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Italian newspaper joins Times safer cycling campaign

February 10th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

The Times’s widely praised safer cycling campaign has been picked up by an Italian newspaper.

The Gazzetta dello Sport is taking part after one of its journalists, Pier Luigi Todisco, died while he was cycling to work last October.

The title is urging professional sportspeople to join the roll call, and for ordinary readers to support the campaign as well. A Twitter hashtag, #salvaciclisti is being used to spread the word.

According to the paper, 2,556 cyclists have died on Italian roads in the past ten years – double the number of bike deaths in the UK (1,275).

The Times launched its campaign earlier this month, three months after Times journalist Mary Bowers was knocked down by a lorry while cycling to work. She is still not conscious and remains in a trauma unit.

Some 33 MPs have signed an early day motion in parliament praising the cycling campaign.

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NUJ invites News International journalists to meeting

November 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

The National Union of Journalists is due to hold a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 November) to discuss the recently announced cuts to editorial within the Times and Sunday Times, which is open to member and non-member freelance, casual and staff journalists at the publisher’s titles.

Last month the Times announced it was to cut around 100 staff from the newspapers’ editorial workforce, with the bulk of those said to be to casual staff. It was also confirmed that 20 compulsory redundancies are due to be made from full-time staff at the Sunday Times, which is cutting 30 per cent of its casual editorial workforce.

Following this announcement the NUJ set up a meeting, which is open to any staff who wish to seek advice. It will be held from 1 to 3pm at the Captain Kidd pub, 108 Wapping High Street, E1W 2NE. The union has also invited representatives of the company’s in-house union NISA to attend if interested in working with the NUJ.

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FleetStreetBlues: Roger Boyes on reputation management after unfortunate byline

It certainly caused a snigger or two in the Journalism.co.uk office when, more than a year ago, we came across the unfortunate byline placement on this story in the Times, which happened to be about the Vienna Boys’ Choir sex abuse scandal – a story written by Roger Boyes, Berlin correspondent for the newspaper.

Since then, as reported by FleetStreetBlues, Boyes has had to bring in reputation management to clean up the damage caused to his online profile. In an article for the Times today, as FSB reports, Boyes writes about about how he had to perform “a kind of digital exorcism”, whether he liked it or not.

Here’s the hitch though: I never wanted to join Facebook. Now I am signed on (and have no access to it), accumulating friends who presumably have been put up to it by the reputation managers. It’s not me, it doesn’t feel like me. And the YouTube video, though duly positive, just looks daft. So it seems that the only way I can fight the lasting effects of my Twitter ambush is by exposing myself more online.

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Clay Shirky on the Times paywall, commodity markets and a ‘referendum on the future’

November 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Media commentator, digital soothsayer and all-round interesting read Clay Shirky gives his views on News International’s paywalls at the Times and Sunday Times, the first figures for which were released last week.

‘Paywall thinking’, he suggests, may not be possible in a world where “the internet commodifies the business of newspapers”:

Over the last 15 years, many newspaper people have assumed continuity with the analog business model, which is to say they assumed that readers could eventually be persuaded or forced pay for digital editions. This in turn suggested that the failure of any given paywall was no evidence of anything other than the need to try again.

What is new about the Times’ paywall – what may in fact make it a watershed – isn’t strategy or implementation. What’s new is that it has launched as people in the news business are rethinking assumed continuity. It’s new because the people paying attention to it are now willing to regard the results as evidence of something. To the newspaper world, TimesSelect looked like an experiment. The Times and Sunday Times look like a referendum on the future.

Full post by Clay Shirky at this link…

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James Harding: Times paywall is a revolution for its journalism

November 2nd, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Business, Newspapers

After months of waiting, News International released figures for its much-discussed Times and Sunday Times paywalls today.

According to a release from the group, the Times and Sunday Times have more than 105,000 “paid-for customers to date”. This figures includes subscribers to the websites and to the Times’ iPad app and Kindle editions. Around half of these are monthly subscribers, News International says, adding that “many of the rest” are either single copy or pay-as-you go sales.

