Menu
Browse > Home /

paidContent: Sulzberger: $40m estimate for paywall cost is ‘vastly wrong’

April 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

Arthur Sulzberger has said Bloomberg’s report stating the development of the New York Times’ paywall cost between $40 million and $50 million is “vastly wrong”, but refused to say what the switch to paid digital content did cost, according to a post on paidContent.

Sulzberger also declined to offer any numbers when it comes to subscribers, saying it was too soon but that the company would provide some details eventually. At another point, asked about complaints that the pay plan is too complex, he urged people to be patient. Noting that the company was able to tweak the system between the launch in Canada and the US-global launch 10 days later, Sulzberger said: “We’re going to learn, adapt, make it simpler. But I don’t agree that it’s too complex. It’s new. Let it breathe for a little bit before you make judgment.”

paidContent’s full post is at this link.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

NYTimes: Online newsrooms are killing young journalists’ spirit

July 19th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick

Competition in the online newsroom and that battle for traffic and page views, is causing journalism ‘burnout’ in young reporters, according to a report by the New York Times.

In his article, which sets a scene more likely to be found in the sales world in years gone by, Jeremy Peters writes that competition in online newsrooms has reached fever pitch. As a result could we risk ‘killing off’ young reporters under the pressure of a media world where numbers matter?

Young journalists who once dreamed of trotting the globe in pursuit of a story are instead shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought or be first to report even the smallest nugget of news – anything that will impress Google algorithms and draw readers their way.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all display a “most viewed” list on their home pages (…) At Gawker Media’s offices in Manhattan, a flat-screen television mounted on the wall displays the 10 most-viewed articles across all Gawker’s websites. The author’s last name, along with the number of page views that hour and over all are prominently shown in real time on the screen, which Gawker has named the “big board”.

Is this all just a case of friendly competition to encourage the best work? Or is online journalism by mainstream media at risk of becoming more and more a case of quantity over quality?

Read the full article on the New York Times here…

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Boston Globe launches midday video news update

March 25th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia, Newspapers

The Boston Globe has launched a daily news video update. The 90-second broadcast is available on the paper’s homepage, Boston.com, between 11:45 and 1:45 pm EST. As reported here earlier this week, the Globe’s sister paper the New York Times has also launched a midday video news update, TimesCast.

Globe Today is more of a traditional news broadcast than TimesCast, which takes a behind-the-scenes approach, and is significantly shorter, weighing in at less than a quarter of the length of the Times’ feature.

The other significant difference is that Globe Today also appears on YouTube, making it embeddable, meaning I can embed it for you right here:


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Did NY Times’ blog culture lead to incident of plagiarism?

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt has a critical (well-linked) analysis of events leading to reporter Zachery Kouwe’s resignation from the title last month.

As previously noted on this blog, Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson complained to the New York Times over a particular article of Kouwe’s, on the NY Times’ DealBook blog. The NY Times investigated and found other examples of copied passages.

In Hoyt’s piece, which I recommend reading in full, he asks whether the “the culture of DealBook” had led to subsequent events:

How did his serial plagiarism happen and go undetected for so long? Why were warning signs overlooked? Was there anything at fault in the culture of DealBook, the hyper-competitive news blog on which Kouwe worked? And, now that the investigation is complete, what about a full accounting to readers?

He also suggests:

At a time when cut-and-paste technology enables plagiarism, when news and information on the web are treated as commodities, these are conversations worth having throughout the Times building.

But over on his Reuters blog, Felix Salmon, whilst praising the public editor’s critique, raises another issue: the New York Times’ unwillingness to link out.

…[I]s there something inherent to the culture of blogging which breeds a degree of carelessness ill suited to a venerable newspaper?

(…)

The fundamental problem with Kouwe was that when he saw good stories elsewhere, he felt the need to re-report them himself, rather than simply linking to what he had found, as any real blogger would do as a matter of course.

Finally, you can read Kouwe’s own comments about how the misdeed occurred: he told the New York Observer how he would throw others’ material into WordPress, intending to re-write it later. From the NY Observer interview:

Mr. Kouwe says he has never fabricated a story, nor has he knowingly plagiarized. “Basically, there was a minor news story and I thought we needed to have a presence for it on the blog,” he said, referring to DealBook. “In the essence of speed, I’ll look at various wire services and throw it into our back-end publishing system, which is WordPress, and then I’ll go and report it out and make sure all the facts are correct. It’s not like an investigative piece. It’s usually something that comes off a press release, an earnings report, it’s court documents.”

