Articles about "Apple"


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Cue the outcry — more big Twitter changes on the way

Friday. Good morning (or good evening, if you’re reading this at night). Andrew Beaujon is back next week.

  1. Let’s freak out about Twitter changes: Sayeth Twitter: “in many cases, the best Tweets come from people you already know, or know of. But there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy.” Noooooooo! (Twitter) | Stuart Dredge weighs in: “The difference between the two social networks is that Facebook is taking stories out of its news feed – it prioritises around 300 a day out of a possible 1,500 for the average user – while Twitter is only adding tweets in. For now, at least.” (The Guardian) | Previously: I wrote about the Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook. (Poynter)
  2. More Twitter changes: Now with audio! “Notably, Twitter is teaming up with Apple to let users listen to certain tracks and buy the music directly from the iTunes store,” Yoree Koh reports. Twitter is also partnering with Soundcloud. (Wall Street Journal) | “Throughout your listening experience, you can dock the Audio Card and keep listening as you continue to browse inside the Twitter app,” product manager Richard Slatter writes in a blog post. (Twitter)
  3. The media kinda sucks at covering Ebola: Just look at how it covered #ClipboardMan, Arielle Duhaime-Ross writes. (The Verge)
  4. Liberian media really sucks at covering Ebola: The Daily Observer newspaper “has become a feeding ground of phony conspiracy,” Terrence McCoy reports. “The top three news stories on the website all allege medical professionals purposely infected the country with Ebola, ideas that have drawn the conspiratorial from across the planet.” The bad journalism is leading to a debate over press freedom in the country. (Washington Post) | From yesterday: The BBC is using WhatsApp to spread accurate information about the virus in Africa. (Journalism.co.uk)
  5. Correction of the week: Deadspin retracted its story claiming U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner didn’t actually play high school football, as he claimed, after the primary source changed his mind. “As serial collectors of media fuck-ups, we add this self-portrait to the gallery,” editor Tommy Craggs writes. (Deadspin) | Earlier, Craggs told Erik Wemple, “If you’re looking for someone to blame here, blame me for getting way too cocky about my site’s ability to prove a negative.” (Washington Post)
  6. Whisper vs. The Guardian: A damning report in The Guardian on Thursday claimed Whisper, “the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be ‘the safest place on the internet’, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.” (The Guardian) | Whisper editor-in-chief Neetzan Zimmerman angrily denied the report, and wrote on Twitter that the piece “is lousy with falsehoods, and we will be debunking them all.” (Washington Post) | Here’s a good explainer from Carmel DeAmicis: “The two sides disagree over what constitutes ‘personally identifiable information,’ whether rough location data tied to a user’s previous activity could expose someone.” (Gigaom) | And here’s a take from Mathew Ingram, who says Whisper’s problem is that it “wants to be both an anonymous app and a news entity at the same time.” (Gigaom)
  7. American journalists detained in Russia: Joe Bergantino, co-founder of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and Randy Covington, a professor at the University of South Carolina, are in Russia to teach an investigative journalism workshop. They were found guilty of “violating the visa regime” and will return to the U.S. on Saturday as scheduled. “Russian authorities have used visa issues in the past as a pretext to bar the entry for certain individuals to the country,” Nataliya Vasilyeva reports. (AP via ABC News)
  8. Good times at High Times: Subscriptions and advertising pages are growing for “the magazine about all things marijuana” as it celebrates its 40th birthday. Dan Skye, High Times’ editorial director, tells Michael Sebastian, “I think the legalization has everything to do with the boom.” (Ad Age)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Daily News (see it at the Newseum).NY_DN
  10. No job moves today: Benjamin Mullin has the day off. But be sure to visit Poynter’s jobs site. Happy weekend!

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Can iPhone widgets make news apps cool again?

The Financial Times notably embraces HTML5 web apps — and print! — over mobile apps. Quartz, perhaps the most widely praised new media site of the last year or so, is similarly app-less. Vox and FiveThirtyEight launched this year without native apps, and the Gawker network gets by without them just fine, too, thank you very much. The tech-savvy folks at The Verge just killed theirs.

