David Fordham, chief executive of Iliffe News and Media, has been appointed as president of the Newspaper Society.
Georgina Harvey, Trinity Mirror Regionals managing director, has been named as vice president.
David Fordham, chief executive of Iliffe News and Media, has been appointed as president of the Newspaper Society.
Georgina Harvey, Trinity Mirror Regionals managing director, has been named as vice president.
This goes back to last week, but it seems worth putting up here anyway. Last Thursday Matt Wardman covered this story for Press Gazette: about the Newspaper Licensing Agency regulating hyperlinks for commercial agencies and aggregators.
“The NLA will be introducing a new form of licence from 1 September to regulate ‘web aggregator’ services (such as Meltwater) that forward links to newspaper websites and for press cuttings agencies undertaking this type of activity.”
Craig McGill also picked up on it and asked a series of provocative questions. He got a lengthy response from the NLA, including this:
“This is not about bloggers adding links to newspaper sites. Our focus is on professional media monitoring organisations (news aggregators, press cuttings agencies) and their client business who make extensive use of the newspaper content.”
Last Friday Journalism.co.uk spoke to the NLA who said it was part of their new e-Clips service – ‘a feed of newspapers’ online content direct to cuttings aggregators and press cuttings agencies.’
Here’s the NLA statement in full:
“The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) today [dated June 2009] announced a new business-to- business clippings database for newspaper websites to launch in January 2010. It also has said it will extend its licensing remit to cover newspaper websites from January 2010.
“The new service, called eClips web, will offer a complete feed of newspapers’ online content direct to cuttings aggregators and press cuttings agencies. Powered directly from newspapers’ own content-management systems, eClips web will make web-based media monitoring faster and richer and provide a permanent record for PR and communications professionals.
“The NLA will also extend its licensing remit to cover local and national newspapers’ web content. David Pugh, managing director of the NLA, said: “We have two aims: to contribute to the growth of web monitoring; and to protect the rights of publishers. Research shows that 23 per cent of newspapers’ online content never appears in print and that the internet is growing in influence as a resource for news. So it is vital to have comprehensive monitoring coverage of newspapers’ websites – and vital that the publishers are properly rewarded for their work.”
“From September 2009, web aggregators that charge clients for their services will require a NLA licence and be charged from January 2010, The press cuttings agencies that either ‘scrape’ content themselves or buy in services from aggregators will also be licensed and charged. Client companies that receive and forward links from these commercial aggregators within their organisation will also require a licence.
“David Pugh added: “We have consulted extensively across the industry – the incremental charges for web cuttings will be low and manageable. I stress this is not about individuals sharing links – we think that’s great for newspapers and promotes their websites and their readership. What we are doing is making sure that newspapers are rewarded fairly for professional use of their web content by businesses.””
“The NLA is owned by the 8 national newspaper publishing houses and generates B2B revenues for
1,300 national and regional publishers through licensing use of their content by press cuttings
agencies (PCAs) and their client companies.
“The new licences will cover all local and national titles with the exception of the Financial Times and
the News International titles. These will all, however, be included in the eClips web database.”
“A Belgian national who claims he has been ‘held hostage’ in Qatar by his sponsor since the company he worked for fell into financial difficulty last year, has been sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour.”
On June 22 the former managing director of Dialogic Qatar, Philippe Bogaert, discovered he had been sentenced to three years imprisonment. Bogaert, who has been publicising his case via Twitter, said: “I can pay 500 Riyals to freeze the judgment and appeal. Then I will have to be represented by a Qatari lawyer during the next hearings.”
Bogaert told Journalism.co.uk: “If I raise the money, I can appeal so won’t go to jail (yet). But unfortunately, I’ll still be far from free…”
If you have further information to add to this story please contact judith at journalism.co.uk.
John Menzies has closed its digital magazines arm – MagazinesOnDemand.
“Digital magazines have not proved as popular as we had hoped and in this difficult economic climate it was not possible for us to continue trading,” a statement on a holding page on the company’s website reads.
In an interview with Journalism.co.uk in April, MOD’s managing director Sarah Clegg conceded that the outfit had not yet made a profit, but remained optimistic about the future of e-editions.
