Articles about "NBC News"


Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

ESPN ‘frees’ Bill Simmons, but will he seek more freedom elsewhere?

mediawiremorningIt’s Wednesday. That means you get 10 media stories.

  1. Freed Simmons: ESPN’s Bill Simmons returns to the network today after his three-week suspension “for calling N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a ‘liar’ during a podcast, and then effectively daring ESPN to punish him.” His contract expires next fall, Jonathan Mahler and Richard Sandomir report. Will he leave? (New York Times) | Deadspin would take him. (Deadspin) | Previously: At the time of the suspension, Kelly McBride wrote, “when your biggest star declares himself above his newsroom’s standards, the boss has to respond.” (Poynter)
  2. Oops — ABC News didn’t beat NBC after all: Two weeks ago, Nielsen reported that ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped “NBC Nightly News” for the first time in 260 weeks. But it turns out NBC actually kept its streak alive thanks to revised ratings after Nielsen discovered inaccuracies, Bill Carter reports. (New York Times)
  3. How Time is getting all that traffic: “Time, together with sister site Money, published at least five different pieces” on the day the cable channel FXX began its marathon of “The Simpsons.” Joseph Lichterman takes a deep look at how Time is engaging its audience — and how it has more than doubled its unique visitors in a year. (Nieman Lab) | Previously: Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll (Poynter)
  4. AP’s Gannon speaks: “Honestly, I’ve thought it through so many times — I know neither Anja or I would have done anything differently,” says AP correspondent Kathy Gannon in her first interview since she and photographer Anja Niedringhaus were attacked in Afghanistan in April. Niedringhaus was killed, and Gannon “was hit with six bullets that ripped through her left arm, right hand and left shoulder, shattering her shoulder blade.” (Poynter)
  5. Layoffs at CNN, Conde Nast: CNN has closed its entertainment news division, and shows including Christiane Amanpour’s have lost their production staffs, Alex Weprin reports. (Capital New York) Meanwhile, “Condé Nast is expected to lay off 70 to 80 employees within the next week or two, primarily from the group that oversees ad sales,” writes Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg. (Wall Street Journal)
  6. Baltimore Sun redesign: A Los Angeles-times style redesign comes to another Tribune newspaper. Among the advantages, writes executive editor Trif Alatzas: “Endless-scroll technology connects you to other news categories and related articles and images without page breaks at the end of an article or Web page.” (Baltimore Sun) | Previously: New L.A. Times site: precooked tweets and a new flavor of infinite scroll (Poynter) | How news sites are adding continuous scrolls to article pages (Poynter)
  7. Vox’s email newsletter debuts today: One differentiator: It’ll be sent in the evening, not the morning. And it’ll consist of, uh, “sentences.” (Nieman Lab)
  8. ICYMI: The South Florida Sun Sentinel is reducing its emphasis on print, and that means changing things beyond workflow: “It’s our language, how we talk,” associate editor Anne Vasquez told Kristen Hare. For instance, “‘That was a great paper today’ or ‘Write that story for 1A.’” (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The final edition of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, “one of the most venerable, staunchly independent, and defiantly weird of America’s great alternative weekly newspapers,” as Slate’s Will Oremus describes it.
     
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Justin Bank is deputy editor of audience development at The New York Times. Previously, he ran The Washington Post’s audience and digital news team. (The New York Times) | Dao Nguyen is now BuzzFeed’s publisher. Previously, she was vice president of growth and data there. (Poynter) | Michael Dimock has been named president of the Pew Research Center. Previously, he was executive vice president there. (Politico) | Tessa Gould is senior director of native advertising at The Huffington Post. Previously, she was director of HuffPost’s partner studio. (Huffington Post) | Kevin Gentzel has been named head of advertising sales for Yahoo. Previously, he was chief revenue officer for The Washington Post. (Poynter) | Peter Cooper will be the writer and editor for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He’s a music columnist for The Tennessean. (The Tennessean) | Sean Kelley will be managing editor of Cooking Light. Previously, he was director of content and video for Sharecare. Katie Barreira will be director of Cooking Light Kitchen. Previously, she was food editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: GoLocalPDX is looking for an investigative reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Dorian Nakamoto looks to sue Newsweek over Bitcoin story

mediawiremorningHey, hi. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Lawsuit over Newsweek’s Bitcoin story? The man who Newsweek’s Leah McGrath Goodman identified as the founder of Bitcoin is raising money on a website to sue the magazine, claiming he was “targeted and victimized by a reckless news organization.” Dorian Nakamoto has been unemployed for 10 years, the site says. “Donations, obviously, can be made by bitcoin.” (TechCrunch) | Previously: In March, Nakamoto told the AP he hadn’t heard of Bitcoin until his son told him about it after talking to Newsweek: “I got nothing to do with it.” (Poynter)
  2. Snyderman sorry for violating Ebola quarantine: The 21-day quarantine for NBC News crew members who traveled to Liberia is now mandatory after Dr. Nancy Snyderman violated the voluntary quarantine. “As a health professional I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public, but I am deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused.” (THR) | The freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola and is recovering, Ashoka Mukpo, tweeted his “endless gratitude for the good vibes.” (NBC News) | Ebola-related: The New York Post fronts the Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola — and her dog. (New York Post) | Bentley “is being held in isolation and watched closely, but it is unlikely that he will have to be euthanized, Dallas city officials said.” (Mashable)
     


     

  3. Christie and Clinton overkill? Since Jan. 1, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was been the most-mentioned potential Republican presidential contender, according to a LexisNexis search of 15 top newspapers, with Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul not far behind. Hillary Clinton, of course, is the most-referenced Democrat — and it’s not close at all. “Overall, more stories have talked about potential GOP candidates (202) than Democratic ones (115).” (Pew Research Center)
  4. Kushner no longer OC Register’s publisher: New publisher and CEO Richard Mirman takes over for the beleaguered Aaron Kushner, who remains CEO of Freedom Communications, which owns the newspaper. Mirman is an investor in the Register. (Orange County Register) | Previously: The Los Angeles Register closed last month after just five months of operation (Poynter), and the Register reportedly owes the Los Angeles Times $3.5 million in distribution fees. (OC Weekly)
  5. Rift between Guardian and NYT? When The Guardian’s hard drives were being smashed by British authorities in 2013, the newspaper arranged for The New York Times to share and protect some of its Snowden documents. But now, Lloyd Grove reports, some Times editors are frustrated with The Guardian’s “total control over the Snowden cache, including how and when it can be used to develop, pursue and publish investigations.” Counters Times executive editor Dean Baquet: “I don’t feel held captive by The Guardian, because I wouldn’t have access to these particular documents without The Guardian.” (The Daily Beast)
  6. White House’s Secret Service spin: “White House reporters are often too swamped to fully check out every assertion made by the White House’s press operation, and in this case officials seized on a phrase that is in the report. The report is rather complicated and someone reading quickly might not catch the nuance that this was not actually a finding, but merely a claim made by, among others, by the very person whose credibility is questioned throughout the report.” (Washington Post)
  7. BBC looks at “hybrid” broadcast-Internet radio on phones: “Nearly two thirds of the mobile phone owners surveyed found the idea of hybrid radio appealing and said it could be a deciding factor when faced with a choice between phones with similar specs.” (BBC)
  8. Not front page of the day: A story on A1 of some editions of The New York Times today is missing a byline and lede.
     


     

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Times-Journal of Fort Payne, Alabama, with a very not-lifesize picture of Ebola (Courtesy the Newseum).
     
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Betsy Woodruff will be a politics writer for Slate. She’s currently a politics writer at the Washington Examiner. ‏(@woodruffbets) | Carlos Lozada will be a nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post. Previously, he edited Outlook there. (Washington Post) | Josef Federman is now Jerusalem bureau chief for The Associated Press. Previously, he was a news editor at the AP. (AP) | Chris Carter is now digital services sales director for The Alliance for Audited Media. Previously, he was director of business development for DG Interactive. (AAM) | Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for a photo editor. Get your résumés in! (AP) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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After Schiller exit, an odd tension at Twitter

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Vivian Schiller’s exit could signal tension for Twitter and journalists: Adam Sharp, who is in charge of government partnerships, will return to heading news partnerships as well. (Re/code) | “That puts him in an oddly conflicted position of advising government officials who are seeking to influence public opinion and journalists who are trying to get past that manipulation and explain what they see as the real story.” (NYT)
  2. NBC wanted Jon Stewart for “Meet the Press”: “They were ready to back the Brink’s truck up,” a source tells Gabriel Sherman. (New York) | “The revelation also underscored just how seriously [NBC News President Deborah] Turness thought about blowing up “Meet the Press,” which has fallen from first to third place in the Sunday morning political show ratings.” (CNN) | “If it’s Sunday, it’s your moment of zen.” (@chucktodd)
  3. Readers have always lied about what kinds of stories they like: “We were always ‘Facebook readers’ long before there was a Facebook.” (The Atlantic) | RELATED: Kara Swisher says, “I still think the old media hates the Internet and hopes it will go away.” (Vanity Fair)
  4. Still missing ONA? Here are a bunch of resources to help you remember: Videos. Blog posts. A photo of Poynter’s Ren LaForme with Cookie Monster. (ONA)
  5. Lots of shaved pates at The Denver Post these days: About a dozen people “shaved their heads over the weekend in solidarity with a colleague whose chic blonde hair was stolen by chemo,” Dana Coffield reports. (The Denver Post)
  6. National Press Club defends holding off-the-record events: The “press club’s director of business development, Brian Taylor, defended the defense contractors’ decision to ban press coverage even while benefiting from the prestige of the National Press Club,” Dana Milbank writes. “Sadly, the National Press Club, once a temple to the free flow of information, has been compelled to adopt the rule that drives so much else in Washington: pay to play.” (WP)
  7. NYC school police harass reporters: School safety officers tell journalists to leave “almost every time we cover a school,” Lindsey Christ reports. One broke the lensguard on an NY1 camera and put her hat over its lens. Another refused to ID himself, saying, “Stop it. Stop it, OK? Stop it. That’s who I am.” During a transaction Wednesday, “the safety officers called the local precinct,” Christ reports. “Those officers were able to explain to school safety that public sidewalks are public.” (NY1)
  8. Who is running the Atlantic’s Ello account? “Whoever is running the account is doing a bang-up job.” (The Atlantic) | Some of us are still waiting for an invite. (Sniff)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Health workers in Liberia tend to Ebola patients in safety suits on the front of The International New York Times. (Via Kiosko)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Frédéric Michel will be a consultant for Sky Italia. He is Telefónica’s Europe director of public affairs and communication. (The Guardian) | Bob Mason is now vice president of hosting at NewsCycle Solutions. Previously, he was chief technology officer at Digital First Media. (Poynter) | Gregg Doyel is now a sports columnist at The Indianapolis Star. Previously, he was a columnist at CBSSports.com. (The Indianapolis Star) | Mike Stamm is now a senior design technologist at The Washington Post. Previously, he led design technology at The Wall Street Journal. Jessie Tseng is an interaction designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was a user experience designer at Adaptly. (The Washington Post) | Sheena Lyonnais will be a freelance writer. Previously, she was managing editor of Yonge Street Media. (Yonge Street Media) | Susi Park is general manager of advertising for GQ. Previously, she was assistant general manager of advertising at Wired. (Email) | Abe Cytryn is now chief technology officer for Magzter. Previously, he was chief technology officer at Time Inc. (Email) | Job of the day: The Washington Post is looking for a religion writer. Get your résumés in! (The Washington Post) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Career Beat: AP gets new global news manager for weekends

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • James Nord is now a political correspondent for The Associated Press. Previously, he was a political reporter at MinnPost. (AP)
  • Evan Berland is now global news manager for weekends at the AP. Previously, he was deputy editor for the eastern United States. (AP)
  • Mitra Kalita is now an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. She is Quartz’ ideas editor. (Poynter)
  • Catherine Gundersen is now managing editor of Marie Claire. She was editorial business manager at GQ. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Jacob Rascon is now a correspondent at NBC News. Previously, he was a reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles. (TV Spy)

Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for a banking editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Free Press designer ‘cared about every single word, every comma, every period’ on 1A

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Free Press designer dies: 25-year veteran Steve Anderson was 59. Remembers Amy Huschka, assistant editor/social media: “He was so proud of his Twitter account and loved sharing historic images and daily 1A’s with his followers.” From Jason Karas, a designer and colleague: “He cared about every single word, every comma, every period that he placed on a 1A.” (Detroit Free Press) | A collection of memorable front pages designed by Anderson. (Detroit Free Press) | A Storify of Anderson’s tweets that anyone who loves newspaper design should check out. (Storify)
  2. Freelance cameraman contracts Ebola: The unidentified man was working for NBC News on a team in Liberia with medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The production team has been ordered by NBC News “to return to the United States and enter quarantine for 21 days,” Bill Carter reports. (The New York Times)
  3. More arrests in Ferguson: Our Kristen Hare is on the beat, of course. (Poynter) | And she’ll be updating her list of journalists arrested in Ferguson, Missouri since protests over the killing of Michael Brown began. (Poynter)
  4. How to cover Hong Kong protests: “The police sometimes use the excuse of a lack of media credentials as their reason to prevent access. Freelancers and journalism students seem to be their favorite targets.” Good list of resources here. (Committee to Protect Journalists) | Poynter’s Kristen Hare has a Twitter list of journalists covering the chaos in Hong Kong. It’s up to 173 members this morning. (Twitter)

