, and ‘self’. (I know they are off-putting terms, but stick with me on this.)...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Economist Espresso: A new daily shot of news

digiday reporting:
The Economist is the latest to join the crusade against information overload. On Thursday the British news and business publication launched The Economist Espresso, its first daily edition. As its name would suggest, Espresso is designed to complement the core weekly print magazine with a daily shot of news (it’s also a reference to the Economist’s London neighborhood that has a shared history with coffee-house culture). It’s available as an iOS and Android smartphone app or as an email.
Espresso is self-contained, with five original 150-word stories a day that are meant to give readers a sense of accomplishment, which makes it different from other email newsletters that are link collections, said Tom Standage, The Economist’s digital editor.
“One of the reasons the weekly Economist has done well is, you feel you’re completing it.” Similarly, with Espresso, he said, “We’re trying to give you a sense of being out ahead of the news. To tell you what’s going to happen and tell you what to think about it.”
The Espresso launch reflects a few trends percolating among news publishers as they try to grow the digital side of their business. Some media outlets have moved to disaggregate the main news product into smaller slices, as The New York Times has done with its NYT Now, Opinion and Cooking apps, to attract new paying customers. With Espresso, The Economist is taking a freemium approach to pricing. The product is free to existing subscribers and $4 a month to nonsubscribers. Non-paying readers can access one full article per day.



digiday reporting:
The Wall Street Journal firmly believes interactive video is the next generational leap in the digital news business, so it’s rolling out a new daily series to prove it.
On Wednesday morning, the Journal debuted its WSJ Interactive video series. Using technology from TouchCast, an interactive video platform, the Journal’s video producers can embed rich media elements inside its proprietary video player. That means viewers can click on elements inside each video to read relevant articles, watch other clips, survey real-time market data and more, all without leaving the full-screen experience of the original video.
“Everyone has been talking about bringing video to the Web,” said Andy Regal, senior executive producer of WSJ video. “But now we’re bringing the Web to video.”...

Let’s get over the whole 'newspapers are dying' thing

the guardian reporting:
...Fourthly, they are tilting their revenue balance away from advertising and towards content. The FT actually makes most of its money from content, essentially flipping the modern newspaper business model on its head. But this has benefits on the advertising side as well. The greater behavioural and demographic insight that comes with membership plans and paywalls helps newspapers move away from empty calories like slideshow page views towards more valuable engagement metrics like time spent.
Finally, along with dozens of other industries, they recognise the increasing importance of live events. The Guardian is a pioneer in this category – or at least it will be when its event space opens in 2016. Membership access to TED-style forums, celebrity speakers, music concerts and Mediterranean cruises is one way to broaden the subscription experience and connect like-minded readers.
So let’s get over the whole “newspapers are dying” thing. They’re certainly moving in lots of creative new directions (and eventually they may ascend out of physical world altogether - holograms, maybe?), but they’re definitely not going gently into that good night...http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/nov/07/newspapers-not-dying-buzzfeed-new-york-times?CMP=new_1194

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spain passes ‘Google tax’ allowing publishers to charge aggregators fee for displaying their content in search results

Talking NewMedia reporting:
The Spanish parliament is the latest to empower publishers to charge search engines a fee whenever they aggregate their online news content in search results. The law goes into effect on January 1.
The new law, Canon AEDE, is similar to efforts in other countries, namely Germany, where news organizations have lobbied to have laws passed that would require Google to pay publishers for displaying content. The problem, of course, is that Google simply says it will not pay, and will, if forced, eliminate the news content of publishers from their search result. The effect is the decrease the web traffic going to publishers, and therefore decreasing the money publishers make online.

Newspapers are just ...old

baekdal reporting:
t's not that newspapers are a particularly bad product. It's not that you don't cover important stories. And it's not that people no longer need or want to get news.
It's just that the way you do it... feels old. It's like you are not in touch with what people expect from a media company in the connected world.
Let me give you a typical example: Here is a link to an article from the Washington Post about the explosion at NASA of the Antares rocket. Like so many other news articles, it illustrates a fundamental disconnect from the kind of reporting you would see from digital native media.
First of all, the article has a print focus, in which the journalist at no point takes into account that online we have both images and videos....
Not to mention this part:
The White House said President Obama was briefed on the explosion. The crew of the space station reportedly witnessed the accident on a video feed.
So did Obama have something interesting to say about it? And what did the crew of ISS have to say about it? Why is Washington Post providing us with information that contains no insight?...
You don't have a future if what you write are articles like the one from the Washington Post, articles that have no distinction and is merely delivering information. Not only because you would then have no distinction between your articles and thousands of others, but also because those types of articles will be fully automated in the future.
Computers already have the capabilities, but we still have a problem with the original data being inaccessible. But that too is changing.
Newspapers have a Blackberry moment. It's not that people don't need news, and it's not really that the newspapers posts specifically bad articles. It's just that the way it's done feels out of touch, and people are increasingly seeking other options.
Most newspapers feel like they are not really present. There is a huge disconnect between how you report the news, and how people feel when they read it. It's like the newspapers are living in some kind of 3rd party world. They are never really connected to either the reader or the story.
This is not something you solve by changing the format or creating a new design. This is something you solve by changing the way you communicate. When people today read an article about something, they need to feel that the journalist has an interest in this story. They need to feel that the story is more than just 'a job that had to be done' for the sake of 'a newspaper company focusing on their business metrics'...

