The stats suggest that readers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spent 12 minutes more on its site in November 2009 when compared with the same period last year.
Half of the top 30 websites recorded a year-on-year increase in average user time spent on site, with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution posting the highest average time for the month at 23 minutes and 38 seconds.
But the New York Times’ website recorded the biggest year-on-year decrease in average time spent on the site by users. The figures suggest a drop of more than 19 minutes in the past year to a time of 17 minutes 17 seconds for November 2009.
Newswatch, the weekly Nigerian news magazine, has interviewed Bill Kovach, the former curator of the Nieman Journalism Foundation at Harvard University, and the founder of the Committee for Concerned Journalists, CCJ. Earlier in his career Kovach was chief of the New York Times Washington bureau, and executive editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kovach answers questions about his (54 year long) career to date. Some of the best answers come near the end – on African news coverage, for example:
“[I] think the western world, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the western world has always thought of Africa as something they had to interprete through their eyes and I always thought that was wrong.
“One of the things I love about the Nieman programme is that back in the 1960s, the Nieman programme refused to take people from South Africa because South African authorities only wanted white. But Harvard told the South African government and owners of the press that whites would be taken only if every other year, we got a black South African. And so, we began to bring into the Nieman programme white South Africans. Every other year, and soon it was every year, more whites and blacks got their chances.”
Interesting strategy from the Atlanta Consitution-Journal: the US newspaper has launched an advertising campaign encouraging readers to turn to its Sunday print edition to escape from digital technology (via Common Sense Journalism)
“This is not an anti-Internet campaign,” Amy Chown, vice president of marketing, told Adweek.
“It’s not that we don’t want them to read us online. We wanted to balance the use of AJC.com during the week with the paper on Sunday.” Full story at this link…
It’s a letter from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s editor, Julia Wallace, to the users and readers.
In these times of economic difficulties, the paper is making a concentrated effort to balance its editorial and meet complaints that its opinion pages had become too liberal – ‘the issue that generated the most questions and comments to our publisher’, Wallace explains.
“Some readers believe we do a good job of being fair in our coverage and providing a balance of opinions. A few think we’re too conservative. But many more believe that our editorial pages are too liberal and that bias seeps into our news coverage. We have heard you on the bias issue and are taking deliberate steps to address this.
“On the news pages, we have several editors who are assigned to look for bias and balance issues in stories and headlines. This has led to fairer coverage – more care in our play of stories as well as more straightforward approaches in headlines and local and wire stories. We continually discuss this issue with our staff and will continue to put an emphasis on critical editing focused on fairness.”