  5. No more coffee at the Houston Chronicle: Because it’s better than cutting other things. (Houston Press) | Good timing: The Press published a list of the 10 best coffee shops in Houston on Wednesday. (Houston Press) | The Chronicle’s move to eliminate free newsroom coffee comes the week of National Coffee Day, which we celebrated by having readers “mug” for the camera. (Poynter) | And it comes the month after a study indicated coffee was even more important to us journalists than to cops. (Poynter)
  6. WaPo runs native ad in print: “It’s a godsend that the Washington Post made it look as horrible as it is, because no one will mistake it for editorial.” (Digiday)
  7. More layoffs at NYT: Between 20 and 25 people on the business side were laid off from The New York Times on Wednesday, sources tell Joe Pompeo. (Capital New York) | On Wednesday, the Times announced it plans to cut 100 of 1,330 newsroom jobs through voluntary buyouts or, if necessary, layoffs. (Poynter)
  8. Everything you need to know about the Facebook algorithm: Haha, just kidding. At ONA, Liz Heron took some tough questions but tried to reassure journalists that Facebook isn’t playing favorites with the News Feed. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The ever-innovative Virginian-Pilot tracks Ebola cases. (Courtesy the Newseum)

     
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: James Nord is now a political correspondent for The Associated Press. Previously, he was a political reporter at MinnPost. (AP) | Evan Berland is now global news manager for weekends at the AP. Previously, he was deputy editor for the eastern United States. (AP) | Mitra Kalita is now an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. She is Quartz’ ideas editor. (Poynter) | Catherine Gundersen is now managing editor of Marie Claire. She was editorial business manager at GQ. (Fishbowl NY) | Jacob Rascon is now a correspondent at NBC News. Previously, he was a reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for a banking editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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American Freed Syria

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

mediawiremorningHappy 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. Jim wasn’t a desk guy.” (Washington Post)
  3. Carr makes peace with Vice: In 2011, when David Carr was “bumping bellies with [Vice CEO Shane] Smith over whose coverage was worthier, I failed to recognize that in a world that is hostile to journalism in all its forms, where dangerous conflicts seem to jump off every other day, you can’t be uppity about where your news comes from.” (New York Times) | Previously: Vice CEO: Woodward and Bernstein used to be punks, too. (Poynter) | Here’s the Carr-Smith showdown from “Page One.” (YouTube)
  4. “The reality is, magazines as a print business will ultimately die,” says Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp in Gabriel Sherman’s profile of the recently spun-off company. “If we don’t transform this company, someone else will come in and do it.” (New York magazine)
  5. The homepageless Quartz gets a homepage: Visitors to qz.com will now see an “efficient briefing on global business news, called the Brief.” But it’s not “a sea of headlines,” Zach Seward writes in his introduction to the redesigned site. (Quartz) | Previously: The homepage is dead, and the social web has won—even at the New York Times. (Quartz) | Previously: 3 takeaways from the ‘death of the homepage’ and The New York Times innovation report. (Poynter)
  6. Has NYT subscriber growth stalled? Four years ago, a consulting firm estimated for The New York Times that it could reach 800,000 to 900,000 digital-only subscribers. “The problem is, the Times already hit the low end of that projection in June with 831,000 paying online readers,” Edmund Lee reports. (Re/code)
  7. Is it time to ditch native news apps? App use is growing more quickly than mobile Web use, but John McDermott argues news sites can best take advantage of that by having mobile-friendly sites that can be linked to in the apps people are actually using, like Facebook. (Digiday) | Previously: App use dominates mobile browser use, but what does that mean for news content? (Poynter)
  8. ‘We need more of a coffeehouse conversation’: That’s how NBC News president Deborah Turness explains her vision for “Meet the Press” to Bill Carter. Turness tried to make things work with host David Gregory, but “we weren’t able to build a new vision together in the end.” (New York Times) | Previously: Gregory’s replacement is Chuck Todd. (CNN)
  9. Paul Krugman saw Arcade Fire at Barclays Center: “I have to admit that the sound in a big arena is a bit murky — the bass was too loud — so it helped if you already knew and loved all the songs, which I did.” (New York Times)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Ed Reams will be news director for WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously, he was assistant news director at WISN in Milwaukee. (Wheeler Report) | Clayton Clark will be a communication specialist for St. Agnes Hospital. Previously, he was a reporter for KMPH in Fresno. (Fresno Bee) | Bob Kravitz starts today as a columnist and sports reporter at WTHR in Indianapolis. Previously, he was a sports columnist at The Indianapolis Star. (Bob Kravitz) | Job of the day: Poynter’s News University is looking for an interactive learning fellow. Get your résumés in! (Poynter) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would 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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Post-Dispatch reporter slugged during Michael Brown protests