A native app can be expensive to develop and maintain, and unless your push notification strategy manages to provide real utility rather than sporadic annoyances, the only way a reader ever enters it is by deliberately searching for the icon — perhaps buried on the third page of a home screen or inside the dreaded Newsstand on iPhones — with no idea what content awaits.

In other words, iPhone apps have never included a “shop window,” as Edward Roussel, head of products for Dow Jones, put it – a place for people to see beyond the logo.

Visiting an iPhone app has been like visiting a homepage — and we all know what’s happening to homepages thanks to social “side doors.”

But now comes the release of iOS 8, which gives third-party app developers access to the “Today” view of the iPhone’s Notification Center. It’s where you can get a quick glance at your calendar, the weather and stock quotes — and now, links to BuzzFeed and Wall Street Journal content that deliver you straight to their apps.

These “widgets,” just a swipe away, present news organizations with a new way of enticing readers into “walled garden” apps; they “take the friction out of apps,” Roussel said. Even BuzzFeed, despite its sleek mobile app, has historically received a great majority of its mobile traffic from the web, according to Digiday. BuzzFeed, which is so good at enticing readers to its website via social media, now has a new way to begin enticing readers to its app.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about iOS 8 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, in June 2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about iOS 8 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, in June 2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Those who use Android devices will point out that this widget functionality has existed for years on their phones. Ryan Johnson, BuzzFeed’s head of mobile, said the BuzzFeed widget is important to its Android strategy: “Anecdotally, it’s used a surprising amount,” he said, but he couldn’t give specifics on that (BuzzFeed’s iOS audience is twice the size of its Android audience, and Android use is growing more quickly). Roussel said the Journal hasn’t experimented heavily with Android widgets, but that makes sense because 85 percent of the Journal’s app use comes via iOS devices. (Roussel does point out that major updates to the Journal’s Android apps are on the way later this year.)

The BuzzFeed widget for iOS 8 includes a large image to entice readers into the app, while The Wall Street Journal's widget is a more conservative list of headlines.

The BuzzFeed widget for iOS 8 includes a large image to entice readers into the app, while The Wall Street Journal’s widget is a more conservative list of headlines.

It makes sense that news organizations seem excited by the prospect of offering readers new entryways into apps. Users of BuzzFeed’s app share three times as much content as mobile web visitors do, according to Johnson. Roussel told me Journal app users view an average of 20 to 25 pages of content, while visitors to the mobile Web — many who likely arrive on a whim via social — view two or three. That behavior obviously makes apps more appealing to advertisers, too, he said. Breaking News and Yahoo News Digest have also added widgets to their iOS apps.

Apple has the market share, influential users, and cachet — particularly in the U.S. — to popularize features that others have offered first. If iOS opening up “Today” in the Notification Center to third-party developers fundamentally alters the way people use iPhones — as Roussel suspects is possible — those news organizations holding out on offering mobile apps might find reason to reconsider.


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How Apple prevents journalists ‘from asking really hard questions’

mediawiremorningGood morning. Jeez, my phone suddenly seems so dated and useless. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. What it’s like to cover an Apple event “The formula at these events is often the same: Apple invites select members of the press, who come and get their hands on the products and then write breathless stories filled with technical jargon and high-resolution photos. But this one was different. Gizmodo, for example, a publication previously banned for leaking photos of the iPhone 4 before its launch, was invited.” (BuzzFeed) |
    “You have to be able to control the journalist and prevent them from asking really hard questions,” a “source close to Apple’s international PR team” tells Patrick Coffee. (PRNewser, via Valleywag)
  2. One more battery to worry about: The new Apple watch is “a big deal.” (The Atlantic) | “this is by FAR the richest, deepest, most elaborate smartwatch OS ever” (@Pogue) | “Apple Gets Intimate.” (Medium) | “In other words, Apple hasn’t solved the basic smartwatch dilemma, which is that smart watches use up far more energy than dumb watches, and that there’s nowhere to store that much energy in something the size of a watch.” (Felix Salmon) | Design note: Apple made a new typeface for the watch. (The Verge) | Oh yeah, the phone: “the true media news may be that the iPhones’ larger screen sizes stand to help publishers better weather the transition to mobile, where advertising rates have been inherently lower than on desktops.” (Digiday)
  3. The Internet will be “slow” today: “Twitter, Netflix and Reddit will take part in an ‘internet slowdown’ protest in favour of net neutrality on Wednesday.” (BBC News) | “Slowdown Day will not feature any actual slowing down of the Internet.” (WP) | A proposed “Internet fast lane” means sites “including journalistic websites and start-up companies that could compete with established web services—could be slow to load, even as our expectations for loading speed leap ahead in the coming years.” (EFF) | Note: Don’t make a joke about your CMS.
  4. Politico partners with Axel Springer to launch European edition: The German publisher “shares our obsession with building media companies that produce and can sustain nonpartisan journalistic excellence,” Jim VandeHei and John Harris write in a memo to staff. (Poynter) | ” It is still unclear who will lead the effort.” (HuffPost) | OK, but what happened to Rick Berke? “Politico’s management was reportedly planning to hand over greater authority to Berke, but for unclear reasons that plan never took effect.” (WP)
  5. TMZ, considered: “There are a lot of stories on which TMZ absolutely eats our lunch,” Deadspin Editor Tommy Craggs tells Jonathan Mahler. “They have more money and better resources, and when they want to be, they’re every bit as gutsy as we like to think we are.” (NYT) | ICYMI: Anne Helen Petersen‘s “Down And Dirty History Of TMZ” (BuzzFeed)
  6. Fight this generation: Ben Schreckinger writes about the plague of trend pieces about millennials, many of which, he notes, are written by older people: “older pundits don’t really want to understand us anyways; they want to tell us who we are, and receive validation in return—in the form of votes, or book sales or acknowledgement of their moral superiority.” (Politico Magazine)
  7. Strongly, on a panel, a Times journalist speaks: “Our citizens are now being doomed by the policy of what Europe does,” New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi told a crowd at Columbia last night, referring to the fact that many European nations pay ransoms for their kidnapped citizens. “I’ve yet to see an American offical stand up and actually name the European countries that do this.” (Capital) | Callimachi wrote in July about how “Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for Al Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe.” (NYT) | Poynter’s vast Rukmini Callimachi archives: “The mistake a lot of foreign correspondents make is they get wrapped up in reporting what they think sounds important rather than what interests people.” (March 2013) | How she kept breaking stories from a trove of Qaida documents she dug out of an abandoned building in Timbuktu (May 2013) | That time she dug up bodies in the desert. (December 2013)
  8. CJR destroys clickbait headlines: You can write good headlines for the Web without resorting to “come-hither pitches that overpromise on stories that underdeliver,” Michael Driscoll writes. (CJR) | FREEKY FLASHBACK: Remember when we complained about SEO-optimized headlines? (Slate) | Related: “Let’s start using clickbait for good” (Poynter)
  9. Today’s front page, selected by Kristen Hare: An Austrian supermoon from Kleine Zeitung. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

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  10. Job moves, by Benjamin Mullin: Kim Kelleher is now publisher of Wired. She was president of Say Media. (Condé Nast) | Jeremy Colfer is now head of video for The Hollywood Reporter. He was senior producer for branded content at Sundance TV. (The Hollywood Reporter) | Andy Bush is now senior vice president of global accounts at Time Inc. Previously, he was international publisher of Time magazine and Fortune. (Time Inc.) | Carly Holden is now communications director at GQ. Previously, she was a public relations manager at W. (email) | John Woodrow Cox is a metro enterprise reporter at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times. (@JohnWoodrowCox) | Job of the day: The Washington Post is looking for a fact-checking reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Apple’s iPhone Plus doesn’t spell doom for tablet design

Critics have long groused about the death of the tablet’s use in news design. Jon Lund pronounced tablet magazines “a failure” in a 2013 GigaOM article, declaring that the “app-based tablet approach to magazines leads straight to oblivion.”

When News Corp’s iPad newspaper, The Daily, was discontinued in 2012, Tech Crunch ran an article titled “Why magazine apps suck” that rattled off a list of problems plaguing tablet publications: large file sizes, lack of imagination from developers and a failure to reach the sizable audience of iPad readers.

