Tag Archives: web content

Going back to the backlink licensing case: NLA’s full statement

This goes back to last week, but it seems worth putting up here anyway. Last Thursday Matt Wardman covered this story for Press Gazette: about the Newspaper Licensing Agency regulating hyperlinks for commercial agencies and aggregators.

“The NLA will be introducing a new form of licence from 1 September to regulate ‘web aggregator’ services (such as Meltwater) that forward links to newspaper websites and for press cuttings agencies undertaking this type of activity.”

Craig McGill also picked up on it and asked a series of provocative questions. He got a lengthy response from the NLA, including this:

“This is not about bloggers adding links to newspaper sites. Our focus is on professional media monitoring organisations (news aggregators, press cuttings agencies) and their client business who make extensive use of the newspaper content.”

More questions are raised in the comments beneath McGill’s piece, including this one about copyright law.

Last Friday Journalism.co.uk spoke to the NLA who said it was part of their new e-Clips service – ‘a feed of newspapers’ online content direct to cuttings aggregators and press cuttings agencies.’

Here’s the NLA statement in full:

“The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) today [dated June 2009] announced a new business-to- business clippings database for newspaper websites to launch in January 2010. It also has said it will extend its licensing remit to cover newspaper websites from January 2010.

“The new service, called eClips web, will offer a complete feed of newspapers’ online content direct  to cuttings aggregators and press cuttings agencies. Powered directly from newspapers’ own content-management systems, eClips web will make web-based media monitoring faster and richer and provide a permanent record for PR and communications professionals.

“The NLA will also extend its licensing remit to cover local and national newspapers’ web content. David Pugh, managing director of the NLA, said: “We have two aims: to contribute to the growth of web monitoring; and to protect the rights of publishers. Research shows that 23 per cent of newspapers’ online content never appears in print and that the internet is growing in influence as a resource for news. So it is vital to have comprehensive monitoring coverage of newspapers’ websites – and vital that the publishers are properly rewarded for their work.”

“From September 2009, web aggregators that charge clients for their services will require a NLA licence and be charged from January 2010, The press cuttings agencies that either ‘scrape’ content themselves or buy in services from aggregators will also be licensed and charged. Client companies that receive and forward links from these commercial aggregators within their organisation will also require a licence.

“David Pugh added: “We have consulted extensively across the industry – the incremental charges for web cuttings will be low and manageable. I stress this is not about individuals sharing links – we think that’s great for newspapers and promotes their websites and their readership.  What we are doing is making sure that newspapers are rewarded fairly for professional use of their web content by businesses.””

Further notes:

“The NLA is owned by the 8 national newspaper publishing houses and generates B2B revenues for
1,300 national and regional publishers through licensing use of their content by press cuttings
agencies (PCAs) and their client companies.

“The new licences will cover all local and national titles with the exception of the Financial Times and
the News International titles. These will all, however, be included in the eClips web database.”

How news flows though the partially integrated newsroom of Liverpool Post and Echo papers

The Hub and Spoke laying out may be in vogue for the majority of those adapting to an integrated newsroom but you’d be hard pressed to call Trinity Mirror’s Liverpool nerve centre anything other than an archipelago.

Alison Gow, deputy editor of Liverpool Daily Post, gave Journalism.co.uk a quick tour and explained how a partially rather than fully integrated newsroom for Liverpool’s Daily Post and Echo newspapers and a portfolio of weeklies served them best.

Similar to other large cities in the UK, Liverpool’s morning paper, the Liverpool Daily Post (typically 15,000 copies circulated per day) and the evening Echo (109,000) serve vastly different markets. To account for this the newsroom has integrated but also demarked areas where each paper’s interest is best served by not mixing processes.

The newsdesks of the Post & Echo had previously been fully integrated but the unsuccessful experiment lasted only 18 months and end in 2001, as it didn’t fully serve the needs each paper had and met with opposition from staff who were resistant to working on the other title.

“I suspect the industry is a lot more broad-minded now as we work across print, internet, TV and radio,” Gow told Journalism.co.uk.


The dailies and weekly newspapers have adapted and refined a partially integrated newsroom where the two main papers share news copy, but keep diary and features separate.

“A government minister in town would tend to be interviewed by a Post reporter,” Gow told Journalism.co.uk. “That copy would be sent by the Post newsdesk to the Echo newsdesk to be rewritten and subbed down. Echo page leads are around 350, Post 600 plus.

“The Post & Echo share a court reporter but the very distinct target audiences of both papers means what makes a splash in the Echo, gangster trials for example, may struggle to make a page lead in the Post.

“Inquests would be covered by one reporter whose copy would be shared between both papers.

“An exception would be Liverpool council meetings – mostly covered by the council reporters from both papers as it’s a contact-building exercise as much as anything.”

The Echo can also publish stories from the weeklies the day the papers are published, Gow added, as the assistant news editor has access to their content queues.

“It’s a co-operative system and involves the newsdesks, picturedesk and multimedia desks talking to each other. That’s why the command desk is so important,” added Gow.


At the centre of the archipelago – the big island – is the command desk where Post and Echo news editors and their deputies sit along with a picture editor who works across both publications and the Echo design editor.

Reporters are title specific, as are the features and sports teams, and both papers have separate features and sports editors and deputy editors, Arts editors and motoring editors.

A multimedia head, working across both titles, also sits on the command desk. As on the web, Gow says, the two publications have ‘more fluid identities’.

Each department desks now has embedded digital journalist. Under the old system ‘they just used to sit in the corner away from everyone else’ said Gow. Now they espouse the need for web content and ensure the website remains an area of focus for each department on each title now that they break 99 per cent of their stories online.

Video is a separate entity altogether – one video journalist is responsible for managing libraries, cutting pieces and training newsroom staff and reporters in video-journalism.

She has trained eight other staff so far, giving them a week’s hands-on training so that they can manage handicams and cut footage. They aim for a new web video each day.


A pool of eight subs work across the Echo, the England and Welsh Daily Posts, Huddersfield Examiner, the Chester Chronicle, the Merseyside and North Wales weekly papers on a rota basis.

There are also title-specific staff who work primarily for each paper – ‘champions’ of each brand, adds Gow.

This approach has shifted subs from thinking they work for a single publication, she said, to a ‘hive-mind’ where they work across several titles.

Innovations in Journalism – Zemanta will find the online context of your article

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. In the spotlight this week is Slovenian start-up Zemanta.

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
We are a young start-up from Slovenia, building a global tool to help online authors with their writing process.

Our product recognises what they are writing about through semantical analysis and as they are writing starts to suggest related pictures, links and articles they can include in their post to make it richer and more appealing.

It currently works for all major blogging platforms, but we envision providers of content management systems and publishers using our service as well.

Click here to see how Zemanta works with WordPress.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
To publish content online today means: after you write your story, you still need to add links and images, and tag it properly.

Your readers expect rich content, next generation semantic web applications require it, and we want to make it simple and fun to produce this high quality web content.

Our service utilises the power of advanced machine-learning and natural language processing algorithms, so that you don’t have to do repetitive tasks and can just be creative.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
We will be adding a lot of new releases, such as personalization of suggestions, linking to own old posts and tools for additional media formats. [Since this interview Zemanta has added a reblogging function allowing bloggers to quote from others’ sites with correct attribution]

4) Why are you doing this?
We want to solve the problem authors are facing trying to create interesting online content that their readers will appreciate. It is becoming increasingly hard to produce rich, web articles as the amount of content available is rising.

5) What does it cost to use it?
It’s free for non-commercial use and for a reasonable amount of requests per day. We will keep it free for bloggers.

6) How will you make it pay?
We will be suggesting affiliate links and earning commission on them. We will also offer our extended API for commercial applications.

WAN 08: Disparities between pay of web and print journalists – a problem all over the world for integrating newsrooms

Integrating newsrooms isn’t just a matter of putting all you desks in a spoke and fulcrum formation and projecting the web traffic figures on the wall.

The small matter of how you remunerate journalists expected to work both for print and web is an issue for newspapers across the globe.

It’s an issue that the Guardian and Telegraph, to name just two in the UK, have been wrestling with as they bring their divergent print and online editions closer together.

International editors sitting on a panel looking at whether integrated newsrooms are really working at the World Editors Forum, today in Goteborg, Sweden, admitted to a similar set of problems.

Jim Roberts, editor of digital news at the New York Times, told delegates that the Times’ own integration plans were hampered by the different contracts and lower pay web journalists were receiving compared to their print colleagues.

Roberts is overseeing the introduction of a ‘horizontal’ news production system where each separate news department has web producers embedded with them to encourage multimedia content production, oversee publication.

