Tag Archives: Newspapers

Chandlers thank their local media and explain decision to sell story to nationals

Kent couple Paul and Rachel Chandler, who were released by their Somali pirate kidnappers earlier this month after being held hostage for more than a year, have reportedly written to local papers to explain their decision to sell the story to the national press.

According to a report on Archant KOS Media’s Kent News website they received a letter from the couple saying that they had decided to sign exclusive media deals in order to “repay certain immediate debts resulting from this unfortunate and troubling episode”. It’s understood the deals have been made with one national newspaper and one broadcaster.

In a letter sent to media organisations – including Archant KOS Media, publishers of this website – the couple thank the media for their support and respecting an injunction issued in the summer which prevented speculation on their situation.

But they said: “We are not a large and wealthy corporation and have had to take the decision to go with one broadcaster and one national daily newspaper”.

Earlier this month Journalism.co.uk spoke to Chris Britcher, editor of Archant KOS Media’s the Tunbridge Wells on Saturday and Sunday. At the time he said there was a “ferocious appetite out there” to find out more about the couple’s ordeal, but that the paper would respect their wishes at all times.

They may well decide that, actually, after a flurry of publicity, they just want to return to their lives, out of the glare of publicity. If they do, we will obviously respect that, perhaps only returning to them for significant anniversaries etc.

The future of local media: 100% locally produced

At the end of last week Robert Niles wrote an interesting piece on local news beats on the Online Journalism Review. Whether working in print or online, he outlined five areas which he felt should form the core of any local publication.

In summary they are:

  • Food
  • Education
  • Labour
  • Business
  • Faith

He explains that for greater reader connection, beats must reflect the activities of the average reader’s daily life

The ‘dream’ publication I’m outlining here carries no wire services reports and no syndicated features, either. It’s 100 per cent locally produced and 100 per cent directed at the local community. So don’t think I’m writing about marginal change here. The structure I’m proposing would create a news publication that looks radically different than today’s typical newspaper.

I know that many publishers over the years have found it far more cost-effective to load up their papers and websites with wire copy and syndicated features than to hire local reporters. But with that content available at thousands of other URLs online, every dollar spent on wire or syndicated services is a dollar wasted. If you feel that you need to reference those reports for your readers, link them online or publish the URL in print. As so many others have said before, do what you do best and link to the rest. If you want better performance, you’re not going to get it by doing the same old thing, are you?

Heatmap measures significance of Europe’s newspapers

Professor of cross media content at the School of Journalism and Communication at Hogeschool Utrecht, Dr Piet Bakker, has produced an interesting heatmap to illustrate the ‘significance’ of European newspapers.

Following the predictions of futurist Ross Dawson last week that newspapers in the UK will be “extinct” in their current form by 2019, Bakker writes on his Newspaper Innovation blog that rather than measuring the insignificance of newspapers over time he wanted to do the opposite, using circulation and population data.

His results, based on the number of newspapers per 100 inhabitants, places Luxembourg at the top overall, while Norway leads when it comes to paid newspapers only.

The only consistent data we have for almost every country in the world are total circulation and population. If we define newspaper significance as the number of copies per 100 (15+) inhabitants, we can compare countries, see how this changes over years and predict how it will develop.

The graph below (made with Google Docs and the heat-map gadget) show this “significance”, the darker the color, the more significant newspaper are.

Hatip: paidContent

MediaGuardian: Metro expands distribution

Commuter paper Metro is to print an extra 50,000 daily copies and expand the distribution of its London edition, the Media Guardian reported today.

Distribution of the city paper will go as far as Southampton, Peterborough and Ipswich the report adds, in an attempt to reach commuters before they arrive in London.

Metro’s London edition will increase its daily circulation to 800,000 copies and be made available at 82 extra railway stations in commuter belt towns including Southampton, Peterborough, Northampton, Hastings, Cambridge, Ipswich and Bedford.

Full story at this link…

Washington Post launches iPad app

The Washington Post announced the launch of its new iPad app last night, which is now available from the iTunes App Store.

In a press release, the Post said the app will combine “trusted reporting and analysis with innovative social media and sharing capabilities and award-winning multimedia”.

Users who subscribe to the app will receive free access until mid-February next year, when print newspaper subscribers will be charged 99 cents a month and non-subscribers $3.99 a month.

Features on the app include a ‘Live Topics’ component which brings together news, commentary, aggregated social media comments, multimedia and photos on the top stories of the day.

San Diego Union-Tribune offering free paper to users who ‘check-in’

Print news publishers looking for ways to integrate location-based technology may be interested in this new strategy from the San Diego Union-Tribune: The paper is offering a free copy of its print edition to those who ‘check-in’ via their mobiles at the newspaper offices or Union-Tribune kiosks.

According to the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper blog, users can simply show their mobile phone to kiosk workers across the city to get their free paper.