In recent weeks, rumors of a new iPhone with a larger screen began circulating in advance of today’s Apple event, prompting industry watchers to forecast dark days ahead for the tablet. Marketwatch’s Quentin Fottrell called the new phone “a big risk for Apple,” quoting an analyst who said the larger screen might cannibalize the iPad market. The Motley Fool’s Tim Brugger agreed, writing that large-screen phones might eat into the sales of tablets and mini-tablets. Read more

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

mediawiremorningWednesday 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. (AP) | Previously: Tice “disappeared on Aug. 14, 2012, while reporting on Syria for The Washington Post and McClatchy, among other outlets.” (Poynter) | Related: Peter Theo Curtis, who was freed in Syria by extremist group al-Nusra Front on Sunday, has returned home to Boston and reunited with his mother. (AP)
  3. Online “spiral of silence”: In a Pew study, researchers found that 86 percent of U.S. adults were willing to talk about surveillance issues in-person, while just 42 percent of Twitter and Facebook users were willing to post about them on those social networks. “Overall, the findings indicate that in the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions and debate issues.” (Pew Research Center) | Another interpretation, from Chris Ip: “A hesitancy to share online could actually be a valuable restraint for someone who would otherwise have shot an unthinking opinion into the digital ether, safe in the knowledge their network of followers would agree with their views.” (Columbia Journalism Review)
  4. “You could teach a whole course on Ferguson”: “We’ve seen it in other cities,” Amber Hinsley, assistant professor at St. Louis University, tells Kristen Hare. “But for St. Louis, this is really our first big story that broke on Twitter. You saw it unfold on Twitter.” (Poynter)
  5. Did you know: The domain .TV is owned by Tuvalu, a South Pacific nation, and it’s becoming a big deal for branding as sites look to capitalize on appetite for online video, Noam Cohen reports. (The New York Times)
  6. New Quartz homepage aimed at loyal visitors: It’s modeled after the site’s newsletter, Zach Seward tells Joseph Lichterman: “It’s so new, and there aren’t enough analogous products out there to really tell if we should be expecting people to just be twitchy and checking it all the time, or if they have one time in their day when they check it and it’s just that once a day.” (Nieman Lab)
  7. Nationwide Time Warner Cable outage: The Internet was down between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. during “routine network maintenance,” Brian Stelter reports. Many of the homes served by TWC are in Los Angeles and New York: “That made Wednesday’s outage more noticeable, because it affected journalists and the people who employ them.” Good point. (CNN)
  8. Bigger iPad on the way? iPhones are getting bigger this year, and soon there will be a 12.9-inch version of the iPad, too. Sales of the tablet have fallen for two straight quarters. (Bloomberg) | It sounds awkward and way too big for a tablet, but Steve Kovach writes it could be a “dream device” by basically being a less “clunky and confusing” Surface Pro 3. (Business Insider) | Related: Walt Mossberg still loves tablets. (Re/code)
  9. Newspaper front page of the day: The Virginian-Pilot, selected by Kristen Hare. (Newseum)
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Mignon Fogarty is now the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Media Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network. (Poynter) | Tom Cibrowski is now senior vice president of news programs, newsgathering and special events at ABC News. He was a senior executive producer at “Good Morning America.” (ABC News) | Michael Corn will be senior executive producer at “Good Morning America.” Previously, he was executive producer of “World News.” Almin Karamehmedovic will be executive producer at “World News.” Previously, he was executive producer at “Nightline.” (ABC News) | Kylie Dixon is now co-anchor for “2une In” at WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Previously, she was an anchor at KXII in Sherman, Texas. (businessreport.com) | Les Vann is now general manager of WISH in Indianapolis. Previously, he was general manager of WJCL in Savannah, Georgia. Steve Doerr will be acting general manager for WJCL. Previously, he was northeast region vice president for Smith Media. (Lin Media) | Job of the Day: The Associated Press is looking for a news editor in Nashville, Tennessee. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would you like this roundup each morning? This week, please email me: skirkland@poynter.org. You can reach your regular roundup guy at: abeaujon@poynter.org


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James Foley’s mother: ‘We have never been prouder of our son Jim’

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ISIS video appears to show James Foley’s execution: Masked executioner speaking “with what sounds like an East London accent…. says that Mr. Foley’s execution is in retaliation for the recent American airstrikes ordered by President Obama against the extremist group in Iraq.” (NYT) | Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, on Facebook: “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.” (Find James Foley) | “As of 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday, Foley’s family in New Hampshire had no confirmation from the US government of Jim’s death, and they acknowledged there is a small chance the video may still prove to be fake.” (GlobalPost) | Here are some links to stories published at the one-year anniversary of his disappearance, last November. (Poynter) | The video also showed ISIS threatening another journalist, Steven Sotloff, who has been missing since last August. (NYDN) | Both the New York Daily News and the New York Post front Foley’s execution, with the New York Post choosing an image of his executioner applying a knife to his throat. (Via Newseum) | “Twitter is ‘actively suspending accounts’ of users posting images related to the apparent execution of journalist James Wright Foley, CEO Dick Costolo announced today.” (Re/code) | “Social Media Companies Scramble to Block Terrorist Video of Journalist’s Murder” (Foreign Policy)
  2. Meanwhile, in Ferguson: Police entered the media pen early Wednesday searching for protesters. I collected a few tweets about the incident. | 47 arrests last night, three handguns seized. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | Post-Dispatch front page: “A Day of Recovery” (Via Newseum, of course) | Poynter’s Kristen Hare is in Ferguson and STL today, reporting on newsgathering there. She has a gas mask all lined up. Say hi if you see her! Follow her on Twitter: @kristenhare. | Hare’s first post.
  3. Apple’s best-sourced reporter is a 20-year-old college student: Mark Gurman “makes more than six figures a year as senior editor and scoop master at 9to5Mac.com,” Michael Rosenwald writes. (CJR)
  4. Twitter confirms you’ll start seeing tweets from people you don’t follow: “The aim seems to be to increase the chance that more users may see content that they might find interesting.” (The Guardian) | “On the Facebookification of Twitter and the Twitterfication of Facebook” (Poynter)
  5. Snapchat moves into news: A new service called Snapchat Discovery “would let users read daily editions of publications as well as watch video clips of TV shows or movies by holding down a finger on the screen, like they do with photos and other messages on the app before disappearing.” (WSJ) | “Here is what Snapnews looks like in its primitive form: A ninety-second reel, divided into small units, each composed by finger or stylus. Who knew!” (The Awl) | Related: The Washington Post is on Yo. “We’ll YO every time we publish a new article on NSA or cybersecurity.” (@migold)
  6. Remembering Charles M. Young: The rock writer died Monday. He was 63. “He made his mark covering the CBGBs scene in the mid-1970s, writing Rolling Stone’s first major pieces on the Ramones, Patti Smith and Television, among others. He brought a fresh sense of humor to the magazine’s Random Notes section, and championed critically-disrespected bands like Van Halen.” (Rolling Stone) | Young in 2001: “It’s physically painful for me to squelch my writing style to fit some editor’s idea of useful consumer advice. I hate rating records with numbers and stars and grades. I hate lists.” (Rockcritics.com)
  7. Fareed Zakaria again faces plagiarism accusations: With Benny Johnson‘s pelt on their wall, @blippoblappo & @crushingbort turn their attention to the Atlantic Media contributor. (Our Bad Media) | Time will review Zakaria’s work again. “Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, called the new accusations ‘reckless’ in a statement to Poynter.” (Poynter) | Zakaria’s full response: “These are all facts, not someone else’s writing or opinions or expressions.” (Politico)
  8. Condé Nast sells Fairchild: “Penske Media Corp. is acquiring Fairchild Fashion Media from Condé Nast, in a deal that includes WWD, its archive, Footwear News, M Magazine and the Fairchild Summits and events business.” (WWD) | “This is the second time this month that Condé Nast, which owns magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, has sold an asset. It recently offloaded the shopping magazine Lucky, merging it with the online retailer BeachMint.” (NYT)
  9. Creative Loafing Charlotte sold: Charles Womack, the publisher of Yes! Weekly in Greensboro, North Carolina, purchased the alt-weekly from SouthComm, Inc. (Yes! Weekly)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Mabel Martinez is now beauty editor of Siempre Mujer. Previously, she was an editorial assistant at Parade Magazine. (Meredith) | Kelly Lattimer is now vice president and general manager of WQRF in Rockford, Illinois. Previously, she was general sales manager for KFXA in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Nexstar) | Nora Zimmett is now senior vice president of live programming at The Weather Channel. Formerly, she was an executive producer at CNN. (TV Newser) | Paul Steinhauser will be political director for NH1. Formerly, he was CNN’s political editor. (Fishbowl DC) | Ama Daetz is now an evening anchor at KGO. Previously, she was a weekend anchor there. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: Willamette Week is looking for a reporter in Portland, Oregon. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) Send Ben your job moves:bmullin@poynter.org.

