Browse > Home /

#GEN2012 talks newsreader apps – ‘Let content be a travelling salesman’

By Drnantu on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Social magazines and newsreading apps are a “key part of the puzzle”, if not a game-changer on their own, when it comes to digital strategy for publishers, and news outlets should be prepared to give up control over how content is shared on other platforms.

In a session on social magazines and newsreading apps at the News World Summit in Paris editor-in-chief of Digital First Media Jim Brady said the technology is responding to the changing ways people are accessing content.

Consumers coming into the market made it pretty clear about what they want – they want choice, they don’t want to necessarily consume a package containing content from one brand.

Tthey don’t necessarily want to get it on the platform you’re delivering it to. They want to consume information by subject in a lot of cases and not by brand.

And in order to meet these needs news outlets need to “step away” from the mentality of “trying to maintain control”.

The more control you try to exert the less successful you’re going to be.

He added that publishers of high-quality content should “do all the things you have to do to let people in the world know” about what you’re producing.

Let your content serve as a travelling salesman.

Publishers’ “resistance of giving up control is something we have to give up”.

He also warned that websites are becoming “less and less important”.

Newsreading apps are highlighting that “more of your audience are consuming content, not print and not the web, a third whole category of content”, he said.

So Brady encouraged publishers to let go of control and get content on these platforms.

You can’t cant change the game until you change the thinking. That’s where we’re still short.

Robert Picard, research director at the Reuters Institute added that publishers do not have the choice of whether such platforms increase in importance.

The choice available “is whether we make use of them to best possible use”, he said.

Or news outlets can have their own social readers, he added. But then the challenge is how to get users to engage with their content, rather than others.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: Inside an analytics-driven French newsroom

June 1st, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Data, Journalism, Online Journalism

The online editor-in-chief of French financial daily Les Echos has described how a steady stream of analytics data is helping journalists do their job – and even having an impact on what appears in the print edition.

LesEchos.fr editor-in-chief François Bourboulon said the site had taken analytics seriously in the past three years. Before this time:

There was little data given to the news staff about the most read stories on the website. We have tried to change that.

We have introduced analytics and data almost everywhere and at every moment of the day. We use it as a tool for site management and also as a tool for staff management – trying to help them appropriate the website.

Bourboulon said the access to reader data had not necessarily changed the site’s editorial strategy, but “it has had an impact from time to time”.

As a specialised media we mostly know what our audience is interested in – business and finance. We use analytics to confirm our choices and see if what we have decided was a big issue – to confirm that we made a good choice.

It has changed a bit the journalistic formats we use. We know that based on what analytics tell us, we know which ones will be better as a very short piece, or an interview, or a slideshow. Analytics can show us what’s the best way to explore an issue.

What’s most surprising is analytics have helped us sometimes change our editors’ strategy in the print newspaper. Sometimes in the afternoon when we have our news meeting about what we’re going to put on the front page of the paper, all the editors are having a look at what’s hot on the site.

Dennis Mortensen, the founder and chief executive of real time newsroom analytics provider Visual Revenue said: “I think you can predict demand” – and said analytics was being used by some news organisations to make very subtle changes to story placement on a site that journalists would never have considered doing beforehand. He said they were being “empowered by data”.

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012 Ethical lessons learnt from covering the Norwegian massacre

June 1st, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Journalism

Last summer’s Oslo bombing and massacre brought up a “wide array of ethical dilemmas” for Norwegian broadcaster TV2 – whose news editor admits that they did not get everything right.

Nicklas Lysvag told the News World Summit in Paris that the channel had carried out a major review of how it handled the story, making an internal documentary based on interviews with the journalists most involved on the day.

He said he believed that the Norwegian media as a whole had gained trust from the public as a result of its responsible handling of the story.

TV2 deliberately withheld information in the early stages of the unfolding story to avoid worsening the situation for anxious parents awaiting news of their children.

It was a challenge. There was a huge demand for information. We knew a lot of stuff that was never reported on the day. The ethical choices came at us at a furious pace.

We knew more than we could broadcast and more than we could tell these parents that were looking for their kids. In a normal situation, we had good enough sources to tell our viewers that there are at least 50 dead but we waited. We could have gone out and said at least 50 – but we waited for the authorities. Most of Norway didn’t know the extent of this until four o’clock in the morning.

We have a lot of footage that we have not published. The same kind of pictures which Paris Match published last week which led to an outcry in Norway. Every parent knows exactly where their child was killed – even I know the names of these people. Would we have published it if it had happened in Asia or Africa? Yes we would – that’s double standards.

We had not had one complaint from anyone who’s had interviews aired on TV2 so we must have done something right. We have never done this on this scale before and we still meet these people in the courthouse in Oslo every day because the trial is ongoing.

TV2 made mistakes. Firstly, it quoted foreign media who appeared to have a new development in the story.

We quoted the New York Times and the BBC – both were totally wrong. Why would they know?

The broadcaster also spent too long speculating that the origin of the attacks was Muslim extremists. A freelance reporter said in a piece to camera at 7pm that the killer was a white Caucasian man, but TV2 did not respond to this new piece of information fast enough.

Everybody thought this had to be a Muslim extremist group. I’m not sure what went wrong – maybe we didn’t believe it – but we did continue to speculate towards Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

After the attack, the channel avoided asking political questions about the attacks until after the victims had been buried.

The day after, when everybody knew about this extreme situation – the numbers of the dead – we went out of character and we said: “We’re going to go with the people now”. We reported on the marches, 77 funerals. We left the criticism of the government out for several days.

It was a heart thing, not a brain thing, for several days there and I think most other Norwegian news media did the same.

TV2 has also reflected on the safety of its journalists as a result of this story.

We sent them out to a bomb site. Often there’s a bomb number two. We didn’t think of that. We just sent people out.

Lysvag said that there is still a significant untold element to the story: the background of how Anders Behring Breivik – the man who admitted to the killings – turned into a mass murderer. He said the Norwegian media could not dig into the story too much and look at his family background because of privacy laws.

I think it’s a very important story and it’s going to be told in some way because I think Norwegians are still struggling to come to terms with this.

Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell said the Oslo coverage showed that one of the biggest ethical problems facing journalists was not the media’s dealings with politicians or celebrities, but with ordinary members of the public.

Journalists and particularly photographers and cameramen are unlike ordinary sensible people who normally run away from danger. The biggest problem being a boss is trying to tell your staff not to run into danger.

While a lot of the time we spend talking about ethics has been about how we deal with politicians or the relationship between the media and celebrities, there is a much bigger problem about how we deal with ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and that’s what this was.

I don’t believe that journalists should be over-regulated. I’m basically an American first amendment fundamentalist. But that’s not to say that we shouldn’t at times restrict ourselves. Journalists have got to do one very simple thing – however much pressure is on them, they’ve got to think twice. Am I invading someone’s privacy? Yes. Am I entitled to because there’s a bigger public interest? Am I about to break the law? It’s that thinking twice that ethics is about.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: Hyperlocal and ‘mobile interactive journalism’ in Hamburg

June 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Hyperlocal, Local media

An interesting project in local reporting by Abendblatt in Hamburg was outlined by Felix Bellinger, managing director of mobile & apps at Axel Springer, at the News World Summit in Paris today.

The project, called Mein Quartier (My Part of Town) saw on-the-ground reporters – who were freelancers appointed based on their “matching” to the district – filing stories from seven city districts in a bid to increase “local insight and intensify local coverage”.

Mein Quartier, which is available to access via an iPhone app, started as a pilot project for Abendblatt, but this year it is being developed into a “large scale district campaign” and an “integral part of news reporting” for the title.

We found the project very successful in terms of hits and feedback and in terms of business.

He added that as well as reaching a new target group the project helped attract no advertisers.

Building up local website and mobile fields means creating new space for advertisers.

The newspaper is now moving into the “next phase”, he told the conference, which will see reporting from all 104 districts of Hamburg. And while the pilot project engaged 25 reporters on the ground, the expansion will see the entire editorial staff of Abendblatt reporting from the districts.

The best thing to worship a project is to shift it to editorial and say ‘this is everyday life now, not a project anymore’

As a result the district coverage falls within its mainstream regional content, which is paid-for as part of Abendblatt’s freemium model. During the pilot the project was free to view.

Development is currently underway to create space on the website for each of the 104 districts. Work is also underway to develop the mobile app to enable it to map each district.

There are also plans to publish a book by the end of this year featuring all the stories that have been published about Hamburg’s districts.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: After free newspapers, Metro International predicts free tablets

June 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers

The president of European free newspaper giant Metro International predicts that, within five years, the cost of tablet computers will be so low that publishers will hand them out to readers free of charge.

Per Mikael Jensen told the News World Summit in Paris that he believed basic tablets could eventually be produced for about $1 and used to push out news – not providing full internet access but a locked-down experience. He said:

If I was able to push information to a very low-cost tablet – and hand out a tablet to my readers, that may be an opportunity. I do believe that within five years we will see the cost come down and you can hand out tablets for free.

Jensen also said he believed that paywalls were only suitable for about one per cent of media outlets – possibly five per cent at a push. “The rest of us will have to find other revenue models than paywalls,” he said.

He predicted that online advertising costs would continue to tumble and head towards zero.

It is now cheaper for big brands to advertise than it was 20 years ago and I’m afraid to say that journey will continue. It’s basic capitalism. You have endless amounts of supply and more or less the same demand.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012 – Dos and don’ts of connected TV strategy for publishers

June 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Multimedia

Image by por brylle on Arte & Fotografia. Some rights reserved.

The connected TV audience “wants to be multitasked”, editors were told at the News World Summit in Paris today, as part of a session looking at four screen (and more) strategy.

Users do “not want to wait 12 hours” to discuss programming “at the water cooler”, head of digital strategy at France Televisions Bruno Patino said. Instead they want to do it “live on social networks”.

Patino called it “the social couch”, a “very rich and augmented TV experience.” which enables users to share their experience and not be “limited by same place or same time”.

So what should broadcasters be offering these audiences? Patino shared a list of dos and don’ts with delegates:

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to maintain the system closed – you won’t be master of the TV set anymore
  • Don’t try to limit the user experience
  • Don’t believe your content will rule the users’ experience

Do:

  • Always distribute – wherever you can. A new path is a new chance for your programme to be seen, don’t think exclusivity, think ubiquity
  • Engage the audience at every level including creation
  • Be xenophilic
  • Be pragmatic
  • Try, experiment
  • Talk about the whole universe
  • Try gamification
  • Promote connections
  • Test technologies
  • Put the user at the centre

Also speaking on the topic of four screen strategy, the BBC’s general manager of news and knowledge Phil Fearnley shared his own recommendations:

  • Work on standard and scalable solutions
  • Consider apps and browsers, not apps v browser
  • Simple design – quality content
  • The importance of live

At the BBC, he added, the importance of live is the “absolute focus”, as opposed to “trying to deliver all functionality” possible. That is “not going to work”, he said.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: ‘Exciting time’ as European daily newspaper prepares for launch

June 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

The chief executive of a new daily Europe-wide newspaper due to launch this year says now is a “super exciting time” to set up a publication covering the continent.

The European Daily was born from the belief that European news is still seen “through national lenses” and that this “isolates debate”.

It started as a website featuring mainly aggregated news and is preparing a full-scale launch in print, mobile and online shortly.

Chief executive Johan Malmsten told the News World Summit in Paris: “It’s a project that’s been in the running for five years. As a Swede living in Paris I found there was not a news source that took Europe as the starting point.

This is a super exciting time to be launching a European platform – especially for debate. I think Europe will benefit from a publication which takes Europe as a starting point and explains how events in Greece, for example, have an impact.

In an introductory post on its website, The European Daily says:

“Strangely, daily news is still largely covered from national perspectives. Events, developments and opinions are seen through national lenses and feed into separate narratives.

State borders no longer prevent us from moving around the continent freely, but they still manage to isolate debates and hold back the free flow of ideas and arguments.

Without common points of reference, Europeans talk past each other. Daily news reporting and analysis demands a European perspective.

For us, that means untangling complex issues and bringing them into a wider context to show how they impact on the everyday life of Europeans, whether they live in Lisbon or Helsinki. We believe that this can be provided by a European daily newspaper.

In the end, what is currently missing is intelligent and independent journalism that gives form to Europe by analysing, debating and criticising issues from a European perspective. Providing this will be our mission, our duty and our privilege.

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: Three ideas for getting more women in journalism management

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

Newsrooms should make substantial changes to their workplace culture and workers’ rights to attract more women to journalism and encourage them to take up management jobs, senior editors at the News World Summit in Paris have suggested.

The discussion, on how to get more women into senior journalism jobs, came after the International Women’s Media Foundation surveyed 500 media organisations in 59 countries and found 27 per cent of top management positions are held by women.

Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director at French daily Le Monde, told the conference:

When I joined this business 30 years ago, I never thought 30 years later I still had to answer this question. I do think that women, generally speaking, do bring a different style of management, as they have brought a lot of different things to journalism.

The massive numbers of women joining this profession has I think made a difference in the kind of journalism we are publishing or broadcasting. I think basically more female leaders attract more female readers or viewers – it’s as simple as this.

A campaign was recently set up in Germany to get 30 per cent of journalism management positions occupied by women by 2017. Zeit Online editor-in-chief Wolfgang Blau said:

One of the ambiguities of this campaign was it didn’t define what was a leadership position. We are already at 30 per cent but we are surprised because we think it’s not enough.

Nadia Salah, editor-in-chief of L’Economiste, a daily finance newspaper in Morocco, said:

I counted how many editor in chief women there were in Morocco. I found seven out of 47 people in that job title – that’s two less than last year. They left because they got married.

