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#WEFHamburg: WaPo mulling its own paywall plus all the news from the World Editors Forum

October 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in About us, Events

Yesterday at the World Editors Forum in Hamburg, Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Washington Post, told Journalism.co.uk that the Post was not ruling out its own paid-content model.

The quality of the content we produce needs to be well funded, and one of the ways could be to make users pay for it, not all of it. I am not a big believer of putting everything behind a paywall. I am a big believer in saying we should monetise.

More power to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in figuring out and if they do we would be happy to look at that. We may find our own way.

You can read the full interview with Narisetti at this link and below are all the stories from the WEF meeting on Journalism.co.uk:



For a digested round-up of the conference subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes.

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WAN: Newspaper industry body calls for release of Burmese journalists

February 4th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Press freedom and ethics

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has written to Burma’s military junta asking for the release of two Burmese journalists and an end to the repression of journalists working in the country.

According to reports, journalist Ngwe Soe Lin was sentenced to 13 years in prison on 28 January after sending reports to the Norwegian-based broadcaster Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). Lin’s sentencing follows the 20-year punishment handed out to journalist Hla Hla Win late last year.

Full story and letter sent to the Junta at this link…

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#WANIndia2009: What’s hot and what’s not in the newspaper industry’s world?

December 4th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers

Based on the sessions that Journalism.co.uk attended and the delegates we spoke to there were some clear winners and losers at this year’s World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference and concurrent World Editors Forum (WEF) congress:

Image of thermometerPrint - somewhat unsurprising that the resilience of print was a clear favourite at a conference of newspaper executives and industry groups…

Social media – not on everyone’s agendas, but global examples of social media being effectively used to newsgather, distribute reports and engage audiences were highlighted in an opening discussion and with news from the AP. Little mention was made at the same event last year.

Mobilean excellent presentation from the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project’s Martha Stone, but limited examples of how mobile is being used by publishers – though Norway’s VG.no had this to say.

SEOaccording to Daily Mirror and Mirror.co.uk’s associate editor Matt Kelly that is…

E-paper - Journalism had an interesting chat with the folk behind PressClick, which will be posting soon, but digital editions and e-paper went largely undiscussed.

All coverage of #WANIndia2009 from Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.

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#WANIndia2009: Audio – Google’s David Drummond on working with publishers

December 4th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers, Search

There was a more peaceful air on stage at yesterday’s closing debate of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference, entitled What do we do about Google?

David Drummond, senior vice president and chief legal counsel of Google, suggested the search giant hadn’t done enough to ‘engage with newspapers’.

According to WAN-IFRA president Gavin O’Reilly, Google is missing the point: this is an issue of copyright (‘a deceptively simple legal principle’) and a lack of control options for publishers when it comes to search engines and aggregators indexing there content.

Vested interest on both sides, here’s the full audio of Drummond’s speech:

And O’Reilly’s thoughts:

WAN-IFRA president Gavin O’Reilly on Google and newspapers

What did the crowd want? Calls for evidence, from both parties, of what conversations are going on between newspaper groups, representative bodies and Google; and progress, so the debate might be different next year…

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#WANIndia2009: Women editors-in-chief and women readers – should we be having this discussion?

December 3rd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Journalism

“When I walk into an editorial meeting, I am an editor, just an editor – that’s it.”

So said Champika Liyanaarachchi, editor-in-chief of the Sri Lankan Daily Mirror, as part of a panel at the World Editors Forum (WEF), running alongside the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference, asking if more women editors-in-chief means more readers.

The discussion ranged from how a growing number of female readers should impact traditional newspapers to whether there were still preconceptions about what types of story male and female journalists should cover.

Ferial Haffajee, editor-in-chief of CityPress newspaper in South Africa, said newspapers had for too long only looked at their existing audience demographic and sought new readers within this mould. Choices made by such newspapers reinforce these reader types. We cater for them in a lacklustre way and select columnists and topics that reflect or reinforce their views, she said.

