Articles about "Journalism organizations"


News Corp Split

PoynterVision: Why News Corp acquired Storyful

Raju Narisetti, senior vice president and deputy head of strategy at News Corp, explains the reasons behind News Corp’s $25 million acquisition of Storyful in December. Many newsrooms have adopted Storyful to help them verify social media and video content. Watch the video to hear how Narisetti, who came to Poynter for the Future of News Audiences conference Jan. 26-27, sees Storyful’s verification tools fit into News Corp’s larger strategy.


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How news nonprofits are making money

How can nonprofit news organizations diversify their revenue streams? A recent report from the Knight Foundation surveyed 18 nonprofit news outlets between 2010 to 2012 to find the most effective practices in the areas of finances, organizational structure and audience engagement.

Although most nonprofits increased revenue, relying less on foundation grants and bringing in money from individual donors, sponsorships, events and syndication, financial stability is still a big concern for nonprofit news.

Our guests: Anne Galloway, the founder and editor of Vermont-based VTDiggerMark Katches, the editorial director of the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting, and Mayur Patel, the Knight Foundation’s vice president of strategy and assessment.

VTDigger is a five-year-old organization with six full-time employees and an annual budget under $400,000; CIR was founded in 1977 and has a staff of 73 and a budget of $10 million.

You can replay this chat at any time and find our chat archives at www.poynter.org/chats.

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Warning Job Loss Ahead

ASNE census finds 2,600 newsroom jobs were lost in 2012

The American Society of News Editors released its annual newsroom census today and found an unexpected acceleration of job losses. Roughly 2,600 full-time professional editorial jobs at newspapers disappeared in 2012, a 6.4 percent decline compared to 2011′s total, leaving industry news employment at 38,000.

That brings the number of reporters, editors and other journalists down almost one-third from a peak of 56,400 in 2000 and down 30.9 percent since 2006. The greatest losses — 13,500 in all — came in the recession years of 2007-2009. But a modest stabilization in 2010 and 2011, when losses slowed to 900 jobs over the two years, now appears to be over.

FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL NEWS JOBS AT NEWSPAPERS
YEAR         TOTAL        GAIN/LOSS
2007           52,600            -2,400
2008           46,700             -5,900
2009            41,500             -5,200
2010            41,600               +100
2011             40,600             -1,000
2012             38,000              -2,600

 

The census began in 1978 to track progress in making newspaper staff and leadership more diverse. As in recent years, the percentage of minority news staffers held steady at 12.4 percent — essentially showing minorities losing newspaper jobs at the same rate as others.

The census covered calendar year 2012, but the cuts have clearly continued this year.  Recently, the Chicago Sun Times dismissed its entire 28-person photo staff. The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Oregonian are cutting print newsroom staff, as parent Advance Publications did at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans last year.

Much coverage of the financial crunch that precipitated the cuts has focused on metro newspapers, which must serve an audience and advertisers spread over a large geographical region while facing tough broadcast and digital competitors.

However, this year’s survey found newspapers with circulations of more than 250,000 reporting slight increases in jobs on average. The big losses came at newspapers with circulation between 25,000 and 250,000.

How ASNE got its figures

The census, previously an in-house ASNE project, was conducted this year and last year by a unit of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, and fully funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

The procedure involves collecting results and grouping them by bands of circulation, then projecting numbers for those papers not reporting based on the average for the group. Multiple reminder e-mails and follow-up phone calls aim at getting reports from papers that didn’t respond to the initial request.

For several years ASNE has accepted online-only news organizations as members and invited them to participate in the survey. But response has been spotty, leaving ASNE with too little information to estimate how many of the lost newspaper jobs may have been made up by growth in the digital sector.

Also this year, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and a number of other large papers didn’t compete surveys. And as the industry delivers content on a number of platforms and many large chains consolidate copy editing and design at remote centers, an accurate count of jobs becomes more difficult.

By my reading, besides the L.A. Times, the list of the missing includes The Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Sun-Sentinel (of Fort Lauderdale) and Newport News Daily Press — five of the eight Tribune Co. papers.

Historically Gannett has been a very strong supporter of ASNE’s diversity initiative.  But besides the absence of USA Today, several other large Gannett metros — The Arizona Republic, Indianapolis Star and Cincinnati Enquirer — didn’t report results.

Other prominent papers not reporting include Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times, The Miami Herald, The Times-Picayune, the New York Post and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

With 978 of 1,382 dailies responding, however, the basic finding of a bigger job decline seems solid.

Clarifying gray areas

I have asked ASNE to double-check its list and will post an update if any of the missing papers failed to show up on the list as a result of clerical error.

“Who counts as a journalist now is complicated,” said Adam Maksl, one of the academics who oversees the work. For this year, Maksl said in a phone interview, papers with regional editing centers were left to make their own call about counting their share of these groups as part of their own news staff.

Clarifying that and other gray areas remains “a challenge for the future,” Maksl said. There probably remains some ambiguity about who in the newspaper’s digital operations (a code-writer, for instance) should count as a journalist. Also, Maksl noted that clerks have traditionally been excluded from the count, but in downsized newsrooms many with that job classification are heavily involved in producing journalism.

ASNE doesn’t include wire services in the survey. Several, notably Bloomberg and Reuters, have been growing editorial staff over the last six years as newspapers decline. (Both Bloomberg and Reuters are sponsors of this week’s ASNE convention in Washington, D.C.).

The digital sector eludes any exact estimate, though some entrants over the last several years — Politico, the Huffington Post and AOL’s Patch — by now have staffs the size of a big-city newspaper.

Less is less

For all the complicating factors, count me as surprised that the reported job losses were so high. As co-author of the newspaper chapter for Pew’s annual State of the News Media report, published in March, I had estimated the loss would be at least as great as 2011′s 1,000. But I didn’t expect more than double that.

I would characterize 2012, looking out to 2013, as a year the industry realized that gains from new digital revenue streams will be slow in coming and print advertising is less likely to stabilize than it is to continue its decline. And for now at least, the new activities won’t be as profitable as the legacy ad business was. Despite a revenue boost from digital pay plans, all that would argue for continued cost-cutting, including more layoffs of news staff.

Thus the report raises some painful, if familiar, questions. What won’t be covered because newspapers have less staff to deploy? How much more can be eliminated without devaluing the paper’s report (on several platforms) and thus its appeal to advertisers?

Working smarter and producing better digital presentations of stories and ads will help, but I am left again thinking less is less. Read more

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Journalism conferences are failing aspiring news nerds

Research notes
University of Nebraska professor Matt Waite (and a former developer at Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times) proposes “super panels” to address the shortcomings of the standard “News Nerd/technical journalism panel,” which end up “inspiring people and then giving them little direction after they walk out.” The problem, as Washington Post developer Jeremy Bowers (also a former St. Pete Times developer) puts it, is that there’s plenty of intro training, but “but there’s a big gap between that and proficiency.” Waite’s idea: Start with a panel aimed at informing and inspiring, then move to an “unconference” setup in which the panelists and others recruited to help decide on next moves — “Install some software? Map out a group project? Start hacking away? Up to those who show up.” Afterward, the super panel speakers and other recruits agree to run a study group or mentoring program. || Related: Michelle Minkoff says she wishes more conferences made her “feel dumb,” because that’s when she knows she’s learning something Read more

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Society of Professional Journalists: Time to stop using ‘illegal alien’

Journal-isms
The Society of Professional Journalists passed a resolution at its conference earlier this week urging journalists and style guide editors to stop using the term “illegal alien” and to reconsider using “illegal immigrant.” The resolution states that only a court can judge whether someone has “committed an illegal act,” and that “the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is also concerned with the increasing use of pejorative and potentially inaccurate terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.” SPJ president-elect Sonny Albarado said he hopes the resolution “shows people that journalists are concerned about being accurate when they refer to people, plus I hope it helps shape the discussion.”

The SPJ resolution doesn’t state what term journalists should use instead. The AP Stylebook states that “illegal immigrant” is the preferred term, rather than “illegal alien” or “undocumented worker,” and it tells journalists not to use “illegals.” || Related: Colorlines.com reports increased use of “illegal” and “alien” in media coverage | Jose Antonio Vargas plans to report on immigration issues as he lobbies for policy changes | Vargas’ essay renews attention to media’s use of ‘illegal’ & ‘undocumented’ Read more

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NABJ co-founder says Unity’s mission has changed since NLGJA joined

Journal-isms
Joe Davidson, co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, says he has changed his mind about having NABJ rejoin Unity since the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association joined Unity last week. “NLGJA’s inclusion in Unity changes the mission of Unity,” he tells Journal-isms’ Richard Prince. “Throughout Unity’s history, its mission has been to advance the interests of journalists of color, as its full name now, but perhaps not for long, indicates.” There’s been talk recently about Unity dropping “journalists of color” from its description. NABJ President Gregory Lee has appointed a commission to examine Unity’s governmental and financial structures and help the organization decide whether it should reunite with Unity. NABJ withdrew from Unity in April, saying it was no longer financially prudent to be part of the alliance. Read more

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Three separate weekend conventions focus on digital journalism

Online News Association | Excellence in Journalism | Journalism & Women Symposium
Journalists had their pick of conventions this weekend. The Online News Association closed its 12th annual gathering by announcing its award-winners Saturday night; Flipboard won an award for technical innovation and the Asbury Park Press won the Knight Award for Public Service for “Barnegat Bay Under Stress.” The Huffington Post’s Craig Kanalley noted that Twitter, Facebook, Google and Storify were omnipresent at the convention. At the Excellence in Journalism convention (co-sponsored by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Society of Professional Journalists), CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien said Sunday, “When I got into this business in 1988 I was told the evening news is dead. It’s still not. Avoid the naysayers.” You can follow tweets from the convention, which goes through Tuesday, with #EIJ11. | And Susan Mernit pulled out some of the conversation from the Journalism & Women Symposium, including this: “Objectivity is like virginity: Once it’s gone, it’s gone.” (She also called on ONA to create a community media category in its awards.) Post additional wrapups and takeaways in the comments. Read more

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New York Times chooses UNITY conference over NABJ in 2012

The New York Times / Journal-isms
The New York Times won’t support the 2012 National Association of Black Journalists convention and instead will attend UNITY. The Times made the choice after NABJ decided to break away from UNITY, which brings members of minority journalism associations together every four years for a convention. The larger convention was convenient for media companies because they only had to attend one event rather than four. “This was never a debate about not supporting NABJ, of course. It’s about attending an alternate convention in a UNITY year,” Dana Canedy, a senior editor at the Times, said by phone. “We have every intention of returning to the NABJ convention in non-UNITY years.” Read more

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How to make a URL shortener for yourself or your organization

Ever wonder how The New York Times shortens its links on Twitter to “nyti.ms,” followed by some combo of letters and numbers?

If not, maybe you should. In 2010 social media traffic to news sites continued to grow for large and small news organizations. Utilizing a branded URL shortener is just one piece of a smart social media strategy, and it’s not all that difficult to do.

First, you may need to convince someone at your organization that this is an effort worth making. Here are a few good reasons:

  • Custom URL shorteners let those sharing and viewing tweets know that the link can be trusted. Given that spammers use link shorteners to trick users, it’s worthwhile to share your content via a shortened link that users recognize and won’t be afraid to click on.
  • Creating your own shortener enables you to give your brand new exposure. For example, journalists on Twitter can use their news site’s URL shortener to help extend the site’s brand. Paying for bitly.Pro (more to come on this) can even make links shared by anybody in TweetDeck and other applications shorten to your branded URL instead of the default bit.ly links.
  • If the majority of your staffers use your organization’s custom URL shortener when they share content via social media, you can easily track the traffic this drives and even pick out which journalist carries the most influence or writes the most engaging tweets.
  • Custom URLs also enable you to highlight special packages. For example, you could create a custom URL that points to a landing page with all of your election coverage. As features are added to shorteners, publishers will have the opportunity to experiment with advancements such as bit.ly Bundles or QR codes.

Finding the right domain

No matter what route you take, it all starts with finding a short domain name, preferably one that is seven characters or less.

Look for something that’s easily recognizable as an abbreviation of your full domain name or organization. Domainr is an excellent tool for finding which domains are available, and it searches for trendy domain extensions. It’s also a good idea to use a 301 redirect to point the root of your short domain to your real website.

A power shortener

Bitly.Pro’s Enterprise service offers publishers a URL shortener that automatically changes to a short link when users tweet from a client such as TweetDeck or Seesmic. This “end-to-end branding” means that when a reader pastes a link from your website into one of these sharing platforms, it will automatically create a short link with your chosen domain name.

Bitly.Pro Enterprise’s other advantages include real-time analytics, a more advanced dashboard and a service-level agreement with customer support. The company does charge $995 per month, however, which may be too much for some organizations to justify.

Other options

Awe.sm offers a less expensive service (starting at $129 a month) that comes with analytics and an API to experiment with, among other features. Awe.sm has noticeable restrictions on its plans, however, like the number of short links you can generate a month and the number of users that can access the dashboard.

BudURL Pro, which starts at $24 a month, offers city-level analytics and generates a QR code for each shortened URL. This feature holds interesting possibilities for interactive print advertising and for tying together print and online coverage.

Not to be forgotten, the free version of bit.ly Pro delivers just the basics but might be a good starting point for publishers who are debating whether to use the more expensive enterprise service.

Indie methods

Of course, there are also free, easy and independent ways to set up your own URL shortener.

Once you’ve got your short domain set up and pointed to your servers, you can easily install some shortening software. Yourls is a set of open-source scripts with a standard feature set, including the ability to create a public interface that would enable anyone to shorten a link with your branding.

Another simple route is to install WordPress and the Pretty Link plugin on your servers at the root of your short domain. Pretty Link is free for a set of basic features and includes analytics and a handy bookmark for shortening links with one click. Pretty Link Pro is $37 for a single-site license and includes a few more options. For journalists who want their own short links without too much effort, this is the way to go.

Both Yourls and Pretty Link are actively developed and open source, so there’s a lot of potential for your own developers or consultants to dive in and add more features.

Should reliability be a concern?

There are some risks that can come with using third-party services. Providers could have their databases hacked, or they could simply go out of business, meaning your shortened links would no longer work. (The same could be said about any unbranded service you’re using now). But over the past year, companies like bit.ly have raised significant venture capital and have continued to build a business instead of just a cool tool.

Even if these services or open-source software were to become unusable, it would not be a killer blow. A database of redirects would be fairly easy to move with limited interruption to users. If you’re looking to further engage digital and social readers, now is a good time to get started with your own custom shortener. Read more

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Annenberg Foundation gives $50M to USC j-school

LAT || USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
The gift will pay for a new 90,000-square-foot building with studios and newsrooms for the digital age. || Read the release. Read more

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