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


Vladimir Putin

Russian ‘law on bloggers’ takes effect today

Hello there. Sorry this isn’t Beaujon. Here are 10 or so media stories. Happy Friday!

  1. Russian blogger law goes into effect: It could crack down on free expression, Alec Luhn explains: “Popularly known as the ‘law on bloggers,’ the legislation requires users of any website whose posts are read by more than 3,000 people each day to publish under their real name and register with the authorities if requested.” (The Guardian) | “Registered bloggers have to disclose their true identity, avoid hate speech, ‘extremist calls’ and even obscene language.” (Gigaom) | The law also states that “social networks must maintain six months of data on its users.” (BBC News)
  2. More on David Frum non-faked photo fakery saga: Photo fakery surely occurs in places like Gaza, James Fallows writes.
Read more
Tools:
1 Comment
webat25-100

8 digital media lessons from Poynter’s ‘Journalism and the Web@25′ panel

Journalists shared personal stories about a “Goosebumps” fan site, a three-year-old riding an elevator, and dropping computer science classes in college to illustrate how journalism has changed since 1989 — and needs to change more quickly today — at Poynter’s “Journalism and the Web@25″ event Tuesday night.

The panelists at the Ford Foundation in New York represented both new and old media, and television, print, and mobile:

  • Rob King, ESPN‘s senior vice president, SportsCenter and News
  • Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide
  • Melissa Bell, co-founder, senior product manager and executive editor at Vox.com
  • Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press
  • Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine.com and professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism

Here’s a replay of the lively discussion (the event begins around the 8:50 mark) and some digital journalism lessons shared by panelists as they reflected on the past 25 years of the Web:

The time for urgency was then — and now

When it comes to digital transformation, “I think we probably all wish we had been faster, sooner,” said the AP’s Carroll.… Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
New York Times Sales

New York Times adds 32,000 digital-only subscribers as profit falls

The New York Times

The New York Times added 32,000 digital subscribers in the second quarter of 2014, the company reported today. The number was driven by its new products — the NYT Now and NYT Opinion apps and the new Times Premier subscription tier.

Paid digital-only subscribers now total 831,000, the company said. Revenue from those subscriptions jumped 13.5 percent, to $41.7 million, from the same period a year ago. Total circulation revenue increased 1.4 percent.

The company’s total revenue fell 0.6 percent to $388.7 million. While digital ad revenue increased 3.4 percent, the Times reported, that was again not nearly enough to offset a print ad revenue decrease of 6.6 percent. Overall ad revenue declined 4.1 percent.

The Times’ adjusted operating profit dropped 21 percent.… Read more

Tools:
2 Comments

Do local news orgs need national news?

NetNewsCheck | The New York Times

Former Project Thunderdome editor-in-chief Jim Brady asks whether local news organizations need to provide much national news anymore in a reflection on his time at the now-shuttered Digital First Media venture.

Writes Brady, a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board: “Do we think local news organizations — in the disaggregated Web world we live in and the even more atomic mobile world we’re speeding into — actually need much national news anymore?”

DFM announced the shuttering of Thunderdome in April, and it officially closed July 1.

RELATED: What went wrong at Digital First Media — and what’s next?

Among Thunderdome’s goals, Brady wrote, was:

To serve as a centralized national news desk for our properties so that we didn’t have multiple papers producing the same story about the royal baby or the Kentucky Derby or the Academy Awards.

Read more
Tools:
0 Comments
Forest

Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives?

For most publishers, less than 10 percent of June page views came from traffic to evergreen articles — stories that were more than three days old by Parse.ly’s definition.

Among the publishers included in the analytics company’s data: Upworthy, Conde Nast properties, The Atlantic properties, Fox News, The New York Post, Mashable, Slate, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and The New Republic.

Nearly half of the publishers see less than 5 percent of their web traffic attributed to content that is more than three days old, according to Parse.ly:

Unsurprisingly, Parse.ly found that topic-specific sites generally received a higher percentage of traffic from evergreen stories than breaking-news sites did. Upworthy doesn’t include timestamps in its stories, and many of Slate’s pieces are less time-sensitive than stories from The New York Post or Fox News and thus more likely to have a long shelf life of shareability.… Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
New York Times Executive Editor

NYT’s use of ‘illegal immigrant’ fell in 2013

The New York Times has opened Alexis Lloyd’s Chronicle tool to the public. Chronicle elegantly visualizes how often words and terms have appeared in the Times since 1851.

As an example, here’s how Lincoln, Roosevelt and Clinton came in and out of the news over the last 160+ years:

The tool is also handy for tracking language and style changes over time. Here’s a graph of the terms “illegal immigrant” and “undocumented”:

Last year, use of “undocumented” spiked and use of “illegal immigrant” fell sharply. That correlates with the Times’ April 2013 decision to tweak its style on the term “illegal immigrant.”

At the time, Associate Managing Editor for Standards Philip Corbett said some people “view the term as loaded or offensive.” Meanwhile, Corbett wrote, “undocumented” is “preferred by many immigrants and their advocates, but it has a flavor of euphemism and should be used with caution outside quotations.” It seems to have become more common in the Times anyway.… Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 12.06.04 PM

Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll

Three major news website redesigns this year look very different but have an important feature in common: articles that seamlessly transition to new content, without requiring readers to click or tap headlines and then wait for new pages to load.

This “continuous scroll” strategy for news sites’ article pages is gaining momentum. It’s been adopted by Time.com, NBCNews.com and LATimes.com, reflecting the fact that direct homepage traffic is waning (see the New York Times innovation report), and traffic from social media (particularly Facebook) just keeps growing.

So as readers increasingly enter sites from “side doors” or article pages, media organizations are trying to figure out how to get them to stick around. Pew recently found that visitors from Facebook are far less engaged than direct visitors.… Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
supermanfeatured

5 bad journalism lessons from Superman comics

If you’re a newspaper nerd, a comic book nerd or (like me) both, you’ll get a kick out of this DC Comics collection of Daily Planet-themed Superman stories.

Captain America and Thor have been in the news this week, but no superhero — besides Spider-Man, maybe — has been involved in as many news-themed adventures as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.… Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Tips for avoiding sensitive images on Twitter

With graphic images purportedly related to a Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine spreading across social media this afternoon, here’s how you can avoid having those images appear automatically in your Twitter timeline.

In your iOS or Android Twitter app, you can turn off image previews under “general” settings in the app. They can’t be turned off if you use the desktop website, however.

If you use Tweetdeck, you can turn image previews off for individual columns:

Another tip: Your Twitter.com settings allow you to check or uncheck “Do not inform me before showing media that may be sensitive”:

Unchecking that box means tweets containing media marked sensitive by Twitter or by individual Twitter users themselves will display this warning:

You can also check the setting “Mark media I tweet as containing material that may be sensitive” — maybe a good temporary courtesy to readers if you feel it’s absolutely necessary to tweet graphic images over the next few hours.… Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Publishers resurface evergreen content; Thailand’s the place to be for drone journalism

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

— New York magazine is posting old content to its Facebook page, and Business Insider is doing so on its homepage, according to Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton. How timestamp-transparent should publishers be when resurfacing evergreen stories?

— Drone journalism won’t take off in South Africa or the U.S. anytime soon, according to Sydney Pead at PBS MediaShift. But in Thailand, “it’s considered a hobby” — and easier than playing Playstation 3.

— A new Twitter bot called @congressedits tracks Wikipedia edits from computers on Capitol Hill. David Uberti looks at six of the recent edits at Columbia Journalism Review.… Read more

Tools:
3 Comments