Sam Kirkland

Sam Kirkland is Poynter's digital media fellow, focusing on mobile and social media trends. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a digital editor, where he helped launch digital magazines and ebooks in addition to other web duties. He also served as a copy editing intern at the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times via Dow Jones News Fund. A Midwest native, he graduated from Northwestern University with a master's from the Medill School of Journalism. He lives in New York. Reach him at skirkland@poynter.org. Follow @samkirkla


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Forecast: Digital ad revenue to jump 17% this year, magazine ad revenue to fall 11%

Wednesday already? Here we go.

  1. Digital ad revenue to pass TV in 2017: According to Magna Global forecasts, “television revenues are expected to grow 2.2% this year,” Nathalie Tadena writes. “Newspaper and magazine ad revenue are expected to decline 8.9% and 11% respectively, while digital ad revenues are expected to jump 17% this year to $50 billion.” (The Wall Street Journal) | “The research firm declared digital ad revenue will hit $72 billion by 2017, pulling slightly ahead of television at $70.5 billion.” (The Wrap)
  2. The perils of freelance war reporting: GlobalPost went “above and beyond” in working for James Foley’s release before he was killed by Islamic State militants, according to Medill’s Ellen Shearer. “But other freelancers may not get that kind of backing or have access to the infrastructure that a staff journalist would, she said.” (AP via NYT) | Freelance journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing for two years, is believed to be held by the Syrian government, Lara Jakes reports.
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Times of India publisher to staffers: Give us your social media passwords if you’re posting news

Hey, it’s Tuesday. Media stories coming your way!

  1. Strict, strange social-media policy at Times of India: Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd staffers have been told not to post news stories from their personal social media accounts; instead, they must create company-authorized accounts, according to Quartz India. Even weirder: the company — which publishes The Times of India and The Economic Times — “will possess log-in credentials to such accounts and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge,” Sruthijith KK reports. (Quartz India) | Quartz-related: How often should a site launch a redesign, like Quartz just did? Mario Garcia: “The answer varies, and there is a basic principle I follow: redesign (and/or rethink) when you need it.” (Garcia Media)
  2. NYT’s controversial Michael Brown profile: New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes that calling Michael Brown “no angel” in a profile of the 18-year-old killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was “a blunder.” (Public Editor’s Journal) | Times national editor Alison Mitchell told Erik Wemple that the phrase derived from the story’s lead, which told an anecdote about Brown seeing a vision of an angel.
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For Hack Week, The Verge merges product and editorial — and publishes a lot of quizzes

The Verge posted some offbeat stuff during its anything-goes Hack Week last week: a timeline of Gordon Ramsay’s epicurean empire, a history of metaphors for the internet, a list of the top 10 videos featuring Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief.

“I was expecting traffic to crater,” Patel said. But pageviews actually jumped 11 percent from the previous week. More telling: Facebook engagement was up 52 percent.

Given the BuzzFeed-like content that the site ran as it experimented with tools like timelines, photo sliders and quizzes, that’s not a huge surprise. While articles like “Name this Samsung rectangle” clearly resonated with readers by offering something new, some commenters were a little fed up with all the quizzes and lists.

More examples:

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American journalist released in Syria; British officials ID man believed to be Foley’s killer

Happy Monday. Andrew Beaujon is taking a much-deserved vacation. Here are some media stories.

  1. American journalist freed in Syria: On Sunday, UN peacekeepers received Peter Theo Curtis, who was kidnapped in 2012, and turned him over to the U.S. “According to German newspaper die Welt am Sonntag, ‘something was given in return for his release’.” Curtis was “reportedly held by the al-Nusra Front or by splinter groups allied with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.” (Al Jazeera) | Previously: The U.S. declined to pay ransom for James Foley, who was killed by Islamic State militants last week. (Poynter)
  2. UK intel ID’s person believed to be Foley’s killer: And “sources have said that rampant media speculation about the identity of the killer may be off base.” (NBC News) | Medill professor Ellen Shearer on Foley’s return to the front lines: “Passion prevailed.
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On the Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook

Twitter lately has been full of journalists critical of Facebook for not being more like Twitter — and critical of Twitter for being too much like Facebook.

