Tag Archives: news site

10,000 Words: news site screenshots from 9/11, ten years on

The 10,000 Words blog has created a slideshow of screenshots showing the homepages of 45 newspaper, broadcaster, blog and other online news outlet websites on Sunday, the ten year anniversary of 9/11, showing their coverage between 10am and 11am Pacific Standard Time.

There is also an original gallery of shots which were captured between 12.30am and 1.30am PST (8.30am to 9.30am GMT) here.

Read more on 10,000 Words.

News sites beware: Google News readers can block all blogs

Google News has made updates to allow users to further personalise the type of news they read.

Readers can now omit sites, choose to read more news from a selected site, increase or decrease the amount of blogs that appear or batch exclude all blogs from their Google News home page at one fell swoop.

Both blogs and news sites need to check how they are categorised by Google News. Just because you do not describe your site as a blog, doesn’t mean that Google News hasn’t listed you as one.

It is not clear how news sites can have their blog status removed but this form will allow your to flag it up with Google News

Hat tip: Search Engine Land

Slideshare: research tips for journalists from @colinmeek

Journalism.co.uk consulting editor Colin Meek (@colinmeek) found himself stranded recently in Oslo, Norway but was rescued thanks to some nifty footwork by Kristine Lowe and an online project from Norwegian news site VG.no entitled Hitchhikers Central.

Colin was in Oslo to give, among other things, an evening presentation to the Norwegian Online News Association (NONA). Colin, when he’s not advising on Journalism.co.uk’s editorial board, is an investigative journalist and trainer in advanced online research skills (his next one-day, open course is in London Tuesday 15 June 2010). Here are some of the tips he shared with our Norwegian colleagues:

PCUK/Harris Poll: Print copies may help build online subscriptions

The final day of paidContent:UK’s paid-for content survey conducted by Harris Interactive, shows a little more consumer willingness to pay, if a newspaper is chucked in too:

“While only five percent of people who read a news site at least once a month told us they would pay for online access, when you throw in a free or discounted subscription to the printed paper, that rises to a combined 48 percent…”

Full survey at this link…

Readers prefer subscriptions to micropayments – according to paidContent:UK/Harris survey

PaidContent:UK has this week launched a series about online payment models, using the results of a poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Its first story reported that if newspaper groups were to begin charging for their websites, three quarters of users would abandon them in favour of a free alternative.

Only five per cent would pay for their favourite free news website

The research, which polled 1,188 British adults, found that among users who read a free site at least once a month as their top source of news, only five per cent would pay for that website, if such a payment model was introduced. Seventy-four per cent would find a free alternative news source; a further eight percent would continue reading the website’s free headlines only; and 12 per cent were not sure what they would do.

Long term subscriptions more attractive

Today’s update indicates that long-term subscriptions rather than micropayments, is ‘by far the most attractive option’ to consumers:

PaidContent:UK reported:

[Harris Interactive] asked users who read a news site at least once a month what their favoured option would be if they either chose to pay for their favourite site or were forced to pay by all news sites going pay-for:

  • Per-article fees (ie. micropayments) are the favourite option for 21 percent.
  • A day pass giving unlimited articles within a 24-hour period is favoured by 26 per cent.
  • But a subscription of up to a year is the most desired model, supported by 54 per cent.

So what does this mean for micropayment models?

“There’s been a lot of buzz about micro-payment recently, and some prominent players, like Google have moved into this field,” said Andrew Freeman, the  senior consultant with Harris Interactive’s technology, media and telecoms team.

“But there are massive challenges: and not just technical ones. From a simple business point of view, micropayments are disproportionately expensive to administer. Until you have an enormous volume and value, it just won’t be worthwhile.

“If consumers are going to give up their preference for single-subscription payments they can more easily check and monitor, they will need to have real confidence and trust in the brands they use. Micropayments will probably benefit only the very largest of companies.”

The survey

“The likelihood of newspapers instituting online charging models has become a hot topic. But the debate has mostly been led by what the publishers, and not the readers, want. We felt it was important to ask them and put some data in the public domain to inform publishers currently faced with this decision,” paidContent:UK editor, Robert Andrews, told Journalism.co.uk.

“Everything we’ve learned over the last few months tells us that there’s likely a bigger pay-for market for mission-critical, business and niche information than for general consumer news like sport, celebrity or perhaps even politics.”

Although they didn’t ask about specific news categories for this survey, paidContent:UK hopes to take these questions to consumers in a follow-up survey, he added.

Forthcoming stories will look at what price consumers would be happy to pay; and whether including a newspaper subscription would affect users’ willingness to pay online.

Surprising findings

“The top-line results are in line with my expectations. Conventional wisdom that has grown up around this debate in recent months has told us that, whilst there may be a pay-for market for mission-critical, business or niche news content, there’s enough plurality in the global consumer news market that readers can find an alternative source with just a few mouse clicks,” said Andrews.

“But some specific findings surprised me. For example, those in their teens and early 20s are many times more likely to say they’ll pay than those aged 35 to 54, whom I would have thought would have more disposable income.

“The working class and those on subsistence are nearly as likely to say they will pay as the upper middle class and middle class. And some of the regional variations, for example Wales are right up with Londoners on propensity to pay, and those in the north east of England far more likely to say they would continue reading their favourite site but only via its free headlines.”