Many female journalists, in a bid to resist being pigeonholed as only good for ‘women’s issues’ stories have pointedly refused to cover such areas, she added.

“I edited unashamedly into my niche. I took great pride in covering the stories that in the 21st century we often turn our faces from (…) Growing women readers meant not patronising them with ill-conceived women’s pages, but in creating media platforms in which they were treated as equals.”

“As an editor I’m totally against this idea of compartmentalising issues as male-centric or female-centric,” added Liyanaarachchi.

Commenting on the situation in India, Bachi Karkaria, consultant to the Times of India, said while a male club still existed as a barrier to women reaching the highest editorial positions, new, young female journalists have the opportunity to change this.

“We are the dinosaurs and they are the rhinocerouses with the horns to push forward and the hides to take criticism (…) You don’t have to follow the old paradigms of ambition,” she said.

But should we be following the old paradigms of debate? If we can do away with female journalist or male journalist-only stories, then can we stop asking questions suggesting that women editors will automatically attract women readers?

As Haffajee neatly summised, it’s not about this – it’s about diversity: “Create diversity in your newsroom and then you will attract a wider readership.”

All coverage of #WANIndia2009 from Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.

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#WANIndia2009: Serving the biggest circulation in the world – The Times of India

December 3rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

“Treat your reader as you would your CEO,” says Ravi Dhariwal, CEO publishing for Bennett, Coleman & Co. (Times Group), India, admitting to his obsession with readers. Without patronising them, newspapers should treat their readers with the same care as they would children, he adds.

“Our inclination is always to side with the reader rather than with the nation. We are optimistic and hopeful and you will see this reflected in the paper. We believe in and celebrate diversity,” Dhariwal tells delegates at the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference.

Dhariwal has good reason to be optimistic – his paper has the world’s largest circulation. But this massive audience carries great responsibility, suggests Dhariwal.

While the paper has its own views on stories and events, to treat the reader with respect it will frequently print counter arguments to its own editorials.

Keeping it brief will also help satisfy the reader, says Dhariwal. The Times rarely exceeds 40 pages in length and its stories aren’t very long.

A recent drop in price to 5c saw circulation explode, he says, and four million copies of the paper are delivered to homes each day in more than 2,000 towns and 20,000 vendors.

More convenience for the reader: 95 per cent of the Times’ copies are home delivered.

India has not yet reached a stage of multiple news websites and large online audiences for its newspapers – print is a far bigger medium here.

“The future of print in India is bright. In the next 10 years I really don’t see any other medium coming close,” says Dhariwal.

With 23 editions and an additional weekly magazine for high-end readers, Dhariwal stresses the importance of relevance to print’s future. The paper’s ethos and content must be relevant to its readers, he says.

All coverage of #WANIndia2009 from Journalism.co.uk at this link
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#WANIndia2009: Geotagging and VG.no’s News Portal

Schibsted-owned Norwegian newspaper VG.no isn’t just a newspaper – it’s also a software developer, having built a system for readers to send in stories, news tips and images by mobile. The technology behind the VG News Portal has been bought by newspaper websites internationally, including the Sun and News of the World in the UK.

Papers can also rent the system, Vidar Meisingseth, project manager at VG.no, tells Journalism.co.uk. The image below shows what an editor using the system sees as tips are submitted.

Screen of VG News Portal

But new benefits of the portal are becoming apparent: in Oslo VG has created a database of its freelance correspondents and ‘tippers’ (users who send in tips and content). By geotagging this information the editorial team at VG.no can call up a map when a story breaks showing who is within a 50km radius.

This has potential for both assigning freelancers to stories, but also to finding eyewitnesses or gathering more information from citizens on the ground, says Meisingseth.

Using geotagging presents further opportunities not yet trialled by the paper, for example, mapping related stories such as a crime to see where and how frequently it is happening in a certain area.

VG.no already has information on its regular ‘tippers’ and this too could provide editorial leads, if for example a reader was sending in the same complaint about an unresolved issue in their area month-on-month.