Yesterday, the first panel at the 37th FIPP World Magazine Congress, which looked at the economic situation for the magazine market, had acknowledged e-readers as significant, but not as a direct threat and a show of hands from the audience indicated their limited uptake.
In fact, despite gloomy advertising revenue predictions, time was devoted to preserving and celebrating print, and pointing out that magazines did not necessarily face the same catastrophic fate as their newspaper counterparts. Much was made of the ‘feel’ of the printed product by several of the speakers, for instance.
But magazines are investing in digital editions – so what do they look like?
In yesterday’s session entitled ‘Digital Editions: Opportunity or Blind Alley?’ President (Europe and Latin America) of Zinio Global, Joan Solà, emphasised the importance of structural change, ‘a major change, moving from analogue into digital’: “If the publishing industry adopts the right measures to make structural change to industry, it will avoid getting caught in the middle of the ropes,” he said.
We’re moving from a system with a big ‘logistic cost,’ he said. “We all know that paper, printing and distribution has an impact, an environmental impact. In the US 35 million trees have to be cut down each year.”
We ‘move to a new scheme in which content can be delivered in new forms,’ Solà said.
Kevin Madden, publishing director for digital publishing at Dennis Publishing, is not convinced a digital product will replace the role of magazines:
“Ultimately the web is a dipping medium, but I don’t ascribe any loyalty to the sites I visit.”
Publishers should cater for this ‘dipping audience’, whilst also providing a ‘feast’ for those who want it, he said.
Managing director at Menzies Digital, Sarah Clegg outlined her vision for the digital product, in her case, as she has told Journalism.co.uk in the past – includes digital editions of 140 magazine titles, with a look to e-paper developments for the future.
“Slowly the tide is turning,” she began. “In a lot of cases we [the digital product] are still the outcast,” she said. But, she emphasised, ‘the media landscape has changed, and it’s changing at the rights of knots’.
‘How are you tapping into that child of today – who is reading electronic media?’ she asked, using as an example her 13 year old niece, who picks up a range of digital tools on a daily basis.
“We know consumer habits are changing, people are choosing when they want to consume and when they want to consume. Everybody is after their instant fix,” she said.
“These aren’t questions anymore: there’s a market to take advantage of,” she added.
“They present an opportunity, along with economic necessity. We must find a place in the digital publishing model – I don’t think we’ve had our day,” she said.
Clegg wants to see lower prices for the digital product and more cooperation from publishers. She was aggrieved she said, to discover that having negotiated a 25 per cent discount for digital subscriptions, the publisher had offered a 60 per cent reduction on the print edition.
Another annoyance is that on one of their publications, it takes eight clicks to get through to digital edition, she said.
“Publishers should adapt and cater for the consumer – it [the digital edition] is not for everyone but it’s for someone,” she said.
“I think we’re heading towards a golden era for publishing,” she added, optimistically.
Following Clegg, Mark Payton, digital editorial director for Haymarket Consumer Media, described how his company has a contract with Menzies Digital and he’s ‘very keen for it to work.’
Recent digital innovations at Haymarket include:
“I no longer have colleagues around talking about web 2.0 – it has become the web,” Payton said.
The UK’s Press Association (PA) has announced a new service – a video wire of raw news footage.
While the association has produced video since 2005, it has never made this content available on a news wire, alongside text and pictures.
Subscribers to the service will be able to edit their own packages from the clips, a release from the agency said – making the cost of the service lower.
Regional newspapers will be offered a free trial of the service, which will feature up to 30 stories a day.
“The video wire is not only a cost-effective solution for news broadcasters, but will also support regional media players at an important stage in their development as multi-platform businesses,” said Tony Watson, PA managing director, in the release.
“As DCMS and Ofcom grapple with the issue of safeguarding plurality of provision in PSB regional television news, we believe the new UK video service could make a significant contribution to the solutions currently under consideration.”
The PA’s launch comes as potential partnerships between the BBC and local media on training and equipment are set to get the go ahead – according to this MediaGuardian report.
Tarek Esber is senior analyst for Al Jazeera Mobile & New Media and based in Doha. Intrigued by his recent online updates, Journalism.co.uk sent him over a few questions. Firstly, we asked him specifically about the Al Jazeera forum which took place last month, and then asked for more general observations about use of social and new media in the Arab world.