The New York Times’ financials show the transition to digital accelerating

Ken Doctor reporting:
Call it an acceleration of the digital transition. Those are the words that best describe this morning’s New York Times Co. Q3 financial report and conference call.
Take the month of October — the biggest ad revenue month of the year for the Times.
Digital advertising will be up about 15 percent this month, says Times Co. chief financial officer Jim Follo, but print advertising will be down about 10 percent, with total ad revenue down 5 percent. The delta is widening, though these are not placid waters. Choppy or “volatile,” as CEO Mark Thompson said, repeating that word many times to describe the ups and downs of print ad revenue. “Inexplicable” is another word Thompson used, trying to explain the vagaries of managing a declining, if still valuable, print ad business.
...Overall, the Times reported adjusted operating profit at $40 million, down $5 million a year ago.
Much more important to understand than these bottom line numbers are the ones that illustrate the quickening acceleration to digital.
Look only at the income results of the quarter — an overall 0.8 percent increase in revenues — and you’d miss the drama of that volatility. What seems like a smooth drive is actually quite a bumpy journey. Advertising is moving profoundly (but haphazardly) from print to digital, as are readers. While the Times could count 44,000 new digital subscribers in the quarter, a 20 percent year-over-year increase, it lost 5.2 percent of its daily print readers — and, more worryingly, 3.5 percent of its Sunday print subscribers. The Times already counts more digital subs than print ones, and the divide is widening...

8 Content Campaigns That Have Rocked 2014 (Thus Far)

adweek reporting:
It says something about our media culture that in a short time the term “native advertising” has gone from industry buzzword to pop culture punch line.
The two most memorable references come from HBO. On “Girls,” Lena Dunham’s Hannah takes—and soon leaves—a writing job in the sponsored content department at GQ. More recently on "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver delivers an entertaining riff about the profusion of “sponsored content” on news sites.
Oliver conceded that Netflix's native ad for the New York Times about female prison inmates, promoting the series "Orange Is the New Black," was “about as good as it gets.” This got us thinking about all the other noteworthy executions this year which demonstrate that sponsored content can indeed be good—nay, great—content. With that in mind, we asked some of the native advertising gurus here at HuffPost-AOL to name their picks for the most notable native or branded content campaigns of the year thus far, both from around the Web as well as in-house.

From BBC to BuzzFeed: lessons in mobile publishing

theguardian reporting:
The mobile tipping point happened for the BBC earlier this year. It’s happened for the Guardian, where the mobile traffic accounts for around 60% at weekends. And the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports that more people now access retail sites via mobile than desktop, by a ratio of 52 to 48.
But what does this trend mean for those involved in digital publishing? How does it inform the decisions publishers, editors, journalists and content sellers make? At the Press Gazette’s News on the Move conference earlier this month, five well-known media brands shared some lessons in mobile publishing.
1. Plan for the extended internet day – and week..
2. Think format
That’s format as in layout and format as in genre. “It’s about making [the text] scannable, quite modular,” said Nathalie Malinarich, mobile editor for BBC News
3. Remember, the web still rules
Smartphone and tablet users prefer news websites to news apps. At least that’s what the traffic figures suggest. At the Guardian, 20% of total page views come from the app while some 40% of page views come from mobile users visiting the website. What does this mean? It means you should have a robust business case before embarking on an app project. If you can’t make the case then a responsive, mobile-friendly website is probably the way to go. At least in the short term.
4. Use apps to upsell
5. Don’t forget the role of social media
7. It’s the content, stupid
For Alan Hunter, head of digital at The Times and The Sunday Times, it’s not principally about device or technology – it’s about the quality of the editorial. “Really great stories are what sell digital products. All our best hits, best dwell time are on the best stories,” Hunter said.” “You can’t put lipstick on a pig and hope it’s going to look good.”

Should journalism worry about content marketing?

CJR reporting:
Content marketing is so broad that it eludes definition even by its most ardent practitioners, but the term includes essentially any form of content (a Facebook post, a celebrity Q&A, a feature-length documentary) created by or on behalf of a brand with the hope that it will attract an audience on its own merits—as opposed to traditional advertising, which has the far smaller ambition of gaining notice from a captive audience before the ad break ends, or the page gets flipped, and the real content begins. - See more at: http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/should_journalism_worry_about.php?page=all#sthash.FBfkbBDX.dpuf
... content marketing is so broad that it eludes definition even by its most ardent practitioners, but the term includes essentially any form of content (a Facebook post, a celebrity Q&A, a feature-length documentary) created by or on behalf of a brand with the hope that it will attract an audience on its own merits—as opposed to traditional advertising, which has the far smaller ambition of gaining notice from a captive audience before the ad break ends, or the page gets flipped, and the real content begins...
... BuzzFeed was a pioneer of native ads, and in doing so created a new kind of media company that functions as a hybrid of news publisher and ad agency. BuzzFeed employs an editorial team of more than 200 to produce everything from foreign coverage to funny quizzes, and a creative team of 65 that produces work in BuzzFeed’s editorial sensibility on behalf of corporate clients. Native ads are seen by some as a natural progression for publishers seeking new ways to connect their audience with advertisers, and by others as journalism selling its last point of distinction to the highest bidder. The debate is ongoing among everyone, it seems, but journalism CEOs: Virtually every major publisher is now pursuing native advertising in some form. The genre has had both success stories (The New York Times’ explainer on women in prison on behalf of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black), and failures (The Atlantic’s advertorial love letter to the Church of Scientology). But one day soon, native advertising may be recalled as a quaint evolutionary step, as brands are increasingly comfortable simply reaching an audience themselves.