Publishing news direct to Facebook is a big step — but the Apocalypse is not upon us

Sceeenshot from Facebook

Sceeenshot from Facebook

My read on Facebook’s deal with nine news publishers to post some material direct to the platform: yes, it’s a significant business development but by no means apocalyptic, as some commentators are suggesting.

Here’s why:

Good company: It was artful of Facebook and the publishers to assemble nine prominent brands to launch the experiment  — including new media exemplar BuzzFeed, magazine-based National Geographic and four international titles.

Were this just The New York Times, for instance, one would wonder whether the opportunity and deal terms were a one-off match to their business situation.  Not so with this roster.

Favorable revenue split:  The publishers will (for now at least) get 100 percent of revenue for ads they sell and 70 percent of those Facebook sells.  Read more

1 Comment

de Blasio accidentally sends NYT reporter email about subway gripes

New York | The New York Times

A New York Times story published Tuesday morning documenting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s subway angst was made possible by an errant email sent to a reporter from the paper. Michael Grynbaum explains how the “stern, bullet-pointed missive” found its way to a Times reporter’s inbox:

Mr. de Blasio, who has been making a concerted effort to repair his reputation for tardiness, copied two senior aides on the email, including his chief of staff. The mayor, by accident, added another recipient as well: a reporter for The New York Times.

Writing for New York, Jessica Roy raises the possibility that the wayward gripe wasn’t sent by accident at all, but instead a clever ploy to play up the mayor’s everyman sensibilities. Read more


If it’s noteworthy, count on news outlets to spoil it for you

In the era of instant news that accompanies readers wherever they go, special attention has been given recently to preserving a blissful state of ignorance around watershed moments in pop culture.

The NCAA men’s basketball championship. The Grammy Awards. The plot twists that define wildly popular TV shows. In each of these cases, a news alert could spoil a pleasurable experience readers might want to experience firsthand. So how do news organizations balance the imperative to inform their audiences with the understanding that readers might want to occasionally remain unaware?

For some outlets, that answer to that question seems to hinge on how they define spoilers. In recent weeks, two major news organizations, The New York Times and The Associated Press, shared public case studies that shed light on their philosophies. Read more


When April Fools’ Day goes wrong

Business Insider | BuzzFeed | Digiday

When April Fools’ jokes fall flat, they can really fall flat. Just ask the editors of The Cavalier Daily, the student newspaper of the University of Virginia. Business Insider writer Peter Jacobs reports that for this year’s April Fools’ issue, the newspaper’s editors decided to run a phony story making light of the case of Martese Johnson, the African-American UVA student who was beaten and bloodied by agents of the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control. In a piece titled “ABC agents tackle Native American student outside Bodo’s Bagels,” the paper pretends to report on a similar incident involving a different marginalized population and uses such fake names as “Strong Buffalo,” “Dances with Wolves,” and “Rabbit in the Grass.” After outraged students began complaining, the paper’s Managing Board pulled the piece offline and issued an apology. Read more


Tucker Carlson: Media treated email flap like ‘fall of Baghdad’

Tucker Carlson, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, has weighed in on the vulgar email his brother, Buckley Carlson, accidentally sent a spokesperson for New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

In an interview with Real Clear Politics, Carlson said he refused to criticize his brother in public when asked for comment by various media organizations and wouldn’t do so even if “my brother committed a mass murder.”

He’s my brother. Period. Under no circumstances will I criticize my family in public. Ever. Ever. That’s the rule, and I’m not breaking it.

Carlson also called BuzzFeed, the outlet that broke the story, “crap the kids like” and told Real Clear Politics he doesn’t read it.

He recalled responding to inquiring reporters by telling them his brother “meant it in the nicest way,” in an effort not to engage their questions. Read more


Look to the past for lessons on the news industry showdown with Facebook

News and commentary this week that leading news organizations are close to striking a deal to publish directly to Facebook’s platform reminds me, and others, of an industry faceoff six years ago with Google.

As you may recall, Rupert Murdoch had denounced Google for “stealing” content in its news summaries.  William Dean Singleton, chairman of MediaNews and the Associated Press board, threatened a war to protect newspapers’ copyright at AP’s and NAA’s 2009 conferences in San Diego. Google’s Eric Schmidt spoke to the NAA and faced a number of hostile questions.

We all know how that turned out.  Google won.  They continue publishing Google news summaries and referring traffic via search. Except to the AP itself, Google generally hasn’t paid for news it borrows. An AP-led effort to organize a licensing collective (NewsRight), never found its legs.  Read more

1 Comment

Reddit rolls out embeddable comments in countermove to BuzzFeed

Slate Reddit

On Monday, Reddit announced the unveiling of a new feature that could make life for BuzzFeed and Gawker a little more awkward: embeddable comment threads. From now on, if media outlets want to use content from Reddit, they can embed comments from the site’s users directly in their stories, just as they have been able to do with Tweets.

As Reddit administrators noted in the comment thread following the announcement, this feature could do more than advance the Reddit brand. For years, Reddit users have accused Gawker and BuzzFeed editors of searching Reddit for interesting content, scooping it up, repackaging it, and publishing it without attributing either Reddit or the users who originally posted the content. The new embed feature won’t exactly keep websites from swiping content, but it will make their editors slightly more queasy about swiping content when a simple mouse click will allow them to post Reddit’s work directly onto their own site. Read more


BuzzFeed gets into the podcasting game

Wall Street Journal | Another Round | Internet Explorer

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed became the latest news organization to begin offering podcasts to its audience. The inaugural editions of “Internet Explorer” and “Another Round,” BuzzFeed’s first two podcasts, went live on iTunes early this morning. The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Perlberg reports:

Both weekly podcasts are hosted by BuzzFeed staffers, and the company hopes to expand the audio offering in the future with things like shorter-run series, news shows and reported pieces, according to Jenna Weiss-Berman, BuzzFeed’s director of audio.

In a post announcing “Internet Explorer,” BuzzFeed staffers described it as a dive into the culture of the Web that examines “all the weird and wonderful rabbit holes of this terrible/fantastic internet that we love so much.” The other podcast, “Another Round,” promises to be an informal look at issues of pop culture, sexuality and race, along with “literally everything” else, according to a BuzzFeed post announcing its launch. Read more

Jeff Bezos

SXSW report: Washington Post’s digital numbers even better than officials claimed

According to Capital New York, Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron and Chief Information Officer Shailesh Prakash gave a presentation at the South by Southwest Interactive festival on how the technological innovations introduced by Jeff Bezos have changed the newspaper’s fortunes. And they made a remarkable claim: according to numbers produced by comScore, the Post’s number of unique visitors jumped 71 percent in a single year, to roughly 42.6 million in December.

But according to comScore, the Post’s numbers are even better if you look at what happened in February. comScore Vice President of Marketing and Insights Andrew Lipsman claims that in February, The Washington Post’s number of unique visitors jumped to more than 48 million, a 63 percent increase over the same month last year. Read more

1 Comment

Journalism and public shaming: Some guidelines

Public shaming has been in style for a while and journalism plays a significant role. It’s time to examine the ethics of this.

Public shaming, or openly humiliating someone as punishment for a certain behavior, is inherently a form of intimidation. It’s a strategy where we shine a light so hot and bright on a subject that he or she suffers, or at the very least shuts up and goes away.

It’s often perceived as positive because it exposes what many people consider bad behavior such as when BuzzFeed aggregated a bunch of racist tweets after an Indian-American woman won the Miss America crown.

To be sure, there is a certain nobility in shaming public officials who try to keep public documents from the public, or in exposing a greedy corporation that abuses its lowest paid workers. Read more

Page 2 of 2012345678910...Last »