mediawiremorningGood morning. Liev Schreiber will reportedly play Marty Baron in a movie. I am tempted to end this roundup right now, but just in case you want to know more about the U.S. media landscape this morning, here are 10 more stories.

  1. Reporters who are covering the Michael Brown story in Ferguson, Missouri: Kristen Hare has started a list and compiled tweets from local media. (Poynter) | A St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter was “slugged from behind and helped away by police officers” Sunday in an area of Ferguson where looting occurred. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) | Monday’s Post-Dispatch front page: “Day of Protests”/”Night of Frenzy” (via Newseum)

    Also:

  2. Buncha moves at BuzzFeed: Concurrent with an announcement of $50 million funding from Andreessen Horowitz, the publisher will: 1) Split its news division into three groups, News, Buzz and Life (featuring a test kitchen); 2) launch BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which will “focus on all moving images from a GIF to feature film”; 3) launch a division that will make content for platforms like Snapchat, Imgur and Vine. The new structure “allows the company to expand by incubating and acquiring new companies.” (BuzzFeed) | BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti “said BuzzFeed’s revenue for the first half of 2014 was twice as much as the first half of 2013.” (NYT) | A PLEA: Can we, as a culture, agree to stop headlining stories about BuzzFeed with “BuzzFeed-style” headlines? Seriously, it is time to find a new joke.

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  3. Harper’s publisher Googles stuff by yelling at people: John R. MacArthur‘s opposition to most forms of Web journalism remains resolute. “On several occasions during a recent interview, he could not quite remember a fact that supported a point,” Ravi Somaiya writes. “His version of searching for it on Google was yelling to a staff member, who hurried to deliver the information.” (NYT) | Related: Nieman’s Josh Benton in February: “If you look at it today Harper’s is run by a fellow who doesn’t like the Internet very much … versus The Atlantic, which … has totally rebuilt its brand and is now being read by millions of people who never would have read it before.” Interviewer: “Honestly, I’ve never even heard of Harper’s.” (Post Status)
  4. Ann Arbor (Michigan) Chronicle stops publishing: The local news publisher was making money, Co-Editor Dave Askins writes, but “a sustained future would also continue to rely on two people committing not just 40, 60 or 80 hours a week, but virtually every waking moment to the enterprise.” (Ann Arbor Chronicle) | The Chronicle story begins with backyard chickens. (Michigan Daily)
  5. Yahoo Finance becomes a platisher: Unpaid bloggers “will write directly to Tumblr, and their posts will simultaneously appear on Yahoo Finance, with little or no oversight or editing.” (Digiday) | Related: Jonathan Glick, who invented the word “platisher,” talks about his gruesome but very useful creation. (Poynter) | AS LONG AS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT LANGUAGE: Jay Rosen mulls The New York Times’ decision to use the word “torture,” and the “production of innocence” that kept the publication from using it for so long. (PressThink)
  6. News crew’s van robbed: “Ironically, the burglary occurred while the crew was working on a story about an app that alerts people of ‘sketchy’ neighborhoods.” (WUSA)
  7. Yahoo’s Twitter account hacked: There’s no Ebola outbreak in Atlanta. (USA Today)
  8. NBC News’ website eases off the “mobile-fication”: “The days of people going to singular destinations are going away, so we’re investing in reaching an audience in places where people are naturally going,” Executive Editor Gregory Gittrich tells Sam Kirkland. “But we also want to do right by the audience coming directly to the homepage through desktop.” (Poynter)
  9. Great moments in anonymous sourcing: “‘We probably struggled over this more than any other issue,’ says a local self-made multimillionaire.” (The Washington Post; bold and italics mine) | FLASHBACK — Old blogger yells at cloud: “Apparently, being wealthy is a Dickensian fate where you constantly live in constant fear of angering your peers.” (Poynter)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Jerry Jackson will be chief meteorologist at WNCT in Greenville, North Carolina. Previously, he was chief meteorologist for WWAY in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Jerry Jackson) | Joseph Deaux will be a commodities reporter covering base metals for Bloomberg. Formerly, he was a reporter at TheStreet, where he covered “the fed, gold and politics.” (talkingbiznews) | Mary Pat Thibodeau is now a photographer for Life & Style magazine. Previously, she was a photographer for the New York Daily News. (New York Post) | Brian Palmer is now a reporter at OnEarth. Formerly, he was chief explainer at Slate. (Mediabistro) | Edmund Lee will be managing editor for Re/code. Formerly, Lee was a media reporter for Bloomberg. (@edmundlee) | Kenneth Li will be editor in chief of Re/code. Formerly, he was managing editor there. (@kenli729) | Job of the day: The Telluride Daily Planet in Colorado is looking for a reporter. Special consideration will be given to mild-mannered superheroes. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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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. Big pictures, big boxes… let the fifth-graders revel in it.”

