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 ‘ 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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