Last January, Journalism.co.uk blogged about Adam Vincenzini and his bid to survive a year without newspapers. Vincenzini was just 19 days into his experiment at that point. The PR consultant has come to the end of his experiment now and told Journalism.co.uk today that he sees printed news in a new light.
After a year of relying on Twitter, RSS feeds and mobile phone apps, Vincenzini says newspapers “still have such an important role to play”.
There’s the enjoyment part of print journalism, the personality, the humour and the opinion; I stopped enjoying reading news when I only read it online. But also the newspaper is the one thing that can give you a snapshot that you can take away for the day … Newspapers are still the easiest way to get your news.
Which may be why Vincenzini’s main celebration on New Year’s Eve was to hold his first newspaper in over 9000 hours.
I went and bought the Sun and a bottle of Baileys just after the clocks struck 12! I had the biggest smile on my face and the best thing was is that nothing had changed – it was just like picking up a copy 12 months ago. I felt very warm and fuzzy inside.
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.
Former News of the World editor David Montgomery has announced he will retire from Mecom, the European publishing group he founded in 2000, after coming under pressure from shareholders to quit.
According to a report by Reuters, current CEO Montgomery will leave the company – which owns more than 300 printed titles and 200 websites – in January in response to the concerns of shareholders who are “fed up with ongoing high debt levels and falling sales”.
Montgomery slashed costs and jobs as he sought to drive his local-newspaper businesses in the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Poland into the digital age in the face of the industry’s worst-ever recession.
In a statement on Mecom’s website confirming Montgomery’s move, the chief executive was said to have the “complete confidence of the board”. It added that a search process will be conducted by the board to find his successor.
Rolling Stone has come in for a fair amount of flak from media commentators for the way it handled its General McChrystal scoop. It’s a very big scoop, the fallout from the story has seen McChrystal, who was US and NATO Commander in Afghanistan, sacked by President Obama. And yet the magazine decided to hold back the story for its print edition, aiming instead to generate buzz online and direct the money to the newsstands.
Buzz successfully generated (as Roy Greenslade reports, the New York Times has led with the story since it broke, as have many other outlets), readers who logged onto the Rolling Stone site couldn’t access the article. In fact, the story was nowhere to be seen.”It is one of the best pieces of reportage I’ve ever read. In these digital days, how could Rolling Stone ever imagine it could keep such an agenda-setting story to print alone?” writes Greenslade.
The story is still not available in print, it hits the newsstands tomorrow. “Clearly, competitors can’t wait until Friday to pick up a copy, especially when McChrystal has already been summoned to the White House,” wrote former Politico staffer Michael Calderone on his Yahoo! blog that day. They didn’t need to wait though. Rolling Stone had provided advance copies to Associated Press and others as part of its buzz-generating exercise, and in an unauthorised move Politico made the full text available for download from their site hours before Rolling Stone conceded and published it online.
The story eventually went up on the Rolling Stone website at around 11:00am ET, the following (Tuesday) morning.
If you are a news outlet looking to break a big story in a similar way, Megan Carpentier’s TPM Livewire article includes a step-by-step guide. Some of the key points:
Fail to publish even excerpts of the story on your own website, figuring that your promotion of the story will cause people to go out and buy the magazine.
Go to bed and sleep like a baby after the story hits.
Wake up to find out that Politico has published a reprint of the story you gave them, since you weren’t smart enough to put the story on your own site and despite the intellectual property violation.
The Financial Times parent company Pearson has distanced itself from comments made on Tuesday by its director of global content standards Madi Solomon that the newspaper was “already pulling back” from print (read full PC report here). Solomon said he could see the FT stopping most of its printing within five years.
Pearson has now told paidContent:UK that it has no plans to scale back print operations and has opened a print site in Abu Dhabi this year with plans to commence printing in India soon.