RELATED: Time.com website redesign: ‘There’s a lot of text, and that’s intentional’

So the new homepage, rolled out this week to all readers, looks a little more like the pre-February site now (not every story has to have a huge image anymore!). But it still emphasizes large visuals for some stories and gives a prominent role to video, one of the news organization’s top priorities. (Also: rest in peace, humongous hamburger menu button.)

“While the audience that comes into the site via the desktop homepage is a minority of our users, we wanted to improve the experience for them,” Gittrich told me. “The days of people going to singular destinations are going away, so we’re investing in reaching an audience in places where people are naturally going. But we also want to do right by the audience coming directly to the homepage through desktop.”

That’s a recognition that homepage visitors still exist, especially for big, long-trusted news brands. Between 30 and 35 percent of NBC News visitors still arrive through the desktop homepage. They might be among the 2.3 million people who still subscribe to dial-up service from AOL, or they might be an older demographic than those who are on Twitter or WhatsApp all day, but they exist — in substantial numbers. And direct visitors are more engaged and spend more time on sites than social visitors do.

The previous NBC News homepage last week invited readers to try the new one.

The previous NBC News homepage last week invited readers to try the new one.

Gittrich has no doubts about the imperative to be mobile-first. But that doesn’t mean NBC News — and other news organizations rightfully and finally enamored with mobile — can’t also spend some time ensuring the desktop experience is as good as it can be, too. That’s why NBC News is iterating to maximize engagement on all platforms.

The public test site allows for a “continuous testing environment” for all kinds of A/B testing, Gittrich said. NBC News can roll out features to small segments of readers at a time, and can also appeal directly to readers to play around with new features on the preview site.

“Some of the things we try are going to be relatively small, like changing the color of the play button,” he said (they decided on black on yellow for video buttons).”Some of the things we try are going to be relatively big, like testing new video players.”

“We really wanted to systematically get data and feedback not only around the desktop homepage but around the whole experience,” Gittrich added, emphasizing that desktop needs are different from mobile needs. “The thinking and the goal is we will continue to iterate and optimize based on audience feedback and audience data.”

Since January, the site’s bounce rate has declined 13 percentage points, which can likely be attributed to the site’s continuous scroll feature.

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

Video views per visit have increased 249 percent since January, and page views per visit are up 81 percent, he said, per internal Omniture data.


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(This article was originally posted on Poynter’s Tumblr on Friday, Aug. 8, due to a server migration.) Read more

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Nelson Mandela

The New Yorker still fact-checks more than you do

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 (or so) media stories.