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New Yorker to introduce metered paywall; New York Times adds deputy-level digital editors

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, a world roundup):

— All articles published in The New Yorker since 2007 will be free online for three months as the magazine gets set to introduce a metered paywall. As it stands, the site’s mix of free and subscriber-only content has been “this kind of awkward, the best we could do, kind of paywall, where we held things back,” editor David Remnick tells Ravi Somaiya of The New York Times.

— The Times will add a deputy-level digital editor to each of its main news desks, according to a memo from executive editor Dean Baquet shared by Jeremy Barr at Capital New York. The role will include managing social media, audience development and long-term innovative projects.

— About 4 in 10 Americans homes have gone mobile-only, ditching their landline connections, according the National Center for Health Statistics. Two-thirds of those between 25 and 29 use cellphones exclusively, writes Victor Luckerson at Time.

— After an NPR education blogger’s inelegant tweet about finding diverse sources (“only the white guys get back to me”), NPR has reminded its staff: “If you wouldn’t say it on the air, don’t say it on the Web.” Jim Romenesko has the memo.

— CNN’s head of social news, Samantha Barry, on clickbait: “That’s not what CNN’s about,” she tells Digiday’s Lucia Moses.

— Apple iOS still accounts for about 60 percent of mobile Web traffic in the U.S., according to Quantcast data cited by a Piper Jaffray analyst and reported by Business Insider’s Sam Colt.


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The day in digital: Is ‘time on site’ metric a silver bullet? Plus iWatch news

Apple is planning to offer multiple versions of its long-rumored smartwatch when it is finally released in as early as October, Eva Dou and Lorraine Luk report in the Wall Street Journal. When it comes to watches, “one design doesn’t fill all,” an analyst said.

“The page view just won’t die,” BuzzFeed’s Myles Tanzer writes. But “time on site as an end-all, be-all metric doesn’t really work at the moment,” says Chris Thorman, who does audience development at Vox Media. (Poynter’s Rick Edmonds has argued it’s time to ditch the page view and unique visitor metrics.)

The NYT-WaPo-Mozilla plan to build a better commenting/community platform won’t vanquish trolls completely. “Try as we might, I don’t think we’re going to create magic,” said Greg Barber, the Post’s director of digital news projects. “What we’re going to do is try to take technology and apply it to the work we’re all doing as humans.”

Re/code’s Kara Swisher runs down all the job shuffling at Twitter, while pointing out the funny way she gets news about the company: She saw the job titles in Twitter bios had changes, and then confirmed the changes with Twitter.

Breaking news is broken, and Breaking News (the NBC News-owned startup) is trying to fix it with customization, including a new geolocation feature in its iOS app that knows where you are and sends you news accordingly. Breaking News general manager Cory Bergman writes about it at Medium. Read more

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Team podcasts disappear from iTunes after MLB complains about trademarks

NBC Sports | Awful Announcing

A number of baseball podcasts disappeared from iTunes after complaints from Major League Baseball about trademark infringement, Craig Calcaterra reports for NBC Sports. MLB says it notified Apple about “infringing uses of trademarks of Major League Baseball and certain Clubs” and “asked Apple to have these trademarks removed from the podcast titles and thumbnails.”

