Articles about "NBC News"


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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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Jill Abramson doesn’t return NYT’s email

mediawiremorningGood morning. Almost there. Let’s go. Read more

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Snowden thought NBC would give him a ‘fair shake’

NBC News | The Washington Post | The New York Times | Glass

Edward Snowden says he chose to give his first big U.S. TV interview to NBC News because it did “actual individual reporting” on what he felt were the issues his leaks raised.

You broke some of the stories. And they were about controversial issues. So while I don’t know how this is going to show up on TV, I thought it was reasonable that, you know, you guys might give this a fair shake.

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NEW YORK CITY - SEPT 22: NBC News aired the first news program in American broadcast television history on February 21, 1940. September 22, 2012  in Manhattan, New York City.

NBC News: ‘high-level NBA sourcing’ led to inaccurate report on Sterling

NBC News reported Tuesday that a “senior NBA official” said L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling would get an indefinite suspension and a $5 million fine. That information turned out to be bogus.

In a statement emailed to Poynter, NBC said: “Prior to [NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's] press conference, we had information from our high-level NBA sourcing that proved to be inaccurate. We immediately corrected the error on all platforms of NBC News, including the special report that ran on our air.”

It corrected the tweet. On TV, David Gregory said “Our initial reporting was shy of what Silver ultimately decided.”

Correction: This post originally described NBC’s report inaccurately. NBC reported an indefinite suspension, not a temporary suspension. Read more

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TMZ, NBC News got it wrong: NBA bans Sterling, will force sale of Clippers

The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and will force a sale of his team after determining Sterling disparaged blacks on a leaked recording.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also imposed a $2.5 million fine on Sterling. Silver announced the penalties Tuesday at a press conference.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver at a press conference Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Even before the official statement, TMZ reported that a suspension was coming, saying the “buzz” was that “they will slap Donald with a one year suspension or an indefinite suspension.” TMZ also reported “Sterling will NOT be forced to sell the team.”

TMZ wasn’t the only outlet that flubbed it. NBC News reported in a since-deleted tweet:

NBC then corrected itself on both the suspension and amount of the fine:

In a statement a few hours later, NBC said it got its inaccurate information from “high-level NBA sourcing.” On the air, David Gregory said, “Our initial reporting was shy of what Silver ultimately decided.”

TMZ first posted the audio recording that caused all this. The scoop by the entertainment website further established it as a serious source of major stories.

But being first doesn’t always guarantee accuracy, as media organizations know too well.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly located the press conference at the Staples Center. It was held in New York. Read more

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NBC says it brought in ‘brand’ — not ‘psychological’ — consultant to evaluate David Gregory

NBC News has issued a statement, which it emailed to Poynter, about a report in The Washington Post that it hired a “psychological consultant” to talk to David Gregory’s friends and family about the declining ratings of “Meet the Press,” which he hosts.

“Last year Meet the Press brought in a brand consultant—not, as reported, a psychological one—to better understand how its anchor connects,” NBC News says. “This is certainly not unusual for any television program, especially one that’s driven so heavily by one person.”

Politico’s Hadas Gold writes Paul Farhi, who wrote the Post story, told her he “checked with NBC twice on Sunday about the term ‘psychological’ and that they had no objections at the time.” Reached by email, Farhi tells Poynter those conversations were via telephone. Read more

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NBC News hired psychological consultant to interview David Gregory’s friends, family

The Washington Post

The “meltdown” in “Meet the Press”‘ ratings “has sounded alarm bells inside NBC News and attracted the attention of its new president, Deborah Turness,” Paul Farhi reports in The Washington Post. Host David Gregory’s “job does not appear to be in any immediate jeopardy, but there are plenty of signs of concern.”

Last year, the network undertook an unusual assessment of the 43-year-old journalist, commissioning a psychological consultant to interview his friends and even his wife. The idea, according to a network spokeswoman, Meghan Pianta, was “to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.” But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years.

NBC News issued a statement later Monday, saying the person it brought in was a “brand consultant.”

“Face the Nation” is the most popular of the Sunday shows among viewers, Farhi writes. Those shows “are more than just prestige projects for the networks; the relatively large and affluent audiences they attract make them magnets for corporate image advertisers that pay premium prices for airtime.” Read more

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NBC News engagement up since site relaunch despite reader complaints

When NBC News relaunched its website just in time for the Winter Olympics, reaction was fierce on social media and in comments at Poynter. (Facebook commenters have even been pushing a petition at Change.org.)

Much of the criticism has focused on how the new image-heavy design makes it more difficult to quickly find the most important news. As one Poynter commenter put it:

The appeal for me has always been organized categories with lots of headlines, but I guess reading text is second-rate these days. Big pictures, big boxes… let the fifth-graders revel in it.

About a month into the relaunch, I asked Gregory Gittrich, executive editor of NBCNews.com, to respond to the criticism and give Poynter an update on how the audience has reacted. He said the transition was naturally going to be a little bumpy.

“We do have a loyal audience who has a strong emotional connection to NBC News,” Gittrich said. “We weren’t surprised by the initial feedback because the change was so significant, but that’s why the data and metrics were obviously important.”

NBCNews.com on an iPhone before and after the relaunch.

Mobile traffic nearly triples

Gittrich emphasized that it’s still early, but he said numbers for the new site are encouraging. Average daily page views post-Olympics are up 30 percent from pre-relaunch figures, and page views per visit are up 46 percent, according to internal Omniture data.

The new site’s story page automatically transitions into a related story when readers reach the bottom, echoing the seamless scrolling strategy growing in popularity at sites like Quartz and Time (although I’ve noticed considerable sluggishness as I scroll down story pages at NBCNews.com).

Most significantly, page views on mobile have increased 186 percent, Gittrich said, reflecting why NBC News saw the need to go mobile-first. Video streams per visit are up 32 percent.

Adjusting along the way

Viewers on desktop have seemed most upset with the changes. Grid-based, image-heavy designs that de-emphasize visual hierarchy and quickly scannable headlines have grown increasingly popular. Many of the concerns seemed to come from readers who had long bookmarked the legacy news brand’s homepage.

Since the relaunch, NBC News has addressed the issue of homepage elements all looking alike by adding two headline-only modules — one for top news, the other for video. They’re “easy to scan and monitored around the clock,” Gittrich said. The changes were always planned post-launch, but he said reader feedback confirmed the need for them and added some urgency.

Said Gittrich: “We are listening to the feedback and watching the metrics.”


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Related: Bloomberg View: latest mobile-first site to embrace the grid, shun visual hierarchy | NBC News reveals responsive redesign of website in time for Winter Olympics Read more

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Bloomberg View: latest mobile-first site to embrace the grid, shun visual hierarchy

Bloomberg View, no longer just an opinion vertical at bloomberg.com, has launched a standalone, image-heavy website, which publisher Tim O’Brien told Capital New York is “a departure for Bloomberg.”

But the startling new emphasis on visuals borders on overkill. Here’s how Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton put it:

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Forget the hotels in Sochi, journalists should worry about getting hacked

NBC News | ABC News

On Tuesday, while the rest of us were having fun watching journalists grapple with hotel conditions in Sochi, NBC News was getting hacked. On purpose.

ABC reported on the threat on Wednesday. James Gordon Meek wrote that, while government surveillance is an issue, so, apparently, are mobsters. Hacking mobsters.

Mobsters hack devices for passwords and data to facilitate digital larceny and, at times, can be used as proxies by the FSB [Federal Security Service] for any number of tasks, sources said. For instance, a recent cybersecurity report by private firm CrowdStrike fingered Russian intelligence as likely involved with, or at least aware of, the work of a hacker group known as “Energetic Bear,” which has targeted Western energy interests.

So let’s assume, for now, that if happy tweets start rolling out from journalists with photos of swanky rooms, Energetic Bear is behind them.

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