The Times is trying to spread multimedia, video, podcasts and interactive features across all its news verticals – even to the point where the Times is reverse publishing blog content as columns into the printed edition of the newspaper.

This drive for web content has also brought a renewed thirst to keep the newspaper print edition fresh, as Roberts said ‘to redirect this energy back into print’.

But as staff are now expected to work for both web and print, the different contracts they work under has led to union wrangles. WSJ.com managing editor Almar Latour and Javier Moreno, editor-in-chief of El Pais, Spain, agreed that they faced similar contractual problems on their integration projects.

ITV News responds to criticism of vlogging experiment

Last week we reported on ITV News’ video blogs from its correspondents in the field and suggested that the tone and style of the posts were too similar to traditional broadcast news formats.

Ian Rumsey, head of output for ITV News, sent us this response, which lays out the reasons behind the experiment:

We’ve been experimenting with vlogs for some time and our correspondents and presenters are now providing an added dimension to our online content.

I don’t quite understand what you mean by a ‘traditional piece of broadcast news’.

These vlogs are far from traditional broadcast news. They’re rougher, edgier, sometimes more opinionated and don’t cover the same territory as our news pieces.

Earlier this year, we had Juliet Bremner showing us round the canteen and shower block in Basra. That’s far from traditional and a long way from the story she delivered for our on-air programmes.

Of course, they’re presenter driven – the whole idea is that they are not a report but a piece of behind-the-scenes filming that features the lives and conditions of our correspondents on location.

The launch of the News at Ten has seen an even greater premium placed upon eyewitness reports made by our top correspondents in the UK and right around the globe. To work in tandem with that on-air strategy, our web content taps into our location reporting – with a difference.

The stories we’re sent from location – whether in the UK or in far-away destinations – are polished, highly produced, edited pieces of reportage for television news.

So, to offer that added value we’ve asked our reporters to turn the camera, to show viewers what the locations they visit are really like, to talk to them in greater depth about the people, the places they encounter, to share the anecdotes and impressions they take away with them when they leave. The story behind getting the story.

The lives our news teams lead and the jobs they do are exciting and unpredictable, and I think we can let people in on what it’s like to really be there with them.

I think if you watched the on-air pieces that went across the week, you’d know that there was plenty of muck and bullets flying around. Clearly they provide the content for our news stories. Our vlogs reflect something different. We’re not going to ask someone to do a vlog for the web while they’re in the middle of a ‘blood and guts’ situation.

Finally, ITV News runs a very lean newsgathering operation – at home and abroad. What may seem like ‘millions of people’ to the uninitiated eye is actually a very small team compared to the plethora of staff the BBC is able to send on major stories.

Innovations in Journalism – Dapper

image of dapper logo

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?

Hi. I’m Eran Shir, CEO of Dapper.

Dapper is a company with the vision of unlocking web content and letting publishers and users distribute and use content in new ways, such as feeds, widgets, Facebook apps and many more.

With Dapper, a novice web user can transform websites into feeds etc. within a matter of minutes, no programming involved.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?

First, it allows news and media sites to easily distribute their content on new media platforms such as widgets, RSS and social networks without spending resources on reprogramming their systems.

Second, it allows the individual journalist to keep up to date with many web sources by transforming them into alerts and feeds, to consume on his/her own terms.

Many people also use Dapper to easily create dynamic dashboards and mash-ups that helps gaining insight.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?

We have much more to come, both on the core Dapper service and on related products. Our Facebook AppMaker has enabled creating hundreds of Facebook apps and we constantly add support for new platforms.

4) Why are you doing this?

We have a vision for an open, semantic web, built from the grounds up. A web where anyone can consume and distribute content, and where a content marketplace is thriving.

We would like to see a web where people can easily leverage the web to realise their creativity in new ways, without necessarily being programmers.

5) What does it cost to use it?

The core service is free. We do sell SLAs for businesses who require a higher level of support/performance.

6) How will you make it pay?

We are leveraging the core service to introduce a new level of contextual advertising. Our first take on this will be released in April, so stay tuned.

One point I’d like to add is that we’re taking IP rights very seriously, and have a content distribution platform that allows content owners to define how they would like their content to be consumed and under what terms.

This allows for the first time for publishers to distribute their content while maintaining their needed level of control.