Extinction timeline: UK newspapers given nine years to live

Newspapers in the UK will be “extinct” in their current form by 2019, according to predictions by futurist Ross Dawson.

Earlier this week, Dawson has created a ‘Newspaper extinction timeline’, which suggests that while newspapers worldwide will exist in their current form beyond 2040, the US will be the first country to lose the printed paper in 2017.

Factors driving the pace of newspaper extinction on a global scale, according to Dawson, include: changes in newsprint and production costs; increased cost performance of tablets and e-reader; and the development of high performance digital paper.

On a national level he has taken economic, demographic, political and technological factors into consideration. More explanation is given on Dawson’s blog.

Dawson’s predictions have provoked some strong reaction on his own blog and elsewhere. But there’s a thoughtful response from INMA’s director and CEO Earl Wilkinson:

What I like about Dawson’s nudge is that it reminds us that the clock is ticking. We can’t work fast enough at the corporate level or the industry level to develop digital platforms that connect with readers and advertisers. We can’t work fast enough to build multimedia companies where print, online, mobile, iPad and others each play to their strengths and interact. Just as we were warned in the 1990s that classified advertising could disappear and we need to prepare for that, we need to be preparing today for an all-digital future – whether that comes in 2025, 2050, 2100, or some year beyond the reach of our great-grandchildren.

Here’s an interesting exercise for your management team: pick the date Dawson says your country’s newspapers will be “insignificant” and work backward. What would you need to do between today and that date to transform your business model and generate enough revenue to preserve today’s level of journalism at a sufficiently profitable level? We may all make similar choices, but my guess is the sense of urgency is more intense in the United States than India.

How many US newspaper blogs are edited?

US media ethics project StinkyJournalism has done some digging into the issue of blogs on newspaper websites and whether these posts fall under the same editing process as other items on the site.

During the recent financial downturn, some US newspapers, including the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Christian Science Monitor, have stopped publishing print editions altogether, opting for online-only editions. All major US newspapers have a representative internet presence and publish much more content online than they could fit into their print editions. Along with this change, social media as an integrated tool plays a role in the news landscape now more than ever. However, these changes also raise questions about ethics, legal issues and journalistic standards.

Therefore, StinkyJournalism thought it would be worthwhile to learn more about how newspapers manage blogs published on their websites. We looked at 10 major US newspapers and their 591 published blogs. We categorized the blogs based on their content and took notice of the blogs’ authors. Some of the results were unexpected, even surprising.

You can read the full results of the study at this link on the StinkyJournalism site, but some key findings were:

  • 404 of 591 (68 per cent) blogs published by newspapers were edited, according to the newspapers themselves;
  • Only eight of the 591 blogs – 1 per cent – dealt with traditional news;
  • Seven of the 10 newspapers studied said they edit all blogs.


James Harding: Times paywall is a revolution for its journalism

After months of waiting, News International released figures for its much-discussed Times and Sunday Times paywalls today.

According to a release from the group, the Times and Sunday Times have more than 105,000 “paid-for customers to date”. This figures includes subscribers to the websites and to the Times’ iPad app and Kindle editions. Around half of these are monthly subscribers, News International says, adding that “many of the rest” are either single copy or pay-as-you go sales.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the Times’ editor James Harding said it was “early days” but that he was “hugely encouraged” by the figures so far:

What we’ve seen is for the first time in 225 years we’re selling copies of the Times on something other than paper; we’re seeing that those people who read the digital editions of the Times and the Sunday Times really like them, if they sign up for a trial they tend to stick with us; and most importantly we’re able to say something that very few papers can say which is that we’re growing …

What you get now is you see over a couple of million people who look at the front page of the Times online … we’d engaged in quite a suicidal form of economics which was giving our journalism away for free and we knew that if we continued to do that we couldn’t invest in reporting. So what our concern was was would be cut off from the internet conversation and the truth is that we haven’t been, because a) the media works as a huge echo chamber so our stories get picked up and the other thing we’re seeing is that our readers engage with or stories and comment on our stories in a much deeper way …

What you’re seeing here is something at it’s very early stages, but also a revelation as well as a revolution in journalism. The iPad edition for us has changed the way we are doing our journalism and technology as we all know can be a tricky business.

Poynter: AP newspaper revenues drop by a third

Yesterday Poynter Online’s Rick Edmonds reported that the Associated Press has seen its newspaper revenues drop by a third in the past two years, from $220 million a year to around $140 million. This now represents just over 20 per cent of AP’s total revenue.

According to Poynter, AP’s CEO Tom Curley said he expected this to “drop ‘another $5 million to $7 million a year’ in 2011 and beyond”.

Though Curley and AP spokesman Paul Colford did not provide numbers for other business segments, Curley said growth areas include commercial photos, software businesses and AP’s international television news feeds, about to receive a $30 million upgrade to digital.

Online news has been a positive, he added, and broadcast is stable. Besides covering news abroad, the AP has also has a large international client base.