So what can be done? Here are three of the ideas that came out of the panel debate.

1) Get more women experts quoted in stories

A recent survey of Le Monde newspaper found women were quoted seven times less often than men as expert sources. Alison Smale, executive director of the International Herald Tribune suggests:

I think it’s very important to consider how we depict women in the media. If you look at a front page, I think you should see at least one woman depicted there or talked about and it shouldn’t always Angela Merkel.

I really do believe that having sources quoted as women – people on television in positions of power being women – it sends its own message.

2) Change the workplace culture

Arne Jensen, assistant secretary general at the Association of Editors in Norway said “macho culture still rules in many newsrooms”. He said:

There has to be a possibility to combine working life with family life. They (colleagues at the last paper he worked at) thought that to be editor of a newspaper you had to work long hours every day. They did this because their wives picked up the children.

I said to these guys: this is not working because the signal we are sending out to journalists is that if you are going to have kids and you have a man who has a job, then you can’t be an editorial leader.

3) Equal (or at least, similar) maternity/paternity leave rights

Wolfgang Blau, from Zeit Online, said changes to German parental leave law had made a “really crucial” difference to managers’ attitudes to hiring women. He explained:

When it comes to staffing a position that’s really strategically important and I’m looking at a female candidate in her thirties, the question of course is how long will she stay.

I’m genuinely happy when any of my colleagues has babies. German law incentivises fathers [to take more time off]. The risk now is evenly spread when I look at young men and young women; the risk is pretty much the same, that he or she will take off for the year. The law can do wonders.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: ‘If journalism isn’t there to protect people, people get hurt’

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Events, Online Journalism

Monetisation of digital journalism, described earlier today as the “elephant in this room” by CNN’s Peter Bale, formed the basis of an afternoon session at the News World Summit in Paris today, with a focus on financing investigative journalism.

There was no dancing around the importance of the issue. As Howard Finberg of the Poynter Institute put it:

The challenge, as Paul [Steiger] pointed out, is if we don’t do this people die. If journalism isn’t there to protect people, then people will get hurt.

This is not just a matter of economics to keep jobs, this is about economics that support democracy.

I feel passionately that we need more experiments, more subscription models, more donation models. We also need to figure out how we can tell the public the value of investigative journalism … even if they don’t support if financially they can support it in other ways.

He called for more creative solutions. Online it is “going to be increasingly difficult for traditional media”, adding that recent figures showed 68 per cent of online display advertising in the US controlled by the five big technology firms.

Our difficulties are fairly well documented so we need to start looking for some solutions that are different.

Also speaking about the issue on the panel, ProPublica founder Paul Steiger said he expects the decline in print advertising accelerate, “so the challenge of getting more and more revenue from online is going to be greater rather than less”.

He said ProPublica, which is funded largely by donations, is “looking at the possibility of subscriptions, but we need to make all of our stuff accessible and so the challenge is to figure out to how to keep in the conversation and how to find a variety of sources of revenues.”

He added that investigative journalism is significant for democracy and therefore “worth supporting in multiple ways, including charitable contributions”.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

#GEN2012: Will we still have digital development editors in 10 years?

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Multimedia

Newspaper publishers need to “keep looking outwards” and make changes – even the titles that are the most digitally advanced – the Guardian’s digital development editor told editors at the World News Summit in Paris today.

Asked at the conference whether jobs like hers – helping newsrooms find and implement new processes and tools – would still be needed once newspapers had migrated further towards digital, Joanna Geary replied:

I’d like to hope that in the future it’s something that every journalist would play a role in and would start to understand and have an interest and curiosity in how they connect with readers in meaningful ways.

I still think there is a need to be honest and open with ourselves that this is not a communication revolution that is going to slow down any time soon. If that means we have to have a role that is constantly looking outwards at how our readers are changing, I think there is always going to be a need for this.

She later added:

The Guardian has a very unique culture, specifically about embracing new ideas and understanding new platforms and seek opportunities from new tools. When you see journalists work closely with developers, what’s great is watching both sides learn what’s possible.

For anyone who’s working on internal change it’s so easy to become internal looking and focused on internal structures and politics. My own bit of advice would be to keep looking outwards.

Guardian network editor Clare Margetson said there were still some journalists who needed a hand getting to grips with digital.

When I was on the newsdesk 10 years ago it seemed like a very different place. One of our best reporters would sit smoking a pipe and would not touch a computer. He would call in his story. It seems a world away.

There are still some who need help and some for whom Facebook is still quite a scary thing to use, but it’s quite collaborative and you find the younger reporters on a bank of desks will help out the older ones.

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement