Sunday, 26 May 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

  • Were editors right, or were they wrong? The debate in the comments on this article are interesting; I can see both sides.  It was shocking to see video footage of a man, literally caught on camera red-handed, explaining why he had butchered another human, over and over on the rolling news.  But it was a shocking thing that had happened and I'm not sure we can pick and choose when it's right to shock people, and when it's not.  If it's acceptable that a newspaper prints photos of children' bodies in bloodied shrouds being carried by their parents in Syria, should we turn away from this?  Could dead bodies be filmed being drawn from the rubble of a collapsed factory in Asia, but not in the UK? I think in the time and turnaround available, the photo of the attacker was always going to be THE picture of the next day's front pages. If a photo of the serving soldier had been provided, it probably would have given the nationals a pause as to the front page, but that was never going to happen given the timeline and procedures. Hence, this debate.

    tags: Woolwich editors ethics pictures

  • Privacy issues aside, I think this paragraph is useful to bear in mind when talking to anyone in Journalism who doesn't want to respond to comments, or Tweets, that are critical. "Getting better at something without feedback is very hard. Imagine practising penalty kicks by kicking the ball and then turning around before you saw where it landed; a year or two later someone would visit you at home and tell you where your kicks ended up. This is the kind of feedback loop we contend with when it comes to our privacy disclosures."

    tags: privacy journalism engagement

  • According to NYT CEO Mark Thompson “[T]he launch of the pay model is the most important and most successful business decision made by The New York Times in many years. We have around 700,000 paid digital subscribers across the company’s products so far and a new nine-figure revenue stream that is still growing.” According to PaidContent: Commencement speeches are, by nature, restricted to this sort of soaring stuff. A skeptic, however, might note that the New York Times‘ digital subscription model has already begun to plateau and that the company is still shedding ad dollars and assets."

    tags: paywalls nyt futureofnewspapers

  • tags: bbc hyperlocal

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Advice from the Green Ink Brigade

This comment on a HTFP story about the continuing Daily Post Right to Tweet campaign (of which, more here) made smile ruefully 

Many of the commenters on articles about the campaign (and thanks, HTFP, for being so supportive) take the view we're wasting our time or that live tweeting is actively bringing about the End Of Newspapers. 

I disagree with them (of course!) but it's not worth the time or energy to start a dialogue there - I'd rather explain to our readers why they should care. 
But we should all care; it's not about press freedom, it's about personal freedom and resisting the default "no" issued way too often when the world evolves, and institutions struggle to keep pace with it. 

And I have a problem with the complacent nay sayers (I'm looking at you, 'Kendo Nagasaki' and your ilk). And, although this has changed massively in the past two or three years, there are still some working in newsrooms and still acting as though industry change has been created with the sole intention of making their lives more difficult, chewing over that resentment like it's gum. 

Still,the Green Ink Brigade of unknown letter writers is a part of the fabric of the newsroom. Most of them have shifted to email but there are still the treasured letters that arrive from Planets Unknown, like this (he writes to us at least once a week and appears to use a stencil): 

I think if he/she ever stops writing to us, we'll be a bit worried. 
And it's possible to take a lesson from the GIB. After all, if colleagues in your newsroom think you're showing GIB tendancies for wanting to do crazy things like, oh, run a story on the website before it's been in the newspaper, I'd suggest you don't let T H E  B A S T A R D S get you down...

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, 12 May 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

  • This is a new paper by Francois Nel (Director: Journalism Leaders Programme, UCLan) on Business model innovation and integration in the British local newspaper industry. Makes fascinating reading. 

    tags: innovation newspaper business model media change culture

  • Bullet point advice for making change happen is always useful. "It’s not about frivolous, pie-in-the sky ideas. It’s about rapidly testing new ideas to start building toward new standards. You are building the future through experiments. Experimentation is just as important as those mission-critical roadmap projects" 

    tags: newsroom culture

  • Of all the things calculated to irritate, the Social Media Gobshite is in my top 5. When something happens they feel the need to have ALL THE WORDS - but with zero self awareness and maximum fatuousness.  See also "Over the last few years, most media companies have taken on social media editors, lots of them young-ish, lots of them "digital natives." (Some neither, of course!) Many of their jobs are construed as helping newsrooms do social media best: working with writers, working with official social media accounts, those kind of things. Some of them are more like lone Internet addicts. At the more "straight news" outfits, most of them play it pretty straight. Some of them misplace their resources: for instance, there was a big vogue for media organizations moving onto Tumblr. And then everyone found out that, while it was nice to have a stand-alone Tumblr publication, that it literally didn't do a single thing for a news organization. Didn't bring traffic, didn't bring non-Tumblr attention: they operate in a black hole, essentially. If you like reblogs of your gifs, great! But this was a thing news orgs had been sold on. At lots of media organizations, decision-makers don't know where to start with social media. And lots don't know where their social media editors should stop and start in their work."

