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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: Re-inventing the newspaper – Portugal’s i

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

Over on the main site we’re reporting on how a recently launched Portuguese newspaper, i, is innovating across platforms – targeting breaking news online at social networks; redesigning the traditional print format to four section; and redesigning its newsroom.

The seven-month-old title has shown circulation growth and is attracting previously non-newspaper consumers as readers, says publisher and editor Martim Figueiredo.

Read the full piece on i at this link – here are some photos of a special edition of the paper prepared for the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference, to give you an idea of what it looks like:

image of Portuguese newspaper i

Portuguese newspaper i

Portuguese newspaper i

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

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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: Les Hinton tells newspapers – ‘Beware geeks bearing gifts’

December 2nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Unsurprisingly Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones and part of the Murdoch empire, launched an impassioned attack on free content and Google yesterday as part of his speech to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) conference.

Hinton criticised the promise of the internet (‘the false gospel of the web’) and while describing Google as an everyday wonder, said the search engine is at the heart of the crisis faced by newspapers:

“We were promised that eyeballs meant advertising, clicks meant cash. Free costs too much. News is a business and we should not be afraid to say it,” said Hinton.

“These digital visionaries tell people like me that we just don’t understand them. They talk about the wonders of the interconnected world, about the democratization of journalism. The news, they say, is viral now – that we should be grateful. Well, I think all of us need to beware of geeks bearing gifts.Here we are in 2009 – more viral, less profitable.”

Hinton was previously responsible for News International’s newspapers including the Sunday Times, which will introduce charging online next year. He said the industry itself was ‘the principal architect of its greatest difficulty’ for surrendering its content to aggregators and search engines for free – sentiments echoing Murdoch in Beijing only months ago.

Speech reproduced courtesy of WAN and Scribd.

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

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#WANIndia2009: Making money – ‘Our world is not only editorial, it feeds business’

December 2nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events

Some interesting examples of how publishers are branching out into e-commerce were given at this morning’s opening session of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN)/World Editors Forum (WEF) conference by Iñaki Palacios and Francisco Amaral, directors of design firm Cases I Associats.

The pair advocated ‘monetising the channel not the content’ when it comes to charging online and looking at how e-commerce can be brought in.

Italian sports newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport, for example, has recently launched Gazzatown: an online shop that requires registration, which originally sold football goods but now has expanded to other sports products.

“Our world is not only editorial it feeds business,” said deputy editor, Gianni Valenti in a video clip in the presentation.

“Having a strong brand name gives a guarantee – it is the only way of overcoming fears that people have of buying online.”

Gazetta dello Sport website

Neatly illustrating his point, Valenti said adding a newly-signed football player’s shirt shortly after his transfer has been announced during the transfer window was particularly important, for example.

Elsewhere People.com‘s editorial team has produced videos featuring style tips and filled its online shop with related purchases – for example, highstreet clothing matching a celebrity’s outfit.

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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