Tag Archives: MediaGuardian.co.uk

OhmyNews calls on readers for funding – a contributor reacts

OhmyNews, the South Korean-led citizen journalism venture, is appealing to contributors and readers for money, according to an open letter from its publisher Oh Yeon-ho (via MediaGuardian.co.uk).

Last year OhmyNews was 700 million KRW in the red and halfway through 2009 was making a loss of 500 million, despite cutting salaries and 10 staff, the statement says.

In January the site ended its payment scheme for contributors to its international site.

The site has launched the ‘100,000 member club’ – a project asking individuals to donate 10,000 KRW (about £4.83) a month to fund OhmyNews.

It’s aiming to sign up 10,000 members by the end of the year and 100,000 by the end of three – special benefits will be on offer to members.

The move is partly a result of ideals:

“I am asking you to become part of a revolution. In the past, about 70 to 80 per cent of OhmyNews’ revenue came from corporate advertising and sponsorships. In contrast, contributions from readers only totalled five per cent of total revenue,” writes Yeon-ho in the letter.

“I have always believed that if we are truly a citizen participatory internet media than the contributions from readers should be at least half of the total revenue.

“OhmyNews has succeeded in creating a revolutionary model for news production and consumption, but only if we can also create a new revolutionary revenue model, then can we call ourselves a true citizen participatory new media.”

But perhaps, more significantly, a sign of the times:

“We are grateful for the remaining advertisers that have stayed with us. But we cannot continue to ask our advertisers for further support. And in contrast, we have not received a cent from the Lee Myung-bak government for central government advertising.”

Journalism.co.uk asked OhmyNews contributor, retired Australian journalist and editor of the ‘A Word A Day’ newsletter,  Eric Shackle whether he thought the club was viable:

“I don’t think any newspaper or website in the world could find 100,000 readers prepared to pay for its survival.

“Ever since the internet was invented, it’s been free. Today it offers an incredible range of services, including news, and it’s all free. People won’t pay for anything they can get for nothing.

“OhmyNews was an innovator in its field, and attracted millions of hits from a worldwide audience. It offered a wide selection of interesting stories from citizen reporters and experienced journalists who were not seeking large rewards. It had no competitors, but today it has many overseas rivals.

“I fear that in a few years few, if any, newspapers will be printed in ink-on-paper hard copy, which will be good for the environment.  Those that survive the economic meltdown will be wholly electronic, produced by far fewer journalists than are employed today. If they can’t make a profit, they will have to be run by independent not-for-profit trusts subsised if necessary by local authorities or national governments.

“We certainly need to be informed of important events, and responsible, well-paid, full-time journalists will always be needed to provide that information.”

Advertising round-up: Ad recession to hit new low; ASA predicts and behavioural ads

The global advertising recession will a new low point in the second half of 2009, dropping by 8.5 per cent this year, according to a new report from ZenithOptimedia, reports MediaGuardian.co.uk.

Western Europe and North America will be most affected, suggests the forecast, which can be downloaded in full at this link.

Elsewhere in the industry, Guy Parker, chief of the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency, has predicted a greater number of complaints relating to fewer campaigns in 2009.

In 2008 ASA received 26,433 complaints about 15,556 ads, but 2009 could see more than 30,000, says Parker.

Across the pond Broadcasting & Cable reports that four major US ad associations have joined forces to issue a set of guidelines on behavioral advertising – most significantly a ruling requiring internet service providers and desktop app software, such as web browser tool bars, to ask a user to opt-in before engaging in behavioral ads.

Announcement of pay cut for Rusbridger and no bonus for McCall following NUJ comments

The Guardian News & Media (GNM) editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, has made his ten per cent pay cut public, following public comments by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) about Guardian executive bonus payments at a time when cuts are being made at regional newspapers within the Guardian Media Group (GMG).

Earlier this week the NUJ published a full page advert in the Guardian which said there were “devastating staff cuts to service the ongoing expansion of the Guardian – which is losing many millions but still paying executive bonuses.”

An article published today on MediaGuardian.co.uk reports that Rusbridger is not part of the GMG bonus scheme and had last year informed the Scott Trust, owners of GNM’s parent company GMG, of his plans to take a pay cut.

The article states that Carolyn McCall, chief executive of GMG, had told the company’s remuneration committee in January that she would not take a bonus for the 2008-9 year.

“”Ordinarily such information would only be made public when GMG’s annual report is published in the summer. However, as the group’s two most senior executives, and in light of recent comments by the NUJ, they felt it was appropriate to inform the [union] chapels,” a GMG spokesman said.”

As part of the pay freeze announcement in February GMG said that it would not pay financial performance bonuses for the financial year 2008-2009, ‘which form the larger part of overall bonuses,’ it continues.

“But its remuneration committee – which consists of independent directors and the chair of the Scott Trust – decided that bonuses based on the achievement of personal objectives could be paid.”

GMG has suspended its bonus scheme for this financial year, the article reports.

Jon Slattery: UK regional press crisis: interviews with an ex-editor, reporter and manager

Following his piece on the regional press on MediaGuardian.co.uk, Jon Slattery has published a series of full interviews with industry representatives from the UK’s regional press.

Speaking about the impact of job losses on journalists, an ex-editor says:

“There’s simply nothing out there. Six weeks ago they were an editor, a man of significant substance in their community; today they’re signing on.”

Full post at this link…

Guardian appoints roles in new editorial ‘pods’

Guardian News & Media has this morning announced the heads of ‘its new integrated production, media and environment teams’, which are to be called pods. Appointments to its sport and picture desks were also announced.

New editorial roles are as follows (quoted from original article):

  • Damian Carrington: head of the environment pod
  • Jon Casson: head of production. Casson will be responsible for all sub-editors in the integrated production and subbing teams across the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.co.uk, and will also do news subbing.
  • Andy Beven: head of production, business and pods. He will line manage the subbing teams within the pods and the business desk.
  • David Marsh: production editor of the Guardian
  • Steve Busfield, news editor of guardian.co.uk: head of the media and technology pod (which will include MediaGuardian.co.uk, the MediaGuardian print section, the Guardian Technology print section and website, and the Observer’s media coverage.)
  • Jason Deans has been appointed editor of MediaGuardian.co.uk.

Guardian: Times website seeks Sky News link-up

The Times website wants to carry more video content from Sky News.

Times Online editor-in-chief, Anne Spackman, told MediaGuardian.co.uk that negotiations to make this happen were at an early stage on the newspaper website carrying breaking news videos from Sky.

Any deal is likely to improve the online video offering from the Times.

Despite being one of the first national newspapers to adopt a TV service the Times offering has fallen behind other nationals – in terms of quality – and seems to be due an overhaul.