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Pew: Egypt protests prove biggest international story in a single week since 2007

The recent protests in Egypt have been recorded as the “biggest international story in a single week” in the past four years by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index.

According to the Pew report the stories accounted for 20 per cent of the ‘newshole’ – the space devoted to each subject in print and online and time on radio and TV – from 24 to 30 January and then 56 per cent from 31 January to 6 February . This went beyond any coverage of the Iraq war, the Haiti earthquake and the conflict in Afghanistan, the report adds.

One reason for the extraordinary level of coverage thus far has been journalists’ access to the scenes of protests and violence in Egypt that they have transmitted to US news audiences. That has been borne out by this finding from the News Coverage Index: In the past two weeks―from January 24-February 6―almost half (45 per cent) of all the stories about the unrest studied by PEJ have been reported directly from Egypt and neighboring countries.

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NYTimes: Apple dominate technology news, suggests Pew study

The Times’ Media Decoder Blog: Analysis from the US-based Pew Research Center suggests Apple and its products dominate US technology news reports with 15.1 per cent of tech articles surveyed by the centre over the past year focusing primarily on the company.

It’s not as if Microsoft lacks for public relations people. But Apple is especially effective at seizing journalists’ attention, said Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, citing the anticipation for new devices and Apple’s “very public way of releasing products.”

Full story on NYTimes.com at this link…

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Americans spending more time consuming news, research suggests

A report carried out every two years by the Pew Research Center suggests Americans are spending more time consuming news now than 10 years ago.

The research, released this week, found that rather than replacing traditional media with digital platforms, consumers spend an additional 13 minutes daily getting news online as well as 57 minutes on average getting news from traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers. In the year 2000 the survey reported a total of 59 minutes was spent by audiences consuming news, with no time reportedly spent consuming news online by respondents until 2004.

According to the report, this is one of the highest totals measured since the mid-1990s, which does not take into account time spent getting news from mobile phones or other digital devices. Only eight per cent of respondents get their news from their mobile.

The news consumption survey recorded the responses from more than 3000 adults from 8 to 28 of June. Other findings include an increase in ‘news-grazers’ who consume the news on a less regular basis from 40 per cent in 2006 to 57 per cent in 2010. The survey also found an increase in the use of search engines for news gathering, rising to 33 per cent from 19 per cent in 2008.

See the report in full here..

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Investigative Voice director defends the online-only watchdog

Stephen Janis, journalist and content director of Investigative Voice, gives a behind the scenes look at digital investigative journalism in relation to a recent story he broke on a local government employee who had been on the Baltimore city payroll and collecting sick pay while in prison.

Writing on Nieman Journalism Lab, Janis looks at the opportunities and challenges of investigating and breaking such a story on a digital platform, following a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) which he claims concluded that Investigative Voice “was all but irrelevant to the city’s news flow”.

The study entitled ‘A Study of the News Ecosystem of One American City’ reports that “the expanding universe of new media, including blogs, Twitter and local websites—at least in Baltimore—played only a limited role: mainly an alert system and a way to disseminate stories from other places”.

But Janis says the impact of the case study shows a greater role than that.

These discoveries and quite a bit more—for example, DPW supervisors had threatened to fire an employee who discovered that McLaughlin was on the state’s Sex Offender Registry—were published in a series of stories on Investigative Voice, the website where I work as a senior reporter and content director. Baltimore’s inspector general opened a department-wide probe, and the city solicitor ordered a citywide review of personnel policies related to criminal convictions and the employment of sex offenders in jobs that bring them into contact with the public. Because of the governmental watchdog reporting we do at Investigative Voice, I was distressed by the implied assumption in the study that the purpose of a website like ours is to replicate what our print brethren is doing.

Yet folks at Investigative Voice and other websites like ours are rethinking how to keep a watchful eye on city government agencies, personnel, policies and practices in a ways that will have impact. The old assumption is not our starting point.Our impulse as digital journalists is to innovate—and this means finding stories that aren’t being covered by other news media in Baltimore and doing what we can to illuminate them in ways that propel people to act. While we take full advantage of our digital platform, we adamantly uphold the basic tenets of investigative journalism.

He adds that unlike some online news media, Investigative Voice’s focus is not on page impressions or clicks – but making the most of strong images, information rich material and “eye-catching” headlines.

What set us apart, however, are our homepage’s outsized graphics and our investigative mission; in both, we aim for a different model of social influence within the community.Our consistent focus on this scandal, coupled with bold, eye-catching two-word headlines (white words set against a black background), provocative subheads, and information-laden captions reinforced our emphasis on watchdog reporting and lent authority to the investigation as it unfolded on our Web site. In some ways, our digital approach harkens back to the heyday of newspapers in the early 1900’s when boys hawking papers shouted out headlines designed to catch the attention of passers-by. Economically, this translates into an ability to market our influence with readers and advertisers in a qualitative rather than a quantitative way; impact and influence triumph over eyeballs and clicks.

See the full post here…

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US Digest: America goes multi-platform; Miami goes hyperlocal; NYT hits the big screens

News consumption according to Pew: Loyalty wanes, social sharing rises

The United States is, according to a new study published today by Pew Research Centre’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, a multiple platform nation when it comes news consumption. The study, which looks at the different ways Americans access news on a daily basis, suggests that loyalty is on the wane and social sharing is on the rise.

In the digital era, news has become omnipresent. Americans access it in multiple formats on multiple platforms on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone [...] While online, most people say they use between two and five online news sources and 65% say they do not have a single favorite website for news.

[...]

To a great extent, people’s experience of news, especially on the internet, is becoming a shared social experience as people swap links in emails, post news stories on their social networking site feeds, highlight news stories in their Tweets, and haggle over the meaning of events in discussion threads. For instance, more than 8 in 10 online news consumers get or share links in emails.

Three Ps stand out from the results according to the summary of findings

  • Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
  • Personalized: 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
  • Participatory: 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

NYT strikes video screen deal with RMG

Starting today, New York Times’ content will be displayed on video screens in five major US cities.

The newspaper has struck a deal with RMG Networks, a major owner of screens in the main business districts of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston, which will see 850 of their screens become part of the ‘NYTimes.com Today Network’.

The screens will display articles and images form the Times’ website on a 14 minute cycle, interspersed with advertising. A further 850 screens will be added to the network over the next few months.

According to the Times, their network “will be a small part of RMG, which has tens of thousands of such screens.”

The details of the financial arrangement have not been disclosed.

Further analysis of the deal from Lost Remote at this link

Al Tompkins: Everyone invited to journalism training

From the Poynter Institute today, Al Tompkins with an interesting take on broadcast journalism training.

When I train journalists at a television or radio station, I usually recommend that the newsroom invite anyone who will come — including those in the sales, promotions and engineering departments

Unsurprisingly, few take him up on the offer apparently. With times as tough as they are, who in their right mind would think the answer lay in sending the sales team on journalism training?

The idea behind Tompkins’ approach is that, with some basic knowledge, salespersons, receptionists, engineers, and others can hold the fort in the case of an emergency.

Possibly a useful model for broadcast journalism, to avoid dead air, but ‘Time to Train Everyone in Your Organisation to be a Journalist’ is a call to arms unlikely to sit well with most economical bosses. And one at risk of going down like a lead balloon in the more traditional newsrooms, I would have thought.

South Florida Times announce student collaboration on new hyperlocal section

Following in the footsteps of the NYT, weekley newspaper the South Florida Times have announced a collaborative hyperlocal project with students from Florida International University’s journalism school (via editorsweblog).

The project, Liberty City Link, aims is to improve coverage of Miami’s Liberty City area. Unlike the NYT collaborations, Liberty City Link will feature both online and in print, having a page in the print edition and a blog under the South Florida Times URL.

The Times’ announcement bills its new partnership as a way to overturn the area’s notoriously bad reputation.

News accounts about the Liberty City community, one of South Florida’s largest historically black communities, have long zeroed in on its most negative aspects, spotlighting it as a notoriously dangerous section in the shadows of the glitz of Miami Beach. But the colorful murals of black heroes on Liberty City’s buildings stand for the spirit of what is, in fact, a thriving community.

Seventeen students have been recruited to report for the new section. Neil Reisner, a veteran journalist and FIU professor, defends the inclusion of just one African-American among them:

Students learn to cover a community they’re not part of. And that as journalists it is OK to ask questions to people they don’t completely relate to, as long as they are honest about what they want to know.

Gillian Tett named new US managing editor of the Financial Times

Gillian Tett has been named US managing editor of the Financial Times today. She replaces Chrystia Freeland who joins Thomson Reuters as global editor in chief.

Full story at Editor & Publisher

The Hong Kong house that Tote Bags built

Finally, from FishbowlNY, news that, while publishers run around tearing their hair out about paywalls, payments, micropayments, even smaller payments, design and culture glossy Monocle magazine is to open a Hong Kong bureau with the proceeds from selling Tote bags.

This business model may not, however, be the saviour of publishing. So I’m sorry if you’ve gone and got your hopes up. The blurb on Monocle’s Tote bag sale page may tell you a little about their readership, and how they’ve pulled off this nifty trick. As might the price.

Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment overnighter or a day hitting the shops, this bag can hold anything you throw in it. Inside there is a host of pockets for your wallet, BlackBerry, plus your Japan-only mobile, a detachable purse to get at that Amex card quickly, and a sizeable wash bag.

I left my Japan-only mobile on the train with my free copy of the London Weekly so the bag’s not really any good to me anyway.

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Pew Center: Press accuracy drops to two-decade low, says survey

September 15th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Public belief in the accuracy of news stories has fallen two its lowest level in more than 20 years, a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests.

Of those Americans surveyed (around 1,506 in July this year), 29 per cent said news organisations ‘generally get the facts straight'; 63 per cent said news stories are often inaccurate.

The independence of news organisations and their ability to concede mistakes were also rated at an all-time low, according to the study, which also looks at local news coverage and the public’s reaction to the closure of news outlets.

Full survey summary at this link…

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PewResearchCenter: “Many Americans wouldn’t care ‘a lot’ if local papers folded”

March 13th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

“As many newspapers struggle to stay economically viable, fewer than half of Americans (43 per cent) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community ‘a lot’. Even fewer (33 per cent) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available,” reports the Pew Research Center, as part of the News Interest Index project.

(…’[D]ata relating to news coverage were collected from March 2-8, 2009 and survey data measuring public interest in the top news stories of the week were collected March 6-9, 2009 from a nationally representative sample of 1,001 adults’.)

Full report at this link…

(thanks: @amonck)

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