The European Commission and a media consortium lead by France’s Courier International have launched presseurop.eu – a site that will aggregate and translate newspaper articles from the world’s leading titles and translate them into 10 languages.
Analyses, press reviews and news summaries will also be provided.
Nadim Hasbani, writing at the Huffington Post, looks at the ‘the widespread failure of western-owned Arabic TV channels to establish themselves as credible news sources with Middle Eastern audiences living under dictatorship regimes,’ in light of Obama’s decision to speak to the Arab world on Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based news channel. Hasbani writes:
“Arabs are watching news and entertainment programmes from Arabic satellite channels like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, MBC, and LBC. But they are not watching the news stations western governments are funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year: BBC Arabic, the American Al Hurra, France 24 Arabic, and Deutsche Welle Arabia.”
paidContent:UK reports: “Just as newspapers were looking to attract new mobile readers, Apple has rejected the first version of Newspaper(s), an iPhone app that let users read the content of over 50 newspapers around the world, including the New York Times, France’s Le Monde, and the UK’s tabloid the Sun. Apple rejected the app on the grounds that The Sun, with its topless Page 3 Girls, was ‘obscene’.
Yes, Monday was two days ago but Frédéric Filloux’s take on Sarkosy’s media prescription is a good read and clearly set out. “Tons of cash for publishers, little in return,” Filloux starts.
“That’s the Sarkozy prescription to ‘save’ the press. For €600m ($767m) to be spent over three years, the French president is buying if not influence, the French media barons’ ear and goodwill. This is not a stimulus package. This is a band-aid to an ailing industry that has a shown a tremendous resistance to change, at every level.”
One quote that grabbed my attention, however, was newspapers reported remark: “You are accepting the end of news as we know it.”
Google, secrecy about its algorithms and dominance of the online ad market aside, is looking forward; newspapers are trying to protect and control what they perceive as news and the news business. The problems they are facing, some related to Google and others not, should show them that this self-interested attitude can’t be maintained and their perception of ‘news as we know it’ is out-dated.
“This anti-Google attitude comes from an apparent sense of entitlement that we see clearly in France but also elsewhere: Google owes us (…) They – like other publishers and journalists – think a market should be built around what they need and that there is a fair share that belongs to them even though they did not innovate and change so those who did should rescue them. But as Scott Karp has said, no one guarantees them a business model.”
Metro International, the freesheet publisher, said it doesn’t expect to break even in 2008: so far this year has lost a total €3.97 million (£3.08 million) from its seven websites in Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Chile, France and Spain.
And while we’re on the theme of digital conferences in Amsterdam, news comes that the Guardian News & Media’s special adviser, Caroline Little, will be the keynote speaker at the annual World Digital Publishing Conference & Expo, to be held October 15-16.
Little was previously behind the Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive’s growth online, as their chief executive officer and publisher. She now advises the Guardian as it expands its online presence in the US.
Other speakers at the conference will include Ilicco Elia, head of mobile Europe for Thomson Reuters, Gary Clarke, director of business development for Amazon Kindle, and Frédéric Sitterlé, new media director for Le Figaro in France.