  1. What happened between NBC News and Ayman Mohyeldin? NBC News said Friday it would return the reporter to Gaza. (HuffPost) | The clumsy move was less a conspiracy than a “news division making mistakes through ratings nervousness.” (CNN) | Here’s a Mohyeldin report from this morning. (NBC News)
  2. The new NewYorker.com launches: “The Web site already publishes fifteen original stories a day. We are promising more, as well as an even greater responsiveness to what is going on in the world.” (The New Yorker) | The publication assigns one fact-checker to its website: “And not to be defensive, but that’s one more fact-checker than probably anyone else has,” Editor David Remnick says. (Capital) | OH NO, A LISTICLE: The New Yorker tweets “eight things we think you’ll love” about the new site. (@NewYorker)
  3. Russian media broadcasts conspiracy theories about downed plane: “The Russian media space has become so uniform and independent voices so cowed and marginalized that there is no counterweight.” (The New Republic) | Russian-government funded English-language network RT reacts to reporter Sara Firth‘s resignation: “apparently we have different definitions of truth” (The Washington Post) | Firth: “I don’t think there are different definitions and versions of the truth.” (CNN) | Propaganda broadcasts in Russia “has become a problem for Putin, because this system cannot be wholly managed.” (The New Yorker)
  4. The New York Daily News is an “insane asylum”: That’s according to photographer David Handschuh, one of the 17 newsroom employees laid off Friday. The paper’s “photo desk was hit particularly hard,” Joe Pompeo reports: “Some sources even wonder if the News might be getting ready to scale back or eventually eliminate its print edition.” (Capital)
  5. How Rupert Murdoch could pay more for Time Warner: Use cash from sale of some German and Italian assets. (Bloomberg) | Henry Blodget: “one of Time Warner’s pieces of logic in saying ‘No thanks’ to the original offer is that two to three down the road, they think there will be many other potential acquirers.” (CNN) | 21st Century Fox has also looked at Scripps Networks and Univision (NYT) | Jack Shafer: “Murdoch looks a lot like the 1990s newspaper publishers who continued to buy other papers on the assumption that the moat…would support their near-monopoly profits infinitely.” But streaming video means “The moat has sprung a leak.” (Reuters)
  6. Cops and security guards hassle BuzzFeed reporter for taking pictures of buildings: Policies that permit photography haven’t quite filtered down to the muscle. (BuzzFeed)
  7. Copy editors aren’t all jazzed about “Weird Al”‘s “Word Crimes” video: “A huge segment of people aren’t viewing it as parody; they appear to be viewing it as their new grammar snob anthem. They’re identifying with feeling superior by calling other people stupid.” (ACES) | Watch the video. (Poynter)
  8. How to keep people on your site in a post-homepage world: Time, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times’ websites have all been “redesigned with an eye toward that second click or page view.” (Poynter) | Related: Yahoo and Say Media are launching “online magazines” to “remind advertisers that these are high-quality, editor-driven products with real audiences, not just listicles.” (Digiday)
  9. Here’s today’s world news, edited by Kristen Hare: Thai journalists want more freedoms, Amy Sawitta Lefevre reported Monday for Reuters. “The military said in an order late last week it could shut down any media that disseminates information that ‘could harm national security’ or criticizes the work of the ruling military council,” Sawitta Lefevre reported. | A journalist with Sky News went through a piece of luggage from the MH17 crash while on air, Catherine Taibi reported Sunday in the Huffington Post. Midway through, Colin Brazier realized that wasn’t a good idea and stopped. | Vox.com has a Twitter list of people covering MH17. (I have a growing list, too.)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Amy Ellis Nutt will head to The Washington Post in September to be a science writer. Formerly, she was an enterprise writer for The (Newark, New Jersey) Star-Ledger. (The Washington Post) | Jason Taylor, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has been named the publisher of The (Jackson, Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger. (The Clarion-Ledger) | Paula Faris will be a weekend co-anchor at “Good Morning America.” She was previously an ABC News correspondent. (Paula Faris) | Bianna Golodryga will leave “Good Morning America” to join Katie Couric at Yahoo News, where she’ll help coordinate coverage of daily news as well as major business and finance stories. (Yahoo News) | Natalie Zmuda has been promoted to deputy managing editor at Advertising Age. She was previously a reporter and editor there. (@nzmuda) | Chris Gardner will join The Hollywood Reporter as a staff writer. Formerly, he was a staff editor at Wonderwall/MSN. (Muck Rack) | Nick Ciletti will be a weekend anchor at ABC15 in Phoenix. Formerly, he was an anchor and reporter at NBC2 in southwest Florida. (Nick Ciletti) | Danielle Lerner will be an anchor at NBC2 in Phoenix. Formerly, she was an anchor at KVOA in Tucson, Arizona. (TVSpy) | Job of the day: NPR is looking for a senior digital editor for race, policy and social issues. Get your résumés in! | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Corrections? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Read more

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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. Here’s how sites that relaunched in the first half of 2014 are addressing that problem by making use of the continuous scroll (aka infinite scroll) feature in their article pages:

Time.com

Since its March redesign, Time.com’s bounce rate — the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page — has declined by 15 percentage points, according to managing editor Edward Felsenthal. The percentage of desktop visitors going to another piece of content jumped 21 percentage points between February and May.

Felsenthal attributed that to the continuous scroll, which provides a clickless path for readers to reach another story. He said the left rail, which serves as a “traveling homepage” of links to the top stories of the moment, also helped.

The fact that Time.com queues up top stories, not related stories, is crucial to the site’s strategy for serving social visitors, Felsenthal said: “In many ways the major objective of our redesign was to showcase for those users the full Time offering.”

That seems to acknowledge that much of what attracts social media readers to the site initially might not be the content deemed most editorially important. So now, readers going to the site for a story that may not be what you’d expect from Time.com…

… will scroll into Time’s more substantive top stories once they get to the bottom of the article. (For what it’s worth, Felsenthal told Digiday, “We don’t want to do really clickbait-y Facebook posts, because it’s just not what the brand’s about. But we do want to tease.”)

World news typically doesn’t receive as much social engagement as softer content does, but Time’s redesign means more visitors will at least be exposed to hard news. Post-redesign, Felsenthal said, “The mix of our top 10 articles is more reflective of where we want to be.”

NBC News

The redesigned NBC News takes a different approach from Time. Article pages transition into related stories, not top stories. And some stories are compiled into “storylines,” so if you’re interested in “hot cars and kids,” you can read a stack of more than 30 stories.

Mobile page views in June were up 30 percent over the previous 12-month average, according to an NBC News spokesperson. On average, NBC News readers on desktop and mobile are seeing nearly 20 percent more pages per visit than before the site’s February redesign.

Los Angeles Times

The LA Times redesign is less seamless than the other two in terms of transitioning quickly to the next piece of content. There’s a choose-your-own-adventure quality to the layout; non-blog stories transition into a section page instead of another article page based on which section you choose:

latscroll

That gives readers more control over where the site takes them next, but requiring readers to choose what they see next adds some friction that the other sites lack.

A spokesperson for the LA Times said it was too early to share specifics about how the newspaper’s new site is performing. She summed up the goals of the May redesign:

• Eradicating print-centric and antiquated web concepts, such as “the fold,” “the jump,” “endless clicking” and “the dead end” with endless scrolling and multi-directional navigation
• Seamlessly pathing readers from one piece of content to the next, with section fronts and article pages anchored by a row of thumbnails that automatically transport readers to related coverage or other sections

Quartz, Fortune, and Cosmopolitan

The homepage-less Quartz is a clear influence here, particularly for Time. Whatever page you arrive on via social media occupies the top spot in the story stack, with top news — not related stories — below. Editorial news judgment plays a big role in the reader’s experience.

Quartz senior editor Zach Seward said it’s nice to see others emulate one of his site’s signature features: “It must mean we’re onto something.” He also said he doesn’t like the term “infinite scroll”:

The intent is to help users who get to the end of a story but want to keep reading. Some sites have dead ends, others create paralysis of choice. We choose to quietly suggest just one more story, which users can easily scroll into or just ignore. It’s all about that one moment rather some kind of infinite experience.

Seward recently told Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton that Quartz estimates “readers view about 50 percent more stories per visit than they would without the option to scroll.” And, Seward said, “When people choose to read another story on Quartz, about 80 percent do so by scrolling, as opposed to clicking on a headline.”

Time Inc.’s Money and Fortune have also adopted the Quartz-inspired Time.com template for their redesigns. And at the “sexy new Cosmopolitan.com”, a long stack of related stories is presented to readers at the bottom of article pages.

The article page is the new homepage, so what goes on underneath articles seems to be the paramount concern when redesigning a media site in 2014. Some, like Time and Quartz, choose to “quietly suggest” a particular story. Others, like the LA Times and Cosmo, are using the space below stories to offer lots of choices for readers. But all of them have redesigned with an eye toward that second click or page view.


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