In the Oslo system images sent in are also being geotagged – a useful step in the factchecking process with the potential to create image maps around larger, breaking news events.

All coverage of #WANIndia2009 from Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.

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#WANIndia2009: Najam Sethi’s speech on Pakistan and press freedom in full

December 2nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Press freedom and ethics

Pakistani editor Najam Sethi was yesterday awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom award at the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference.

In his speech – reproduced below courtesy of WAN – Sethi, who has been imprisoned three times for carrying out his work as a journalist, said he was one of four Pakistani editors on the Taliban’s hitlist in the country – the other three have fled.

Sethi’s speech was succeeded by an update on press freedom worldwide, following news from WAN-IFRA that 88 journalists have been killed since the start of 2009.

Sitting in the audience I have never felt so lucky to be a journalist working the UK – a Sri Lankan journalist next to me asked whether journalists face the same death threats and persecution in the UK as in his country. Calls for libel reform and threats of gagging aside, I felt very fortunate in my answer.

Chris Elliott sums it up in his Guardian write-up of the event, which opened the conference:

“[D]eath is the 901st delegate sitting quietly in this vast conference room. Many of the delegates are taking a break from their daily existence of avoiding bombs, bullets and, with luck, just beatings or imprisonment. For a hack working in the UK and whose legitimate worries are the libel laws it is a humbling experience.”

All coverage of #WANIndia2009 from Journalism.co.uk can be found at this link.

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#WANIndia2009: Social media for news orgs – a global perspective

November 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Social media and blogging

Consider this a trailer for a bigger piece I’ll be posting from the World Association of Newspapers’ (WAN) conference currently taking place in India on how news organisations across the globe are using social media in their newsgathering and distribution.

An interesting case study Journalism.co.uk caught up with was Vietnamese news site VietNamNet. The site breaks certain stories to its Facebook group before publishing it online.

There are certain reasons and benefits of doing this, one of the team behind the site told me: firstly, raw, unedited footage can be posted to Facebook without complaints, while the website requires more editing; the Facebook community is more ready to comment and interact, as well as drive the story forwards.

The site has different responsibilities in terms of what it publishes on VietNamNet and on Facebook and the social network can allow for more freedom of discussion, he added.

More to follow on this from Journalism.co.uk…

All #WANIndia2009 coverage from Journalism.co.uk at this link.

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#WANIndia2009: There’s gold in them there mobiles – don’t blow it, says Martha Stone

November 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile

“Please don’t blow it – there’s a big opportunity for mobile with newspaper companies,” was Martha Stone, director of the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project, opening statement to the World Editors Forum (WEF) and World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference in Hyderabad today.

But organisations must take it seriously ‘from the get go’, added Stone: “Even if you don’t see the business model immediately, just as we didn’t see a business model immediately for the internet.”

Sharing research from a new study, Stone said building iPhone apps and applications for other mobile properties was top priority across an international range of newspaper respondents.

So what should these groups be building?

Stone went on to outline the revenue opportunities for newspapers in mobile:

  • Permission databases
  • Chat and dating
  • Mobile search
  • Mobile blogging
  • ‘Advergames’
  • SMS alerts and interactions
  • MMS broadcasts

Mobile is already a key part of some newspapers’ advertising strategy, added Stone, who cited the examples of USA Today and the Sacramento Bee both using text advertising on mobile.

The Sacramento Bee in particular has used mobile advertising for previously print-only advertisers – a campaign for one plant nursery client using text advertising resulted in its largest weekend of sales.

More mature mobile markets have taken the proposition further – Scandinavian title Aftonbladet has used QR codes in both editorial and advertising.

Looking beyond traditional newspaper ground may be significant, in particular for the opportunities that lie in mobile social networking. Japanese social networking site Mobage Town, for example, which has 12 million people registered, uses advertising, affiliate sponsorships and avatar sales to generate revenues.

All #WANIndia2009 coverage from Journalism.co.uk at this link.

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