So, we noticed you tweeting from the fourth Al Jazeera forum last month – what was that all about? [TE] The Fourth Al Jazeera Forum was built on the success of past Al Jazeera Forums to debate, discuss, and extend the discourse on the critical dynamics of the Middle East in the context of a globalised world. The forum focused on key topics such as the new players in this emerging multi-polar world, the historical context of the power shifts, and the media’s role in this new political landscape. In addition, two case studies examined the war on Gaza and the instability in the Indian subcontinent. The forum was attended by an international mix of journalists, analysts, strategists, academics, and intellectuals to help bring these issues into focus, as well as leading thinkers and strategists were present to explore the evolving face of the region, its place in the global landscape, and the challenges in reporting it in depth. Speakers spoke in either Arabic or English, sometimes both, and live translation was available in English and Arabic.
What were personal highlights for you? This was my first forum so the whole event was a highlight for me. In particular though was the fact that the Creative Commons Team were there with Joi Ito, their CEO, chairing the first Workshop at the Forum – ‘Building Successful Media Projects in Open Networks’.
That particular workshop had a fascinating discussion about how media organisations can open up their content to their advantage. Our Creative Commons repository came up as an example of this as well as the new US government’s use of CC Licences.
Another personal highlight was the case study about the reporting of the War on Gaza, especially having the opportunity to hear Robert Fisk talk about that conflict. The discussion was particularly interesting to me, given the role Social Media played in the PR battle between the two sides. It was also the first major conflict that we as a New Media team had been able to cover using a variety of New Media tools.
We picked up your comment via Twitter that quoted Al Jazeera English managing director Tony Burman: “Western interest in our [Gaza] content being distributed via New Media shows demand for our kind of message/method” What are your thoughts on that, as a member of the new media team? I should add that quote to my list of personal Highlights. Tony Burman was referring to the reaction our New Media initiatives received during the War on Gaza.
I think it’s great and as a New Media Team it’s exactly what we aim to do. A major part of our job is discovering new methods of communication – using the latest tools and services to reach out to and interact with new audiences. Inevitably most of the people using these new services tend to be based in the west.
There was also a huge amount of interest in the Twitter feed we set up just for news about the Gaza conflict. 5,000+ followers from all around the world and for a lot of them it was their first exposure to News from Al Jazeera. The feedback we got was fantastic.
Our Livestation stream, which allows anyone who has an internet connection to watch our English and Arabic channels live for free, also proved very popular. During the War on Gaza viewer figures shot up six-fold and the largest pool of viewers were in North America, a traditional dark zone for Al Jazeera. We’re working on that. Since the War on Gaza we’ve started to make a push to get Al Jazeera English broadcast in Canada and the USA: the IWantAJE.com site gives more information.
Our YouTube channels, in Arabic and English, were just as important. They have always been extremely popular but during the time of conflict we were one of the most viewed channels on there.
Did you find the Twitter activity surrounding the forum useful / something to learn from in future? We hadn’t planned to do anything on Twitter for the Forum this year. It was really a spur of the moment thing – I was at this Forum and a lot of very interesting things were being said. My natural urge was to tweet the most interesting parts especially as this was an invite-only event.
This was a personal reaction rather than a Al Jazeera New Media Team initiative. Some of the other members of the team were tweeting in Arabic as well and we set-up a Hastag (#AJForum09) for people to follow. It was all done using our personal accounts.
In the future, and we already have plans to do this for the AJ Film Festival this month, we might be better off setting up an official channel for the Forum so people can tune in specifically to hear what is going on rather than tweet from my personal account. It’s certainly clear that the interest is there. We’re also thinking about other things we can do for the next Forum such as taking questions via Twitter and trying to get some of the live streams online.
What are the most salient points about new media that came out of the forum? Well we’ve already talked about most of the larger points: The Creative Commons repository and the potential for Open Networks, our work during the War on Gaza and how New Media is helping Al Jazeera reach new audiences.
In the ‘Reporting from the Fragile World: Can the Global Media Reconcile with Changes in the Middle East’ session, New Media came up quite often, especially the online PR battle during the War on Gaza came up a few times. The extensive use of social media tools by both sides was unprecedented, especially the amount of preparation the Israeli government did before the conflict started.
