Friday, April 8, 2011

When journalism kills

How do we reconcile ethics and journalism 2.0?

Writing in Forbes, Jeff Bercovici discussed how a story filed by a student ended up basically costing more than 30 people their lives. The story recounted the burning of a Quran by an insensitive pastor in Florida.

Bercovici's report prompted some excellent comments (very nice to read thoughtful comments instead of the stupidity associated with most of those showing up in Wisconsin newspapers about the political problems) as he talked about how the story was ignored by "legacy newspapers" before being run by a foreign news agency. It's the story of how the traditional ethics and checks and balances seem lost in this era of "empowered citizen bloggers and crowdsourced reporting."

Sometimes progress hurts -- and journalism can kill.

USA Today may pay bonuses for page views

USA Today reportedly will pay staffers bonuses for page views. It was bound to happen.

Newsroom employees rose last year, but minority numbers fell

Newsroom employees rose last year (only a tiny amount), halting a three-year decline, according to the American Society of News Editors. But minority staffers continued to lose numbers. "The number of professional journalists rose from an estimated 41,500 in 2009 to 41,600 in 2010," the group reported. Minority journalists declined from 5,500 to 5,300.

OK, it's not banner-headline great news, but it is important good news, except for the minority numbers. Those who want newspaper jobs can find them (I'm seeing that with MU journalism grads), but they have to hunt. In good news for minority journalism students, ASNE reported "Minorities represented 19 percent of the journalists hired for their first full-time newsroom job, up from 16 percent last year."

Ad Age looks at changes in AOL content

The future in journalism remains as murky as ever with changes continuing. Advertising Age takes a look at changes in freelancing opportunities at AOL with Arianna Huffington taking change and making big changes. That future might be less murky with a better-written story, but you get the idea of what's happening from this piece.

Ad Age says when everything is done: "The result will be content from two different classes of contributors: full-time employees and unpaid bloggers, in addition to the content AOL regularly aggregates from other sources, such as traditional newspapers."

Sounds a lot like the Huffington Post.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Newspaper chain reworking itself

Meanwhile the owner of 28 newspapers, including the Orange County Register, is reworking itself, building around an iPad link. It's got some innovative advertising ideas.

Good news for news magazines

Good news from the news magazine front. Advertising is growing, the New York Times reports. All of them gained except for Newsweek, which is undergoing a major "reinvention" (the Times' description) under Tina Brown, and is still finding its way.

But pages are up three or four percent at virtually all the other news magazines. And it was the same for most consumer magazines, Eric Sass reports.

Data from tweets at the Daily intriguing

I still don't know how I feel about the wealth of data being spawned by following tweets from the Daily's iPad app. On the one hand, I continue to be troubled by the fact that someone out there is counting everything I do online. On the other, the data is fascinating. Privacy versus data. It's a hard choice we are all going to be making, I guess.

Joshua Benton of the Nieman Journalism Labs reports today on more data (he's got a link to an earlier analysis). Among the more interesting -- not surprising but interesting -- results is a time-of-day study that shows iPad use is similar to old newspaper use, heavy in the morning and late afternoon. There's a lot more in Benton's report.