Tag Archives: media industry

Helium community earns more than $1 million

Contributors to Helium, the citizen-journalism/amateur writing site, have broken the $1 million mark for total earnings.

The site has 150,000 members earn cash from upfront payments and as part of a revenue share.

“We have about 10,000 who have proven to be talented writers. This is the group that are earning on our site,” Mark Ranalli, CEO of Helium, told Journalism.co.uk.

“Some of our best writers are making $5,000 per year already, and these sums continue to climb as the site continues to grow.

“This milestone represents definitive proof that there is a real market for writers to be compensated for their work online. In the midst of increasing volatility in the traditional media industry, Helium is attracting thousands of publishers and connecting them with high quality subject matter experts on a regular basis,” added Ranalli in a press release.

Helium already has a technology partnership set up with Hearst Newspapers and its members are now allowed access to The Society of Professional Journalists.

The Economist: Newspapers ‘tossed by the gale’: what does it mean for consumers and the media industry?

“Perhaps the surest sign that newspapers are doomed is that politicians, so often their targets, are beginning to feel sorry for them,” opens this analytical feature in The Economist.

Yes, the news industry is struggling, but ‘the plight of the news business does not presage the end of news,’ it says. “As large branches of the industry wither, new shoots are rising. The result is a business that is smaller and less profitable, but also more efficient and innovative…”

Full story at this link…

The Defence Advisory – its role on privacy and the British media

This week the Defence Advisory’s (DA) notice secretary, Andrew Vallance, delivered the final lecture of Coventry University’s Coventry Conversations series on how the controversial subject of secrecy is handled to maintain our country’s national security.

The DA is an institution set up to advise media figures on whether new and sensitive information is suitable for publication or whether this would have an adverse impact on national security.

Vallance was keen to highlight that the organisation tries to create a compromise between allowing and pushing for intriguing information to be published and urging the media not to be too specific about subjects that could make British associates easier to target.

The DA ‘provides advice to avoid the inadvertent publication or broadcasting of information that would damage UK national security’, but also ‘facilitates maximum freedom of the media to report in public interest’, he said.

The DA Notice System has five standing notices advising the media against publishing information on Britain’s military operations, weapons, communications, addresses and services.

But in the UK, where secrecy is taken very seriously and is a ‘birth right’ to every Briton, according to Vallance, the effectiveness of the DA is limited by the rapid spread of information on the internet and because its services are only for domestic-based media.

The internet and a fiercely competitive media industry are the Advisory’s main challenges, Vallance said. These two factors combined create a platform for instant communication from media organisations who want the most popular story or angle, which could leave inside information susceptible to dangerous and unexpected predators; to mass audiences who create pressure by craving daily news and revealing details.

The only alternatives to the current system would be to create government legislation preventing media institutions from printing certain types of information, which could effectively transfer the DA’s five standing notices to parliament, posited Vallance.

The other and more damning alternative, according to Vallance, would be to have a ‘media free for all without a security safety net’.

If all currently secret information was released, which would undoubtedly cut costs for data storage and legal proceedings, would anybody actually take any significance from comparing how many weapons country a, b or c has?

In the modern climate, the likelihood is that vulnerable countries would be targeted from figures released in the press, and so although the DA’s system has no authoritative enforcement, it is a hindrance to any media moguls who may contemplate prioritising the financial lure of popularity over national security.

Telegraph.co.uk: Google’s UK chief Matt Brittin on the UK media industry

“It is easy for people in traditional media to look at the internet and say, ‘Oh God, the internet is taking away our readers and advertisers’. But – and I want to be really clear about this – it is not Google that is taking advertisers away. It is consumers changing their behaviour,” says former Trinity Mirror man.

Full story at this link…

Channel 4 (part 1): Station plans to focus more on regional content

Following up on yesterday’s Ofcom round-up, here are further reports from the House of Lords, where Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan spoke at a Communications Committee hearing.

  • Channel 4 is unlikely to move away from London in a bid to save money, although it is keen to expand its influence around the UK. London was the centre of the UK media industry, Andy Duncan explained to the committee. Savings made from any move were likely to be ‘negligible’ at best.
  • Although Channel 4 is already active in places such as Glasgow, Duncan admitted the station had relatively little presence in Scotland and other parts of the UK, outside England.
  • The station’s CEO said that they were adept at creating good quality ‘one-off’ shows. The challenge was to create more opportunities for ‘returning’ series based in the region.
  • Certain Channel 4 IP, such as ‘Dispatches’ and ‘Cutting Edge’ already allow for the allocation of programming and resources focused in and around the country.