    tags: social media twitter

  • I don't know what to make of a minister who holds at least 4 jobs - MP, deputy leader, shadow deputy prime minister and shadow culture secretary - complaining about a newspaper owner having his finger in too many pies. 

    tags: ownership media murdoch

  • Good points, and useful examples (including ones from my neck of the woods) from David Banks on the social media legal pitfalls "We are all publishers now, but mainstream publishers know the law, and even they get into trouble reasonably often. Setting up a Twitter or Facebook account is the work of moments and if memory serves does not entail a run-down of the legal pitfalls that await the unwary."

    tags: legal court+reporting journalism

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

My 'interesting reads' roundup (weekly)

  • Andy Dickinson asks some searching questions of news organisations and J-schools. Got me thinking - and clarified some thoughts I had about the issue.

    tags: journalism future+of+news

  • What qualities distinguish successful leaders in media today? asks Poynter. And then Tom Rosentiel answers the question... "The strongest pull in the news industry, as in any disrupted business, can be to preserve the part of the business that, though shrinking, provides the biggest share of revenue. Innovators, such Clark Gilbert at Deseret Media, know this is a seductive mistake and focusing most of your energy on preserving what is shrinking is a strategy for slow death. The innovators I see behave differently. While they work to preserve the legacy, they focus more energy on the part of their business that is growing, even if it’s small. They work on how to create the space and the forgiveness in the company to do that."

    tags: journalism disruption leadership

  • At what point did the police decide to stop naming (or confirming the names) of those charged with offences, asks David Banks. I'm with him - it's just another chip away at the ability to report what's happening.  "With the recent upsurge of calls for offenders to remain anonymous until convicted, it is worth noting that if Stuart Hall had not been named when he was arrested, he might never have been brought to court. None of his victims knew one another.   "And now one police force is refusing to name people who have been charged. There is a huge danger of secret justice replacing rights of the public, and indeed defendants, back to Magna Carta. It is time someone put a stop to this frightening trend.""

    tags: journalism legal court+reporting

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A blatant bit of job advertising

This is Conwy Castle. It's also the view across the river from my office. Nice, huh? It's a rare morning that I don't drive over the hill towards this and reflect on how lucky I am. 
So, the Daily Post is recruiting at the moment - we need a business journalist (of which, more here) and a Head of Audience Engagement (that job ad is here).

Trinity Mirror's CEO Simon Fox said recently: "Without audience, we have nothing". And that's where the HoAE job mentioned above comes in. 
It is essentially a new role for the Daily Post; previously there was a social media and online communities editor role for North Wales and Cheshire, but the remit was just huge, and it didn't really encapsulate what the North Wales newsroom needed. 
So now we're looking for an audience champion, purely focusing on North Wales - a networked journalist dealing in engagement rather than platforms, and who personifies the Audience First approach. 
If you fancy coming to work with us in North Wales, you've got til next Friday to apply... 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 3 May 2013

Election apathy? Real time audiences disagree...

Chartbeat is an amazing tool. Compelling even. Today, watching the real time traffic on our site, it was obvious people were consuming the 'live' news on the site more than anything else. 
Visitors were following updated story of the 'locus in quo' jury visit to Machynlleth as the April Jones murder trial continued, the live coverage of the Anglesey elections, and the more general breaking news live blog.
This was how early afternoon traffic looked - 

Later in the afternoon, when the court proceedings ended for the day, it looked like this... 

Meanwhile, this was the Most Read widget

Local elections covered live, and covered well, are compelling content and give good dwell time on - more than 3 minutes each - per page in this case  (Anglesey, by the way, bucked the turnout trend - a breakdown of the island's voting showed: Seiriol 56.1 Talybolion 48.7 Twrcelyn 53 Ynys Cybi 45.7).

Readers of the breaking news live blog typically went on to next read the Anglesey election live blog, and then visited several April Jones articles via the jury visit article). 

Since it launched last October, our live coverage has gone down well with readers, but has had some parts of the industry (people who comment on industry websites, mostly) looking in askance.
The common theme of those unconvinced by the blog is to question where the merit - or the money - is. 
Personally, I think that's obvious; it's what readers value and want. 
We cover stories live, readers stay on our site for longer, are more likely to hop around the site more, and potentially use the social sharing - and that keeps advertisers interested. (Hint: Don't ask where the money is, ask where the audience is. We have to make sure the money-generators are in the same space...)
Last Spring, as I settled into the job and got down to meeting people, a common complaint was that the website wasn't updated enough - or at all on a Saturday. 
Now, 12 months on, as I continue to meet people, if the conversation turns to 'what do you think of the Daily Post?'' nine times out of ten the live content will be highlighted, favorably, at some point.
I love the live element of our role, and how it has helped - and continues to help - us change the way we work to meet what the audience wants. 
And, of course, with Chartbeat showing us there are 250-odd people whiling away their day following the real-time updates of a local council election, it means we can make better informed print decisions around our coverage- and promote that coverage accordingly to the online readers. 
Enhanced by Zemanta