A bunch of podcasts vanished after that, Joe Lucia reports for Awful Announcing. Ted Price, who hosts a Texas Rangers podcast, tells Lucia iTunes accounts for almost all his downloads.

An MLB spokesperson told Calcaterra it didn’t ask for the podcasts to get 86′d: “Given our many years of experience in notifying Apple about trademark issues on the Store, we trust that removing the podcasts was an oversight, and ask that you please look into this matter as soon as possible.”

At least one professional sports team has zealously protected its trademarks when it comes to media coverage. The Washington Redskins in 2011 forced The Washington Post to change the name of its blog about the team from Redskins Insider to Football Insider. The Redskins also asked a blog called Redskins Republic to change its name; it’s now Hail Republic. (An increasing number of outlets have stopped printing the Redskins’ name for a different reason.) Read more

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New iPad Air comes closer to all-in-one reporting device for mobile journalists

Mobile journalists — those who report on the ground and file stories at Starbucks, for instance — should be tempted by the iPad Air. While it’s unlikely to revolutionize on-the-go computing, it definitely brings us a step closer to having an all-in-one reporting device.

If you’re in the market for a new tablet or your news organization is moving in the direction of outfitting you with a tablet rather than a laptop, here are some advantages of the new iPad Air:

Weight/size

The new name reflects one of the bigger selling points of the device — it weighs just a pound. At 1.4 pounds, the last-generation iPad was already lighter than hyper-mobile laptops such as the high-end 11-inch MacBook Air (2.38 pounds) or the low-end HP Chromebook 11 (2.3 pounds). Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Surface 2 tablet weighs in at 1.49 pounds, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 weighs 1.25 pounds.

The iPad Air’s lightness is an asset for reporters who might hold it to record short videos, record audio or do voice dictation while in the field. It also has a narrower frame, making typing with both thumbs while holding the device with two hands a little easier, notes Jim Dalrymple of the Loop. That might not be the best way to take notes all the time, but in a pinch the iPad Air could stand in for the old-fashioned notebook, with the advantage that the notes are already digitized when you’re ready to write.

Improved audio and video

The iPad Air adds a second microphone to help cancel out background noise, clearing up audio from an interview on the street or in a busy office, for instance. (See the comprehensive iPad Air review at AnandTech for a side-by-side comparison of audio quality between last year’s iPad and the new one.)

If you’re a reporter, that’s added incentive to bring an iPad Air along for an interview. It’s easy enough to prop up the device on a desk or table with a case, and you’re virtually guaranteed to get some useable interview video to accompany your text. Plus, an advantage of the iPad Air’s large 9.7-inch display over the forthcoming iPad Mini’s new retina display is that it offers that much more screen real estate for video editing on the go after you’re finished shooting.

Free apps

New iOS devices now ship with a suite of free apps, including iPhoto, iMovie and Pages, letting users edit photo, video and words on the go. While it might still be difficult — not to mention silly-looking — to shoot photos and video on an iPad, there’s a real advantage to having that content immediately editable and ready to be filed to web editors via Dropbox or another sharing service. Or, if you’d prefer to shoot photos and video with the much smaller iPhone, iCloud sharing beams that content directly to your iPad — assuming it’s connected to a network — with its larger editing window.

Limitations

That said, there are disadvantages to the iPad Air that might make mobile journalists think twice about abandoning their comparatively hefty laptops.

Apple still hasn’t released a physical keyboard attachment for their tablets — such an accessory is the calling card of the Surface, geared toward users who want a tablet that can function at times as a laptop. Apple has left keyboard cases to third-party accessory makers, but Apple’s Bluetooth-enabled keyboards can of course get the job done, too.

If it’s crucial that you file stories directly to a newsroom CMS, you might be out of luck if that CMS isn’t browser-friendly. It’s still clunky to switch from app to app in iOS, and users can’t run apps simultaneously. That makes the iPad a poor choice if you want to stay connected to your editor via a Google Hangouts chat window or go back and forth between your word processor and web browser to research a story. (Writing this blog post on an iPad would likely have taken twice the time it took me on a laptop.)

Still, every time the iPad’s content-production capabilities grow while its weight decreases, it becomes a more appealing component of the mobile journalist’s toolbox.

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