In the same session some good points were made by Fahmi Howeidy, an Egyptian columnist and author, about political bloggers in Egypt. He mentioned that in Egypt, people under 30 don’t read papers, they read blogs as it is their method of escaping the government’s oppression of the media.
He also said that, while he didn’t feel political bloggers had much of an effect on government policy in Egypt, what they had done is made people aware of the governments attempts to control the media and dissenting voices.
He said that in the past, when journalists were arrested and imprisoned for speaking against the government, there wasn’t much national or international outcry but when bloggers were arrested, there was. This took away the impression that government officials were ‘Gods’ – it humanised them which means that they can be held accountable for their actions.
How does uptake/use of new media differ in the Arab and western world? Very interesting question, and it’s something I’ve been learning a lot about since moving to Al Jazeera in Doha from the UK. It’s hard to generalize about the Arab world as a whole as it’s really a diverse region in many ways.
Social media, in particular, seems to have really been embraced in the Arab world. There are more and more interesting Arab voices in the blogosphere everyday opening up their cities, their lives and their countries policies to the whole world. There are also a good number of Arab Social Media Services and more are being created every month. There is WatWet, the Arab Twitter and Ikbis which is usually referred to as the Arab YouTube. There are also Arab blogging platforms such as Maktoob.
But I digress from the question: How does it differ to the west? When I think about new media in the Arab world the first thing that comes to mind is constraints. There are technological constrains in some parts of the Arab world – good internet connectivity can be very expensive and might not be widely available. Hosting can also be an issue. Local hosting companies are rare in some parts and are usually expensive. Western hosting can be bought but the cost is still high.
Then there is censorship. In some Arab countries you can’t access services like Blogger or YouTube. In others you might be able to get started but soon find that if your content isn’t acceptable then your site might be blocked.
The biggest difference for me though is the reason people use the services. I feel that in some parts of the Arab world the services are mainly used as a way to escape restrictions in daily life. As with the example above about Egypt, it gives young people the chance to talk about their lives and their governments in a way they can’t do in public. That’s not to say people in the west don’t do the same, I just get the impression that it’s more widespread in the Arab world.
NatMags has confirmed the departure of Hearst Digital managing director Alex Ballantyne and group agency sales chief, Stuart Flint, as part of layoffs that will reportedly affect half of the publisher’s digital operation.
Statement from Wilmington, publishers of Press Gazette:
“Unfortunately Press Gazette, along with much of the profession, has suffered from a declining market during these years and its losses have increased. We have therefore been forced to conclude that the market required to sustain a commercially viable Press Gazette magazine no longer exists. The last hard copy edition of Press Gazette will therefore be the May edition which will be published in April.”
Update: Over at MediaGuardian Roy Greenslade reports that there will be no future news content on the site:
“There will be no journalism on the site,” said Les Kelly, the managing director of Wilmington’s media and entertainment division.
He added: “There will not be news coverage but we will develop the site to offer other services, such as training and freelance referrals.”
A week with particularly brutal cuts across UK regional media, but news of a new digital appointment comes from Trinity Mirror this morning:
Richard Ayers has been appointed regional web publishing director for Trinity Mirror Regionals.
“In this key position Richard will work closely with the regional teams across the division to implement digital best practice and develop content and online services to drive usage, audience and online revenues across the regional network,” a release from the group said.
“Richard has a first class background in online publishing and I am delighted to welcome him to the team,” said Chris Bunyan, digital director of Trinity Mirror Regionals.
“The audience for our regional sites has increased by over 30 per cent year-on-year to around 5.5 milllon users a month. Richard’s experience and expertise will strengthen our digital team and will ensure we continue to deliver and drive compelling online user experiences for this growing audience across our regional websites,” Bunyan said, in the release.
Ayers career includes ten years at BBC News online, in ‘a number of senior digital roles;’ he was ‘portal director’ for Tiscali.co.uk, and more recently he was the managing director of a digital production agency, Magic Lantern.
The Trinity Mirror release also announced that Shaun Collins has been appointed as digital recruitment director, a role which sees him focus on ‘driving digital recruitment products and their performance’.