Closing for Christmas but do keep in touch

Season’s greetings to one and all! Journalism.co.uk is going to be tucking into its turkey and nut-roast dinners tomorrow, so in a short time we will be on holiday until January 2.

If you’ve got any news or ideas over the next week, please drop a line to judith at journalism.co.uk or laura at journalism.co.uk and we’ll be in touch soon.

Enjoy the break everyone, and hope your eyes rest a little from the web (though no doubt the computer screen will be replaced by the television one).

So, here’s raising an online glass to the media industry’s 2009. Let’s hope there will be some success stories to report alongside the ominous challenges that loom ahead.

Rory Brown: What next for the B2B media industry?

Rory Brown, former managing director of the interactive marketing division of Incisive Media, shares his thought about the future of business-to-business publishing. “Yes, big media is clearly struggling – and not just because of the economy – but because, in the main, their whole corporate structure is set up for a very different era,” he says.

Covering media job cuts – staff facing redundancy speak online

Having set up a timeline dedicated to reporting on the sweeping job cuts affecting both senior and junior journalists alike, a trend is emerging for laid-off staff to use blogs, Twitter and other online sites and tools to capture their redundancy.

Reports such as Martin Gee’s set of Flickr images from his last day at the San Jose Mercury give a highly individual picture of how these cuts are being felt on a personal level beyond the redundancy figures and prediction stats.

In the summer, the Columbia Journalism Review started its ‘Parting Thoughts’ series, posting responses from journalists leaving the industry or facing redundancy.

At the Gannett Blog, former Gannett editor Jim Hopkins crowdsourced a blogpost of lay-offs by the publisher, listed by newspaper area – at time of writing redundancies at 72 of Gannett’s 85 US titles affected by the company’s latest round of job cuts were accounted for in Hopkins’ post.

In an open blog post last week, Ryan Carson, co-founder of web application design and events agency Carsonified, used the company’s blog to share his thoughts about staff cuts and give the reasons for making them.

Carson went on to give tips for companies looking to recession-proof their business (points that some commenters on the post argue are common sense no matter what the economic situation).

The Spokesman-Review has used its Daily Briefing blog to cover staff leaving in an equally personal and open way. News of senior staff exiting the paper, such as editor Steve Smith and assistant managing editor Carla Savalli, was broken on the blog and posts have also been penned by outgoing journalists, including Thuy Dzuong:

“Folks, it’s been fun but The layoff list for non-managers has been finalized, and I’m on it.”

Last week Silicon Alley Insider built a ‘real time’-style page to cover lay-offs at parent company Yahoo, updating it as new info came in.

(UPDATE – The Rocky Mountain News has launched iwantmyrocky.com to canvas support for the newspaper)

Despite the sad circumstances, the way in which journalists and media workers are facing redundancy in these examples shows a real engagement with online tools. A personal picture of what is happening to the industry is being documented for future reference by these staff members expressing themselves so openly (and perhaps significantly being ‘allowed’ to express themselves by their past/present employers).

What is more, while they may not hold the answers to the problems currently faced by the media industry, they shed light on how these issues are perceived and felt on the frontline. Something which employers should read and learn from.

Rafat Ali: More job losses and major product closures for media industry in 2009

For those that haven’t seen it, here’s Bloomberg’s interview with ContentNext/paidContent founder Rafat Ali, in which he forecasts more job cuts in January and February for the media industry and major product closures by publishers and broadcasters. Ali also predicts the end of one UK or US national newspaper in the next few months.

AOP: UK regulators are stifling international expansion, says i-level founder

Andrew Walmsley, founder of digital marketing agency i-level, livened up the panel discussion on the future of the media industry at yesterday’s Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Digital Publishing Summit.

Media regulators in the UK are holding publishers back, said Walmsley, and digital innovations that would thrive in the US, such as Project Kangaroo – the video on-demand service being jointly developed by the BBC, ITV and Channel, are being stifled here.

Journalism.co.uk caught up with Walsmley off stage at the conference and asked him what the regulators should be doing (apologies for the ‘jazzy’ music in the background, not my choice…):