Advice for the industry

“Publishers will need to carefully consider the effects of implementing a pay wall before mixing their cement – our survey suggests most of their readers would flee to a rival paper,” Andrews said.

“Sites must consider whether they have a value proposition unique enough to retain readers despite our findings. And they need to do the maths: raising a pay wall would reduce the number of eyeballs achieved for publishers’ advertisers, so are payments from five per cent of readers enough to offset the decline in ad income?”

Editors Weblog: Election candidates must pay for campaign coverage, says US editor

A round-up of reports that a local Florida newspaper is planning to charge candidates in a local mayoral election for coverage.

An email from the publication’s editor Tom Oosterhoudt to two of the candidates explained that others had had their campaigns covered, because they had already purchased advertising with the title, Conch Color.

“As far as candidate forums and debates, we’ll cover those when we can, but if candidates want their campaign covered, they have to pay to play,” Oosterhoudt told fellow Florida news site, Keynews.com.

Full post at this link…

In July the Washington Post was heavily criticised for offering paid-for access to exclusive ‘salons’ with officials from Barack Obama’s administration. The paper later dropped the plans.

Journalism Daily: Rue89’s Canadian expansion, WaPo’s WebCom and KNC 2010

A daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site. You can also sign up to our e-newsletter and subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

News and features:

Editor’s picks:


On the Editors’ Blog:

ReadWriteWeb: Google may hand over Caribbean journalists’ IP addresses

ReadWriteWeb follows up Wikileaks’ report that Google could comply with an order to supply the IP addresses used to access a news site’s GMail account, as part of a libel claim in the Santa Clara, California Superior Court, regarding government corruption in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

The TCI Journal is a news and commentary site based in the Islands, run by ‘journalists, lawyers, professionals, students and patriots.’ RWW reports:

“A property developer discussed at length in the Journal’s documentation of corruption and in the official UK government inquiry report is now suing the journal for libel.”

According to Wikileaks and RWW, Google intends to hand over the requested records in just over two weeks, unless the Journal files a counter-motion with the court itself.

Google has supplied RWW with a statement that said the company was ‘still evaluating all [its] legal options regarding this particular request’.

Full post at this link…

paidContent.org: ‘The fallacy of the link economy’ for news sites

Media consultant Arnon Mishkin argues that the value of linking between sites is getting captured by aggregators rather than by the news sites that they scrape and link to.

“Even in an absolute best-case scenario for producers of original content, the aggregators get at least as much traffic on linked stories as the creators of those stories because anyone who clicks on the link does so from the aggregator’s site (so each site gets a page view),” he writes.

“[E]ach aggregator gets to build a ‘front page’ to target and win over their chosen segment, or enable each user to tailor a front page perfectly suited to his or her needs. And they can do that by leveraging all the resources of the global journalistic community without paying any part of its cost.”

Looking at the link economy from the perspective of making money and getting the most out of initial traffic bursts generated by aggregators linking to a news site, Mishkin suggests three tactics:

  • News sites should seek ‘an equitable economic relationship’ with aggregators and drop links if they don’t get a fair deal;
  • Partner with other content providers to create their own aggregation sites;
  • Look at ‘wadgets’ – a combination of content and advertising – rather than ‘widgets’ purely offering a site’s material. This would allow them to monetise some of the traffic on the aggregators site.

The AP’s recent suggestion that it will creating landing pages for members’ news content and introduce a advertising revenue share arrangement seems to go some way to meeting Mishkin’s recommendations.

Interesting thoughts in a week where user-powered aggregator Digg introduced its new ad system. The question of how much revenue aggregation sites are generating should also be considered.

Full paidContent.org post at this link…

Related: see Publish2 founder Scott Karp’s thoughts on newspapers and the link economy.

Student showcase: The London File (City University International Journalism MA)

A little while ago Journalism.co.uk asked for examples of journalism students’ projects. Feel free to send more, whether you’re midway through, or at the end, of a course.

As mentioned in the last post, City University MA International Journalism students (2008-2009) produced the London File, at this link. Now their course is over, the news stories are out-of-date but the sites is still live for a visit.

It’s a news site divided into eight sections (home / EU elections special / social affairs / world affairs / insider life / science & health / arts / sport / money), plus a campaign, which ‘aimed to explore the various forms of public surveillance and investigate issues relating to ways in which the government monitors the private lives of ordinary citizens.’

The team’s overall goal was to ‘to capture and report the realities and issues on the ground in London, as they happen’.

Here’s what their editor-in-chief, Annabel Symington, had to say at the end of the project:

“The London File was the last assessment for our MA, and it was really nice to all be working together on a project. We began planning the
site five weeks before we went live, and planned to keep up loading new content to the site on a rolling deadline for two weeks.

“The two weeks were a really intense time. We were responsible for every aspect of the site, from getting the content to designing the pages, and it was a lot of work balancing all of the different jobs necessary – getting a website to work as well as going out and being journalists.

“Throughout the process we have been supported by our tutors who have been putting in as much time as we have. It’s certainly been a steep
learning curve. I don’t think that anyone had appreciated how much work needs to be put into a site before it actually goes live, and in
many ways we were trying to get a fully formed website running before we could even walk. But we got there in the end. The site looks great, despite the few hiccups we had along the way.”