Author Archives: Rachel Bartlett

About Rachel Bartlett

Rachel Bartlett is editor of Journalism.co.uk

Release: Charity publishes guide for journalists reporting on diabetes

Diabetes UK has released a new guide aimed at helping journalists in their reporting on diabetes.

According to a release, as well as offering information on diabetes, the guide “also looks at the role journalists can play in challenging misconceptions around the condition” and offers some reporting tips.

Download the guide at this link.

Release: Guardian promotes Tanya Cordrey to ‘new executive role of chief digital officer’

Michael Bruntonspall on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Guardian News and Media today announced the promotion of Tanya Cordrey, current director of digital development, to the role of chief digital officer with immediate effect.

According to a release:

Tanya joined GNM in 2008 initially building the digital portfolio of environment products and most recently overseeing the product development team. In her new role Tanya will continue to have product oversight as well as supporting the strategic development of the organisation. She joined GNM from the start-up company Zopa.com and was previously on the UK executive team at eBay for five years.

Her new role encompasses her position as director of digital development, but she will now report to chief executive of Guardian Media Group Andrew Miller.

In the release Miller said Cordrey – along with David Pemsel, who was today named as chief commercial officer – “worked tirelessly and with great creativity to make our digital-first strategy a reality, attract unprecedented numbers of global readers and create new revenue streams”.

These changes are part of our strategy to bring both GNM and GMG closer together as we build a stronger, more digitally-focused organisation.

See the press release here.

Study: Fewer UK journalists feel social media improves productivity in 2012 than in 2011

Image by Adikos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

An annual study into how UK journalists feel social media impacts on their work was announced this week by Canterbury Christ Church University and public relations and media services outlet Cision.

The report’s findings are based on 769 responses from UK journalists. According to a release from the university the study found an “increasing number of concerns about productivity, privacy and the future of journalism”.

For example, the number of journalists who said they felt social media improved their productivity fell from 49 per cent in 2011 to 39 per cent in 2012.

At the same time, the percentage of those who disagreed that social media improved productivity increased from 20 per cent to 34 per cent. Journalists were also less positive this year about the impact of social media on their relationships with their audience.

In general, they think that social media allows greater engagement with their audience, but the number who strongly agreed with that sentiment dropped from 43 per cent to 27 per cent.

The study can be downloaded from Cision. For more on the findings see this report by the Drum.

Release: Guardian adds Observer to relaunched 7-day iPad edition

The Guardian announced today that it is re-launching its iPad edition to include the Observer, with the first iPad issue of the Sunday newspaper to be released on Sunday 16 September.

In a release the publisher said the Observer iPad issue will feature “the main news section of The Observer, the New Review, the sport section and the Observer Magazine”. Editor of the Observer John Mulholland was quoted as saying:

As the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, we’re thrilled to be able to bring our journalism, ideas and debate to a new digital platform in a fresh way, enabling our unique content to be made available to both loyal readers and new audiences around the world. The look and feel of The Observer in the app is very much in line with that of the newspaper and we look forward to hearing our readers’ feedback.

The first two issues of the Observer iPad edition will be free, but subscriptions will then apply of £11.99 a month for the Guardian and Observer edition. Alternatively users can select just the Guardian edition for the current price of £9.99 a month or £6.99 a month for The Observer only.

#wef12 – WAN-IFRA publishes ‘report on violence against Mexico’s press’

Image by Christian Frausto Bernal on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

WAN-IFRA has this week published a report called “a death threat to freedom”, which looks at “violence against Mexico’s press”.

The report was published on Tuesday (4 September), a day after the organisation’s World Editors Forum presented the Golden Pen of Freedom to Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez.

The report calls on the government to “take urgent action to guarantee the safety of journalists and media professionals”.

Receiving her award yesterday, Hernandez urged the international community to not “just stand and watch”.

“I do not want to be another number on the list,” she said. “I do not want to be another dead journalist, I want to be one of those who fought to live and who survives.”

I dedicate and symbolically award this prize to all the Mexican journalists whose voices have been silenced by death, forced disappearance or censorship.

I also dedicate it to all those Mexican journalists who daily continue to set an example in their duty to inform and denounce at whatever cost.

Here is a link to her full acceptance speech.

#wef12: Why news outlets must embrace a participatory culture

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by shawncampbell on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Outlining the shift in the way news is distributed and consumed today, Al Jazeera’s head of social media Riyaad Minty said news organisations need to understand that they “do not break the news anymore”.

The role of breaking news is now carried out by the people, Minty explained. And “people trust people first, before they trust an organisation” – highlighting the need for news outlets to embrace the participatory culture.

We are no longer the gatekeepers of information as media professionals … need to understand the shift and embrace it.

And if a news outlet is able to harness the crowd in its operations, it becomes part of a “virtuous circle” which ultimately means people come back to the news outlet.

Founder of social newswire Storyful, Mark Little, added that the service news outlets offer to users is not an exclusive right to content, it is trust.

Therefore there is “no fear anymore” for any news outlet to include external content in their own output, he added.

We don’t own content. What they are paying for – if they’re paying at all – is their trust in you.

And this will “require a real shift” in mindset, he added.

We have to become far more humble as journalists, we are now members of the community people look to and engage with… We don’t own the news anymore.

#wef12: Six lessons in tablet storytelling

Copyright: C. Regina on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by C.Regina on Flickr. Some rights reserved

At last year’s World Editors Forum in Vienna we reported on the 10 great tips shared by Mario Garcia, founder of Garcia Media, on creating news apps.

At this year’s event in Kiev Garcia is back, and he shared with delegates some of the lessons learned in the past couple of years when it comes to storytelling on tablet devices.

In summary, here are just six of the takeaways to be gained from his presentation:

  • The editor today needs to undertand the sociology of how readers use tablet platforms and remember the multimedia approach

Garcia urged editors to not think it is all about the newspaper. “No one expects to have the breaking news there,” he said.

In the eyes of consumer, digital is current, print is old, not abandoned, but old.

… Still newspapers write headlines as if they’re the only forms of communication these days.

He added that news outlets need to show they are a multimedia house. Therefore “no marketing campaign should be based on one of the platforms”.

  • Be visual and make something happen

A main point made by Garcia was about the importance of the visual element on tablet devices, where users “don’t just want a photo”, he said. “They want something to happen”.

He suggested that every four or five screens users should be offered “a moment where the finger touches the screen and something happens”.

Whatever it is, in the tablet you can not be linear.

… If all you do is turn the pages, readers will not be happy.

Garcia also referred to a Poynter study due to be published in the next few weeks, which found the majority of people preferred the “flipboard” visual style, with photo galleries and videos.

  • The story is what counts

While lessons have been learned about tablet storytelling, content remains king.

Garcia offered a new definiton of news, as “anything you know now that you did not know 15 minutes ago, or 15 seconds ago”.

And this piece of news is “what counts”, not the platform it is distributed on.

  • Understand the pattern of consumption during the day

Garcia said research shows most people use tablets after 6pm in the evening, while the average person reading on the tablet at night has the television on at the same time.

  • Users are willing to pay on tablets

The research also found that those who use tablets are more willing to pay for content than online users.

With that in mind, he highlighted the potential for news outlets – bearing in mind the 85 million iPads in the market today, which he said may reach “more than 165 million soon”.

  • Print has not been abandoned

And despite all this, “there is a place for print as a lean-back platform,” Garcia stressed. “Print is eternal, but only if it adapts”.

And “paper has the power of disconnect”, with print readers able to “totally unplug and read.”

#wef12: What news outlets can learn from magazines on content presentation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vfsdigitaldesign/5651302028/sizes/l/

Image by VFS Digital Design on Flickr. Some rights reserved. Creative commons licence

Bonnier Business Media designer Jacek Utko has previously spoken about the need for news outlets to break the template format online, in the way they can with their print products.

Speaking at the World Editors Forum in Kiev today, Utko helpfully highlighted the ways in which news outlets can show that creativity in the presentation of their newspaper print products. And the place to look for inspiration is in magazines. Put simply, he said, “I don’t look for inspiration in newspapers anymore”.

The key lessons for newsrooms to take from magazine content presentation include finding a balance between long and short pieces, producing simple visuals and offering bite-sized chunks of information, the latter being a news presentation format which also “increases understanding”.

Magazines also demonstrate how to “tell stories almost without words”, he said, and “surprise the readers” with different news design on the front page.

That’s what we do with our newspapers, play the white space…

This then looks “totally different in the kiosk on the shelf than the other newspapers”, he said.

And this design approach need not only be for news outlets with sizeable resources. It is “very cheap” to do, he said, and takes just a few hours a day, and means print products can get a step ahead of digital in terms of design.

Art direction and news presentation is so weak on the web, it’s our strength, it’s our competitive advantage for print.

#wef12: CEO of Australia’s Fairfax Media encourages publishers to make ‘the big calls now’

The Sydney Morning Herald is one website which will see a paywall introduced

Earlier this year Australian publisher Fairfax Media announced what it described as ‘landmark’ events, including the introduction of a digital-first editorial strategy in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, as well as a paywall in front of its Metro Media digital content.

The strategy followed a 12-month review, which concluded a need for “decisive action to restructure our business model to better reflect audience and advertising trends”.

This included cost cutting measures such as the loss of 1,900 members of staff in a bid to make savings each year of $235 million AUD, within the next three years, according to a report by one of Fairfax Media’s metropolitan titles the Sydney Morning Herald.

At the time chief executive of Fairfax Media Greg Hywood said:

No one should be in any doubt that we are operating in very challenging times. Readers’ behaviours have changed and will not change back. As a result, we are taking decisive actions to fundamentally change the way we do business.

The changes announced today have been selected after considering the merits of a full range of structural alternatives, including a demerger. The package of strategic initiatives is bold, and several are difficult, particularly as they will impact on some of our people.

However, we believe that they are in the best interests of Fairfax, our shareholders, and ultimately the majority of our people. They are necessary to ensure Fairfax retains its position as a leading independent media company and a key voice in our markets.

It is now a couple of months since the announcement was made and on Monday (3 September) Hywood spoke at the World Editors Forum in Kiev in detail about the restructure, and where it is hoped it will take the company in the next few years.

Hywood said the company was facing the same external pressures and declines as other media business and decided to respond by building a “platform or technological-agnostic” model.

And the company is “within reach of a very different profitable model for journalism focused primarily on digital distribution”, he said.

During his presentation to the conference he also called on other news outlets to “make the calls, and make the calls now”, in order to develop a “dominant digital news position”.

At Fairfax Media such big calls have included a move for two of its metropolitan titles – or mastheads as Hywood refers to them – SMH and The Age, to a compact format next year. The company is also closing down two large printing plants and moving the work to its regional plants.

In the newsroom there has also been a “revolution” he said, with the newspaper placed “at the end of the process”. Meanwhile sales teams are focused on offering “one media solution for each advertiser”, rather than going in with individual solutions per platform.

And while Fairfax Media is making these significant changes to its business, Hywood thinks other news organisations should also be reassessing their situations.

One day… it won’t be profitable to print any more. Then what you do is turn the digital tap on, what drops out is the entire costs of the manufacturing business underneath it.

As outlined in the ‘Fairfax of the Future’ strategy earlier this year, the company believes that implementing the changes it is will give it “significant flexibility to adjust the business model to reflect audience and advertising trends” should they change in the future.

But “you’ve got to make the big calls now”, he warned.

#wef12: WSJ’s Raju Narisetti on ‘copycat’ paywalls and the ‘golden’ future of digital advertising

Raju Narisetti from the Wall Street Journal, pictured speaking at the news:rewired conference, earlier this year

Speaking at the World Editors Forum on Monday (3 September), managing editor for the Wall Street Journal’s digital network Raju Narisetti said he had concerns about many US “copycat” paywalls, and whether they would be able to generate the necessary revenues to succeed financially.

Instead, he predicted that “the golden age of digital advertising lies ahead of us” and that by “running towards paywalls” news outlets may be missing the challenges of the future, such as the mobile consumption of news and the need to produce content which can travel with its advertising to platforms outside the news outlet’s own.

I caught up with him after the session to speak to him more about his views on digital business strategy, “copycat” paywalls, and why he thinks smaller news brands shouldn’t be “throwing the advertising baby out with the bathwater”.

I think most US metro papers are looking at the New York Times and saying let’s follow their model, whether it’s 20 free stories or 30 free stories, it’s a metered wall, and I think the New York Times has seemed to have pulled it off but I think a lot of smaller papers will find that the content they have is not going to be enough for people to want to pay.

My worry is that you’re throwing the advertising baby out with the bathwater saying ‘oh advertising rates are falling, it’s a no-win situation’. As you saw, as an entire global industry, we only get 2 per cent of digital advertising, so my concern is why are we not focusing on the advertising end of the business which is … much larger and is growing, rather than focusing on the subscriber end of the business where we’re going to have a much harder time convincing people to pay for content?

News outlets should instead be asking “how should I expand the pie?”, he said. Narisetti added that part of the opportunity in the digital advertising business will require news organisations to do more to understand audience interactions with adverts.

As an industry we know our readers very well, we know what they do what, what they read, where they come from. Why is it that we haven’t invested enough to know how they interact with advertising and taken advantage of that?

He said some news outlets have “abdicated the responsibility of understanding their advertising behaviours and then taking advantage of that”.

Instead, “we’re just selling eyeballs as opposed to selling our knowledge of our reader behaviour”.

We know so much about what they consume … why don’t we know what advertising works for our readers then? We’ve just ignored that.

So why does he think news outlets without that are moving in the paywall direction? Factors include a “me too” mentality, he said, where news outlets see another succeeding and want to try it too, in other cases it may be seen as a “defensive mechanism”, he said, “to say it will stop people migrating from our print to our website”.

But this could be missing a bigger issue, he warned.

My point is that increasingly readers have the opportunity to be more and more promiscuous because technology allows them to go anywhere …

While we’re all on a journey of different speeds on, say, this information highway, there’s probably going to be a big mobile wave coming behind that will put all of us in a relatively level playing field. How do you monetise mobile… how do you create stickiness, is something we should be thinking about now rather than worrying about our website which are increasingly seeing fewer and fewer people come.

… I’m not sure we’re going after the right set of problems.

The Wall Street Journal “never gave its content away for free”, so it does not face the challenge he has highlighted for others of trying to charge for content that was once free. And of course other paywalls are also seeing success, but his argument is that digital advertising is far from being fully maximised and paywalls should not necessarily be the first answer for everyone.

If you have a paywall that’s working, more power to you, but if you’re going to jump in feet first or head first, think a little about what’s going to work rather than just saying the [New York] Times is doing it, let me follow.