Author Archives: Adam Levitt

Shiny Media hits 30m views on YouTube

Shiny Media, a company that produces websites across a number of areas including fashion, technology and lifestyle, has achieved 30 million views on two of its YouTube channels, Shiny Fashion and tech-based Shiny Media.

Shiny Media co-founder, Ashley Norris, says in a blog post: “Over the years we have had some very talented individuals producing our videos, some of whom have gone on to other great things. Our success owes to understanding that it is the content, not the quality of the video production that creates a YouTube hit.”

“Some of our early videos were very ropey, but they still attracted huge audiences because they offered footage of products before anyone else.

Norris is evidently extremely proud of the company’s achievements. He mentions the constant addition of new video content helping the website look fresh. “We almost always add three or four new videos each week and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have great presenters and we are serious about promoting the videos”.

Boston University and Boston Globe partner on Your Town hyperlocal sites

Boston University has formed a partnership with the Boston Globe which will allow students to cover local news for Boston.com’s Your Town hyperlocal wesbites, according to a report on the Market Watch blog.

Students will carry out the work as part of their course at the university’s College of Communciation, with university professors working with Globe editors to coordinate the project.

David Dahl, the Globe’s regional editor said, “We’re delighted with this collaboration. It provides Your Town readers with even more local coverage and enriches the educational experience of BU’s students”.

The Your Town sites feature stories by their own correspondents, as well as links to area blogs, Globe stories, and user-generated content.

The project was launched in 2009 and now has 43 sites covering areas in and around Boston.

Journalism students at the university also write daily news coverage for newspapers in Massachusetts and New England through the department’s Washington and Statehouse programs.

Financial Times launches iPad app for Chinese edition

The Financial Times has launched its FTChinese.com app for iPad.

The  app is compatible with both the wi-fi and 3G iPad models and allows readers to download content to browse offline. It is sponsored by watchmaker Rolex.

The launch follows the FT’s highly successful iPad app, launched in May, which has attracted around 400,000 downloads and generated more than £1 million in advertising revenue. According to global commercial director Ben Hughes, the iPad now accounts for 10 per cent of the paper’s new digital subscriptions.

Oliver Zhang, senior product manager at FTChinese.com said: “The iPad is another exciting platform providing readers with FTChinese.com’s high quality content. Our objective is to allow users to read award-winning content on the move as well as  interact further with the website’s dynamic features such as slide shows, videos and interactive quizzes.”

Number of libel claims last year highest in a decade, claims law firm

More defamation claims were issued in the high court last year than in any year since 1998, according to London law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.

Figures released yesterday by the firm reveal that 298 claims were issued in 2009, a 15 per cent rise on the 259 in 2008.

The figure for 2009 is also the highest since the introduction of civil prodedure rules in 1999, known as the Woolf reforms, which were designed to reduce the risk of costly disputes and aid pre-court settlements.

Jaron Lewis, media partner at RPC says: “This is the third year in a row where the number of claims has increased, firmly putting to bed the notion that libel law is not a serious challenge for the media. There are now nearly 50 per cent more libel claims each year than there were three years ago.

“Despite efforts to reduce the likelihood of expensive defamation litigation, the number of claims has been creeping up consistently as claimants continue to rely on favourable laws to bring expensive and often unnecessary litigation through the courts.”

RPC points to the increasing number of defamation cases being brought by new law firms, amount of material published on a daily basis, particularly online, and a rise in the number of claims brought relating to allegations of involvement with extremist groups and terrorism.

According to Lewis, the number of claims reaching trial has remained constant, suggesting that more claims are being settled or withdrawn before trial.

Libel reform coverage on Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog