Tag Archives: newsmedia

Why Rupert Murdoch’s bold bet on The Daily

The Daily was both a bold experiment and doomed from the start. It was bold from the point of view of a major media empire with little or no understanding of the web or mobile, and a lot of other media companies without Rupert Murdoch’s deep pockets were watching it closely to see whether they should jump, and if so how to proceed. But then many of the lessons that could be learned should have been obvious even before The Daily launched: don’t ignore the web, don’t make your content platform-specific (unless it is unique), and don’t put a paywall around something no one has ever seen before.

via gigaom.com

Journalism and the truth: More complicated than it has ever been — Tech News and Analysis

Clay Shirky said that the whole notion of “objectivity” was something the media came up with in the 1950s and ’60s in order to appeal to a mass audience (and thereby appeal to advertisers), and that it serves no useful purpose any more.

One obvious outcome of what the Poynter panel was discussing is that defining the truth is no longer something that is done by professional journalists in isolation, but something that only emerges over time, through a process that involves both journalists and what Jay Rosen has called “the people formerly known as the audience.” Which is why I’ve argued that fact-checking of all kinds — both specific facts and larger questions of truth — is something that is best done in public. In a sense it has always been that way, it’s just easier to see now while it’s actually happening.

Arriving at the truth may be a lot more complicated than it used to be, because there are more moving parts and more sources than ever, but in the end it is probably closer to the real thing than what our traditional media gatekeepers have gotten used to providing in the past.

via gigaom.com

Why the NYT-Flipboard deal is a smart move via @om

For the first time, subscribers will be able to access Times content via something other than the NYT’s own site or apps. It may not be a huge revenue generator (at least not in the short term), but it is still an encouraging sign of a traditional media player trying to adapt to a new model.

Starting this Thursday, the Times will provide all of its content — articles, videos, photo slideshows and blog posts — to subscribers who use Flipboard, while non-subscribers will get a free sample of certain articles. Denise Warren, who runs the NYT’s website, said that the deal made sense for the newspaper because it is promoting digital subscriptions, and an analysis of its readership showed that 20 percent of the paper’s subscribers use third-party apps like Flipboard to consume content. Said Warren:

We realized that we have an opportunity to enable this kind of access for paying subscribers, and we thought it was something we ought to try and see how users react to it.

via gigaom.com

British Courts Try to Stop the Tide of Social Media

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook makes anyone a publisher, and that’s disrupting the media industry, but the legal system isn’t much better off, since the courts like to control the flow of information almost as much as the media does. British courts in particular are wrestling with the impact of these technologies on their ability to control the publicity around a trial. In the latest move, a judge has issued an injunction that specifically bans the publication of any information involving the case via Twitter or Facebook. But in the battle of social media vs the courts, the former will almost certainly win.

Well, this sounds absurd. Is this an injunction against the people in the courtroom who are first-hand sources, or the republishing of information about what they’ve said, via Twitter? The language seems to suggest an extremely broad interpretation, but you’d have to be a certifiable nut to think you could control the flow of Twtter.

Now, Facebook – that’s another story.

Talking Bin Laden on Twitter

This week’s big news is obvious: American forces killed Osama bin Laden on Monday (Sunday for most Westerners) in a raid of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But you already knew that, and how exactly you found out is the first angle I want to look at. The news blew up on Twitter and Facebook late Sunday night after the White House announced President Obama would be addressing the nation. The ensuing frenzy set a record for the highest volume of sustained activity on Twitter, with an average of 3,000 tweets per second for about three hours. While most Americans first got the news from TV, about a fifth of young people found out online.solis

That led to another round of celebration of Twitter as the emerging source for big breaking news — Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff called the story Twitter’s CNN moment and said Twitter was “faster, more accurate, and more entertaining than any other news source out there.” Brian Solis, a digital analyst at Altimeter Group, described Twitter as “a perfect beast for committing acts of journalism,” and University of British Columbia j-prof Alfred Hermida said it’s becoming routine to see Twitter as the first option for breaking news coverage.

Definitely read the whole Nieman Lab piece, it’s a fascinating post mortem of a single moment captured by social media, and the echo chamber that is our current media landscape.

Obama: ‘We do not have time for this kind of silliness’

Declaring that he and the country have “better stuff to do” than fight about where he was born, President Obama on Wednesday morning released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate and asked that the “sideshows and carnival barkers” stop raising the issue.

Unfortunately, he apparently DOES have time to deal with this issue, which is just really, really sad statement about America. The GOP has done an incredible job during Obama’s presidency of stalling, distracting, and deflecting any substantiative issue of national policy, instead spending time on ploitical fluff like this.

The sad news, is just how terrible the other side of the aisle is, at doing the same.

The NYT Paywall Is Working — It’s Keeping People Out

We’re still in the early days of the New York Times paywall, but traffic-measurement firm Hitwise already has some numbers on how the subscription plan has affected the newspaper’s readership. The bottom line? The Times has seen a drop of between 5 and 15 percent in daily readers. That may not seem like much — especially compared with the falloff at some other papers that have implemented more restrictive paywalls — but 15 percent is still a fairly significant decline. And there are signs in the Hitwise data that the NYT may not have fine-tuned its wall as well as it might have hoped, which could have an impact on the long-term health of the subscription strategy.

Careful what you wish for.

RIP Digg.

The lesson from Digg is crucial as Silicon Valley’s ecosystem has made it easier and easier to start a company. It’s that a great product is necessary but not nearly enough. Building a real company is harder, and it takes execution and leadership. Things like a New York-based CEO and a sometimes-distracted co-founder took a toll on Digg in its most pivotal days. As I wrote in my book a year after that cover, startups reflect their founders’ personalities. Back then, Slide was characterized by silent intensity, Facebook was like a messy, pizza-stained dorm room, and Digg? Well, Digg’s offices were empty most evenings.

Check out this fantastic breakdown of Digg’s demise. In many ways, the rise and fall of Digg follows the exact same trajectory as web 2.0 itself, for the same reasons.

New York Times Agrees To Apple Terms For Paywall Plans | Peter Kafka

The New York Times has finally unveiled its paywall plans, a year-plus in the making.

And with the Times’ announcement, Steve Jobs gets his first big publisher to announce it is signing on with his new subscription plan: The Times says it will sell access to the paper’s apps through iTunes, on Jobs’ new terms.

As for the packages themselves: As predicted, they hover around the $20-a-month mark, starting at $15 a month for Web + phone access, up to $35 a month for all-you-can-eat on every platform.

Crucially, the plan gives free access to all platforms for subscribers who get the Times delivered, in paper and ink format, to their homes. Those subscribers, for now, are the papers’ most treasured resource, and it wants to hang on to them for as long as it can.

Not coincidentally, the cheapest way to get the most access to the paper continues to be a print subscription, at least for new subscribers, and at least for now. (Thanks for the reminder, Ari Weinberg)

The last point is particularly interesting. The NYT is in a fantastically lucky place, in terms of being able to leverage threir literary celebrity to brazenly declare what was free suddenly off-limits, by erecting a toll booth in front of the communal trough. It takes balls, and I respect their decision, because I think they do deserve it.

But how interesting to find that part of their plan all along has been to price the digital media packages above the price of the print subscription, then make the more expensive service a ‘free feature’ of the other one!

They’ve just found the surest way to get newspapers back into houses that no one’s ever heard of. If this is just being unveiled, I imagine we’re in on the ground floor of a very cleverly designed transmedia campaign to get households back to see newspapers and especially the NYT as still relevant in the digital age.

I do think there is a market of 20 somethings that would suddenly look to getting their very own first print subscriptions…!

Kudos to NYT.

Seeing the Japan disaster: citizentube’s Channel

This is what socialmedia is all about. I LOVE citizentube. This is the real thing, the most important aspect of our new media culture, sharing with each other in real time. I’m not checking my newspaper or even switching on some television news, I’m here with Twitter, finding out about the horrible Japan story as its happening. But even Twitter, the excellent service that it is, can never match the power of video.And there’s a reason news networks will never be as responsive or as authentic as actual citizen journalism.

Watch these videos (same link), and you will know what it was like to be there. Youtube has achannel that just autoplays through a playlist of unbelieveable footage of the crisis.  I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA!

Notice that the video from inside CNN headquarters looks exactly like the videos shot by everyone else.