Author Archives: Rachel Bartlett

About Rachel Bartlett

Rachel Bartlett is editor of Journalism.co.uk

#wef12: 5 steps from New York Times Company on building digital subs model

The latest results reported by the New York Times Company showed a total of more than 500,ooo paid digital subscribers. This was an increase on the 454,000 paying subscribers recordedĀ a year after NYT.com launched its online subscriptions model, which refers to subscribers across the New York Times and International Herald Tribune.

And this is not including the 700,ooo print subscribers who also gain digital access to the company’s content, according to New York Times Company vice chairman Michael Golden.

In fact a report published last month, as covered by AllThingsD, predicted that the New York Times “will have more digital subscribers than print subs within a couple of years”.

So when Golden took to the stage at the World Editors Forum today for a session on ‘how some newspaper companies are succeeding’, his presentation was unsurprisingly focused on digital subscriptions.

We were laughed at we were scorned … after the launch here’s what we’re seeing now, people are saying it’s a great success

He said the introduction of digital subs at the New York Times has boosted staff morale: it has “changed the way people walk around the building”, he said.

So for others keen to also build a digital subscription model he offered these five steps:

  • Be very clear on what you’re doing

Golden said the company spent much time studying this, and what their overall goals were, such as”to develop a significant revenue source because our business model demanded it”.

The aim was also to build a “one-to-one digital relationship with consumers and protect digital advertising”.

  • Align the entire organisation around it

It “cannot be an editorial project alone”, he said.

  • Remember readers know what they want

Audiences are indicating every day what they do or do not want to read, and on what platform they like to consume it.

He added that the launch itself is “incredibly important” within this: it will either “create momentum or lack momentum” he said.

  • Think and act like a digital company
  • And finally, continue

He spoke about the ways publishers can work to continue to increase subscriptions, such as the Times’s ‘Most Engaged User’ initiative which rewarded the most engaged subscribers.

Its move from a “gateway” of 20 articles a month to 10 articles a month also helped it see “another boost in subscriptions”, he added.

#wef12: Follow the World Editors Forum in Kiev

For the next few days I will be in Kiev to report from the World Editors Forum (and possibly also from sessions at the World Newspaper Congress).

Articles and blog posts will be published on Journalism.co.uk, and I will be tweeting from @journalism_live, with headlines also tweeted out on @journalismnews. You can also follow the hashtags #wef12 (forum) and #wnc12 (congress) to see live updates from those at the conferences.

Here is a link to the agenda.

BBC Radio 4 Today: The Drum explains decision to publish Prince Harry images online

Following the Sun newspaper’s decision to print the nude images of Prince Harry today, despite a request from St James’s Palace lawyers earlier this week that they not be published, there has been widespread discussion in the media about the move.

Explaining its decision today, the Sun said “there is a clear public interest in publishing the Harry pictures, in order for the debate around them to be fully informed”.

The Sun adds that “it is absurd that in the internet age newspapers like the Sun could be stopped from publishing stories and pictures already seen by millions on the free-for-all that is the web”.

At the time of writing, the Guardian was reporting that more than 150 complaints have been made to the Press Complaints Commission, but not from the Palace’s lawyers.

A survey of 1000 UK adults today by Usurv who were asked about the Sun’s decision to publish the images, found 21 per cent agreed the photos were in the public interest, while 63 per cent did not agree with the decision.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, editor of marketing and media news site The Drum Gordon Young spoke about their decision to publish the images online alongside a column discussing the fact that British newspapers had not done so, at the time. The Today programme said The Drum had “claimed to be the first UK website” to publish the photos.

What’s very interesting is this was a very logical and easy decision for The Drum. We were surprised at the controversy relative to what an easy decision it was for us.

… It was such an obvious thing to do in the context of the column and the piece, the writer was basically criticising press for not having the backbone to release the pictures in the UK so we couldn’t run that and not had the backbone ourselves to do it.

Video by The Times outlines thinking behind Olympic wraps and community reaction

The Times has published a video today on YouTube which hears from deputy editor Keith Blackmore, design editor Jon Hill and deputy picture editor Elizabeth Orcutt, as well as communities editor Ben Whitelaw, about the thinking behind its Olympic wraps. As Blackmore says:

The first one was terrifying. Once you made a commitment to do it, and we’d committed right from the start to do this every single day of the Olympic games … you’ve got to do it.

The video includes a look at the decision behind the very first wrap, which wanted to visualise the dawning of the Olympics in London. The Times sent a photographer out every morning the week ahead of the Olympics to photograph the sun coming up over the Olympic stadium, before it was decided a shot of the London Bridge with its Olympic rings was the better shot for the job.

The video, which can be played below, also talks about the reaction to the wraps on social media from the community.

National Readership Survey infographic illustrates rise in digital magazine and newspaper reading

Here is an infographic from the National Readership Survey which aims to illustrate the growth in readership of newspapers and magazines on tablets, e-readers and mobiles.

According to a release it’s the first in a new series of infographics to be produced by the NRS “to demonstrate the breadth of insight within the NRS reports”, which are released each quarter:

It is no secret that these platforms are developing at an incredibly fast rate, and that media brands are increasingly being consumed on these digital devices. In fact, over the last year, readership on tablets and e-readers has doubled. However, what we need to remember is that however ubiquitous these devices appear to be in London – you cannot help but spot every kind of device if you commute on the tube – multi-digital platform ownership is still relatively low nationwide, with just 1.4 per cent of the population owning both a tablet and an e-reader.

The figures visualised below refer to data collected by the NRS for the period of April 2011 to March 2012. They include a rise in use of tablets and e-readers from 1.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent for reading magazines and from 2.4 per cent to 5 per cent for newspapers.

The NRS also reports a rise in mobile app readership of “publishing content” of 30 per cent. Readership of magazines grew from 2.7 per cent to 3.5 per cent on mobile apps, and readership of newspapers from 4.7 per cent to 6 per cent.

Digital First Media’s first mobile community newsroom takes to the road

Digital First Media has launched the first of its new “mobile community media labs”, one of a number of community news projects to be launched by titles within the company.

Journalism.co.uk reported last month about the four new mobile labs, including “pop-up newsrooms”, to be introduced. They are being run by the San Jose Mercury News, the St Paul Pioneer Press, the York Daily Record and the New Haven Register.

The first, TCRover, was launched on Friday by St Paul Pioneer Press, described in a press release as “a modified Ford Transit Connect wrapped with TwinCities.com and Pioneer Press branding” and “outfitted with WiFi, a generator, awning, chairs and a pull-down projection screen”.

Digital First Media’s Steve Buttry said in the release:

The Twin Cities are the perfect location for a mobile community newsroom. This is a sprawling metro area with two hubs, dozens of widely varying suburban communities and several shared interests, such as the sports teams.

With the TCRover, the TwinCities.com staff will be able to engage people where they live and work.

Digital First Media travelling in the van will teach the community skills such as “how to blog, how to interact with our site, even how to do research on topics that interest them”, the release adds.

The adventures of the mobile community newsrooms can be followed on Twitter @TCRover.

Guardian gives readers option to ‘hide Olympics’ section on homepage

The Guardian is offering its readers the option of hiding the part of its homepage dedicated to the majority of its Olympics coverage, in a move similar to that which it took during the Royal Wedding last year.

Back in April 2011 the Guardian also featured a button on its homepage to remove Royal Wedding related coverage.

And this feature is something that has been seen elsewhere during big news events. The website for Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet gave its readers the choice of a “Breivik-free” version during the trial of Anders Behring Breivik.

And just like the Guardian, Norwegian title, Verdens Gang, also offered a button for users to remove Royal Wedding coverage last year.

Hatip: @TheMediaTweets and @hayjane

Guardian US, #smarttakes and ‘pop-up aggregation’

The Guardian’s US operation announced yesterday the launch of a new socially-driven aggregation series, #smarttakes.

According to a post on Comment Is Free the new project will see the introduction of “a pop-up aggregation tool that collects standout pieces of commentary and analysis from Guardian readers”.

We’ve been experimenting with the concept in recent weeks, like when the drone scandal broke, when Facebook went public and when the Montreal protests erupted. As of today, pop-up aggregation has a permanent home on the Guardian.

Currently the project is US only. The project will see users involved by tweeting about comment pieces with the #smarttakes hashtag. According to the Guardian announcement “great recommendations will also get retweeted from @GuardianUS”.

Hatip: Nieman Journalism Lab.

Reporting on the new development Nieman adds that the Guardian will also offer a “curated roundup” on the series’ page.

also spoke to Amanda Michel, open editor for the Guardian but who was previously involved in setting up #MuckReads at ProPublica, the non-profit’s “ongoing collection of watchdog reporting elsewhere”. The Nieman post highlights some of the lessons Michel learnt with #MuckReads:

Over email, Michel told me one lesson from #MuckReads was how to create a long-term commitment to using a hashtag. That helps not just to populate the project, but to build support, she said.

On the subject of open journalism at the Guardian, we recently spoke to national editor Dan Roberts about some of the lessons learned from the Guardian’s UK projects such as its open newslist experiment and Reality Check blog.

Follow Talk Journalism conference discussion on ‘future of online journalism in India’

A conference taking place in Jaipur today, Talk Journalism, will shortly hear from a panel of journalists about the ‘evolution of collaborative journalism in the social media era and the future of online journalism in India’.

The remaining panel, due to start at around 10.30am will include Heather Timmons from the New York Times’s New Delhi Bureau, Sachin Kalbag, executive editor of Mid Day and independent journalist Ayaz Memon.

Follow the livestream below:

New record for Storify as US bus monitor Storify gets more than 1.5m views

Digital storytelling platform Storify has announced that a Storify produced by US journalist and student Ben Doernberg, which curated the latest responses and reaction to a video in which a bus monitor is seen being taunted (there’s more on this story from the BBC at this link), has hit a new record for Storify by recording more than 1.5 million views.

At the time of writing the number of views stood at 1,575,345. More than $650,000 has also been raised after an Indiegogo page was set up to give the bus monitor a holiday.

See the Storify about the record here.