Speaking on Radio 4′s Today programme this morning, the Times’ editor James Harding said it was “early days” but that he was “hugely encouraged” by the figures so far:

What we’ve seen is for the first time in 225 years we’re selling copies of the Times on something other than paper; we’re seeing that those people who read the digital editions of the Times and the Sunday Times really like them, if they sign up for a trial they tend to stick with us; and most importantly we’re able to say something that very few papers can say which is that we’re growing …

What you get now is you see over a couple of million people who look at the front page of the Times online … we’d engaged in quite a suicidal form of economics which was giving our journalism away for free and we knew that if we continued to do that we couldn’t invest in reporting. So what our concern was was would be cut off from the internet conversation and the truth is that we haven’t been, because a) the media works as a huge echo chamber so our stories get picked up and the other thing we’re seeing is that our readers engage with or stories and comment on our stories in a much deeper way …

What you’re seeing here is something at it’s very early stages, but also a revelation as well as a revolution in journalism. The iPad edition for us has changed the way we are doing our journalism and technology as we all know can be a tricky business.

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Media Week: Times website loses 1.2m readers

August 17th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick

Media Week reports on figures from ComScore, which suggest that unique users of the the Times and Sunday Times websites have fallen from 2.79 million in May to 1.61 million in July.

The new websites were launched on 25 May with compulsory registration introduced in June and the paywall for both sites going up on 2 July. According to the report, page views for the sites dropped from 29 million in May to 9 million in July.

Prior to the launch of the new websites, News International withdrew from the monthly Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) reports for newspaper website traffic.

Full story on Media Week at this link…

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Times joins forces with Applied Works to create iPad interactives

August 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Editors' pick

While many newspaper publishers see the iPad as a place for digital replicas of their print editions, the Times has joined forces with brand-strategy company Applied Works to create a series of interactive graphics for its iPad application.

The video below from Applied Works on Vimeo shows the range of interactives – from a World Cup planner to coverage of the the UK’s emergency budget earlier this year:

Full post on Applied Works’ website at this link…

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Murdoch hails iPad as ‘perfect platform’

August 4th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

Rupert Murdoch is bullish about the role that the iPad and tablet computers will play in the future of publishing and journalism. According to a report by the Australian, Murdoch told an industry event this week in Sydney that tablet computers were “a perfect platform for our content”.

Murdoch added that subscriber levels to the newly paywalled Times website were “strong”:

It’s going to be a success. Subscriber levels are strong. We are witnessing the start of a new business model for the internet. The argument that information wants to be free is only said by those who want it for free.

Full story on the Australian at this link…

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Can writers take their own brick out of the paywall?

Putting up the paywall has seen the Times lose the odd blogger along the way, but what about writers who are still commissioned, but make their content available elsewhere?

The Guardian’s Martin Belam flags up a post by George Brock, who today republished in full a review he wrote for the Times, which fell behind the paywall online.

Wanting to link to his work in a post, without directing his users to a paywall, he posts the full review as he submitted it to the paper.

As an experiment, I’ve pasted the text I filed to the Times at the foot of this post. You can read it for free as long as the Times doesn’t object.

Let’s be clear why I doing this test. I’m not against charging for editorial content, just as I’m not against paying cash for a printed paper. Copyright belongs to the paper since the review was commissioned and submitted normally.

But, he adds, this should not apply to the “unbundled” journalism.

While a newspaper has a legal right to restrict access to all of that material as one whole bundle, this can’t be the best way to go in the future. If charging is going to be part of the survival of quality journalism, something more flexible and agile is required. Digital technology allows journalism which was packaged together in print to be “unbundled”. Once unbundled, it can be copied, distributed, swapped, commented on and its message can multiply.

But Belam is curious as to what the Times will have to say.

One wonders what that will do to his chances of future commissions from the paper.

See Brock’s full post here…

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David Mitchell breaks ranks to question Guardian paywall stance

July 13th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Newspapers

As the Times and Sunday Times’ paywalls went up earlier this month, the Guardian welcomed a former Times blogger and readers to its website with some cheeky editorial.

The Times has done the same with columnists from the paper writing and blogging about their support for paid content. But interesting space on Comment is Free on Sunday was given over to some-time Guardian writer and comedian David Mitchell, who took the title’s strategy to task:

By implying that it thinks content should be free for moral reasons, the Guardian website is playing an extremely dangerous game. It’s an approach which not only makes it hypocritical to charge for the printed newspaper and the iPhone app, but also gives hostages to fortune: what if the Murdoch paywall, or some other “micropayment” system, starts to work? Are we to believe that the Guardian wouldn’t institute something similar? Or would it be happy to be reduced to the online equivalent of a freesheet?

Full post on Comment is Free at this link…

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