Throughout the clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri, Twitter users have noted that their timelines are blanketed by Ferguson coverage. But their News Feeds on Facebook have been slow to reflect breaking news as it erupts:

Chartbeat’s chief data scientist, Josh Schwartz, weighed in with a traffic referral observation:

Photos, links to livestreams, and breaking-news updates were rapidly spreading on Twitter on Sunday night, while Facebook users were catching up on the day’s Ice Bucket Challenge videos.… Read more

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Reddit’s press guidelines: Get permission from Redditors before using their content in a list

Reddit

New press guidelines from Reddit — which it’s calling “Pressiquette,” a portmanteau I’ll be avoiding for the rest of this post — explain how the site is different from other social networking platforms when it comes to both sourcing content and sharing it.

As Peter Kafka and Mike Isaac pointed out on Twitter, the first guideline seems to be pointed squarely at BuzzFeed, which makes a habit of swiping images and list ideas from Reddit.

Respect the community when sourcing content.

If you see an interesting story or photo on reddit, message the redditor who shared the piece to ask for their permission prior to using it in an article or list, ask how they would like it to be attributed, and provide them a deadline before you move on to another story.

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Embeds of Facebook posts up 50 percent since launch of FB Newswire

Facebook’s already one of the most crucial street corners on the web for hawking news, and here’s an indication it might be gaining traction as a place for gathering news, too: 50 percent more Facebook posts were embedded around the web in the three months after FB Newswire’s launch than in the three months before.

When it debuted in April, the free service from Facebook and Storyful promised to surface verified, newsworthy Facebook posts. It feels best suited for news organizations without the need or ability to pay for sophisticated third-party discovery tools.

The time period since FB Newswire was introduced includes the World Cup — 350 million users generated 3 billion interactions related to the event, according to Facebook — and fighting in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq, major world news stories.… Read more

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Why AP style doesn’t use ISIL or ISIS anymore

Just two weeks after the Associated Press explained why it referred to the Islamic militant group laying siege to Iraq as “ISIL” rather than “ISIS,” the rebels complicated matters by declaring a new “Islamic caliphate” and changing their name to “the Islamic State.”

The English translation for the group’s former name previously used by the AP was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. News organizations like The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, referred to it as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Now the question for news organizations is whether to go along with the group’s rebranding efforts and potentially grant it undeserved legitimacy, or to keep using an acronym that’s familiar to readers but is arguably out-of-date.… Read more

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NBC News redesigns homepage again to reinstate scannable headlines and greater density

Score one for those [Digiday] who [Nieman Lab] bemoan [Poynter] the rampant mobile-fication of news site designs on desktop.

NBC News has redesigned the image-heavy homepage layout that drew more than 100 angry comments to Poynter in February — and more than 300 supporters to a Change.org petition to “Reinstate a content-rich, word-navigated NBCnews.com site design.”

According to audience surveys and data obtained through the use of a test site, preview.nbcnews.com, NBC News determined what its desktop readership wanted: “The audience was looking for a faster homepage, for more scannable headlines, and for greater density,” said Gregory Gittrich, executive editor of NBCNews.com.

(That meshes with the barrage of complaints I received after writing about the February redesign. One opined, “I guess reading text is second-rate these days.… Read more

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Gannett exec: Goal of reshuffled newsrooms is to invest ‘fewest resources necessary in production’

As five Gannett newspapers institute sweeping changes across their newsrooms, the goal is to better attract an audience of 25- to 45-year-olds, a Gannett executive told Poynter via phone.

That means reaching readers beyond print.

Freeing up resources for quality reporting that’s responsive to online audiences will allow the newspapers to be “each community’s top source of investigative journalism, of public-service journalism,” said Kate Marymont, Gannett’s vice president for news. How are these newsrooms able to double down on reporting? “We’re going to invest the fewest resources necessary in production,” she said. … Read more

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