“I’ll go back and rewrite everything,” he continued. “I was stupid and careless and fucked up and thought it was my own stuff, or it somehow slipped in there. I think that’s what probably happened.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Pay cuts and Twitter policy leave Thomson Reuters facing union action in US

February 9th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Legal, Newspapers

Thomson Reuters in the US has been referred to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by the Newspaper Guild of New York for planned cutbacks to the pay packages of journalists and other workers that are members of the union.

The reduced payments work out at roughly 10 per cent per worker, says the Guild, which has been in contract negotiations with the agency for more than a year, in a release.

In June 2009, Boston’s Newspaper Guild made a similar charge and challenged a pending 23 per cent pay cut proposed by The New York Times. The two parties reached an agreement in July with the pay cut reduced, but Guild members were left fearful for their jobs after the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for approximately 170 employees was also agreed.

But in this instance Reuters isn’t only facing charges by the Guild over changes to pay: the agency has also been brought to task by the Guild for its social media policy, which bans employees from updating personal Twitter accounts with posts which, in the words of the company, ‘would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomas Reuters’.

As the statement from the Guild points out:

A union activist was “reminded” of the policy after responding to a senior manager’s call to “join the (Twitter) conversation on making Reuters the best place to work” with a tweet that said: “One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Editors Weblog: ‘What will happen to the Boston Globe?’

June 19th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

A good summary from a variety of sources by the Editors’ Weblog on the future of the Boston Globe.

“As the Boston Newspaper Guild and Boston Globe management take a break in negotiations until next week, speculation has been mounting on possible buyers for the paper and what its future might be. The union and owner the New York Times Co are trying to come to an agreement on how to make $10 million of savings following the union’s narrow rejection of a deal and the Times Co’s subsequent imposition of a 23 per cent pay cut for all staff. The company is also looking at selling the paper.”

Full post at this link…

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Nieman Journalism Lab: New York Times Co suspends grant foundation

April 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

The New York Times Co has suspended its foundation, which gave out $6.5 million in grants in 2007, citing economic pressures according to a memo.

Full memo at this link…

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

It’s Hyperlocal™, says HelloMetro.com

March 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Legal

As part of a release announcing the recruitment of 17 content editors across its network of local news and information site, HelloMetro.com has also declared that it has trademarked Hyperlocal™.

“With this new distinction, the company continues its quest to provide the most up-to-date local and Hyperlocal™ information for its users,” the release states.

In the UK a trademarked should not, according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), are not registrable if they:

  • describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them, for example, marks which show the quality, quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of your goods or services;
  • have become customary in your line of trade;
  • are not distinctive

Things may be different in the US (am still looking for a definitive, easy-to-read guide of TMs), but surely the UK criteria of not being ‘customary in your line of trade’ should come in here? Hyperlocal has passed into common media parlance – see this morning’s news of the New York Times’ local project.

Plus – is the phrase already trademarked in the US? and what’s the point?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

NYTimes.com: Ideas for beleaguered newspapers

February 10th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

The New York Times lines up eight pundits including Craig Newmark of Craigslist to provide some ammunition for the battle newspapers currently face.

Read the full blog post at this link…

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

Bivings’ top 10 US newspapers: missing the news point?

February 9th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

The Bivings Group‘s recently released Bivings Report of the top 10 US newspaper sites in 2008 consisted of:

  1. New York Times
  2. Washington Post
  3. Wall Street Journal
  4. Florida Times-Union
  5. Philadelphia Inquirer
  6. USA Today
  7. St Paul Pioneer Press
  8. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  9. Arizona Republic
  10. Columbus Dispatch

The study, which picks the list based on usability, design and web features of the US’ 100 largest newspapers, is purposefully limited to covering US-based, newspaper sites.

But as one commenter on the Bivings blog says, ‘No Mention of any of MY best news sites’ – he then goes on to list his own top 10, including Huffington Post and EveryBlock (which another commenter then takes as the Bivings’ list).

Is comparing like-for-like really that useful – newspapers aren’t just competing with each other – or other mainstream news organisations – anymore. What the Bivings Group rates the sites on may be completely different from the readers’ criteria – particularly if these comments are anything to go by.

It reminds me of this Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) study from 2007, which found a different news agenda on UGC sites than mainstream platforms (e.g the agenda decided by journalists).

Users’ online agendas are different (and that’s not to say news organisations should completely adhere to UGC inspired schedules – that’s a debate for another day) and influenced by a plethora of different online sources. As such their expectations of newspaper sites will be shaped by the other tools and information websites they use. Ranking newspaper websites against each other won’t deliver the kind of comparisons that these sites can take away and use.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement