Friday, August 21, 2009

Newspapers to share sports coverage

     Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel has joined more than 49 other major newspapers in a national consortium of major newspapers that have agreed to share sports content. The alliance is expected to allow newspapers to expand sports coverage at low cost. The idea is that papers will run only a few paragraphs of stories while linking back to the original.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Athletic conference attempts to stop new media unpaid coverage

Student media, along with many other media, are being swept up by the Southeastern Conference in its wide attempt to restrict new media from covering events live -- without paying any rights fees. It's an interesting attempt to restrict media, and one that is doomed to fail but not before other leagues (such as the money-hungry Big East and Big Ten) attempt to extract their own dollars. The problem, of course, is that new media is kinda like mud under a bare foot; it keeps squishing up between the toes.

The Internet's impact on news brings ethics into new perspectives

Let's go to the wide world of sports today. Specifically, to ESPN's new ombudsman, former producer Don Ohlmeyer's new column which tackled an interesting ethical question that offers insight into how the Internet has made an impact on all media. (As an aside, this was brought to my attention via email from former Marquette Tribuner Marino Eccher; the Internet allows us to stay close even when students have moved on. Its impact on our lives is deep and significant.)

The key point he raises in his report of how the network handled rape allegations against a football star, to my mind, is that of the need for media to quickly respond because stories, true or not, spread virtually instantaneously. I am a believer that the difference between journalism and gossip is verification. A journalist seeks to verify information before reporting it. A gossip just repeats a juicy tidbit. But the tricky part is what and when to report in this new age of instant news. Ohlmeyer dissects how ESPN handled the report. It basically did not report on the allegation for nearly three days after it was first made in a civil lawsuit because it did not fit ESPN guidelines.

This is all well and good. The guidelines are solid journalisticly, and I support guidelines as a way of setting boundaries as to good reporting. However, in the age of the Internet where gossip can take on the patina of truth, doesn't a media outlet have an obligation to report on the allegations? It's a tough question, and I'm not sure I have the correct answer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gimme that old time media

Think old media is dead? This political blog posits that the administration's failings on health care reform is "A triumph of old media" with the right dominating old media. This fits in with some of my thoughts on ineffective Net advertising. New media pinpoints 1) news happenings, 2) targeted news and advertising. Old media continues to set agendas because while new media is targeted, old media is "mass" communication. Setting politics aside (if we can), the implications are intriguing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Financial Times CEO vindicated on pay model

The Financial Times has stuck to its pay Internet model, and CEO John Ridding is boasting that the company has been proven correct. “It was pretty lonely out there for a while in paid land,” he said last week. “But it has become pretty clear that advertising alone is not going to sustain online business models. Quality journalism has to be paid for.”
I think he's not only right, but we're going to see a stampede of news sites moving behind walls, especially those with print operations as well.

Ad Age picks 5 media bright spots

I've long felt that Ad Age magazine, noted for covering the advertising industry, should also be noted for its excellent analysis of the American scene. Today, it spotlights "5 Media Bright Spots," places where media plans are working. They are Martha Stewart Living magazine's digital unit, HBO, the website, Clear Channel's streaming audio, and Family Circle magazine, which boasts that it's September issue is its largest ever.
A side note about HBO, which I've long felt was showing some of the wisest media management around. It's a pay channel, which conventional wisdom says is the first thing cut in tough times. But it's adding customers. Paying customers. I think it's proof that Americans will pay for quality. I used to argue with a Journal Sentinel columnist that quality would pay off in the long run, and that media companies should push quality in bad times. HBO proves that.

Fashion advertising drops, WSJ says

Fashion magazines' advertising way down, Wall Street Journal reports. Advertisers apparently looking at Internet marketing plans.